ETERNA Mode GmbH is a timeless modern and internationally operating traditional company in the fashion industry. Already since 1863, ETERNA has been underlining its claim as a leading manufacturer of men’s shirts and women’s blouses with numerous innovations, the highest quality standards, and responsible action every day.

In 2019, ETERNA sold around 4.3 million shirts, blouses, ties and accessories. To this end, ETERNA is represented at around 3,600 points of sale in over 40 countries. In addition, as a vertical supplier, the company also has its own distribution channels with its own stores and online retailing. ETERNA products are currently sold in 55 stores and in 11 franchise stores. Quality, specialization and innovation are what make ETERNA successful – just like farsighted entrepreneurial action. Thus, with every innovation it has created in the course of its existence, the traditional company has always had its sights set on the design of future-oriented business processes.

ERP solution as an enabler for the digital transformation process

xalution was brought on board for the important step towards digitalization. Since August 2020, it has been supporting ETERNA in the implementation of Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (FSCM). As an important part of the ETERNA Tech Stack, all lines and company processes are lifted onto a state-of-the-art platform in an omnichannel context. The flexible ERP solution supports all processes up to the mapping of global supply chains while shortening the overall duration of the existing order-to-cash cycle.

As part of the Tech Stack project, the core of which is the successive modernization and transformation process for the entire company, all business areas and processes were to be mapped in the cloud-based Microsoft ERP solution. In the process, the existing system landscape is to be largely consolidated, not least in order to create greater transparency in the operational systems, as well as the basis for data-driven processes.

Continuous modernization through end-to-end implementation

In the first successful project phase, all e-commerce relevant processes were mapped end-to-end by xalution with Microsoft Dynamics D365 FSCM.

Specifically, the following systems were introduced or integrated into the IT solutions already in use and to be retained, such as Salesforce and Tradebyte in D365:

Introduction of Microsoft solutions

◉ D365 FSCM as Digital Core for merchandise and financial management processes.

◉ MDE-supported warehouse management system based on D365

◉ k3-fashion add-on

New implementations / Connection of third-party systems

◉ PIM-System

◉ Output Management System

Shipping software for the e-commerce business

◉ Payment Service Provider

◉ Scalable multi-shop solution based on Shopware 6 for Brand- and Outletshop as well as deep D365 integration with realtime APIs

Integration / Connection of existing systems

◉ Salesforce

◉ Introduction of Tradebyte marketplace connector including go-live of all existing and new marketplaces in various countries – including Breuninger, Otto, About You, Zalando, and Amazon.

Collaboration with a Startup Mindset

Despite or even because of the high degree of complexity of the project due to the multitude of systems to be introduced or connected simultaneously, the mindset of the cooperation between ETERNA and xalution was based on a strong team spirit.

Stefan Lux, project manager at xalution describes it as follows:

“Partnership, respectful interaction between all project participants, consistent process orientation and flat hierarchies were important success factors for the project. Without the dedicated cooperation of all parties involved, a successful implementation would not have been possible so quickly. The agile ‘End2End approach’ chosen together with ETERNA became the decisive key to the project’s success.”

In this way, the project team benefited from more freedom than is otherwise often the case in ERP projects. The result: all process chains for the B2C online business could be mapped on the new platform within a very short time. The results of the MVP were consistently built upon.

New connection of webshops and online marketplaces

In the course of the project, the xalution team implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 FSCM – in combination with the fashion solution from k3. In the process, a whole range of different specifics had to be taken into account for the cross-national reconnection of the ETERNA web stores as well as online marketplaces such as Amazon Marketplace, Zalando, AboutYou, or Otto. Customer-relevant master data and transactions were harmonized with the existing CRM system and integrated bi-directionally.

Another focus was on establishing “unified processes” as a basis for meeting future omnichannel requirements.

For the customer journey, this means ensuring a seamless shopping experience for ETERNA customers in the future – not only in the new ETERNA online store but also on marketplaces.

Outlook: Simplified development of future sales channels

Stefanie Rankl, Head of Tech Stack Projects at ETERNA sums up:

“We have created a flexible solution that can be used to take a new online store live quite quickly. At the same time, we have already set the course and flexibly designed the necessary interfaces to significantly simplify POS integration in the next step of the transformation project. This convinced us to further implement our vision together with xalution and thus offer our customers a better shopping experience.”

With this project, ETERNA shows that traditions have to be lived, but also that they have to be innovatively rethought and redefined again and again in order to successfully hold one’s ground in fast-moving markets. Quality, innovation, and customer orientation are the fixed points in the ETERNA philosophy and will always be so through transformation projects such as this one.

“The trustful and good cooperation of the project team, consisting of xalution and ETERNA employees in the past and especially in the first successful project phase, has strengthened us again to rely on xalution as a long-term and strategic partner.” Henning Gerbaulet, Managing Director of ETERNA.”