ICT systems

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Every walk of life is now computer literate. The use of ICT in the wider world is rapidly increasing. ICT is now a great part of retail. If it wasn’t for ICT then retail wouldn’t be a big as it is. ICT is used in everyway of retail without even realising it. ICT can be used in so many different ways. Major shops such as Marks and Spencer’s and Sainsbury’s have websites where you can order your shopping online without even going out of your front door. The shopping will also be delivered to.

These websites are much better than the website I created as commercially used websites are designed by highly skilled, highly paid developers who have to train to build websites of these standards. For example on my website you cannot order my products online where as on the commercially used websites you can. When you go to the ‘Contact us’ form on my website it doesn’t actually work, where as on a commercial website, it would. The commercial websites need to be of a high standard because otherwise customers would not bother using the system and the ‘retail world’ would loose money because of this.

Also the commercially used websites are much more complicated than my website. This is because website designers have much better, more complicated equipment to use, where as I could only use equipment which was available to me at school and at home. I tried to keep my website as simple as possible where as website designers would want their websites to be as interesting as possible so that customers would find the website that is offered to them interesting and good to use so they spend their money.

Websites are not only helping the profit for the store itself, but the websites also help the customer’s as well as it gives them a bigger opportunity to shop where ever they may be, even if they are at work, every office etc uses ICT and the internet. ICT is used every second of every day in retail. For example in Marks and Spencer’s and Sainsbury’s, computers are used to monitor every sale made, in every shop, every day. Computers can track every delivery made to every shop all over the country to gain the maximum profit. The only manual job made in the retail industry is paper work.

Cash registers and the networks are all ICT systems. Nowadays, there is a bar code system where every item has a barcode. The barcode is read by a laser, which is then registered into a network. Every person who is employed by one of these companies has a number, and head office can see what they are doing at any time. It is very unusual that there is any communication between people nowadays. Everything is done through an ICT based communication room. The communication room can read tills, which goes to head office so they can check the financial side of things.

The retail cycle is where an ICT ‘hand held terminal’ is used to record stock. ‘The hand held terminal’ a wares staff when stock is low. This is an advantage as it saves time. There are lots of computers linked to the IT centre. There are millions of ICT systems invested. There are 16,000 jobs to process information. This is an advantage as it keeps lots of people employed. There is a customer inside unit. This is the place where staff can check by ICT systems to see if stock gets to the right places. There are 14,00 suppliers. Orders are placed to the suppliers in the mornings for lorries to leave.

An IT monitor can see how much content has gone into the items. This is a swipe and control IT based system. There is lots of ICT used in the delivery of the shops contents. This includes an Isotrack. This can follow drivers wherever they are. It can tell the speed they are going, where it is and when it arrives and departs from its designated destination. When staffs are filling the shelves, every tray has a label and a priority number. This is a much quicker and easier for staff to see where to stack the shelves. There is a drop plan that is above every shelf so that staff know where to stack everything.

Before the drop box plan everything was done manually which took longer. Shops have much better security, with better cameras and detectors. There are three types of training courses that use ICT that are taken before or during a job, that teach you more about the job and how to do things. Internal training is where you take the training at the job itself. External training is where you are sent away on a course. The third is cascade training, which is when one person goes on a course, and they then can teach others. This is the cheapest of the courses.

Although ICT seems to have helped retail tremendously, there are still a few disadvantages. For example if the ICT system was to go wrong for any reason, then this would cause a major problem to retail industry. Where the retail industry has grown so large, small shops have been forced to close down, as they do not make a lot of money because nowadays more and more people are using the bigger stores, as it is easier. This forces people out of jobs. Small shops have to increase their prices and customers prefer to shop elsewhere. This then makes money for the larger companies.

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