What does your company do?
I would describe Maginus as a systems integrator. We specialise in retail and distribution and work with three core products: our own Maginus Order Management System plus we act as resellers for Episerver ecommerce solutions and Microsoft Dynamics AX. We can deliver a complete multichannel solution with software, services and project management as well as providing full implementation with hardware and cloud services. Forty years ago when we started, systems integration was all about combining best-of-breed applications and we have accumulated a great deal of experience at integrating all sorts of things sorts of things – payments gateways, PDM systems, warehouse management systems and POS solutions to name a few.
What is your USP?
Definitely our expertise at integration. When the company started, the word ‘multichannel’ meant ‘catalogue and stores’ and we began by integrating such things as the back office with customer contact logs. Nowadays we’d call that CRM. Our company heritage is the knowledge of how to integrate all the various technologies involved to create a superb and seamless customer experience. Today, there are many more customer contact points involved but the integration issues are the same – and that is what we are good at.
How would you describe your business area’s vision?
It has to involve the cloud. If we’re looking forward over the next, say, ten years, then I can imagine a great many processes that are currently rigidly locked within the four walls of the business being pulled apart and moved off site. We’ve already seen warehousing and call centres sub-contracted but the same is happening with ecommerce and merchandising. Customer contact information has to remain within the business but it will have to be accessible from anywhere to anyone – and that means cloud-based technology.
Many people seem to think that the cloud is something that IT has dreamt up for its own convenience but there are very, very significant benefits for users in terms of flexibility and scalability as well as simplifying expansion to new markets and channels. I know my customers will need to move to the cloud and that will involve yet more difficult integration.
What are you currently doing in the ecommerce/multichannel markets?
Integration that’s more complex. And lots more of it. We’ve always concentrated on enterprise-level integration, largely for the tier two retail and wholesale sectors. With Maginus OMS, that increasingly means integrating across more channels and to more aspects of the business. We have clients who need to connect customer membership schemes or payment gateways to their ecommerce front end. We have others who are coming from a manufacturing or wholesale background and are now opening shops, sometimes with unusual product offerings, so they need a new ecommerce channel to be linked to quite obscure back office technologies. The more complicated the integration needed, the more we like it.
What new functionality does your latest version give to retailers?
Developments for Maginus OMS are focusing on creating a mobile-ready solution. By that I don’t mean a mobile site for consumer use but use of mobile technologies by store staff, warehouse operators or sales reps. We already have one customer in the manufacturing sector who is about to open its first high street store and is adopting an Apple store-like approach to the technology that will be available for store staff, with iPads, smartphones and so-on.
Also, we’re delighted that Episerver has acquired Peerius, which specialises in omnichannel personalisation software. It has great functionality, uses behavioural analytics and will allow retailers to deliver a highly personalised experience. Personalisation is vital for ecommerce and this acquisition really complements Episerver’s content management system.
How does this compare with what your competitors are doing?
The Peerius acquisition puts us well ahead of the game as far as ecommerce personalisation is concerned. This is the way forward for omnichannel and we’re very excited about this development.
Who are your customers?
We focus on both tier two retailers and large wholesalers and distributors in tiers one and two. We don’t cover the food sector – although we do have a number of wine merchants among our customers – or fashion. We do style-colour-size but not specialist seasonality, so while we include brands such as Cath Kidston and department stores like Fortnum & Mason among our customers, we don’t really cover specialty outlets in either fashion or food.
We have a wide range of non-food retailers as customers and it was interesting at our most recent customer conference that although the merchandise they’re selling is very different, the issues and problems that concern them all customers from every sector are actually very similar.
What do you see as challenges in the coming year and what are you doing to meet those challenges?
I would say that the two greatest challenges facing our customers are Amazon and the cloud. With Amazon, you either have to compete with it, work with it, or survive alongside it and we are supporting customers who are adopting each of these strategies. The emphasis has to be on providing better customer service and good personalisation and Peerius will help us do that. Our greatest challenge with the cloud is getting the message across that it can deliver real and important benefits for businesses and is not just the latest fad from IT. It is vital for delivering information everywhere to any device and as we move towards, the Internet of Things will be essential for all businesses in future.
Customer case study – Co-op Electrical
The retailer has been using Maginus’ OMS and ecommerce for several years, initially implementing the technology to encourage greater use of its www.coopelectricalshop.co.uk webshop and reduce the demands on its call centre. Current projects include better integration of customer and membership records, a rebrand, and ongoing developments.
A key focus for the Co-op Electrical Shop was ensuring that the user interface and the over-all customer experience combined to provide customers with a quality retail interaction.
Deploying Maginus provided them with comprehensive control over multi-channel sales, fulfilment and service, meaning that visitors to the website benefit from real-time information on availability and delivery dates.
By keeping all the Co-op Electrical Shop product content data and business rules in the integrated Maginus solution, the Co-op achieved a single system to keep up to date, whatever their suppliers come up with or whatever happens in the marketplace.
This saves time and money, lets them stay responsive and gives them a clear edge on competitors.
Ten years on, the Co-op is still using Maginus for regular upgrades and support ensuring they benefit from the latest developments and their ecommerce system remains fully integrated with back office and all business processes.
Maginus IN BRIEF
Company founded: 1972
Global reach: We operate purely within the UK
Turnover: In our latest financial year, our turnover was more than £9million – a 15%
Customers: We’ve completed more than 100 implementations with 60 currently on service contracts. Customers include The Co-op Group, Fox’s Biscuits, Dixons Group, Smeg UK, and Signet Jewellers
Number of employees: 95
For more information about Maginus’ products and services please visit www.maginus.com or get in touch directly via firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone +44 (0)161 946 0000