New planning capability enables Orvis to scale and grow

Specialty Midmarket Fly-Fishing Retailer Deploys Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning

Founded in 1856, The Orvis Company of Manchester, Vermont is at its core, a fly-fishing and wing-shooting brand, and today is a trusted source of outdoor discovery and adventure, inspired by nature, driven by curiosity, and fulfilled by adventure. Their offerings include distinctive clothing for men and women, home furnishings, gifts, and dog products, each product and the services offered rooted in their sporting heritage, inspired by their love of the wild, and backed by a 100% guarantee of satisfaction. With more than 5,000 products, 500 independent dealers, 55 million catalog subscribers, and more than 70 stores, the Orvis Company is growing with $340 million in sales and approximately 1700 employees. Orvis recently transformed its planning operations by restructuring teams and implementing Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning to improve inventory purchase strategies, increase visibility to market opportunities, and enable a tighter level of interdepartmental collaboration.


“With this Oracle Retail implementation we are going to have much more robust reporting-out opportunities, which can be tailored throughout the organization for different groups,” said Frazier Blair, Vice President, General Merchandise Manager for Orvis. “We were very good at inventory planning, which I would call risk management. But this transformation is about being better sales drivers. Now we are equipped to plan sales, and profit as well.”


To ensure a successful plan, Blair and her team, enlisted partners Parker Avery Group and Cognira, to embark on an extensive series of organizational, process, and technology changes. A significant component of the project was the replacement of an Excel-based inventory management system with the implementation of a modern Oracle Merchandise Financial Planning across all channels: direct-to-consumer sales (website and catalog), Orvis retail stores, and wholesale. The system went live in July 2016, on time and on budget.


A “vanilla” retail solution, Oracle Merchandise Financial Planning can be managed by a small team with multiple responsibilities, which is particularly important for a company like Orvis. As is common in midsize retail operations, Blair and her team wear a lot of hats; including all inventory functions, retail allocation, off-price inventory, and off-price sales channels. One important criterion for selecting the Oracle system was ease of use.


“Oracle is proud to work with Orvis and contribute to their success. We are focused on accelerating user productivity by leveraging persona-based dashboards at the core of the solution and highlighting opportunities that will impact service levels, inventory margins and key business metrics,” said Ray Carlin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Retail.

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