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Technology Modernisation As A Platform For Growth

Chelmsford Star went real-time in record time to strategically reposition the business for growth.

Technology Modernisation As A Platform For Growth

Chelmsford Star went real-time in record time to strategically reposition the business for growth.

Overview

Chelmsford Star was established in 1867 and has traded since its formation with the sole intention of meeting the needs of its members, and sharing profits with them.

From relatively humble beginnings the society has developed through prudent investment, insightful management and the support of members and other customers to become a meaningful trading presence in mid-Essex operating convenience food stores, departmental stores, travel agencies, funeral businesses and renting property.

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The Challange

Replace legacy systems to unlock growth potential.

The business had reached a point where the retail management systems for both the food and department store business needed to be replaced, and at the same time the CEO was looking to strategically reposition the business for growth.

With the increasing complexity of the business, Chelmsford Star wanted to replace both the systems and the supporting technical architecture in a six week period.

The objective was to strengthen and streamline operational processes in order to increase productivity, sales and profitablility during the busiest time of the year. The implementation of the new real-time system would also improve operational reporting across the business enabling executives to make more timely and informed decisions.

The Solution

Central control, real-time visibility.

htec teams worked in close partnership with Chelmsford Star to rapidly build a clear understanding of the business needs.

Chelmsford Star had a clear set of objectives for delivering a world class retail management system:

  • Facilitate more effective stock control
  • Improving efficiencies through a single, centralised point of entry on pricing, product and promotional information
  • Provide ease of use membership services, deliver targeted membership promotions using basket analysis and facilitate a move to multi-channel retailing via Click and Collect.

htec teams configured and deployed the ab-initio retail management solution in the tight timescale mandated. The integrated architecture of ab-initio provided the ideal framework for helping Chelmsford Star meet their objectives.

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The ability to take product and pricing information electronically from the Co-operative Group and provide best in class pricing, ranging, promotions and customer loyalty capabilities delivered the ideal foundation for operational efficiency and a unique customer experience.

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The Results

One fully integrated and centralised retail management system.

Built upon the foundation of the product database, ab-initio established real-time visibility across all aspects of the business, delivering improved control and agility. This has delivered a strategic base for growth and the ability to streamline operational processes.

Establishing true real-time reporting across the business for both the food and department store operations provided Chelmsford Star with the ability to make better informed decisions faster, enabling quicker reactions to changing market conditions.

The delivery of a totally managed service allows teams to focus on the key task of running the business, knowing that their systems are being expertly supported. htec continues to work closely with Chelmsford Star, providing consultancy support to ensure their technology investments are maximised.

In Our Customer's Words...


“We wanted to implement a new integrated solution that would act as a strategic enabler for growth and I have every confidence that in implementing ab-initio that is exactly what we have.”

Barry Wood, CEO, Chelmsford Star Co-operative