IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 14 Apr 2014

15 Years of Retail Assist – Interview with Leigh Mann

Following on from our previous blog with our Executive Chairman, Alan Morris, we are continuing  to focus on those members who have been with Retail Assist for 15 years, as we build up to the celebration of our 15th Birthday.

Leigh Mann is a Support Analyst Team Leader, who works at our Northampton Applications Centre. After 15 years at Retail Assist, Leigh provides an interesting observation in to his day to day role and how this has changed and evolved over the years.

What does your role involve, and how has this changed over the last 15 years?

  • I am the support team leader for 3rd line Merret issues. This involves identifying problems and finding answers to client issues whether it is a data issue, bug or client requirement.
  • My role has changed considerably; I used to be client based but am now part of the shared resource in the Application Centre, based in Northampton.

What would you say the most significant change has been in retail over the last 15 years?

  • Easy, eCommerce without a doubt. 15 years ago I was of the opinion

“Who would want to buy clothes over the internet?” Well, everybody apparently.

For most of our customers the on-line store is by far the most important part of their business and obviously some of our customers only have an on-line presence. I’ve even resorted to buying clothes on-line myself. Who’d have thought!

What changes have you seen at Retail Assist over the last 15 years?

  • The size of the business has increased dramatically. Starting with just a handful of staff to well over 200 and climbing. Thank goodness for the intranet, at least I can get an idea of what the person looks like when I’m talking to them – a shadowy version of Alan sometimes!

What is your favourite aspect of working at Retail Assist?

  • The challenges and the making a difference. Although not during the night I’d like to point out to the Ops team! It’s good finding a solution to the impossible problem. To find the answer to something that can’t possibly be happening is a great buzz.

Most memorable/funniest Retail Assist experience?

  • Helping to setup the Sainsburys Tu brand and the Boots Minimode brand, particularly the warehousing aspects are my happiest achievements.
  • My most memorable experience was when we started the automatic warehouse at Adams Childrenswear, and on a few occasions I got to the launch the picking cranes. It was an awesome sight and I felt like a big kid with new toys. Although they never let me have a ride on the sortation machine.

If you have enjoyed reading this blog and are interested in reading about other members of our team then keep an eye on our blog here and also our twitter account: @RetailAssist #15YearsofRA for updates and latest blogs.

For more information about Retail Assist then please contact us on or 0115 853 3910.

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