Marketing solutions via technology
A Marks and Spencer case study

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Page 4: A time for change

Marks And Spencer 2 Image 15It was generally recognised that the Food Stock Adjustment process did not meet Marks & Spencer efficiency objectives of providing all users with the information they required quickly enough. Food Stock Management (FSM) was developed to replace the FSA, through greater use of technology and eliminated the use of paper and manual recording procedures. FSM provides a system for the recording of all food stock adjustments and non sale movement of stock to maintain stock accuracy.

Hardware included the use of new user-friendly hand-held terminals (HHTs), which recorded and transmitted bar code information to a windows-based PC and a keyboard held in each Marks & Spencer store. HHTs are simple easy-to-use scanners which use bar codes to record information. Information is transmitted to a store processor before being sent to Head Marks And Spencer 2 Diagram 2Office through a wider area network, connecting computers on different sites via modems to a centralised information system providing access to managers. FSM:

  • eliminated manual books such as the RTM Book, the Self Supply Book and the Transfer Book.
  • produces a series of key reports including, price checking report, product changes report, stock record report, daily activity report, shortcode and produce report, interim accounting report, all of which are used by stores for information purposes.

Additionally, these key reports produce a number of benefits for management giving them the opportunity to, more effectively, manage the store. Some of these benefits are as follows:

  • reports can be viewed as well as printed;
  • runs an automatic Start and End of Day;
  • increases staff accountability;
  • improves stock accuracy;
  • stores more able to respond swiftly and effectively to sales trends.

Food Stock Management enables data to be captured from Marks & Spencer stores and provides a valuable source of information on which well informed management decisions can be made. It provides access to better quality information for a larger number of users and improves the way Marks & Spencer responds to customers. Benefits include:

  • on-line information
  • reduction in paperwork
  • improved centralised and decentralised control
  • ability to investigate problems and stock issues

Marks and Spencer | Marketing solutions via technology