WHSmith and Pret a Manger look to NetSuite to aid growth

Global software provider NetSuite has secured new deals with two major UK high street retailers, it was announced this week.

Stationery and book retailer WHSmith has launched a new cloud-based B2B online trading system with NetSuite's SuiteCommerce solution to support its growing franchise business, while fast food chain Pret a Manger has upgraded its use of the vendor's OneWorld product for finance management.

Aided by NetSuite's technology WHSmith's franchise partners and wholesale partners across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia can make purchases, manage payments, review order history and account details, and request refunds and returns from a secure, password-protected online environment.

As part of the technological upgrade, which was undertaken in association with Accenture, the retailer has eliminated the manual processes used in its previous systems, including faxing and emailing orders.

David McGrath, Head of shared IT Services at WHSmith, said: "NetSuite SuiteCommerce offers an ideal combination of rapid time to market and rich functionality that will help us support the growth of our franchise and wholesale business."

According to NetSuite, Pret a Manger's upgraded use of the OneWorld solution will give the retailer the agility to adapt to market changes and provide a real-time, single unified financial system of record. The technology will, in multiple languages, support procure-to-pay, credit-to-cash, global financial consolidation, multicurrency management for five different currencies, including the euro, US dollar, and British pound.

Andy Chalklin, group director of IT at Pret a Manger, commented: "As we continue to grow both in the UK and internationally, we need a system that can scale with us while ensuring that we have the currency, language and tax compliance features we need.

"NetSuite will give us what we need, without the investment in IT that an on-premise system would require."

The retail partnerships were announced at NetSuite's annual Cloud Event, which took place at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in London on Tuesday. The event also saw the launch of two new NetSuite data centres – in Dublin and Amsterdam.

In addition, the software firm provided details of a new partnership with Capgemini. The consulting, outsourcing and tech services provider will be the sole distributor of NetSuite in France, which will see the creation of a sales team focusing on the sale of technology through a dedicated entity alongside Capgemini's pre-existing operations in the country. As part of the arrangement, NetSuite will provide sales enablement and implementation training.

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