Sainsbury’s to improve product availability with new supply chain systems.

Sainsbury’s is to transform the management of its supply chain to improve stock availability through a five-year deal with IBM.

IBM will introduce new systems to help Sainsbury’s and its 4,000 suppliers find smarter ways of managing the supply chain and support continued growth in the grocer’s business.

Sainsbury’s will use an electronic trading network provided by Wesupply, and IBM will manage the migration of the grocer’s suppliers onto the system.

The retailer has previously suffered from problems with product availability in stores, and last year merged its supply chain and retail director roles in a move that analysts said could ease these issues.

The solution will allow Sainsbury’s to monitor the status of orders across its entire network and manage the availability of products. The Wesupply service will allow information flows to be streamlined. The grocer will also benefit from improved visibility of supply chain performance which will allow it to heighten stock control.

As part of this migration, Sainsbury’s will be transitioning its electronic data interchange (EDI) service to EDI network provider Inovis. Hundreds of Sainsbury’s suppliers are already using Inovis’ network to exchange documents with their customers.

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Retail Software Market to Grow in Emerging States

Despite unfavorable economic conditions all over the world, the prospects for the retail software market look particularly promising in the emerging Asia Pacific and Central and Eastern European markets. A Frost & Sullivan analysis on world retail software market, finds that the retail software market earned revenues of over $9.31 billion in 2007. Of this, software licensing accounted for $3.07 billion in 2007 and will reach $5.88 billion in 2014.

The increased penetration and the transition toward organized retail in several countries across Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Latin America, coupled with increased liberalization and disposable incomes, present huge opportunities for the growth of the retail software market.

“The primary driver of the growth of the retail software industry is the growing focus on business integration and optimization,” said, Frost & Sullivan research analyst Prasanna Prakash.

Retailers have been substituting their legacy systems for modern day solutions built on industry-leading platforms facilitating the flow of business information across the entire value chain. As these solutions offer extensive performance enhancements, there is a wide scope for the uptake of advanced end-to-end solutions.

Retailers are mainly turning to customer-centric solutions and Business Intelligence (BI) to build customer loyalty and improve the customer shopping experience. Solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) enable retailers to target premium customers using customized promotions and advertisements, thereby increasing the customer lifetime value (CLV) involved. Investing in cross-channel solutions can also result in effective understanding and management of their business.

Besides reducing total cost of ownership, retail software also assists in providing uniform brand communication across various channels. Optimization across the various processes and channels allows the retailer to respond quickly and more efficiently to customer requirements.

Retailers are hesitant to invest in solutions such as point-of-sale (POS) upgrades and other additional expenditures on hardware as investments have taken a backseat to cost-cutting during the current economic slowdown. SaaS can help counter this by reducing upfront capital expenditure. It is leased out to retailers on a yearly basis and its SOA, allows the software modules to be used as middleware once SOA has been deployed in the store.

“The growing popularity of the SaaS model and packaged solutions in Asia Pacific and Latin America will gradually make the solutions more affordable for small and medium sized enterprises. Further, to overcome competitive pressures from regional vendors, global vendors need to increasingly focus on after-sales services, such as maintenance and consulting, and customized solutions,” said Prakash.

UK retailer Morrisons inks deal with Wipro

UK’s leading food retailer Morrisons has inked a deal with Bengaluru-based IT major, Wipro Technologies to develop its existing IT systems.

Wipro Retail, the specialist division of Wipro Technologies, will support to achieve the core objective of delivering effective planning, management and delivery of large scale systems and process change based on an Oracle ERP platform. Wipro Retail will deliver an operating model that supports the retailer’s strategic and commercial objectives. The details for the size of the deal were not disclosed.

Yet Richard Pennycook, CFO, Morrisons, said, “Morrisons is making a major investment to give us the systems and processes to drive our business forward. Wipro Retail brings technology and retail business expertise to help us in the process.”

Added Bhanu Murthy BM, senior vice president, retail, CPG transportation & services, Wipro Technologies, said, “Morrisons has made a major investment in Wipro and we are delighted to have been chosen as a strategic partner. We recognise the unique requirements of their business and how IT can play a major role in their transformation. We welcome the challenge of helping them to prepare for further success in the competitive UK grocery market.”

Morrisons owns 375 stores and has an annual turnover of £13 billion.

Source:  IndiaRetailing Bureau

Ricardo Eletro selects Wipro Retail to support growth

Ricardo Eletro, a Brazilian consumer electronics retailer, has selected Wipro Retail, a leading international IT and business services company, to help the business improve its IT systems to compete in one of the world’s largest retail markets.

The retailer, which has over 240 stores across Brazil, wants to improve its IT systems with Wipro Retail, so it can support the company’s expansion plans, while improving customer service levels and increasing profitability. Solutions will be built using Oracle’s Retail Business Suite.

Rodrigo Nunes, the co-founder of Ricardo Eletro, said, “The adoption of a world-class solution brings the company to a higher level of maturity and management anchored by best practice in retailing. The company is continuing to grow rapidly, and we’ve recently acquired Lojas Mig, strengthening our position in south-east and north-east regions of Brazil. The introduction of this technology will help support our growth.”

Nunes adds, “We must have access to critical business information which will improve our decision making processes across the country. The business needs to realise benefits quickly and the Wipro technology will enable the business to deliver immediate results.”

Mike Davies, General Manager, Wipro Retail, said, “Our knowledge within the retail sector provides an insight into how process and technology can be blended to improve a retailer’s performance. The selection of Wipro Retail as a preferred partner was based upon our continued ability to deliver high quality technology within retail, along with the experience and pedigree of our consultants. This implementation will support Ricardo Eletro’s long term plans for growth.”

Oracle buys Advanced Visual Technology

Oracle Corp. today said it bought Advanced Visual Technology, a maker of space-planning software for retailers, for an undisclosed sum.

By combining AVT’s Retail Focus software with its Oracle Retail application suite, the company hopes to help retailers boost their profits by enhancing their store layouts.

Oracle expects to close the deal by the end of the year. The companies will operate independently until the deal closes, at which time AVT’s staff and management will join Oracle’s retail global business unit, Oracle said.

U.K.-based AVT has helped chain stores — including mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse and bookseller Waterstones — redesign their stores.

The company is a long-standing partner of Oracle’s, but it is also a certified partner of software companies such as SAP AG, Microsoft Corp. and Autodesk Inc., a computer-aided design vendor. Oracle said its systems integration partners will benefit from having a single point of contact for Oracle and AVT products, but it gave no indication of whether AVT staff will continue to work with SAP or Microsoft.

Last month, Oracle agreed to acquire ClearApp, a maker of software for managing the performance of composite applications in service-oriented architecture environments.

Capgemini Strengthens Its Position In The Consumer Products And Retail Industry

Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing is strengthening its position in the consumer products and retail sector by working with some of the world’s best known retail brands to support their business transformations. A New contract has been entered into with Maxeda, while successful projects have been completed for Albert Heijn, Beam Global and Wickes.

In the Netherlands, Capgemini has been selected to manage the IT activities for Maxeda, the largest non-food retailer in the Netherlands. This five-year Outsourcing agreement is for both infrastructure and application management services. The purpose of this agreement is to help Maxeda in achieving its international growth objectives. Tony DeNunzio, Chairman of the Board of Maxeda, stated: “Transferring our activities to Capgemini means that we now have a collaborator with true global expertise and experience, which helps us to achieve our international growth objectives. Moreover, outsourcing our IT activities is consistent with Maxeda’s strategy, which is to concentrate more on our core business which is retail. Another benefit is that the transfer has opened up new career opportunities for our IT staff.”

Also in Outsourcing in the Netherlands, Capgemini helped supermarket chain Albert Heijn, the market leader in the grocery business in the country, to improve its supply chain through responsiveness to customer behaviour, a high level of automation and cost control. According to Tony Vendrig, VP Supply Chain, Albert Heijn: “A true collaborator, Capgemini supported the replenishment project with excellent people in important roles. Capgemini brought in the right IT and retail knowledge, but even more importantly, the right skills and attitude. This determined the actual success.”

For Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. in North America, the world’s fourth largest spirits company, Capgemini has used its full breadth of transformational consulting capabilities to re–engineer Beam Global’s international operations providing improved synergies and growth enablement. Beam selected the SAP Business Suite as its global ERP platform and Capgemini US LLC drove the technology transformation with an onsite team at Beam’s offices in Chicago, supported by key functions through a global delivery model.“Beam Global now has an IT platform and business processes that match the globally interconnected nature of our business. Capgemini and SAP were instrumental in helping us to achieve that,” said Keith McLeod, Chief Information Officer, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.

Finally, in the United Kingdom, Capgemini has been awarded a 100% rating for all key success criteria at the conclusion of an 18 month IT outsourcing contract with UK-based DIY company, Wickes. The purpose of the contract was to ensure top quality service whilst all of Wickes’ IT systems were migrated to a new site. Under the agreement, Capgemini UK plc was responsible for maintaining computer operations and technical support for all core IT systems including stock-control, daily store polling and support for all 180 Wickes stores across the UK. Graham Malpas, Service Delivery Manager of Wickes’ parent company Travis Perkins, said: “The leadership and management provided by Capgemini was outstanding and was a major factor in keeping services at peak levels, retaining key staff and maintaining staff morale, eliminating risks and helping us ensure a smooth migration.”

Brian Girouard, Leader of Capgemini’s Global Consumer Products and Retail Sector, said: “Being chosen by these four consumer products and retail companies is further evidence of Capgemini’s ability to integrate innovative business processes by leveraging emerging technologies to help our clients meet their own strategic objectives.”

Media Magic to offer retail platform for mobile users

The Maharashtra-based software company Mobile Magic has announced the launch of a retail service under the name Media Magic.

The service would offer a retail platform to mobile users for legal content such as games, applications, movies and music, in an offline format.

Media Magic would help in legalising the selling and buying process of content for the mobile users with the offline channel.

The primary focus of the company will be on the distribution model through retail outlets since the country has very low broadband penetration. The company has set a target of having over 10,000 retail outlets in place, which will be serviced by the distributors across the country.

Hungama Mobile would have an exclusive tie up with Media Magic to distribute Hungama’s content through its retail platform. Besides, Shemaroo Entertainment will provide the movie content to the company’s retail initiative through a strategic tie-up.

“With this initiative of Media Magic, mobile consumers will now enjoy rich content such as movies, music, games and applications in the most affordable and convenient way for the first time in India,” said Vijay Singh, President & CEO, Media Magic Retail Pvt Ltd.

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