Quality and popularity of a product
The customers can also make orders for electrical goods over the Internet. The Co-op has a web site where items can be purchased using credit cards, this is done is done in a similar way as in the till terminals- the card number and other bank details are processed and the bank decide whether the action is valid. This information is sent to head office, or the manufacturer. The Co-op also began to advertise more. At the Head Office, in Stoke-on Trent, they send, by e-mail information on the Late shop, in Chapel-en-le-Frith, about what goods are on offer to the printers. These leaflets then would be printed on to paper using a laser printer. These leaflets are then delivered by hand.
When the company receive details of people’s bank details, they can find out from where the customers live of what kind of products reach their needs and the price band in which they are willing to spend. From this, products can be chosen to display in a store, to suit the region the shop is in.
A swipe ‘billing machine’ is used so customers can pay for their bills such as telephone, gas and electricity bills while they do their shopping. The magnetic strip on the card is read and information of how much they need to pay or how much they have credited their card is processed and printed out on a receipt as in a similar way in which mobile phones are credited. All the cards are scanned using infra red and information is sent down the phone line to the company in which the customers receive gas or electric from. This is also good for the Co-op because it is introducing a different service to the customers. If a customer comes in store to pay their bills, it is very likely that they will buy something else while they are there.
ICT is used at the Co-op to order goods to sell and for the employees to use. Each of the Co-op branches communicate with head office, and head office contacts the suppliers of goods to order sufficient amounts of products to put in their warehouses so they can be distributed to the shops.
A HHT is used or a hand held terminal to record how much stock is needed to be ordered. The barcode of the product is scanned or the product number can manually be typed into the machine. The person using the terminal determines how much stock is ordered. The order from the HHT is sent by radio waves to the computer in the stores office and is then sent by e-mail to Head office. This helps the workers at the Co-op because it is quick. Writing down in a table what stock is needed would make it difficult for it to be read by others, and the paper could get lost.
The company intranet is always up-dated to provide a source of information about promotions that the store may be interested in and of the quality and popularity of a product. The prices of goods are stored in a piece of software that is also connected up to the company intranet called STREAM. It is in a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel, this is practical because it can be used in conjunction with GRADE which is also on the company intranet. GRADE allows you to put the product number of something, of STREAM, and to put the quantity you need in and to find out how much the retail price would be. This is good because you want to have products in store that are going to produce a good profit for you. In GRADE, invoices are listed by using supplier names and cost of prices to input information and to work out automatically the retail value of suppliers delivered to the store.
GLOBAL, keeps track of stock and reorders automatically any items that need replenishing, orders are then transmitted by telephone line to the warehouse and its then delivered to store. This is good because products that the shop have every week/day like milk, can be reordered without anyone in store having to worry about it. Every companies aim is to be a success, this means to make money. It is important to keep bank details of employees and customers safe, and also the financial details of any customers that have bought anything through the Co-op. ICT is used to protect important data and to keep it well organised.