Iptor Supply Chain and IBM partner to provide cloud infrastructure services
Supply chain management firm Iptor Supply Chain Systems has agreed a deal with IBM to provide a range of cloud infrastructure and managed service offerings to Iptor’s existing and future customers.
Iptor said the deal brings together a leading supply chain management vendor and a leading cloud services and infrastructure provider
It will this allow Iptor to deliver pre-set cloud ERP offerings for its new customers but also it will future proof existing customers by supporting the migration of those who do not currently operate in a cloud environment.
This will provide them with a ‘one stop shop’ for solutions, services and technology.
Additionally, as part of the 10-year agreement, further value-added services will be developed in the coming months. By providing modern, secure, flexible solutions Iptor is reducing the complexity of their customers’ IT, allowing them to focus on their business not their technology.
The offering supports customers with the highest level of data security for the upcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and with 24/7 support and IBM’s wider ecosystem.
Jayne Archbold, Iptor CEO, commented: “Our agreement with IBM is an enormous step in delivering our Cloud First strategy. Not only does it mean we can implement a state-of-the-art solution in a very short time but also it means that customers can be confident in the knowledge that they are supported by IBM’s ecosystem now and into the future.
“A year ago, we set out our vision to help distribution-focused organisations solve their most complex order management and fulfilment challenges in a world where exceptions are the rule – with this announcement we continue to deliver on that.”
Henrik B. Rasmussen, IBM Executive GTS Nordic, commented: “Many businesses operate in increasingly complex, fast moving environments where order management is complex and data regulation and compliance is becoming ever more complicated.
“They are faced with the problem of how best to leverage the cloud to solve these challenges, when in many cases they do not have the skills or expertise to manage this themselves, yet know they cannot stand still in the market.
“Therefore, they are looking for service providers who have the expertise and experience to manage this for them whilst they focus on running and growing their business. This agreement delivers exactly that.”
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.