Streamlining stock control at UK charity Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder aims to improve inventory management across its high street shops and several online stores with the help of K3 Retail

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 28 September 2016
Streamlining stock control at UK charity Sue Ryder

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2016 issue of The Record.

UK-based non-profit charity organisation Sue Ryder sells both used and new goods in its high street stores across the UK, as well as its online site and its dedicated eBay and Amazon channels.

In an effort to streamline how it manages stock and inventory across its multiple channels, Sue Ryder contracted K3 Retail to roll out an ePOS solution built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Over the next nine months, the solution will be implemented at all 455 Sue Ryder stores across the UK.

“We picked K3 because our strategy was about moving everything to the cloud and buying software-as-a-service,” explains Adam Fisher, head of IT and services at Sue Ryder. “This is on offer from K3 and enables us to still have only a small IT team.”

K3 Retail’s ePOS system will reduce overheads by eliminating the need for the one-hour reconciliation process that takes place each evening before the stores can close.

“At the moment all the information that gets passed from stores to head office is late and is all on paper, so the people in the shops have very little access to information,” says Fisher. “Now they will also be able to access e-mail. It will be a massive transformation, bringing people into the fold. It will make their lives so much easier as there will be a lot less paperwork.”

Staff will also have a single overview of stock and real-time insights into what goods are selling, across which channel and within each individual store.

“K3 will expose us to what we don’t know, such as what are the bestselling lines and where they are selling the best,” predicts Katy Faulkner, head of retail operations and development at Sue Ryder. “We’ll go from knowing nothing about our stock because at present it simply involves undertaking periodic stock counts to see where, for example, the new dolls houses have sold well. The ePOS will be able to fully show us what’s happening in the business.”

K3 Retail has also helped Sue Ryder to develop a new warehouse management system (WMS), which will tie-in closely with the ePOS and finance systems. In addition to giving visibility into the goods held within the warehouse and high street stores, as well as the online stores which primarily sell new products. Plus, the increased stock management capabilities will make it possible for Sue Ryder to sell donated goods – such as refurbished bikes – online. The charity also expects the new customer and data insights to help it develop new store formats and potentially a loyalty programme to encourage people to continue to donate goods to its stores.

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