Woolworths, Britain’s leading general merchandise retailer, has implemented in-store stock checking technology from Episys to avoid disappointment from their customers.

Previously, when ordering from Big Red Book catalogue, some customers would be left disappointed when they got to the till point to find that their chosen item had sold out.

Woolworths has now implemented a company-wide stock checker solution, which means that customers can confirm product availability either by asking a store colleague or by serving themselves at a stock checker or customer service kiosk.

Woolworths’ IT team built a shared service software solution to check availability of products both in-store and at their central fulfilment warehouses, which was integrated  to colleague-operated mobile devices in all their stores and self-service stock checker units in 98 stores. Episys managed both integration and installation.

The colleague-service part of the project went live in October last year and took four weeks to implement, from concept to reality. There are now 2000 mobile devices in use by staff. The self-service stock checkers took eight weeks, including site surveys, installation and training, with Episys coordinating a consortium of supplier partners.

“Our colleagues find the mobile solution very easy to use and have been surprised at how many customers have approached them to ask about Big Red Book availability and how easy it is to answer. Episys showed a good understanding of both our platform and our processes,” said Paul Seaton, business systems manager at Woolworths.