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Oxfam overhauls retail operations IT

By Retail Technology | Monday September 30 2013

New point-of-sale and analytics technology investment will aid UK retail operations of major global charity by helping to reducing costs and increase donations

Global charity Oxfam has today announced a major IT investment on the roll out of new electronic point-of-sale (EPoS) systems and business intelligence (BI) software to increase the efficiency of its UK operation.

In a deal of unspecified worth, but that was described as ‘significant,’ the charity has engaged BI developer and IT support provider PXtech and UK EPoS supplier ICRTouch to deliver a hardware and enterprise software solution across its estate of 690 shops.
The deal will provide Oxfam with an enhanced EPoS system to optimise cost efficiency and maximise sales potential throughout its shop network, with a potential uplift in income as a result of the technology’s roll out.

Warehouse and corporate BI integration
The new system will integrate with Oxfam’s corporate warehousing and BI system and be tailored to suit the charity’s specific needs. These include supporting Oxfam’s policy of inclusivity by providing a range of specialised facilities to guarantee the best retail experience for all shop staff. The look and feel of the new EPoS system will focus strongly on enhancing the ‘volunteer experience,’ incorporating key elements for the visually impaired, such as colours and font and button size.
In addition to managing the installation of Oxfam’s new hardware system, PXtech said it would use key components of the ICRTouchWeb software suite to control and manage the information between Oxfam’s corporate solutions and instore EPoS systems. A number of PXtech specialist field engineers will manage the roll out, with the provider also providing ongoing solutions support, including a helpdesk and dedicated onsite service offering.
The deal follows the success of an established working relationship between Oxfam and PXtech, when PXtech was taken on to support the charity’s existing estate of cash registers.

Exciting new chapter for charity
Andrew Horton, Oxfam’s trading director, said: “The implementation of this system marks an exciting new chapter for Oxfam shops, providing our staff and volunteers with the tools and support they need to drive sales. We’re focused on reducing costs and increasing charitable contributions by improving our operations across our trading division and we can clearly see the value this solution will bring to the business.
“Our shops are run by a dedicated volunteer base and this new suite of tailored software solutions will empower each of them to maximise their individual shop’s income. The user flexibility afforded by the new system’s specialised features is especially important in ensuring that our values of inclusivity are upheld at every stage of the business.”

A pilot is scheduled to commence in October 2013, with the full roll out starting in January 2014 and completion scheduled for March 2016.

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