With impeding Staff Shortages and Wage Rises there is a burning need to improve productivity -

Itim will soon be launching the ‘itim Hub’ a collaboration portal for Retailers to collaborate with suppliers digitally.

Has the retail industry been living off ‘cheap labour’?

The CBI announced that productivity in the UK has been stagnant for 10 years.

If wages rise, we will need higher productivity. In retail this means 4 things:


A dramatic (30%) increase in SALES/HEAD

  • Reduction in head office, warehousing staff
  • Reduction in inventories – without impacting sales – we need higher stock turns.
  • We need to be more effective sales people – We need to GO BACK TO THE FUTURE

Of course there are lots of other KPIs we could focus on, but these are at the heart of what we believe to be achievable.

Here’s how we at Itim are helping retailers do so.


We need to drive more sales from stores. Retailers already have a fixed cost base and they already have inventory in stores. It is critical we exploit that better. That means we need a lot more ‘online orders’ going from a central warehouse to the store either for click and collect or despatch from store.


Delivery from store is slowly becoming more ‘profitable’ than delivery from a national central warehouses. Shortages in trucks and warehouse staff is also bringing this into focus. As footfall in stores fall, we can utilise store staff more effectively. If you combine that with growing local courier networks this is a real possibility.


We need to increase sales without increasing inventory. That sounds like a magic trick, but it's not. It's all about optimising stock distribution. Modern systems can deliver that.


We need to be more effective sales people. People talk about CRM (Customer Relationship Management), but its not as effectively practiced in ‘retailing’ as it could be or is in other industry segments. We have identified something like 20 ideas that can drive sales increases in retailing. They all require more effective CRM.


In spite of massive investment in technology, head office staff levels are not falling. Why is that? Mid-sized retailers have headcounts from 70 people in head offices to 250 people. What is the right number? It could be argued that we are not increasing productivity if that does not fall. When we look at the sophistication of systems we are delivering, the reason those systems are not delivering the commensurate increases in productivity is because we believe retailers have not invested in training and upskilling of their staff. In today’s world you need very data literate and systems literate people in head offices. Without upskilling and training its just not going to happen. If you upskill staff, you will need fewer staff, as they can with the intelligent systems and the levels of automation available today, do a lot more work than they are doing today.

itim’s Platform has many of these capabilities built into it. Everything from

Helping increase sales

  • Optimising stock
  • Shop Local and Despatch from Store
  • Helping retailers reduce costs


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