K3 Retail is active throughout the world. Headquartered in the UK as K3 Retail UK, it operates in the Benelux market through its subsidiaries K3 Retail – Nootdorp and K3 Retail – Waalwijk.
Retail is just one division of K3 Business Technology Group PLC, a stock-listed company in the UK that also includes manufacturing and distribution.
“We understand our clients and speak their language,” says Sjoerd Starren, Managing Director of K3 Retail in the Netherlands. It is these skills that have placed K3 Retail as the leader in the markets it serves.
K3 Retail – Waalwijk focuses on wholesalers and retailers in the Benelux countries, while K3 Retail – Nootdorp deals with global accounts for international clients.
“In fashion and retail, we cooperate with our own software developers as well as Microsoft,” Mr. Starren says. “We also work closely with K3 Software Solutions which is a global Independent Software Vendor (ISV) for Microsoft.”
K3 Retail follows the three Ps: people, partners and product. People are the satisfied employees, who lead to satisfied clients. The clients are the partners.
“We see them as our partners and stand beside them while they run their business,” Mr. Starren explains. The product is a combination of Microsoft software LS Retail and K3 Retail’s own intellectual property Pebblestone Fashion.
The software supplier has noticed three major ways in which the market is changing. “Traditional software and services suppliers have a separate solution for every client, but a lot of clients are standardizing,” Mr. Starren begins. “So now product suppliers, as opposed to product developers, are adding the last big of customization for the client.”
More standardized products mean shorter implementation times, and the company becomes more service oriented as the entire staff is familiar with the product, not just the team that developed a customized product.
The financial model has changed, as well, from licenses to monthly subscriptions. “Subscriptions include use, licensing, support and maintenance, and they require less initial investment on the client’s side,” Mr. Starren adds.
The third aspect is the infrastructure. In the past there was hardware at the client’s premises. Today services are offered from the cloud, where K3 Retail can provide maintenance for hardware and software while the client focuses on his core business.
More changes lie ahead for K3 Retail. “The world is moving to a situation in which the consumer defines where, when and how he buys something,” Mr. Starren explains. “It is a shift from omnichannel to no channel.” The challenge for the retailer lies in finding the consumer through all the channels he uses, and K3 Retail has the software solutions to allow businesses to do that. “
A mobile revolution is at the core of things these days,” the Managing Director continues. “People are combining mobile, shop and website. For instance, you have a console in your shop where clients can order a product online that is no longer available in the store. We offer clients advice on this, starting from standardized software. We call this the new possible”