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Marc Jacobs, Microsoft Partner On Fashion Industry AP Upgrades

Fashion designer brand Marc Jacobs is collaborating with Microsoft to address key challenges in the industry’s supply chain management and accounts payable (AP) processes.

The companies announced news on Wednesday (April 25) that they are partnering to enhance Marc Jacobs’ accounts payable and invoice processing capabilities. The brand has deployed MediusFlow, an accounts payable and invoice automation solution designed on the Microsoft Azure platform. The solution integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365, which Marc Jacobs uses as its enterprise resource planning solution.

According to Marc Jacobs, the company is targeting a hybrid cloud approach to AP automation in an effort to address key challenges linked to the world of fashion, including collaboration with a high volume of suppliers, an international supply chain and new product lines every few months.

“The success of each collection depends on Marc Jacobs’ ability to quickly engage with these suppliers, receive the materials needed and get products from the runway to the rack in as little time as possible,” the companies said in their announcement. “Further complicating the process, designers and creatives are working months in advance to anticipate trends for next season even before this season’s collection is available.”

The companies said Marc Jacobs is now able to automatically process invoices, with 92 percent of bills received being routed to the correct approver without human intervention. This automation has reduced the number of days the brand takes to pay suppliers from 90 to just five, it said.

“Marc Jacobs’ success with MediusFlow, Azure and Dynamics is a great example of how we can combine the power of the Microsoft Cloud with the unique expertise of our partners to help solve our mutual customers’ most complex business challenges, transform their businesses and allow them to innovate as quickly as needed,” said Microsoft Worldwide Commercial Business Executive Vice President Judson Althoff in a statement. “Fashion trends change on a dime, and thanks to the cloud, Marc Jacobs can now stay well ahead of those trends to continue to delight its customers.”

“By embracing this hybrid cloud model, we’re better enabling and empowering creativity to continue to push the envelope when it comes to our designs,” said Marc Jacobs CIO Regis Litre in another statement. “Now, we’re able to tap into the most talented artisans around the world to bring our avant-garde creations from the runway to our vast network of stores and retailers as quickly as possible.”

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