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O’Neills: Improving retail management

Sportswear retailer O’Neills is steeped in Gaelic sports tradition. Founded in Dublin over 100 years ago, O’Neills initially specialised in manufacturing Footballs and Hurling Balls, but have since developed into manufacturing and retailing entire ranges of sportswear and accessories, for sports such as Hurling, Gaelic Football, rugby, soccer, hockey, boxing and many others. As well as distributing their sportswear through independent and multiple sports retailers across the world, O’Neills have eight of their own stores in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“Prior to Cybertill we were carrying £750,000 of stock per store, per month. After installing Cybertill we managed to reduce this to £300,000 worth of stock in each store. This allowed us to make big differences to how we ran the retail business. We got rid of the warehouse, and now we only need limited back up stock in each store and our cashflow has improved dramatically.”

 Stephen Thompson, Retail Sales Manager, O’Neills

Before Cybertill

Initially, to help manage the retail side of their business O’Neills had a basic EPoS system. But with each store carrying in excess of 25,000 items each it could not cope as Stephen Thompson, retail sales manager for O’Neills, explains “The biggest problem was when we were reordering or going to buy new stock. We had so many items to analyse, and to create any sort of history was virtually impossible, it would take me at least a day to calculate, and now with Cybertill it takes seconds.”

With O’Neills facing many issues around stock and retail management they decided there was a real need to replace their old EPoS system, as Stephen explains. “The old system simply did not meet our needs as a business. We required an EPoS system that could manage high levels of stock and had a robust back office system that would allow us to thoroughly analyse the business. I looked at many different EPoS systems, but Cybertill was the only one that ticked all the boxes.”

Reducing stock of slow moving products

Overnight O’Neills began to benefit from installing Cybertill comments Stephen, “Prior to Cybertill we were carrying £750,000 of stock per store, per month. After installing Cybertill we managed to reduce this to £300,000 worth of stock in each store. This allowed us to make big differences to how we ran the retail business. We got rid of the warehouse, and now we only need limited back up stock in each store and our cash flow has improved dramatically.”

As well as reducing stock holding and increasing cash flow Cybertill has also helped O’Neills with their retail merchandising as Stephen explains. “There tends to be a big difference in average sell through between our fast and slow moving products. With Cybertill we can easily identify this information and this determines how we merchandise our shop floor to help us reduce the average sell through of slow moving products.”

Instant retail management

In today’s fast moving retail environment decision makers need to have visibility of their store or store’s performance so management decisions are both well informed and based on current information. Cybertill’s managed service approach means O’Neills have instant remote access to the Cybertill EPoS and back office system.

“I use Cybertill on a daily basis through the back office and it helps me maintain the discipline within the business. Whether it be management of band techniques or whether it’s looking after the financial side of things even such as discipline on discounts, it maintains management order,” observed Stephen, “The ability to access our systems remotely is key. I spend a lot time on the road and I can access Cybertill from anywhere. If I am driving, I simply pull over and I can access Cybertill. This is a huge benefit to O’Neills. When looking for solutions no other system could offer me this level of instant access.”

Instant results

Accurate information coupled with instant access from anywhere makes managing O’Neills four stores much easier for the management team. Real-time information makes decision making more informed, and with the monthly stock holding in each store reduced by over 50% this has improved cash flow for the business. Cybertill has played an important part in helping O’Neills increase their retail estate and looking to the future the scalable solution is also at the heart of O’Neills growth plans.

“Cybertill has been central to the success of retail side of O’Neills,” concludes Thompson, “and being able to reduce our stock holding across our four stores by £1.8 million each month, and for our sales to be increasing is just one of the many benefits it has delivered.”

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