Family footwear retailer Shoefayre has bought in a reporting design tool from Island Pacific.
The sales data reports are vital for the retailer's store managers, merchandisers and buyers, which need ongoing up-to-date information in order to make sensible business decisions on stock ordering and promotions.
At the moment, the retailer has a rudimentary reporting function, but the process is laborious and hampered by the fact that the information is distributed by post, rather than electronically.
As a result, Shoefayre managers receive the information up to a week late.
'Creating reports for the buying teams took a long time. We had a simple reporting tool in our AS400 package, which was a single report created by the IT team,' said Shoefayre IT manager Mick Burfoot. 'Now we can do quick reports as we need them. They can be created by anyone in the department.'
The retailer has 300 outlets across the UK. The design tool will be installed at Shoefayre's head office in Leicester, and will be made available to its area managers so they can gain detailed analysis of buying trends, stock information and sales figures for the stores under their supervision.
'The information these managers get will be more real-time so they can react more quickly to the sales climate, which in turn means they can make better decisions,' said Burfoot.
'Monitoring the best-selling lines on a daily basis will have significant benefits for us.'
Burfoot hopes to eventually extend this reporting tool to store managers.
Customised reporting tools have been around for some time, but until now have been costly to implement because of the expertise needed to use them, according to Island Pacific director of operations for Europe Mike Dotson.
'Customised reporting tools are vital for retailers wishing to integrate multiple sales channels, but they have been expensive to implement - more than£70,000 a year in some cases,' he said.
Dotson added that Island Pacific's tool eliminates some of that cost, because it is designed to be used by retail professionals who don't have any IT experience.