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IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

global data exchange solution
  • 16 Oct

Benefits Of Using Data Management Software

Best practice data management When dealing with large amounts of data, many businesses will look no further than keeping manual spreadsheets; a method they have been using for many years, and consider necessary. Going beyond this can, however, bring huge benefits, especially within the retail sector. Data Management Software and Data Management Systems (DMS) use the Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) process to store the information collected by a business, and can produce huge rises in levels of accuracy and efficiency, proving to be incredibly valuable. Using systems to ensure a fully automated, timely and accurate approach to managing critical business information can bring many advantages, and create an operation that will allow for rapid analysis of data and subsequent improved decision making when needed. Unification of global data As retailers increasingly look beyond a local presence to national and international operation, unifying data and ensuring an approach that is joined up and connected is vital. Franchising and concessions have meant that data is being collected in many different locations, and inevitably in many different styles and formats. Problems can be caused by this lack of consistency, and bringing this data together in a uniformed and standardised manner can be both costly and time consuming. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between a retailer’s various sites and locations is necessary, and using data management software this becomes an automated process rather than a manual one. Sales and pricing data can be consolidated for use in one simple format, available for analysis as the businesses requires. Wraparound support A key benefit of using data management software is the inclusion of a full wraparound support package, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As data transfer takes place, should any issues arise around missing files or a system failure, having reliable and dependable support available at any point offers both reassurance and total security. Any problems can be dealt with as they occur, and troubleshooting is possible at any point it may be needed. Back up and disaster recovery also forms part of a wraparound package, something which means businesses do not have to worry about relying on in-house teams to deal with critical issues. Storage options As different retail operations prefer to work in different ways, DMS options reflect this. Both cloud and server based storage are available to suit the needs of the business. The cloud based option is not costly to set up, and by its very nature contains no expensive hardware or equipment. Server based storage is also available at Retail Assist’s around-the-clock data centre, which also offers full operations support. Retail specific data requirements Just as preferences around storage vary from business to business, so do the exact types of data. Various retail organisations value forms of data that others choose not to keep, something that data management software can accommodate. The most popular areas that are stored are based around sales figures as well as pricing, all of which are important for monitoring financial performance. Other retail…
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  • 13 Mar

Ra-X Infographic

More and more retailers are turning to our data exchange solution, Ra-X, to manage the sales polling and data processing elements of their retail business operations, including Mint Velvet, Monsoon Accessorize, Cath Kidston, Debenhams and more. Commonly known as Retail Assist’s middleware solution, or ETL*, Ra-X has been developed to meet the needs of omnichannel retailers operating global store estates with a combination of solus, concession and franchise stores. Check out our Ra-X key stats in the infographic below: How can better connectivity empower your retail business? Connecting every element of your global operations in real time is essential for making critical decisions based on 100% of your sales data. Daily reporting gives our customers the reassurance of sales polling across their entire global store estate, including its concessions and franchises too. And if anything is not as it should be, our customers benefit from a 24 x 7 wraparound support model to notify of and fully resolve issues. Ra-X is also helping retailers to test new markets, with low risk and low cost. Watch the video below to see how Ra-X supported British lifestyle brand, Cath Kidston, to establish a presence in Japan. This is now one of their biggest markets. From considering large franchises in the Middle East, to operating pop-up or concept stores in new UK locations, Ra-X can scale and flex to suit your exact requirements. It’s our 24 x 7 support and reliability that many of our customers cite as one of the main benefits of using Ra-X. If you’d like more information about using Ra-X to support your retail operations, to secure international partners or improve data accuracy, just email marketing@retail-assist.co.uk. *(What is ETL? Extract. Transform. Load – 3 database functions that are essential in the processing of data from one place into another). GET IN TOUCH TO LEARN MORE First Name Last Name Company Email Phone How can we help you?:…
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Retail Concession Expansion
  • 27 Jun

Global growth & retail concession expansion with Ra-X

When you operate retail stores overseas, be it solus, concession or franchise, translating your sales data to your central base is a critical process. Many retailers suffer the consequences of manual processing, and the inability to have a 100% accurate, complete view of all sales. In today’s global 24 x 7 trading environment, making key business decisions based on less than 100% of your real-time sales data is inexcusable. Ra-X, our data exchange solution, is allowing retailers to break new markets overseas with low risk, and develop concession and franchise presence, thanks to its reliability, dependability, and resilience. Here’s how our solution enabled Cath Kidston to expand their international presence, launching new stores in Asia last year. View the video on your YouTube channel here. Currently, Ra-X supports over 3,300 stores in 66 countries, and trades with more than 70 different partners. Internationally they include Alshaya, El Cortes Ingles, Bloomingdales, Karstadt, Galleries Lafayette and more. In the UK, our Ra-X customers trade within John Lewis, House of Fraser, Harrods, Selfridges, Debenhams and more. If you’re considering global growth, engaging more franchise/concession partners, retail concession expansion, opening new stores, or maximising the efficiency of your current global operations, Ra-X is for you. Our customers using Ra-X include White Stuff, Oasis, Karen Millen, Debenhams, Warehouse, Reiss, Paperchase, Mint Velvet, Jacques Vert, Coast and more. Here’s some of the key benefits they state of using Ra-X to trade efficiently: Working with international trading partners and developing better relationships: Ra-X gives you a competitive advantage due to the ease with which it operates. Removes barriers to entry: outside of the UK, retail sales are highest in China, expecting to lead sales into 2018. Are you trading in these areas? If not, Ra-X allows you make profitable decisions when it’s critical. Global growth without the associated price tag: our SaaS model – fixed cost, no capital outlay, no increase in IT headcount and no hardware/software costs – makes Ra-X the most cost-effective way to quickly gain trading information to make globally minded business decisions. Don’t wait to implement your global growth plans, drive retail concession expansion, and improve the performance of your current international trading strategy. If you require further information about how Ra-X can help, email info@retail-assist.co.uk or call +44 (0)115 904 2777.…
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  • 24 Nov

Retail Assist Dictionary Week 1: International

  At Retail Assist we are passionate about the future of retail technology. The developments within this sector are dramatically changing the way retailers operate and consumers shop. Global expansion is the future for many retailers, and is opening up numerous possibilities. With the help of technology global expansion and omnichannel shopping are possible. Perpetual advances in retail technology means there is always new terminology to get to grips with, and this is why we have created a Retail Assist Dictionary of key terms and how our solutions facilitate these retailing requirements. Over the next three weeks we will be focussing on three key themes that will reflect the featured terminology and definitions. This week will be ‘International’, week 2 will be ‘On the go Technology’ and week 3 will focus on ‘Omnichannel Retailing’. Ra-X Data Exchange: Trading across multiple locations presents many challenges in the sending and receiving of data, as it is often in varying data formats. Ra-X is our data exchange software solution set up to manage the transfer of business critical data between our customers, their trading locations, trading partners and suppliers across the UK and overseas. Ra-X is a “Cloud” based solution providing customers with a low cost, and high dependency solution to a significant business operation, and facilitates efficient global trading. Global Retailers: We know how important it is for retailers to be able to trade more effectively with their global trading partners, across company owned stores, concessions, standalone stores and franchises. Global expansion is a massive factor for a number of our customers, already we support over 3333 stores in over 62 countries, and this number just keeps on growing. Having the ability to expand worldwide opens retailers up to a wealth of opportunities, including more profitable and successful trading relationships, with existing and future partners across the world. Information received will be transformed into the correct format, sent to your trading system and used to make key strategic decisions. Multi-currency: With global retailing, systems need to be able to trade effectively across multiple currency rates, managing not only currency exchange, but different taxation. Our supply chain solution, Merret, and data exchange solution Ra-X, manage and allow retailers to price goods and services in a variety of foreign currencies, while continuing to receive settlement and reporting in their home currency. Cloud: Simply put cloud computing is an emerging model that allows its users to access their databases from anywhere, with any connected device. A virtualised infrastructure will increase availability and connectivity with end users, but most importantly provide a scalable solution without the requirement for a large capital outlay from the outset and throughout. Time zones: Global retailing requires retailers to trade wherever and whenever they can, across multiple territories, with multiple partners, in multiple time zones. We now live and trade in an ‘always on’ world, requiring retailers to be able to support customers purchasing requirements around the clock. Merret, our supply chain solution and Ra-X, manages the information sharing, automatically taking…
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  • 30 Jun

Ra-X: Global Data Exchange, Retail Communications & Polling Solution

Ra-X is our data exchange software solution for today’s global omnichannel world. Currently our Ra-X software supports over 3,300 stores throughout 62 countries and trades with 66 different partners, including; Harrods, House of Fraser, El Corte Ingles, John Lewis, Bloomingdales and Selfridges, just to name a few. Our Ra-X customers include; Coast, Oasis, Warehouse, Paperchase, Cath Kidston, East and Karen Millen, and they benefit from seamless data exchange between many systems enabling retailer’s to link seamlessly and effectively with their trading partners, across company owned stores, concessions, standalone stores and franchises, globally. This allows easy data interchange with partner systems, dealing with issues relating to data formatting, territories and time zones. Ra-X cuts through the complexity of non-standardised systems in numerous retailing outlets ensuring data integration and set-up is fast and efficiently enabling you to handle your business effectively. Robin Coles, our Head of Product Strategy comments; “Ra-X is secure, scalable and easy to use. It supports ambitions for expansion with minimum risk and cost as it doesn’t require any hardware or software, capital outlay, or increase in IT headcount, also reducing the requirement on excel spread sheets, and work-arounds which can often be problematic and incorrect. Retail Assist manages the service 24×7 with full back up and disaster recovery.” Our Ra-X service is utilised to ‘exchange’ data with stores on a global scale, for processes and services such as payroll data, currency conversions, stock movements and software rollouts across disparate locations. In addition the accuracy and availability of stock has become a key factor in our customers’ environments to support todays omnichannel trading. Ra-X is delivered through tablet devices provides offline in-store inventory functionality that enables you to carry out the inventory processes in front of the goods, whether that is on the shop floor, or in the stock room. This eliminates the costly manual process and enables you to process inter branch transfers, receive stock from the warehouse, progress write on/off transactions and undertake a stocktake. Simply put Ra-X is a fully scalable solution that allows you to gain sales and stock movements with accuracy and timeliness, thus resulting in more profitable and successful trading relationships. It ensures all data is effectively monitored providing a smooth and reliable service, flagging errors quickly and efficiently to solve discrepancies before they become an issue. Also helping to minimise risks Ra-X means Retail Assist’s purpose built 24-hour Data Centre ensures your essential data is received, processed and despatched through a secure, environmentally controlled facility, with 24/7 monitoring, full back up and disaster recovery. If you are interested in our Ra-X data exchange then please visit our website: www.retail-assist.co.uk or contact us via email: info@retail-assist.co.uk or telephone: +44 (0) 115 853 3910.…
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  • 3 Feb

Meet OR Introducing you to Ra-X: Our Data Exchange Solution

February 2014: So then what is Ra-X you might be saying?  Well as someone once described it, it’s not Retail Assist with a kiss, although it does lovingly look after retailer’s data exchange with its retail partners.  As it’s coming up to Valentine’s day we thought we’d spread the love and share with you the ways in which Ra-X is looking after many leading retailers’ data. Ra-X is a data exchange software solution for today’s global omnichannel world, to carry out polling, data exchange, and communications between retailers and an unlimited number of outlets and partners globally. As an example it works by accepting sales data from a concession in a House of Fraser store.  The data from the concession is often received in an unreadable format to the retailers own head office systems.  As such Ra-X takes that data and converts in to a format which is readable by the head office system. The Head Office system can then read the crucial sales and performance data, and push data back out to the concession. This would need to be converted in to a readable format for the House of Fraser store, and this is again where Ra-X comes in, to convert this data into a readable format. It reduces the requirement on excel spread sheets, and work-arounds which can often be problematic and incorrect.  Ra-X enables easy polling of all data between many systems enabling retailer’s to trade more effectively with their trading partners, across company owned stores, concessions, standalone stores and franchises, spreading the love globally. It allows easy data interchange with partner systems, dealing with issues relating to data formatting, territories, time zones and pricing. With the advent of new technology Ra-X has been developed for tablet devices to replace Hand Held Terminals that are so often expensive to purchase and maintain, and which do not allow for multi-functional activities to be carried out in store.  Ra-X is also a cloud based and Software as a Service Solution, meaning there is no massive capital outlay.  Ra-X delivered through the tablet device provides offline in-store inventory functionality that enables you to carry out the inventory processes in front of the goods, whether that is on the shop floor, or in the stock room. This eliminates the costly manual process and enables you to process inter branch transfers, receive stock from the warehouse, progress write on/off transactions and undertake a stocktake. Simply put Ra-X is a fully scalable solution that allows you to gain uniformity without a significant increase in cost, thus resulting in more profitable and successful trading relationships. It ensures all data is effectively monitored providing a smooth and reliable service, flagging errors quickly and efficiently to solve discrepancies before they become an issue. If you want to know more about how Ra-X could lovingly look after your data get in touch on 0115 853 3910 or info@retail-assist.co.uk…
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