Sweet solution for chocolate retailer

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Chocolate retailer Thorntons has implemented the Aldata Gold retail management software. Thorntons has some 350 shops and 200 franchises. Jim McLauchlan, Thorntons programme manager, says: “Our ordering system was over 20 years old and had been heavily customised over this time without full supporting documentation, so it became almost impossible to make further modifications. In addition to this, we had a number of unsupported platforms that gave unwanted risk. The third factor was that these systems no longer supported our future strategy.”

Thorntons chose Aldata on the strength of its references in Europe, where the company provides software to retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. As part of the programme is has implemented a WMS and reporting management system.

As part of a two-year project, Thorntons decided to replace core systems in head office, stores and warehouses to drive financial benefits for the company. The existing dial-up network would be retained in the meantime, with a view to replacement later on, so Gold will manage the existing processes until this network is installed.

Thorntons chose Aldata for the Gold suite of retail management software to replace the central database and take control of ordering and replenishment. It initially implemented Gold Central and Gold Shop across its entire estate. Gold manages Thorntons head office processes and store operations for its own stores as well as for its franchise and commercial ordering.

In the stores, Thorntons has already implemented hand-held terminals, enabling staff and managers to perform easier stock counting, external sales, provide management information to store, and a queue-busting function in stores.

In the future, with a new systems structure in place store ordering will be automated.

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