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Design is the essence of every fashion company.
Trend spotting, market research and visits to international suppliers and fabric fairs are the starting points for our design teams in every collection they develop. The ideas they pool during this process help to define the color palettes, cuts and materials for each collection. Having drawn up their concept, the teams first brief Product Development on their ideas. Then the designers continue to work on their models, refining them until they are ready for technical illustration. Their responsibilities also include fittings for prototypes and the selection of accessories and finishings – along with the styling and presentation of the collection at a broad array of internal and public events.
The Brand Management (BM) teams for ESCADA and ESCADA SPORT support the entire development process – from the initial conceptual phase right through to international sales. Brand Management works closely with our international subsidiaries and sales teams, serving as both a filter and source of information. It also identifies and taps market demand and potential. By drawing up a collection plan, performing a range of analyses and evaluations, setting prices and producing sales materials, Brand Management ensures that collections are keyed to the needs of the market.
Staff in the Pattern Department develop silhouettes based on the designers’ sketches and then produce patterns for the prototypes. Once a style has been fitted and the fit has been optimized, the model is recalibrated for the various sizes and the cut further refined until the model is ready for production. For our directrices and model makers, ensuring a perfect fit for ESCADA garments is always paramount.
The Operations division represents the organizational backbone of ESCADA’s value chain. Its subdivisions Product Development (including our samples studio), Procurement and Production Management stand surety for two of our core competences – operational excellence and product leadership. Operations hosts the entire procurement process from product development right through to delivery to the logistics center – all organized by product area.
The Operations team’s responsibilities begin with drawing up a sustainable supplier portfolio and extend through configuring a sound procurement strategy that reflects future requirements; it also secures a dependable supply of resources. To this end, the various product development and purchasing teams – which are keyed to specific product groups – cooperate closely with Design & Quality Management.
At the same time, developers in the product teams ensure that the designs will be made to exact pre-determined specifications. They also define the brand-specific standards for product features and workmanship. The Purchasing departments also procure finished merchandise and subcontract for finishing.
ESCADA’s global supply structure guarantees a continuous and timely flow of merchandise for the following season. Production and Quality Management ensures that we are consistently capable of supplying our customers with premium products when and where they need them – and at outstanding value for money.
Before being implemented by our production partners, the techniques and processes required to manufacture our products are developed and documented by highly-skilled production technicians in conjunction with an established network of experts.
Beyond our own production competence centers in Italy and Slovenia, ESCADA has been collaborating with a global network of first-class suppliers and production companies for many years. Our partners’ expertise is a key consideration in this context. ESCADA customers can always count on our products being crafted using only the finest materials – and to supreme, state-of-the-art finishing standards.
This division manages our market activities and ensures the profitable growth of our ESCADA and ESCADA SPORT collections in a current total of 80 countries. With its responsibility for strategic management, the team plans how to best implement sales and brand concepts in our international markets. Sales activities can be classified by their individual channels – i.e. Direct-Operated-Stores (DOS), franchise partners and wholesale customers – or whether markets are served directly from Germany or by local sales subsidiaries. ESACADA posts 83% of its sales outside Germany, maintains 11 sales subsidiaries in the major markets and operates its own retail locations in 20 different countries. The sales companies are not only responsible for the implementation of corporate strategies, but also for managing and growing their respective markets. The International Sales & Trade Marketing division at ESCADA’s head offices in Munich is divided into the following units: Internal International Sales, Global Retail & Trade Marketing, Wholesale Central Europe & Direct Markets and Retail Operations Central Europe.
INTERNAL INTERNATIONAL SALES
Internal International Sales plans, controls and co-ordinates all the company's tools and processes, that relate to customer, order and supply management. The unit therefore acts as the main interface between the company's internal units and international subsidiaries when it comes to sales-related issues. Internal International Sales comprises the units Customer Management, After Sales Services, International Outlet Demand Planning and Business Analysis.
As a key contact point for customers and sales subsidiaries alike, the division's seasonal duties include supporting and evaluating orders, producing all sales documentation, managing global supplies and handling follow-up orders. Planning for our global outlets includes developing the ranges and ensuring that the merchandise is supplied worldwide. As a basis for the sales strategy, business analysts compile comprehensive reports on sales, markets and competitors, report the relevant KPIs (key performance indicators), and monitor global information databases.
GLOBAL RETAIL & TRADE MARKETING
Global Retail & Trade Marketing develops guidelines in order to reach the ESCADA Standards at the point of sale and offer our customers an outstanding brand and purchase experience. Global Retail includes Retail Merchandising supporting the markets in ranging and planning the assortment for DOS, and Retail Operations defining retail processes and operational and customer service standards in ESCADA. Trade Marketing develops and implements tools that enhance product presentation and the store environment – with the ultimate goal of boosting sales. Visual Merchandising draws up guidelines for window displays and in-store communication with a view to projecting a consistent brand image ensuring optimum product presentation worldwide. Store Design is responsible for the architectural framework and interior design of all ESCADA showrooms, stores and shop-in-shop corners.
WHOLESALE CENTRAL EUROPE & DIRECT MARKETS
This unit is responsible for the wholesale business in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and United Kingdom, as well as for the markets which do not have an own subsidiary. The main focus is providing wholesale customer support, actively pursuing sales to customers in our showrooms, and analyzing and expanding the market. It also implements distribution guidelines, develops and executes market-specific promotional activities and compiles analyses of sales, markets and competitors. Drawing up and monitoring customer budgets and business plans are key in this context.
RETAIL OPERATIONS CENTRAL EUROPE
The Retail Operations Central Europe division is based at our Munich head offices managing our store, concession corner and factory outlet network in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and United Kingdom. The team works with store managers on-site to set budgets, coordinate centralized orders, and provide and analyze daily and weekly performance figures, as well as supporting them on their day-to-day work. A range of promotional in-store activities are developed and carried out with the aim of reinforcing customer loyalty and attracting new customers. The team also implements tools to foster a performance culture and to secure high levels of customer service, as well as buying and coordinating the supply of the desired products.
The Marketing & PR unit plans and executes promotional activities. The team also creates and implements global advertising campaigns, utilizes international media (off- and online), compiles marketing materials for the press and consumers, and organizes fashion shows and events for shoppers. Additionally, the unit is responsible for direct marketing and CRM, and for maintaining the ESCADA website.
PR ensures the best possible product marketing through press releases and press conferences, product placement in editorial print and online media – and by wardrobing national and international celebrities.
PR collaborates with Trade Marketing and the Brand divisions to guarantee a consistent brand image.
Finance is responsible for Accounting, Corporate Consolidations, Tax Management, Controlling and the Treasury.
Our Accounting team handles all accountancy matters and compiles a monthly report for ESCADA Holding Luxembourg and the subsidiaries in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It also produces annual reports for the same companies in accordance with national (German Commercial Code, Lux GAAP, CH GAAP) and international (IFRS) reporting requirements. The Accounting team liaises closely with the auditors throughout the financial year.
Corporate Consolidation is one of the core divisions within the ESCADA Group. Its key functions include providing the subsidiaries with balance sheet guidelines, thereby ensuring homogenous accounting and valuation standards. The team also compiles consolidated monthly, quarterly and annual balance sheets for the companies consolidated in the ESCADA Group. It further supports the Group’s companies in all internal and external accounting affairs, and assists with the gathering and preparation of financial data for internal and external reporting at the Group level.
Tax Management oversees issues such as compliance, accounting and operational reporting for the whole ESCADA Group, as well as providing tax-related advice on domestic and international projects. The internationality of the ESCADA Group and the range of different national reporting and taxation systems applicable to our subsidiaries offer considerable scope for variety when managing tax as a resource, e.g. when it comes to taxation planning, M&A, income tax, cross-border turnover tax, financing, external auditing, cash-out refinancing or transfer pricing.
The ESCADA Controlling unit analyzes complete product lifecycles – from their design, development, production and logistics right through to the sales and marketing of our collections. Budgeting, costing and reporting principles are applied here to the specifics of the fashion industry. In addition to the centralized services to ESCADA Holding, the Controlling unit also monitors the sales and production activities of all the international subsidiaries. The team works closely with the operational managers at the holding company and the CEOs and controllers at the subsidiaries. The Controlling unit is subdivided into Opex Controlling, Controlling Selling Subsidiaries and Group Reporting.
The Treasury unit oversees cash and risk management activities along with the Group's short-, mid- and long-term financial planning and available funds. The unit's core functions include ensuring liquidity, refinancing activities involving shareholders and banks, and working capital management. Its further duties involve monitoring and handling foreign exchange risks and interest rate risks, as well as evaluating derivatives for financial reports. As a result, the Treasury unit supplies key data and recommendations relating to the Group's financial planning.
In accordance with the corporate goals, the Human Resources division develops employee strategies, designs and supervises personnel management tools, and provides support for a range of change processes. Furthermore, it oversees global HR reporting and implements corporate standards and policies throughout the Group. HR advises the board, managers and staff on all personnel issues, and maintains a supportive partnership with the employee representatives’ body, the works council.
The division breaks down into operative Human Resources (marketing, recruiting, support and development), Human Resources Controlling (compensation and benefits, personnel planning) and Payroll Accounting (wages, taxes and social security). Many of the various functions – such as incentive programs, pensions, benefits, talent management and employer branding – require close cooperation both within the team and with other specialized sectors of the company.
The Legal Department monitors, manages and provides expertise on all legal matters and issues that arise within ESCADA SE and the ESCADA Group around the world. The focuses lie in commercial, corporate, public and civil law. In addition, particularly for international disputes, the Legal Department also cooperates closely with external service providers and lawyers. On the whole, the Legal Department ensures that management and the individual sectors receive dependable legal advice.
TRADEMARKS & DESIGN PROTECTION
Trademarks & Design Protection is responsible for the centralized coordination of any and all matters relating to the industrial property rights of the ESCADA Group worldwide. This applies specifically to the extension, preservation, protection and safeguarding of the global brand portfolio. This division also provides advice and support to the Group’s own departments regarding licenses, copyrights and the law on competition.
The ESCADA IT unit manages and supports the Group's SAP system. Working hand in hand with the various divisions, it also plans, implements and optimizes business processes for the entire value chain. The Product Data Management, Material Management, Production Planning and Data Warehouse teams maintain the master data on materials and assist with procurement and production planning. They also support the processes of data procurement, administration and evaluation. The IT team for Sales/Logistics/Retail supervises processes and merchandise flow for finished products – from entering incoming orders through their dispatch to the ESCADA distribution hub to their delivery and sale in our retail shops. The SAP FI/CO unit has technical responsibility for global accounting, controlling and product costing processes. The Systems & Services team manages the group's entire IT infrastructure (in cooperation with our IT outsourcing partners), the SAP user management system and the user helpdesk.
Supply Chain Management & Business Solutions provides support for all current business processes. The unit is divided into three sections: Business Process Management, Customs and International Trade Practice, and Internal Audits. In Business Process Management, our team analyzes and documents primary and secondary processes with a view to their optimization. This involves the creation and maintenance of centralized tools for performing periodical controls on company processes. Customs & International Trade Practice focuses on legal affairs involving customs legislation, international choice of law and foreign trade regulations. The aim is not only to avoid any legal risks in global trade but also to optimize the time and cost required to move goods – by ensuring that correct customs procedures are followed. Internal Audits guarantees transparency in all processes and organizational units. By ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations, it also has a proactive role.
Facility Management is primarily responsible for providing infrastructural and technical services. These include supporting and administering the internal and external mail distribution systems, the telecommunications network and the vehicle fleet. Facility Management also plans and executes corporate relocations. Its other duties entail entering into and managing agreements governing maintenance, supplies, waste disposal, tenancies and leasing, plus the purchase of general supplies and minor assets. Occupational safety, fire protection and environmental issues also fall within the remit of Facility Management.
The ESCADA logistics facility in Austria serves as the hub from which collections are dispatched across the globe. It also processes all of the group's raw materials. A centralized distribution facility helps us maintain our high quality standards and allows merchandise to be prepared as demand requires. In addition to hosting these logistical processes, the facility is responsible for managing the international flow of merchandise and processing the documentation for all exports.