IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 15 Dec 2007

Tec7 integrated solution


Retail-only solutions and service provider Retail Assist has announced its new client, Tec7, as the first implementation to prove the value of the expanded offering which has resulted from its recent acquisition of the Merret supply chain business.

Tec7 is a new business, conceived as the brainchild of retail entrepreneur Ravi Virdi, former Finance Director of computing and electronics success story, Micro Anvika. The Tec7 business specialises in the latest consumer electronics and IT products, which it sells through 22 specialist concessions within selected House of Fraser stores in England, Scotland and Wales.

Ravi Virdi explains his conviction that, for the venture to succeed, a proven retail business solution needed to be in place from day one. “There was never any doubt that my chosen ‘foundation stone’ for the business would need to be delivered and supported by an experienced supplier with an excellent delivery record within retail.”

Tec7 committed to the Merret supply chain solution, supported by infrastructure, hosting and support services from Retail Assist. Merret and Retail Assist’s multi-channel, international client base within high-street retailing gave Ravi Virdi a sense of confidence.

“The fact that Merret offers merchandising, warehousing and MIS functionality as part of the standard package was a key element in my decision-making,” he continues. All areas of the Tec7 business benefit from integrated ‘one view of the truth’ information flows, with financial data being output on a daily basis to the Tec7 Sage Finance suite.

The most demanding element of the project was the need to support a 6-week timeline for live operation, which incorporated a number of premises and structures.

With stores spread from Glasgow to Plymouth, and Norwich to Cardiff, staff training was a challenge, as was the rollout of hardware and communications to all 22 concessions. An ADSL line was installed at every site, providing a dedicated link to the central Merret application at Retail Assist’s Data Centre.

States Nigel Illingworth, Product Director at Retail Assist: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with Ravi and his team in delivering this exciting new project. The short timescale meant that all teams pulled the stops out for a successful implementation.”

Retail Assist is providing user and Merret application support via its Service Desk and its Client Services team. Sitting in the background is a new infrastructure, based upon an IBM I-Series which is hosted and supported at Retail Assist’s Northampton Data Centre.

The infrastructure also encompasses Tec7’s Milton Keynes-based National Distribution Centre, which was set up with assistance from Retail Assist. This is the hub of day-to-day product activities, receiving goods and moving items in and out of stores as required. Head Office operations are based in Harrow and this environment had to be built into the network.

Concludes Alan Morris, Managing Director at Retail Assist: “Tec7 came to us with the traditional demands of a new business: looking for a rapid market entry, underpinned by reliable and cost-effective technology. Its needs were wide-ranging in terms of infrastructure, software and services and it’s here that we’ve proved the value of a single-supplier solution.”

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