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lectricals retailer Dixons Retail has streamlined project reporting with the implementation of project

portfolio reporting and management tool, PM3, from Bestoutcome. Before deploying PM3 project

managers managed data manually using a hotchpotch of tools, which meant they could never be sure that they were getting accurate information from them. With a portfolio of anywhere between 75 and 100 projects, the time taken to produce consolidated reports meant

information was often out of the date. “There was lots to like about Bestoutcome,” said Phil Greenwood, Dixons Retail director of IT, after carrying out a market evaluation. “And PM3, their portfolio management tool, was clearly built by practitioners for practitioners. “They understood retail, they

understood my needs for risk management and precisely how to deliver that through PM3, which structurally demands accuracy and consistency and produces fantastic visibility. At the same

BUYAPARCEL INTEGRATES BACK OFFICE is using e-commerce middleware to grow its multichannel business, by improving customer order processing and integration for its fastest growing channel, eBay. The Lowestoft-based online retailer of giftware, plumbing and heating supplies, tools, lighting and bathroom accessories also operates a telesales division and opened its fi rst branded retail showroom in March 2012. In July 2011, implemented BlueBay Connect eBay integration software from existing IT supplier Blue Rock Systems. Powered by the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system supplier Intact Software, BlueBay Connect has full eBay accreditation, which made it the ideal middleware solution for to connect its eBay shop to the back-offi ce system. The BlueBay ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) system integration

has enabled to download new eBay transactions, create customer records and upload stock fi les into its back offi ce in less than 10 minutes, which has also signifi cantly decreased dispatch times. Retail Technology spoke to Mike Parker, Buyaparcel technical director, about the middleware investment just before the launch of its showroom earlier this year. “BlueBay Connect is incredibly powerful and has saved us a fortune on accountancy bills,” he said. “Also, being able to manipulate stock en masse and getting data like supplier pricing imported into the eBay is a big thing.” He also said the integration has proved invaluable in tying processes up across channels

to offer customers a more seamless service. “Telesales is a big part of our business and the middleware enables our inbound team to see where the stock is and how much has been reserved. The system even updates back to eBay to say when orders are dispatched. It helps us when we change offers, while on the trade side, it helps with discounting and automated pricing changes.” The level of back-offi ce integration and automation facilitated by the middleware has

ultimately supported increased revenues and the new showroom opening, “which would not have been possible without BlueBay Connect,” concluded Parker.


UK health and beauty retailer Boots recently extended a 10-year strategic outsourcing contract with IT business services provider Steria. Under the new three-year deal, with an optional two-year extension, Steria will manage around 350 business critical applications, which also include many of the business-critical support offi ce functions, such as human resources (HR), along with desktop and legacy applications. Jonathan Vardon, Boots UK IT

director, said: “As a High Street name, it’s really important that we are constantly innovating to give our customers the highest possible level of service. Steria has demonstrated an ongoing and proactive commitment to help us on this journey, and we look forward to the future benefi ts of this partnership.”


time it is extremely flexible.” Using PM3, Dixons Retail has

transformed its project portfolio management and reporting system. It has cut costs, increased efficiency and produced an estimated one-year return on investment, as a job that took up to several weeks of management time across the portfolio has been reduced to just a few days. But more importantly, PM3 has

improved accuracy of data, consistency and proper sponsor-level risk management right across Dixons Retail’s change project portfolio.

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