Woolworths' next IT overhaul

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Woolworths' next IT overhaul

Becoming 1Store.

Woolworths has moved from pilot mode into a full rollout for its 1Store overhaul of point-of-sale, inventory and ticketing systems.

Last year the retailer made fixing its IT basics a key priority in a bid to become a “lean retailer”, having struggled through a difficult implementation of an SAP-based merchandising system.

After stabilising the platform, Woolworths turned its attention to its IT foundations and implemented a program that would see it “catch up on underinvestment in IT infrastructure”.

The program specifically focuses on point-of-sale, inventory, back office and ticketing systems across Woolworths’ 3000 stores.

Last year the retailer replaced a mixture of in-house solutions and Excel spreadsheets with a cloud-based SAP SuccessFactors human capital management system, and shifted an unspecified number of its systems into Microsoft's Azure.

It also started piloting an updated version of its NCR Retalix point of sale platform.

"We think we can materially improve our technology in checkouts. We were the first into SCOs [self-service checkouts], and old SCOs are slow. [We need to] give our team the opportunity to really fly on the checkout," CEO Brad Banducci said last August.

At its recent full-year results briefing the retailer revealed it was pushing ahead with a full-scale rollout of the new platform across both Woolworths and BWS stores.

Ten stores are already running the full suite of NCR Retalix’s PoS applications, it said, and the hardware for its traditional and self-serve checkouts has been upgraded. The company declined to provide detail.

Its technology environment includes 25,000 point-of-sale units and 7000 self-service checkouts.

“The [1Store] program focuses on greater end-to-end efficiencies and includes time saving features such as easy print functions, streamlined refunds process and greater access and ability to share nutritional information of our products with our customers," the company said in its recent financial results.

Woolworths similarly declined to provide detail on the inventory and ticketing aspects of the 1Store program. 

The retailer reportedly trialled electronic or e-ink displays in at least one store up until last year.

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