Myer claims big early results from back office IT overhaul

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Myer claims big early results from back office IT overhaul

Almost midway through transformation effort.

Retail giant Myer is claiming significant results from the first phase of its rollout of a Kronos cloud-based workforce management system, with a 90 percent reduction in admin hours.

Myer starting fitting out its stores with the new workforce management system earlier this year. The Warringah, Sydney store was the first location to be equipped with the platform, which replaces a paper and spreadsheet-based rostering process across the company.

The retailer today said the first phase of the rollout was complete, and was already reaping rewards.

The amount of time dedicated to administration of workforce management has fallen by 90 percent, Myer said, which has seen the amount of time staff can spend on customers increase by 3 percent.

It has enabled admin staff to roster workers based on "when the customer need is greatest", CEO Richard Umbers said, thanks to better access to data and analytics.

For customer-facing staff, it has meant automated rosters and clocking in and out can both be accessed from a mobile app on the staff member's smartphone.

Myer has been on a campaign to make its back office more efficient, earlier this year outsourcing its customer contact centre to Melbourne-based OracleCMS, and its digital services to the "LogicalMagic' unit created by advertising agency Clemenger BDO specifically to win the Myer business.

The retailer is now turning its attention to the implementation of a new Oracle merchandise planning system.

The new tool will "improve buying and range decisions" by allowing Myer to provide automated localised offers and better ranges and sizing for each store based on "long-term historical sales data", Umbers said.

Myer is already a user of Oracle's retail suite of technologies.

The technology investments are aimed at becoming a "more productive and efficient business" as part of Myer's five-year broader transformation plan. It is now two years into the 'New Myer' strategy.

The transformation involves reducing costs, closing underperforming stores and shrinking store space, providing better service and in-store experiences, and introducing new "wanted" brands.

Myer's online sales grew by 41 percent in the full 2017 year, thanks largely to an almost 50 percent increase in the amount of stock it offers online, with particular growth in the entertainment and homewares categories.

The $177 million in annual omni-channel sales - representing 8.2 percent of total sales - was also buoyed by customers' use of 2500 in-store iPads, Myer said.

It expects its online sales to grow further as it brings more brands online and trials same day and next day delivery options. The retailer also said it had reduced delivery times by 30 percent thanks to process improvements.

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