Reference story Gerry Weber International AG
Gerry Weber International AG relies on d.velop sign for contract management and digital signatures.
Digital expense approval takes minutes instead of a full week
Gerry Weber International AG: Work seamlessly on the d.velop cloud platform
Gerry Weber International AG, founded in 1973, is one of Germany’s best-known fashion companies in “Women’s Modern Classic Mainstream,” with its headquarters in Halle, Westphalia. The company currently employs 2,200 people worldwide, with around 400 of them at its headquarters. Gerry Weber generates annual sales of around 300 million euros (annual report 2020) in the three core sales channels of its own stationary trade, wholesale, and e-commerce.
Gerry Weber AG wants to digitize business processes
There is an important rule of thumb when it comes to digitization: anyone who seriously wants to digitize processes in their company should think holistically and avoid isolated solutions. The Gerry Weber Group is also consistently pursuing this approach. To achieve its digital goals, the fashion group has the support of a reliable partner. The company is very careful about digitally implementing as many business processes as possible using the best solutions and replacing existing solutions continuously without interruption.
Replacing Inefficient Workflows
The reason for consistently relying on digital workflows: Many of the conventional processes were no longer optimal in terms of time management, error prevention, and cost efficiency. In addition, the cost approval process offered room for improvement.
Cost applications in Excel spreadsheets signed off weekly
“The cost claims for each department were entered in a separate Excel spreadsheet. Corporate Sourcing then released them once a week”, says Patrick Kühnast, Coordinator of Shared Services & PMO at Gerry Weber, describing the rigidity of this exemplary workflow. In essence, with a high level of internal coordination and no transparent overview of open processes and costs.
400 of them at the Halle headquarter
Corporate Sourcing Triggers Digitization
“In operational business, a week is a long time when bills have to be paid”, points out Patrick Kühnast. At Gerry Weber, it was the corporate sourcing division, i.e., central purchasing, that ultimately sparked profound digitization efforts within the company.
Discovered Across Internet Research
“In this context, priority was given to digitizing contract management and approving costs. We had to find a partner for this” explains Patrick Kühnast, explaining the first step. “Through internet research we came across d.velop.”
Conversations with Gerry Weber
In the beginning, intensive discussions with d.velop were necessary. “We were looking for someone who not only specializes in purchasing processes , but wanted a multifaceted who would then implement different other topics with us”, Patrick Kühnast continues. “We didn’t even know if d.velop could even do that.”
“What convinced us about d.velop was the versatility and the fact that extraordinary solutions were offered. We also liked the platform idea that we have a central interface on which we can handle numerous issues such as cost approval, contract management, etc. Many things are already available right away at d.velop, and for Gerry Weber requirements we have a partner who implements them for us.”
Patrick Kühnast, Coordinator Shared Services & PMO at Gerry Weber
Gerry Weber demands digital processes
d.velop was awarded the contract, linked to a few framework conditions: “A resource-saving and fast implementation, continuous digital processes from the application to the signature and a simple entry for the end user inside”, Marco Doods, Account Manager Retail at d.velop, points out.
What convinced us about d.velop was the versatility and the fact that extraordinary solutions were offered.Patrick Kühnast
Coordinator Shared Services & PMO
Gerry Weber International AG
Contract Management and Cost Approval
The first two projects identified included the digitization of contract management and the cost approval process. The objectives were clearly defined: All of the company’s contracts should be managed centrally, provided with proactive advancement, deadlines, and digitally automated. When approving costs, the application, review and approval of investment projects should be regulated within a department until they are approved. In addition, the process should be faster and more transparent: What applications are there? Where are these right now? What kind of volume are we pushing in front of us?
Few Resources Available Suggest Cloud Solutions
The following applied to both areas: They should be consistently digital and free of media breaks. “Since the customer could only provide a few resources on the IT side, it quickly became clear that an on-premises solution would not be convenient”, says Marco Doods. “Furthermore, the project should be implemented as quickly as possible, which in turn pays for a cloud solution.” And such a solution, says Patrick Kühnast, “is becoming essential.”
d.velop trusts in partner alphaflow GmbH
In order to be able to meet all of Gerry Weber’s requirements, d.velop relied on the expertise of its partner company alphaflow GmbH for this project. With the d.velop cloud platform as a basis, alphaflow apps should serve as an interface for users. d.velop describes themselves as a document management system (DMS) and the electronic signature should be integrated accordingly.
The first sub-project lasted five months and included contract management, cost approval, and electronic signature, starting with a kickoff event. A prototype was provided and the employees were onboarded. Furthermore, adjustments were made to the solutions in a rolling process. “We had a weekly meeting with d.velop at the beginning – compared and implemented the to-dos in individual sprints”, remembers Patrick Kühnast.
Atmosphere “top” during the project phase
Patrick Kühnast describes the atmosphere as great; “Everyone was super patient, especially in the beginning. When the project started, we immediately agreed on the first name, it was very constructive and it was really fun. Still, today.” The atmosphere at d.velop was also remembered positively. “The communication and cooperation between us, alphaflow and Gerry Weber was always very harmonious”, Marco Doods sums up.
The value of digital solutions
Of course, there were also critics before the first major changes. “But the added value that the new tool brought for everyone quickly won people over.” The decision was made to introduce digital tools immediately, initially in two departments. From there, the new technology was rolled out progressively within the company.
Training at Gerry Weber carried out independently
Internal training followed the implementation of the digital software solutions. “We did it on our own. There was a small project team with which we worked out the right training solution for Gerry Weber ourselves”, reveals Patrick Kühnast. “The key users who were involved in the planning also trained our colleagues.” In addition, instructions were written independently and communicated internally in order to create a learning platform.
Digital signatures – The final blow for analog working
This white paper provides valuable content that will help companies better understand the topic and make the right choice when looking for a suitable digital signature.
- A function with great effect
- Modernized resource management
- Why use digital signing? – 8 key takeaways
- Digital signatures – the next step in the transformation
- The three signature levels
- When trust becomes security
- Success stories
Time management applications
The first projects have been implemented. In addition to contract management and cost approval; applications for company vehicles and project applications are now also digital, right down to the signing of the relevant documents. Was it worth it? In which areas are the improvements most significant?
Beneficial timing at Gerry Weber
“We already have great benefits from the time saved in approving costs”, says Patrick Kühnast enthusiastically, giving an example: “Cost approval previously took at least seven days because this Excel list was only checked once a week. In the meantime, the cost approval becomes necessary with the buyer. If it’s urgent, approval can be given within five minutes on the same day.” He believes that approving costs has been the greatest progress.
The positive changes can also be seen in contract management:
“Together with alphaflow, we were able to create a central basis at Gerry Weber International AG that ensures all contracts are entered and monitored there. In addition, we were also able to implement ‘the last mile’ with the signature, in that all contracts are also digitally signed without media breaks.”
Marco Doods, Retail Account Manager at d.velop
Remote working is an integral part across the board
Other advantages of the digital world of work have also become apparent in other areas. “Due to Corona, remote work was introduced across the board, and the cloud solution is of course ideal for that. Colleagues are in their home office and can access everything at any time.”
Project management at Gerry Weber runs entirely via Smenso
In addition, there is the management tool from Smenso, another partner company of d.velop. The entire project management at Gerry Weber now runs via Smenso Cloud, which can of course be integrated to the d.velop platform.
Gerry Weber sticks to partnership with d.velop
How does the future look? “We definitely want to continue working with d.velop”, reveals Patrick Kühnast. “For example, we want to continue using the DMS that d.velop offers and tackle the whole issue of archiving and finding documents in general”.
Digitalizing Company Documents
They are also in the process of digitizing all the company files in the basement. “These are documents that you don’t need often, but when you do, it usually has to be very fast.” Gerry Weber is also looking at digital training. “We would like to handle this completely via d.velop”, explains Patrick Kühnast. In terms of employee apps and intranet, they are currently checking whether d.velop could be the right partner.
Patrick Kühnast is already very satisfied with the digitization steps taken so far. A lot has happened in terms of efficiency and error minimization. Especially when he looks back at the time before the digitization push.
Let our signature experts advise you without obligation, or test d.velop sign yourself!