EMMA WILLIS CASE STUDY

12 July 2018
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“AURES hardware has met our requirements, it is a modern, streamlined system which fits well in our shop. We have found the system easy to use and have had no issues to date. We would certainly recommend it.”

Kristal Jones, Chief Operating Officer and Director.

The role of textile manufacturing in transforming the UK into the world’s first industrial superpower is taught to every British school child. But outside the cotton and woolen factories, the abundance of all that cloth also inspired another flourishing industry – bespoke tailoring.

Nowadays, mass factory produced clothing has superseded the handmade approach which dominated in 19th Century England. But for those who value craft, elegance and a proper fit in their attire, made-to-measure still cannot be beaten.

Fortunately, there are businesses like EMMA WILLIS which keep the old ways alive.

The company’s eponymous founder trained at the Slade School of Fine Art in London before setting up her shirt design business in 1989. The principles the company was built on remain at the heart of today’s operations – producing premium quality, luxury men’s shirts and accessories from the finest Swiss cotton, linen, cashmere and silk, using traditional methods of hand cutting and sewing.

In 2000, EMMA WILLIS opened her first shop on Jermyn Street, London, in an area of St. James, Westminster known for quality gentleman’s fashion retail. Then in 2010, the company opened a suitably stately factory in an elegant 18th Century townhouse in the historic centre of Gloucester.

It is here that all bespoke and ready to wear products are produced by the highly skilled EMMA WILLIS team, ready for sale through the factory showroom, the Jermyn Street store, the company website and online men’s fashion retailer Mr Porter. Notable clientele include HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as British film stars Daniel Craig and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Traditional values, modern operations

EMMA WILLIS is company steeped in the best traditions of clothing manufacture. But like any successful modern business, it also recognises the need to move with the times. Nowadays technology plays a key role.

In 2016, EMMA WILLIS partnered with ESPERUS, a software house that specialises in business management systems for the clothing and footwear industry. The aim was to set up with an integrated solution that would incorporate stock control, purchase ordering, EPOS and ecommerce in one straightforward platform that could be accessed easily in Gloucester and in London.

Kristal Jones, COO and Director of EMMA WILLIS, explained the appeal of ESPERUS’s flagship stock management system, Genesis: “We chose ESPERUS as we were looking for a new EPOS system which would be accessible from both our Jermyn Street Shop and Gloucester Headquarters where our Factory is based, to manage our Stock control and easily access customer data, financial reports etc. ESPERUS showed us their cloud-based system which fulfilled our criteria.

“We use the stock management system to control the stock in our Jermyn Street shop, we have our own Factory, therefore we can manage supply and demand.  The system allows us to see our best sellers and easily generate purchase orders based on the data provided; which translates into how much fabric we order, work flow in our Factory etc.  As the system is cloud based, it is accessible from our Headquarters, therefore we have all the data we need at a click of button.”

Genesis provides a flexible modular system which allows platforms such as EPOS, stock replenishment, wholesale, distribution and web management to be added to a central stock control hub in line with the needs of each individual business. As a cloud-based system, it allows real-time integration across locations, with single-click access to live data and reports from any device.

Bambos Chambi, technical operations manager at ESPERUS, believes it was this ability to stack value-added features on the Genesis platform which cemented EMMA WILLIS’s interest in the solution. “Greg [Gregoriou, ESPERUS co-owner] and I were first introduced to Kristal back in May 2016 when we were given the opportunity to showcase our EPOS solution,” he said.

“Our EPOS solution offers extensive CRM (customer data capture) and eReceipt functions and it was evident that Kristal could see the dividend benefits this would offer EMMA WILLIS.  We went on to demonstrate the power of Genesis in terms of stock control and stock valuation features, as well as purchase ordering facilities. The power of the Genesis system often simply sells itself.” 

Complimentary hardware

After rolling out the Genesis system, ESPERUS followed up by installing brand new EPOS hardware at the Jermyn Street store in March 2018. The terminal they chose was the AURES YUNO, a stylish and compact all-in-one unit that has become highly popular with fashion retailers for its combination of appealing aesthetics, powerful processing capabilities, multiple configuration options and user-friendly built-in touchscreen.

Talking about ESPERUS’s relationship with AURES, Bambos said: “We have been supplying solutions to the fashion industry since 1986 and have found that today’s fashion clients are looking for something more pleasing on the eye- the days of the old-fashioned supermarket-type till are a thing of the past. For that reason, Greg made a conscious effort to look for an alternative to the EPOS units we had been using for many a year. We have since used AURES hardware in all new client set-ups for the past three years, where Tamara Haslam, AURES UK Sales Director has played a pivotal role in our very successful relationship.

“With the YUNO specifically, we have found that the speed is exceptional and these days aesthetics play a key role with any till hardware decision. We can safely say that the YUNO looks great and performs even better.”

Commenting on her impressions of the YUNO, Kristal said: “AURES hardware has met all of our needs, it is a modern-looking, streamlined system which fits well in our shop. We have all found the system easy to work with and have had no issues to date. We would certainly recommend it.”

Speaking about the strategic importance of relationships with sector specialists like ESPERUS to AURES, Tamara said: “Ensuring that our products are available and accessible to everyone from multinational chains to single-store independent boutiques is a high priority for everyone at AURES. To achieve that, we rely on building relationships with channel partners like ESPERUS who can take our hardware to their own markets.

“It is really pleasing that a specialist like ESPERUS shows so much trust and belief in the quality of our terminals to make them a part of their offering to clients. And it is great that through them we can supply brands of the pedigree and prestige of EMMA WILLIS, and hopefully play a role in helping their business thrive.”

About EMMA WILLIS

EMMA WILLIS is an English shirt designer who trained at the Slade School of Art before starting her business in 1989.  She opened her Jermyn Street shop in 2000, followed by a dedicated factory housed at the 18th century Bearland House, Gloucester, which opened in 2010. 

EMMA WILLIS’s philosophy is to adhere to traditional shirt making techniques using the finest Swiss cottons, linens, cashmere cottons and silk.  As well as bespoke made-to-measure and ready-to-wear shirts, EMMA WILLIS also produces and sells boxer shorts, pyjamas, dressing gowns and walking socks. The brand’s international clientele includes HRH The Prince of Wales, David Gandy, Daniel Craig and Benedict Cumberbatch. More information can be found at www.emmawillis.com

About ESPERUS

ESPERUS Systems Ltd was founded in 1986 as a software house specialising in the design and development of business management solutions for the clothing and footwear industries. The company’s core product range is engineered specifically to meet the operational needs of apparel companies in retail, wholesale, web\mail order, distribution, manufacturing, accounts integration and, in recent years, eCommerce.

ESPERUS’s development and technical support teams are headquartered in North London. The company’s flagship product is Genesis Enterprise, a flexible hybrid cloud based modular platform built around stock management. Fully customisable, Genesis offers integration of a wide range of operations with real-time access to data and business intelligence.

The company’s extensive client portfolio includes Little Mistress, Timberland Ireland, Queens Park Rangers FC and Cordings of Piccadilly.

www.esperus.com