Custom software consultancy, Thoughtworks today revealed it is working alongside British supermarket, Morrisons, to bring each store into the digital age with the introduction of the electronic Order Pad. Building on its strategy to drive efficiencies throughout all areas of its business, Morrisons alongside Thoughtworks developed an online solution to replace its manual weekly inventory process.
The Order Pad allows Morrisons’ employees to input and track data electronically on a tablet, making stock management a more accurate and streamlined process. Using Agile methodology, the Thoughtworks team introduced the Order Pad to Morrisons’ York store in just four months. A key aspect of the transition from paper to pad was that it was user-friendly with both parties taking the time to develop the user interface to ensure that staff did not experience vast amounts of change. This resulted in rapid adoption rates and a limited need for training.
Richard Manners, Director of Retail Process Improvement at Morrisons, further comments, “Developing the Order Pad with Thoughtworks has helped us streamline our processes in stock management. Our colleagues have found the tool very simple to use and the training has been much easier than with most new systems. It was also important to us that our store managers continued to have a certain degree of autonomy and could still control what they sell in store and have in stock, and the Order Pad has allowed this to remain the case. It is a great platform for the future for us and we are excited to see it being used across our business. It will enable many other store processes to become streamlined and mobile, ultimately helping us to provide a better customer facing service in the stores.”
The tablets will be wirelessly linked to the store’s network and transmit the orders to the mainframe, saving each store hours of data entry, ensuring an increase in accuracy and giving them more flexibility in what they ordered.
Mark Collin, Head of Retail in Europe at Thoughtworks, comments, “It has been a great experience working with Morrisons at a time of innovation and development. We set out to form an easy to use and effective online solution to stock taking and it’s great to see we have achieved our goal. It eliminated back-office data entry while also minimising the amount of potentially expensive mistakes. It is great to see the Order Pads have now started to be rolled out to more Morrisons’ stores.”
During July 2013, the new order tablets will be in operation at 124 stores and will extend to all Morrisons’ stores by the end of 2013.
For more information, read the full case study here.