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Independent retailer selects cloud-based solution, ab-initio, to drive future growth

ICON, the independent Scottish convenience retailer, has selected Celtech to support its move to a cloud-based centralised operations management system. The installation of ab-initio will enable ICON to gain total visibility of all aspects of operational activity across the business and support its plans for future growth.

John McGowan, managing director at ICON, says: "We were blown away by the capability of ab-initio. Previously, reporting was restricted to head-office and would often be a day behind. However, with the new Celtech solution we can now see everything, from stock levels to point-of-sale, from anywhere and in true real-time."

At the same time, the ability to collaborate in real-time allows ICON to go beyond traditional electronic trading with its wholesalers. "This is very exciting, as it really helps us both to cut out admin and streamline the processes between us and share valuable information for mutual benefit," he believes. "Gone are the days of blindly placing orders and receiving unwanted substitutions. The information we can now provide also helps with targeted offers for our customers which helps us compete with the big chains."

Flexible access rights ensure that individual members of staff can see the information they need to operate effectively. McGowan continues: "As an independent retailer, we have limited staff and admin must be controlled. It is more important for us to have our managers on the shop floor giving great customer service rather than spending excessive time on reporting. In a convenience store environment a personalised approach is crucial and ab-initio supports this."

Customer service is key to ICON’s future plans. "In ten years we have grown the business significantly and have always focused on customer service. By letting the professionals take care of the IT systems we can keep this focus at the forefront of our growth strategy," concludes McGowan.

Darragh Fanning, Celtech CEO, states: "ICON is a very progressive company and one that we are delighted to be working with. It demonstrates perfectly why the ab-initio cloud-based solution is ideal for independent retailers looking to drive business growth and cut out administration and IT headaches.

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