Gillett’s Callington Ltd is the first SPAR convenience chain to install a Head Office system to help manage its estate of 30 convenience stores in the SW of England.
An independent chain, supplied by SPAR wholesaler, Appleby Westward, Gilletts is using BCP’s specially developed Head Office or Multi Site system, in conjunction with BCP’s AIMS messaging service, to provide the central controls necessary to grow the business and manage current business more effectively.
The new Multi Site system integrates fully to Appleby Westward’s Accordwholesale system and to all Gilletts’ store Back Office/EPoS systems, using AIMSas the communications medium between them. AIMS is BCP’s unique Internet messaging service for cost effective, high performance communications and data transfer between customers and suppliers and between different branches or depots within an organisation.
Under the new system individual stores place orders directly with Appleby Westward, but product information, deals, price changes, etc are set up at Gilletts’ Head Office and downloaded automatically to all the stores, using AIMS. This guarantees that all stores receive the correct information promptly and simultaneously and can, therefore, implement and benefit from new deals and price changes as quickly as possible. Sales data is, likewise, brought back to head office via AIMS on a daily basis, for consolidation and reporting. This information is monitored closely by management at Gilletts Head Office so they can help individual stores rationalise ranges, thereby improving efficiency.
Alan Cookson, IT Director at Gilletts, explains “The new system will do everything from control the prices at each store, right through to managing the stock levels and providing us with sales data from all stores. Using AIMS as the communications medium automates the whole process, minimises costs and means we can be sure we are using up to date, complete and accurate data for planning and decision making. We’re delighted with the results. Since we began to introduce the new system at the beginning of the year Gross Profit has risen from 22.2% to 24.5%. We certainly believe that this level of Gross Profit can be maintained over the coming year. Indeed, we hope it may rise still further as we develop the program, in conjunction with Spar and BCP, to provide better management reports that will help us with product development and store ranges, giving us even more control over the stores within the group”.