IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 15 May 2008

Tec7 implementation short listed for award


The judging panel of this year’s European Solutions Awards has short-listed one of our most successful recent projects for the award category of ‘Project Implementation of the Year’.

In April and May of last year, we led a project for VC-backed retail start-up, the specialist electronics retailer Tec7, who had just won a prestigious contract to take over House of Fraser’s Sound & Vision department across 22 stores.

Despite the most demanding of conditions, the project came in on time, under budget, making Tec7 ready for trading. A year later, the business is delivering impressive sales increases.

The requirement was to start from scratch and deliver a complete IT and communications infrastructure and supply chain solution that would bring together head office, warehouse, distribution centre, data centre and multiple store sites. Our Merret product acted as the keystone of the project.

Explains Nigel Illingworth, our Product Director: ‘This project is one of the best examples of how Retail Assist and Merret can flex and adapt to different client requirements and business environments.’

The timescales were extremely tight, budgets were fixed, and there were multiple stakeholders to manage. Within 6 weeks, we had to install all the hardware, software and communications that Tec7 needed to manage its supply chain and support its retail operations within House of Fraser stores from day one. There was no margin for error or delay. Rigorous management of the project and of the many parties involved in it was critical.

The result of was an outstanding one. The project not only met the go-live deadline (the first store went live as planned after just 6 weeks!) but also saved Tec7 4% in operational costs plus a further 17% on the capital costs originally allocated.

The role of Mark Yates, our Project Manager, was a pivotal one and Tec7 and House of Fraser have paid tribute to his professional and personal skills.

One year later, Tec7 is delivering strong sales performance, with substantial increases over House of Fraser’s previous year’s Sound & Vision trading.

States Mark Gifford, House of Fraser’s Chief Financial Officer: ‘The introduction of Tec7 as the television, audio and technology partner to House of Fraser has significantly improved our customer proposition. This has lead to outstanding recent sales performance, up over 30% on last year.’

The last word goes to Ravi Virdi, retail entrepreneur and Managing Director of Tec7: ‘Given the deadline, budgets, the various people involved and the fact we were starting from nothing, I believe many other suppliers would have failed to deliver. The flexibility and ‘can do’ attitude of Retail Assist ensured project success. We had a sophisticated, real-time supply chain solution and supporting infrastructure installed from scratch in a matter of weeks. Retail Assist has the experience to deliver this kind of solution – and to do it right, in a focused, agile and risk-averse way – while still providing a personal service.’



The winner of this and other European Retail Solutions Awards will be announced on 25th June at a ceremony in London.

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