Ahead in the Cloud: Jurlique Rolls Out New POS System

Jurlique is one of the world’s most recognised skincare brands and one of Australia’s most successful. From small beginnings on a farm in the Adelaide Hills to 16 stores across the country and hundreds more around the world, Jurlique aims to produce the purest skincare on earth — still from its Adelaide Hills farm.

That’s a big achievement, but the company has high standards for more than just its products. The retail environment is changing. Large chain stores continue to move into the Australian market and the landscape is becoming more competitive. At the same time, customers desire a more individual, modern and beautiful experience when they shop. It was important to Jurlique that its own commitment to quality also extended to its in-store customer experience, with a focus on sophisticated technology and personalised care.

Ann Donohue, General Manager, Jurlique.
Ann Donohue, General Manager, Jurlique.

In mid-2015, Jurlique set out to revolutionise its store design. It wanted to remove the traditional components of a cash register on a countertop to create a more open space that let staff get out onto the shop floor with customers.

Chris Balogi, Jurlique’s global director of IT, and his team embarked on a special mission, which they named ‘Project Asteroid’, to replace their antiquated POS system. “We wanted to completely remove our old system with a bang,” Balogi said. And they managed to do so, taking out their old system and replacing it in each of their stores, literally overnight.

To do this, they chose Vend, a cloud-based retail management solution that can run on iPad. “It’s a very simple solution but very comprehensive. It enables us to do stock management, inventory control, as well as all the traditional things you associate with your point of sale. Now we are able to deal with the fun side of business, the innovation part and bringing value to our customers,” Balogi said.

Jurlique staff now use iPads in-store to serve customers from anywhere and offer more relaxed and personal customer consultations. The company recently launched its new-look store of the future in Pacific Fair in the Gold Coast.

“Vend has allowed us to be where the customer wants to be. We can consult and complete the transaction, and take the customer’s details wherever they are most comfortable,” said Ann Donohoe, General Manager at Jurlique.

But moving 16 stores to a new point-of-sale system and onto the cloud was always going to be a challenge. Jurlique first tested the new system vigorously at their pop-up store at the Australian Open and from this were able to make changes before pushing the big green button for real. “It was a fantastic testing environment for us,” Balogi said. “We learned a lot of lessons because of it.”

Some of the biggest concerns retailers face when looking to do what Jurlique has done is moving their data from the old system to the new, training staff, and dealing with downtime for the business during set-up. The success of those elements comes down to planning, as well as the new solution you’re deploying.

It takes time to migrate information, which is why Jurlique started planning this step early on. “We defined exactly what was going to be migrated, and then as we neared deployment, we tested how the data migration would take place. By the time we were ready to go live, we knew what information we were going to transfer and how long it was going to take,” said Balogi.

To make sure sales staff were on board with the new system, about a month before deployment Jurlique held an intensive two-day training with all of their store managers. From there, the managers went back to their respective stores to train their staff and conduct special sessions for their regional managers.

Finally, and most importantly, meticulous planning was involved in the actual store implementation to ensure the switch-over would have as little impact on sales and customers as possible. Each store was moved to the new system outside of trading hours, and because the new system was cloud-based, it meant it could be deployed extremely quickly.

“We switched across each store to the Vend system in just 12 hours. When we closed up for the day our old point-of-sale system was turned off, Vend was set up overnight, and we opened ready for the next day’s trading. Over the past three months, all of our stores across Australia have adopted Vend and moved to the cloud with zero downtime for the business,” Balogi explained.

“We were able to deploy an off-the-shelf solution to support all those stores. It has also given us the ability and the capability to set up new stores relatively quickly and expand the solutions globally into other regions.”

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