Multi-Site Project Management Made Easy at Cornetts IGA
If retail is among the most competitive industry sectors, then supermarkets are especially cut-throat. Turnover is high, and margins are often wafer-thin, so efficiency and positive customer experience are both vital elements of success.
At Cornetts IGA, effective use of IT is key.
Cornetts owns 33 IGA stores in Queensland. The business identified a need to update its IT environment, and better integrate its finance and point of sale (POS) equipment.
The technology that supermarket groups depend on must be absolutely reliable so that it does not intrude on the customer experience. For Graham Booysen, CEO of Cornetts IGA, the focus is on making purchases quick and easy.
“You don’t want technology to affect the customer’s thought process too much,” said Booysen.
The existing POS equipment was difficult for staff to use, which impacted the swift service Booysen wanted to deliver.
“Today’s customers shop more frequently, and because they want to buy fresh, they are buying less in a single shop. They need to get what they want efficiently.”
The lack of integration between systems also impacted customer experience, and Booysen knew that more efficient systems would mean greater availability of products in every store.
“We had an antiquated finance system and an old POS system, and there was a massive discrepancy between the two,” said Booysen.
“We had to wait 12 hours to know what was selling.”
In the fast-moving supermarket business, 12-hour delays can affect stock availability, meaning customers may be disappointed.
‘They listened to what we told them, and knew exactly what we wanted – it is a great partnership!’
Graham Booysen | CEO | Cornetts IGA
Booysen and his staff investigated the available options, but were unable to find one system that would give them the type of integration and control they desired. They established that it was possible to develop what was needed from the ERP application and make it a perfect fit.
“We spent a year developing and fine-tuning the product, but we were still aware that our hardware was not suitable to support it,” said Booysen.
Working with Truis on some minor projects had impressed Booysen. When delivering new hardware to 171 retail lanes and involving 18,000 product lines, the ability to manage complex roll-outs was non-negotiable.
“Truis’ customer management process was a real strength,” said Booysen.
Truis recommended HP Retail System RP9 with Intel Inside® for its ease of use and integration, as well as the outstanding support they could depend on. In a project that involved delivering 20 items, including POS, ten types of cables, and printers to each of 171 supermarket lanes, all without disrupting everyday business, trusting the IT vendor to deliver was critical.
The Truis team co-ordinated delivery, preparing equipment at their headquarters before delivering it to each supermarket. This preparation meant that Cornetts staff could install the equipment on-site.
“The admin process was critical to us. They listened to what we told them, and knew exactly what we wanted – it is a great partnership!” said Booysen.
The Cornetts IT team, supported by Truis, embarked on a training process at each of the 33 stores. Super users – those who quickly adapt – were identified in each location. Feedback has been fast and positive.
“The cashiers say the new HP systems are easier and friendlier to use, with better touchpads,” said Booysen.
Where the old POS equipment was “irritating” to customers, the new ones are quicker.
“We timed it and the old pin pad took an average of nine seconds. The new equipment takes just one.”
The newly integrated finance, stock, and POS systems have resulted in even greater returns than Booysen expected.
“We have saved thousands of dollars on invoicing,” said Booysen.
Everything is now connected. If a staff member makes a ham and cheese sandwich in the deli, for example, the items used are reflected immediately in stock levels, and re-ordered when needed. There are far fewer stock availability gaps, meaning that customers find the items they need – but Cornetts do not need to over-stock to make that happen. In fact, the ERP system has been so successfully replicated that Cornetts IGA has established a business to provide the software they developed to other retail businesses.
Automating stock systems and improving POS and cash management has had a dramatic effect on administration time.
“We are saving one person per store, per day,” said Booysen, adding that saving on administration means more people available to work on registers, and lower overheads.
Booysen already plans to work on more projects with Truis in the future.
“The way Truis managed the project, the information they gave us, and their efficient processes makes me confident to go back to them,” said Booysen.
“They’ll deliver what our business needs.”