M&S upgrades RoI for IT and supply chain refresh

Marks and Spencer says the far-reaching IT and supply chain refresh it initiated last year will deliver £50 million more in returns than it previously predicted, without any more investment.

The UK retailer launched the refresh project, which includes consolidating warehouses and migrating its business applications to SAP, last year. When announcing its financial results for the past year today, it said that it had "increased the benefits case from £250m to £300m without increasing the capital investment, and brought forward the completion of the plan to 2015/16."

"We are making good progress with the upgrade of our [IT] systems," the company said in a statement. "In stores, we have completed the implementation of a new stock management system, which is providing more accurate real-time stock level information. We are in the process of rolling out the new point of sale system (POS), currently in 400 stores, and due be completed before Christmas.’

"The second phase of the SAP roll-out, our new core business system, is now complete, with the final phase, which will include the new stock ledger, due to commence this financial year," it said.

"Following successful trials, we started the roll-out of new forecasting and space planning and ranging systems [for food retail], which will deliver improved availability and waste management."

The company also explained how it is building its own e-commerce platform, having terminated a partnership with online retailer Amazon.com. Sales at online division M&S Direct rose 31%, which the company said outpace online market growth of 20%.

It also included the number of Facebook friends and Twitter followers in its report (295,000 and 26,000 respectively).

Overall, M&S reported a 4% increase in sales to £9.7 billion. Profit before tax rose 13% to £714 million.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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