Investment Opportunities For Retail Industry In Uk

Retail is often viewed as the starting point for many entrepreneurs. Many businesspersons use the retail sector to establish their base and then invade other business sectors. It becomes a blessing in disguise for investors when they try to invest in the retail industry when it is actually expanding. The United Kingdoms retail industry is all set to expand in size by as much as 15% in the next five years. It is estimated that it will reach a staggering value of 312 billion pounds in the coming years. It employs a mammoth 3 million people, which accounts for overall 11% of the entire UK workforce.

The retail sector accounts for 8% of the total GDP of the United Kingdom. The intensity of the retail sector in UK is such that as of 2007, sales in the UK retail markets accounted for 265 million pounds, which were larger than economies of Portugal and Denmark. The retail sector in the United Kingdom has developed in almost all the allied sectors such as electrical, clothing and footwear, health and beauty, homeware, furniture and floor coverings, DIY and Gardening and e-retail. The main area in which there is tremendous growth in the retail sector is the Northern Ireland.

Key Retail Sectors

Out of all the retail sectors such as clothing, footwear and others, the main retail sectors worth investing in are the electrical sector, food, grocery, health and beauty, which are expected to grow faster as compared to other retail sectors in the United Kingdom.

Electrical sector: It is expected to grow by 24.1% and will easily overtake the entire industrys growth of 15%. The main goods worth investing in will be brown goods as they are expected to grow by 30.1% over 2011 with major developments taking place in the software and gaming fields. The Playstation 3 will provide the major chunk towards the growth of the sub-sector and will account for a mammoth 73.4% growth in the next five years. There is also tremendous potential in the electronic segment in the next five years.

Food and Grocery: The food and grocery segment of the retail industry in the UK provides huge opportunities for grocers. It is estimated that grocers sales will be up by 26% until the year 2012.

Health and Beauty: The health and beauty market has a potential to grow by 26.9% until 2012 with skincare accounting for the major portion of growth. The health and beauty market holds some optimistic traits even in these times of economic uncertainty. With a growing prospect of 15% and the existence of plenty of well-established sub-sectors, the retail industry of the United Kingdom has loads of potentials, which are yet to be explored.

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Dynamics Gp Integration With Pos And Retail Systems Counterpoint, Microsoft Rms

If you deploy one of the mid-market Retail applications and Microsoft Dynamics GP as your Corporate ERP system – we would like to review integration between the two. All three are hosted in Microsoft SQL Server. Earlier versions of Great Plains Dynamics were also available on Pervasive SQL 2000 or Ctree, but these versions are really legacy now and we will concentrate on MS SQL Server based versions. If you have old version of Great Plains, you still can deploy text file import via Integration Manager, and text file could be produced from Counterpoint or Microsoft Dynamics RMS via SQL Query:

1.Counterpoint export to Dynamics GP. Here you have predefined MS SQL Server DTS packages, exporting GL (usually daily sales)and Accounts Payable (inventory replenishment) transactions. DTS is now considered as legacy application in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or 2008 and you can either upgrade your DTS packages or use Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Manager to work with DTS files settings (typically when you have to modify predefined DTS package and include user defined fields into your text file export). When you got text files, the next step is importing them into GP via Integration Manager (this is why we mentioned above that Legacy GP version is not a big problem, as IM was available since really historical times)

2.Microsoft RMS export to Great Plains. Here you also have Dexterity add-on, which moves your GL and AP transactions

3.Some disadvantages of native integration tools described in paragraphs one and two. Both integrations should be initiated by user and could not be scheduled (without complex programming) to run automatically. Second issue – both are for importing into specific Great Plains company and you have to log off current company and login new company to send transactions there

4.Alba Spectrum Microsoft RMS to Dynamics GP integration. Here you have automatic scheduled integration, many to many (RMS Stored to Dynamics GP companies), integration in Sales Order Processing transaction level (or Accounts Receivable docs, where you can track integration on GL precise distribution level). This integration is “Solution”, meaning that Alba Spectrum technical consultants have to install and tune it for you

5.Advanced Counterpoint Integration to Great Plains. We recommend you to consider the option to pull Counterpoint documents directly in Dynamics GP Integration Manager via Advanced ODBC queries

6.Bonus topic. Counterpoint or Microsoft RMS integration with SAP Business One. Here you have two options. First one is to deploy SAP B1 Data Transfer Workbench (where in Advanced ODBC query from DTW side you imitate SB1 DTW CSV templates). Second option – you pull records from SQL Counterpoint or GP databases via SAP Business One SDK. This integration is probably not for small companies, as programming budget should be close to hundred hours. But, for those of your who expect some investment and have the plans to benefit from them – we are here to help you

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Customer Loyalty Programs – as witnessed in the Gaming Industry

Loyalty programs designed today, offer so much more than just -points- – through customized technology you can deliver an extremely personalized experience and service when you gather and analyze data collected about your customers. With web-based incentive programs, you utilize a program with built-in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and the information gathered is compiled in a database. The key here is to study the insight gathered from the customer and constantly adjust the reward programs to exceed the customer’s expectations.

A good example is how Customer Loyalty Programs are being utilized by the Gaming Industry. Many states are changing legislation to allow this revenue-generating industry to have a presence within their borders. Many upscale resorts offer several amenities other than gambling, such as entertainment, fine dining, kids programs, golf, tennis, etc. As these resorts are becoming more and more popular, being able to provide their customers with a memorable and positive experience that will supersede that of any other choice they may have in the area, customer retention has become the focus of this industry. With the bottom line being a direct result of player traffic and frequency, many Casinos have reached out to the incentive industry for guidance and specific technology to enable them to gather necessary data on those good customers and keep them coming back for years to come.

There are a multitude of reward options once a Casino knows what exactly will motivate their best customers. Along with offering the resort’s customized products, there are retail store gifts certificates, room service amenities, room upgrades, invitations to special events such as -High Roller Reward Programs- and Holiday events. According to a survey of industry insiders at the 2003 Global Gaming Expo, -When asked if the casino industry might following the airlines’ lead in trying to create valuable, independent businesses by marketing other products to their frequent player customers,- 100% thought it was a -good idea’ .

Author Richard Cross stated in his article, -On Beyond Loyalty Programs- that –success is identifying the service and product elements that really make a difference to each customer.- Online incentive programs allow for greater ease of communication and management of gathered data.

Once you have the proper tools to enable a better understanding of your customer and what exactly motivates them, it becomes easier to measure the customer experience and determine the return on incentive investment.

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Improved Performance with Clear and Cohesive Retail Supply Chain Solutions

Consumers are smart. They know exactly what their requirements are, including price and service demands. This puts retailers in a tight spot because they have to ensure good returns and profits while trying to live up to the standards and prices that customers expect. Thus they have to be sure that they adhere to streamlined processes that help identify and foresee trends, forecast demands and plan relevant responses across the supply chain network.

The retail process includes innovative planning strategies for merchandise and stores, purchasing and open-to-buy, assortment and allocation, replenishments and in-season control. By employing the correct supply chain solutions retail business owners will have access to the right information with details about customer demands. This information can serve as a guide to execute processes strategically and effectively without aggravating costs.

In the current situation retailers have to concentrate on both inbound as well as outbound cross-channels for logistics purposes. A high level of coordination amongst multi-site, multi-warehousing and multi-tier products across channels is a must. With efficient logistics solutions the responsible parties can work in a unified manner to deliver the finished products at the right place and time. Logistics solutions in the retail supply chain enhance collaboration amongst the various channels and increase the visibility of the operations, leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Retail business owners have to understand the technology, models and processes that are being used in their existing retail supply chain. They need to study their distribution network strategies, their warehousing and transportation systems, the minutia of labor and task management processes and differential capabilities to evaluate customer satisfaction and replenishment plans for stores. When selecting a retail supply chain solution, businesses must ensure that the program can help identify specific requirements and implement an ultimate search process rather than executing a common solution for different types of issues, as this will be ineffective and a total failure.

Solutions that can address the individual needs of your retail supply chain business in a cost-effective manner, keeping present and future fluctuating needs in consideration, will help you gain a competitive edge and focus on strategies to leverage your business. The solutions that facilitate service improvements and streamline and optimize the distribution and transportation of the global supply chain network are recommended ones to send your business to new promotional heights.

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Industrial Lubricants in the Workplace Best Safety Practice

Health problems resulting from contact with lubricants are relatively rare and occur mainly in cases where there is a considerable degree of prolonged contact.

Naturally, however, as with all types of chemicals, some tend to be very sensitive hyperalergic lubricants or lubricant components. This is similar to developing common skin rashes in some people after eating strawberries or tomatoes, while the vast majority enjoy these foods on a regular basis without harmful effects.

Various forms of skin irritation and more serious diseases like cancer, has been associated with light refined petroleum products such as soot, oil shale and coal tar. Lubricants containing lead soaps present a particular risk, because this form of lead is absorbed through the skin.

In industries where there are prolonged contact with lubricants and oil treatments or fine mists, good practices can virtually eliminate any health problems to the operator.

Some simple precautions can provide highly effective protection. These precautions, which are presented below, are desirable, regardless of the type of cutting oil, lubricating oil or grease in use, or the industrial applications:

flaps, vents, etc.

Operators should be encouraged to keep all the passive safety devices maintained correctly to ensure minimal long-term exposure to lubricants


When continuous and direct contact with lubricants is unavoidable, clean (and regularly cleaned), coveralls, waterproof aprons and gloves should be encouraged.

Washing facilities

Proper washing facilities are to be provided, including a non-solvent type of soaps, creams and degreasers.

First Aid

Workers should have ready access to first aid and medical emergency literature.

Fire Safety

Despite the fact that oils and greases do not light as easily as most people believe, careless manipulation (sparks, smoke, poor drainage or lack of cleaning, poor maintenance of machines leading to overheating) can cause lubricants to catch fire as easily as wood or paper. In the interest of safety, fire fighting and testing devices must be kept in good condition and easily accessible areas. Advice should be sought from your local fire department.

Dispersion and spills

In the event that a spill or leakage is inevitable s commonly found oil-absorbing material with high absorption capacity is especially recommended for use. Do not use flammable sawdust or other materials to mop up because they can present a serious fire hazard and increase the risk of slipping.

Environmental responsibility

Oils and lubricants must be well removed and not placed directly into drainage systems as this can present a serious risk to the environment. Lubricants must be disposed of safely and appropriately. Consult your local environmental legislation for relevant provisions that apply in your country. Lubricants should not be dumped at random and without thinking about the sometimes irreversible damage they cause.

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