Sports retailer JJB Sports is updating its whole IT system across 447 stores, upgrading its network, desktops and printers and introducing chip and Pin functionality to new electronic point of sale (EPoS) terminals.
Wigan-based JJB is working with retailing vendor Alphameric, which is replacing the retailer's original EPoS systems with HP rp5000 base units and Alphameric's Windows-based chip and Pin-enabled EPoS systems.
The new system will allow JJB to access real-time sales data from all stores, standardise on Windows by 2005 and gain from speedy card transactions.
Mark Macaulay, IT director for JJB Sports, said: "Some of our equipment is 13 years old. We had old scanners and dot-matrix printers, and black and white, Dos-based Alphameric systems."
JJB started the installation in the second week of May, with BT initially laying ISDN cables, which will be upgraded to bigger-bandwidth wide area network cables when the Windows system is in place.
"It's all gone to plan and users are already benefiting from faster printing and authorisation," said Macauley.
The company has achieved this by replacing its dot-matrix printers with faster thermal printers, while credit and other card authorisations now go through in six seconds, rather than the 15 seconds they took over the public switched telephone network.
JJB also expects to see efficiency improvements in the way stock and other data is updated across the system. The systems are currently updated overnight, with data being pooled over one or two hours. With the new Windows system, updates will be 'trickle fed' as transactions are carried out.
The sports company also uses paper forms, but plans to save time and money by moving to Windows-based electronic forms. It also plans to use wireless technology, and gain visibility of stock, and more detailed access to back-end systems.
Some 34 stores in the north west have been updated, and JJB now plans to upgrade stores in the Midlands followed by Scotland.
"We want it all embedded in time for Christmas, as December is our busiest month," said Macaulay.
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