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IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

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IT Help Desk services
  • 7 Feb

Pizza Hut Restaurants fulfils 2020 vision with Retail Assist

Pizza Hut Restaurants signs 3 year contract extension with Retail Assist for 24×7 IT support services across its UK restaurant estate Pizza Hut Restaurants, one of the UK’s largest pizza chains, has marked four years of successfully receiving managed IT services from Retail Assist by extending the support partnership until 2020.   Under their five year technology vision, Pizza Hut Restaurants has innovated its IT operations. New menus, store re-images and an emphasis on digital customer experience has generated an entirely new dining atmosphere. Working behind the refresh, technology has proven to be the greatest enabler of improvement, supporting restaurant team members to provide first class customer service up and down the country. Business challenge and technology vision Due to the change in strategy, Pizza Hut Restaurants’ support services required streamlining, both to reflect an increased reliance on IT and optimise cost-effectiveness. Retail Assist has supported Pizza Hut Restaurants since 2013, as a single point of contact across the business for everything IT related. Retail Assist’s first and second-line Help Desk teams proactively manage all elements of IT support for 8,000 Pizza Hut Restaurants employees working across 260+ restaurants, with 24 x 7 availability. Bill Parker, Service Delivery Manager at Pizza Hut Restaurants UK, commented on the contract extension: “Our relationship with Retail Assist continues to strengthen. With proactive incident reduction, and trend analysis of root causes, in Retail Assist we have a dependable support partner that truly understands the business impact of IT downtime on Pizza Hut Restaurants operations, and works hard to ensure that we always receive exceptional service to our Huts.” Retail Assist delivers significant business value As an example of the value added to Pizza Hut Restaurants’ business operations, within two months of transitioning IT support to Retail Assist, the number of incidents was reduced by 30% whilst delivering a first line-fix greater than 90%. With a higher first-line fix and incident reduction, ‘talk-time’ was further reduced by almost 300 hours. As restaurant staff spend less time on the phone, Retail Assist has enabled Pizza Hut Restaurants to focus on providing the best possible guest experience. In this way, Retail Assist has played a pivotal role as Pizza Hut Restaurants’ IT has moved from what Keith Frimley, IT Director at Pizza Hut Restaurants UK, describes as “firefighters to trusted operators”. “Ultimately, we are running IT as a business. IT in restaurants should be like turning your lights on, a given that it will work, like electricity. We view our suppliers as an extension of our IT team, and are looking forward to extending our partnership with Retail Assist.” Supporting new technologies, Retail Assist’s teams have further enabled the wider roll-out of new ordering and point-of-sale technology in Pizza Hut Restaurants during their extensive refurbishment programme. Dan Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Retail Assist, concludes: “We are proud to continue supporting Pizza Hut Restaurants’ IT strategy: providing business leadership in technology to enhance their operational capabilities.” Retail Assist recently won ‘Services Company of the Year’ at the BCS…
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product information management system
  • 5 Feb

Whitepaper: Product Information Management

Is your Product Information Management System fit for purpose in today’s dynamic retailing environment? With more products, faster creation, and more channels, the importance of Product Information Management to retailers has rocketed. In our latest whitepaper for retail leaders, learn: Why product information accuracy is the key to retail success; How to shorten product lifecycles to remain competitive in a fast-fashion environment; Why channel partner expansion should not cause an operational headache; Why confidence in your product information is central to omnichannel retailing; Best practice for PIM and much more. It comes as no surprise that retailers with the shortest supply chain lead times experience up to 30% greater sales growth.  TO READ THE FULL WHITEPAPER, SIMPLY ENTER YOUR DETAILS BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE PDF: Get the Whitepaper  …
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  • 20 Dec

Retail Assist launches partnership with Mercaux

Retail Assist announces partnership with Mercaux to enable the digital in-store experience Retail Assist, the UK technology business whose IT software and support are used by leading brands in retail and hospitality, has partnered with Mercaux. The in-store technology company enables retailers to transform their in-store shopping experience by bringing the benefits of digital into physical stores. Mercaux, which supports the likes of United Colors of Benetton, L.K. Bennett and French Connection, offers a mobile platform that unifies a retailer’s online and in-store sales experience and empowers store associates to deliver an exceptional omnichannel customer journey. The in-store platform is supported by Machine Learning and empowers retailers to control their digital content, communicate with stores, and gather in-store analytics. L.K. Bennett launched the Mercaux app earlier this year across a number of London stores, helping store associates to increase basket size and provide optimised customer service. The relationship comes after Retail Assist gained multi-million pound private equity backing earlier this year; strategic partnerships will leverage further opportunities for business growth. Olga Kotsur, Co-founder and CEO of Mercaux, said: “Mercaux’s digital applications enable retailers to harness the power of digital in their stores, using them as an enablement tool to realize omnichannel capabilities. We were impressed with Retail Assist’s strong market credentials in the fashion retail sector, and our new partnership adds real value to their omnichannel proposition.” Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, commented on the partnership: “Partnering with likeminded innovative technology businesses such as Mercaux provides us with the opportunity to penetrate the market further, with a new generation of technology for true omnichannel retailing.” “Current strategies such as ship-from-store are already helping our customers increase sales by 20%, and further improvements to stock visibility offers retailers the potential for even greater profitability.”   Find out more about Mercaux here. If you’re attending NRF in January, join us for a demo at Mercaux’s stand: just fill out your details here to schedule a meeting.…
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Global Help Desk
  • 29 Nov

 Jigsaw chooses Retail Assist for global store support

Jigsaw goes live with Retail Assist’s Help Desk Jigsaw, the luxury British fashion retailer, is the latest brand to go live with Retail Assist’s IT Help Desk. Retail Assist provides first-line IT support for 95 Jigsaw stores, in the UK, Ireland, US and Australia. With 24 x 7 availability, Retail Assist is a single point of contact for all IT related issues 7 days a week, as an extension of Jigsaw’s internal IT team. Improved out of hours service provision is helping Jigsaw store staff to provide a better experience to customers with increased systems uptime. Thanks to their expertise in the retail sector and strong technical knowledge, Retail Assist completed a full Help Desk service transition in just 9 weeks, ahead of the brand’s peak trading period as specified in the project brief. “Previously, it was a challenge to cover evenings and weekends efficiently and cost-effectively using our own team, as well as our overseas locations, so we looked at options for better scalability as we grow”, explains Paul Owers, IT Director at Jigsaw. “With the benefit of extended first line support from Retail Assist to take care of store IT around the clock, our internal team no longer needs to be ‘on call’ out of hours, and has improved their availability for business-as-usual duties. Retail Assist also has expert knowledge of the retail systems used by Jigsaw, which gave us confidence in their capabilities to support our global store estate.” Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, commented on the new relationship. “We’re delighted to partner with Jigsaw as they lead the way in first-class omnichannel customer experience. Our optimised cost model for managed services is a compelling factor for retailers when they consider their IT support requirements.”       Want to know more about our Managed Services? Send an enquiry here.…
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UK IT Industry Awards
  • 16 Nov

Retail Assist Wins ‘Services Company of the Year’ at the BCS UK IT Industry Awards!

Retail Assist: ‘Services Company of the Year’ 2017 We are delighted to announce that Retail Assist has won the award for ‘Services Company of the Year’ in the category of Organisational Excellence at the BCS UK IT Industry Awards 2017. The BCS UK IT Industry Awards are a platform for the entire profession to celebrate best practice, innovation and excellence. L-R: Rhianne Poole, Marketing Executive; Jane Gibbons, Account Manager; Rob Beckett, Host. The star-studded Awards Evening was held at Battersea Events Arena in London, where Retail Assist received the Winner’s Award on stage in front of thousands of guests. Retail Assist was recognised specifically for their strong, longstanding customer relationships, as well as the exceptional quality of their Managed IT Services offering.  Retail Assist was shortlisted for the award by the Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) and Computing, in August 2017 alongside nine other businesses in the IT services and solutions industry.  Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, commented: “We are extremely proud to have our excellent achievements recognised at the prestigious UK IT Industry Awards. Our team work above and beyond to deliver great IT services and solutions to our clients all over the world. This award provides great recognition for the entire team at Retail Assist and we are delighted to be named Services Company of the Year”. Paul Fletcher, Group Chief Executive Officer of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “Congratulations to all the winners and those who were highly commended in the UK IT Industry 2017 Awards. They perfectly demonstrate how the UK can and does make the most of its talent, recognising the highest levels of excellence across today’s IT sector. The standard of applications we received this year was outstanding, showcasing some of the brightest and best in our industry. The winners stood out as exceptional and inspiring, and should be very proud of their success.” Stuart Sumner, Editor of Computing, added: “Very well done to the winners and those who were highly commended on their achievements. The UK IT Industry Awards are rigorously judged and truly celebrate innovation and professionalism in IT today. To emerge as a winner or runner up is a major accomplishment.” Retail Assist’s latest 2017 award comes after being awarded ‘Best Managed Service Desk’ by the Service Desk Institute in 2016.…
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management apprenticeship
  • 17 Oct

Retail Assist launches Management Apprenticeship programme

Retail Assist, a technology business whose IT software and support are used by some of the biggest names in retail and hospitality, is gearing up for growth by launching a UK-first Management Apprenticeship programme. ‘Apprenticeship’ is a word that most would associate with those at the very beginning of their career journey. But for Retail Assist, an innovative take on a very traditional form of training and development is shaping the next generation of Management within the company. After securing significant private-equity backing earlier this year, Retail Assist will become one of the earliest UK organisations to launch a Management Apprenticeship Scheme, which is kicking off in November 2017. 13 members of staff across Retail Assist’s 6 sites were selected to undergo the proactive management training programme. They range across a diverse range of functions, including HR, Service Delivery, IT Support and App Development. Joanne Thompson, Help Desk Team Leader, is undergoing the Management Apprenticeship The Management Apprenticeship will equip the cohort with the necessary knowledge and practical experience to confidently progress their careers within the organisation, as well as qualifying with a Chartered Management Institute Level 3 Diploma in Principles of Management & Leadership. Retail Assist’s Management Apprenticeship programme is supported by Julian Woodall, who was appointed as HR Director at Retail Assist 18 months ago. As part of Retail Assist’s continuous innovation within its development offering, Julian will have ongoing responsibility for the cutting-edge programme. He explains, “Management is about making things happen: through our Management Apprenticeship programme, Retail Assist is equipping, enabling, and giving confidence to its managers to proactively drive growth at a time of great change for the organisation. “By supporting best practice in talent management, we’re ensuring that the right people with the right skills are developed in order to make a difference. Retail Assist want to be seen as pioneers influencing this workplace change. “In line with new governmental arrangements, the apprenticeships offer the potential to upskill our existing workforce whilst improving employee engagement and satisfaction.” The development programme will be managed by a local Midlands-based training provider, Leadership in Action Ltd. Sharon Montgomery, Managing Director at Leadership in Action, commented: “We’re delighted to support Retail Assist in developing their managers, by adopting the 70:20:10 principles of learning. Our philosophy is that learning only translates into positive behaviours that deliver results and achieve return on investment, when knowledge is continually applied in the workplace. “Our programme is designed to develop learning through 70% job-related experiences; 20% through interaction with others, and 10% of formal learning. Retail Assist truly recognise the value its people bring to the business and through this programme is equipping its managers with the skills to help them achieve.” In addition to classroom-based training and workplace assignments, the programme will promote collaborative projects and peer coaching across Retail Assist’s multiple sites, to reinforce the collective development of the managers whilst embedding the training at a practical level. Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, concludes: “Our commitment to developing the skills…
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  • 4 Aug

Whitepaper: What is omnichannel retailing?

We’re excited to launch our latest whitepaper: what is omnichannel retailing? DOWNLOAD NOW. From the processes involved to the technology that underpins it, this whitepaper provides expert insight into omnichannel solutions, and the benefits that an omnichannel strategy can offer to retailers today. With 86% of retailers unhappy with their current omnichannel offer, we identify 5 key cultural and operational changes required to confidently fulfil customer demand anytime, anywhere, anyplace. To read the full whitepaper, simply enter your details below to download the free PDF. Name Email Company Get the Whitepaper What is omnichannel? Omnichannel retailing centres on the idea that a seamless shopping experience in physical stores, simultaneously with that of digital channel experiences, gives retailers a competitive edge over online-only retailers by leveraging their store assets. Our customers benefit from a single view of stock, a single view of the product, and a single view of the customer. Retailers with integrated front and back end operations are twice as likely to deliver double-digit growth. Read some our latest business success stories here. Merret is Retail Assist’s omnichannel supply chain solution for your entire global estate of stores and warehouses, including zonal pricing modules for optimising international operations, and user defined replenishment rules to ensure stock can be automatically and dynamically moved for maximum sales performance. Furthermore, integrated click-and-collect ability and rule-based fulfilment, including the ability to Ship-from-Store where suitable, utilise your entire inventory for greater profitability. Take a look at our What Is Omnichannel Retailing? video below:…
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Retail Assist Chairman
  • 10 Jul

Retail Assist welcomes new Chairman

Retail Assist, the technology specialist whose IT software and support services are used by leading retail and hospitality brands, has appointed a new Chairman to its Board of Directors. After securing significant investment earlier this year from Foresight Group and RBS, Retail Assist has appointed Bill Joss to oversee the strategic direction of the business, providing focus for its ambitious growth plans. Bill’s 20 years of non-executive Chairman experience includes positions with leading technology, engineering, and managed services businesses around the world. As well as providing strategic expertise to Retail Assist’s Operational Board, Bill will represent the interests of Retail Assist’s Shareholders and investors. Explaining the new appointment, Retail Assist’s CEO Dan Smith said: “We’re going through an exciting transformation that comes with being a growing organisation, underpinning the technology infrastructure and operations of some of the biggest names in retail and hospitality internationally. “Retail Assist is performing brilliantly, securing high-profile clients amongst large scale investments to drive us to the next stage in our growth. Bill will help us to capitalise on that growth by securing wider opportunities for Retail Assist as it continues to become an even bigger player in the market.” Bill Joss, the new Non-Executive Chairman of Retail Assist, added, “I see huge potential for the business as a dynamic technology provider in a changing retail environment. By focussing on the best opportunities for Retail Assist, we shall unlock further potential in the market. “The demand for external managed services and outsourcing has become increasingly important in recent years, and Retail Assist is well-positioned to respond to this, having a credible history of industry achievements and an impressive client base.” Based in the UK, Bill is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, and a competitive endurance cyclist. Retail Assist employs more than 220 people across 6 UK sites, supporting over 40 retail and hospitality brands worldwide, 24 x 7 x 365.…
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Retail Assist Investment
  • 3 Apr

Retail Assist gains multi-million pound investment for future growth

Leading IT managed services and solutions provider Retail Assist has secured a multi-million pound investment to facilitate its rapid growth strategy to double the size of the business over the next three years.  The deal sees investment from its original founders, private equity investment manager, Foresight Group, and Royal Bank of Scotland. As a retail and hospitality specialist, Retail Assist is providing the IT managed services and software solutions which underpin the success of brands such as Harvey Nichols, Karen Millen, ASOS, Oasis, Coast, Warehouse, Vue Cinemas, Pizza Hut, and Cath Kidston.  To date the company has achieved brilliant success with its impressive growth, customer portfolio, awards heritage, and it has attracted excellent talent, allowing Retail Assist to be in a strong position for future expansion. With a current turnover of £15m Retail Assist provides services and solutions across 66 countries, delivering support in 9 languages, and employs 220 people who have been responsible for the company’s success. Established in 1999, this year sees the business reach its 18th trading anniversary. Foresight Group was founded in 1984 by Bernard Fairman and Peter English and manages assets of £2.3 billion internationally with its headquarters at The Shard, London. Mike Quinn, Investor Director from Foresight Group stated: “Our investment into Retail Assist is an exciting opportunity to work with the highly-regarded Retail Assist team and we are looking forward to expanding their service and solution capabilities and adding to their already strong customer base. We have been impressed by their expertise, professionalism and ambitions for growth.” Under the new investment structure the company shall be led by the current CEO, Dan Smith, and Operational Board, with the addition of Mike Quinn from Foresight Group as Investor Director. Of the founder members from Retail Assist, Alan Morris and Nigel Illingworth will be retained in the business in a consultancy role, and as part of the investment team with Gary Broughton.  They will remain engaged in the business to assist with future development strategy for services and solutions. Dan Smith, CEO at Retail Assist said: “The investment will provide Retail Assist and its employees with a much wider opportunity for growth and progression as it continues to become an even bigger player in the market. At a time when retail and technology are constantly changing the investment brings with it a springboard for growth and the opportunity for expansion, whilst remaining true to the values and approach that Retail Assist engages with its customers.” Alan Morris, one of the founders of Retail Assist, continues: “After 18 years of trading, Retail Assist has come of age. We are very proud of the success Retail Assist has achieved so far.  With the investment backing and the successful foundations already laid, the potential for employees and for the customers it supports is very exciting and will enable Retail Assist to advance its services and solutions even further”.…
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merret supply chain
  • 7 Mar

Morrisons Nutmeg launches women’s collection with Merret

Morrisons Nutmeg gains traction with Merret Retail Assist has supported Morrisons to launch its first ever womenswear collection, under its fashion retail brand Nutmeg. The womenswear range has been introduced after Nutmeg initially launched in 2013 with a range of affordable quality childrenswear, supported by Retail Assist’s supply chain solution, Merret. Within just 3 years, the popularity of the collection made Morrisons one of the top 20 fashion retailers in the UK in 2016. Merret is Retail Assist’s end-to-end supply chain solution, improving retailers’ business performance by maximising the financial potential of their stock inventory. Used by retail brands such as Harvey Nichols, Oasis, Karen Millen, and Whistles, Merret offers complete stock visibility, and real-time stock availability. Morrisons’ introduction of women’s clothes comes in conjunction with a recent technology project by Retail Assist to upgrade its Merret software to the latest version. Morrisons now benefits from a whole range of operational efficiencies, including faster overnight processing, and the ability to interface seamlessly with merchandise planning software. Nutmeg now features in all Morrisons UK stores. Morrisons’ Category Director of Clothing, Christine Bryce, said: “Upgrading to the latest version of Merret has helped take the Nutmeg brand to the next level, as we have debuted our women’s collection in 50 Morrisons stores.” Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, added: “We’re proud to be supporting the Nutmeg label as it bolsters Morrisons’ fashion credentials, and are looking forward to working with the brand on its future strategy.” More information via: https://nutmeg.morrisons.com/…
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