Argility, a member of the Argility Technology Group, has revealed details of its 21-year journey with the Shoprite Furniture Group, trading under the brands of OK Furniture, House & Home and OK Power Express.
In 1998, Argility was appointed by the retail giant to provide Shoprite Furniture – a trading division of Shoprite Holdings – with end-to-end robust, dynamic, bespoke software solutions – from in-store POS to back-office to multiple third-party interfaces.
Jai Kalyan, Argility Executive, says the relationship commenced with a roll-out to approximately 160 stores. “It has now grown to over 520 stores operating in SA, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Zambia, Angola and Mozambique.” Kalyan says that over and above the retail management solution, services include:
He notes the distributed architecture allows stores to trade even if the network is down, plus there are daily backups to a central server to ensure stores can be restored should it be required.
By their very nature, retail chains have a highly distributed organisational structure. Kalyan explains that individual stores need to be able to operate independently if communications are interrupted. “But it is also critical that data is consolidated in order to provide business intelligence, particularly relating to inventory optimisation and customer relationship management. A robust backup/disaster recovery solution is also crucial to ensure that data is never lost and store downtime is kept to an absolute minimum,” he says.
Keeping the business running in order to best serve its customers is top of every successful retailer’s agenda. “Retailers are acutely aware of the need to continue delivering more value to their customers, and as such, must constantly assess the latest developments in technology and trends in the sector. The consolidated data provided by Argility’s solutions provides the raw material for better intelligence to improve all aspects of our customers’ businesses, from ensuring ideal quantities of goods at each store and better debtor management, to improving customer insight and, ultimately, service.
“Argility’s software has kept pace with technology advances, which means we can provide cutting-edge solutions including initial credit application via cellphone, in-store use of tablets for salesmen, flash figures app for managers, automated cash upload system plus integration and use of Web services and more. All of this translates into competitive edge in the retail environment,” Kaylan concludes.