Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tech spurs Woolies loyalty card growth

WOOLWORTHS has tapped into its business process management software to roll out its new Everyday Rewards Loyalty card scheme.

Over the last couple of months the retail giant has been implementing Software AG's webMethods Optimize integration suite to instantly gauge the performance of its supply chain processes.
The software forms the backbone for Woolworths' new customer loyalty card scheme, launched in June, that provides an electronic mechanism to deliver discount fuel vouchers to shoppers.
"When a customer swipes the Everyday Rewards card at a register, and they have met the minimum spend requirements, they will have a fuel saving offer credited to their account,” Woolworths integration competency centre manager, Walter DeWildt, said.
"Using the webMethods integration server, we're able to do 'hook-ups' straight from the point of service and into the back-end loyalty applications,” Mr DeWildt said at a conference in Sydney recently.
In future, Woolworths will be able to integrate Optimize with business intelligence tools to drill deeper into shoppers' habits and develop highly targeted marketing campaigns to individual customers.
Department store retailer Myer is also deploying tools to analyse customer information generated from its store credit cards, including Myer One, and its new point of sale system. The functionality will go live by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Woolworths is using Optimize in tandem with global positioning systems (GPS) technology to integrate its warehouse management and transport management systems, Mr DeWildt said.
"Transport management is a huge thing, especially considering the size of Woolworths' supply chain.
"The time the truck is sitting there waiting to be filled up costs money. So being able to get into those different applications and integrate that into the current transport management systems is really key.”
Other applications of the technology include enabling orders to be sent electronically to Woolworths trading partners as well as its internal national product recall system.
Woolworths has been a long-time customer of webMethods, which was gobbled up by Software AG last year, and Mr DeWildt said Optimize allowed the retailer to deliver web services functionality without a service oriented architecture platform.
"We started looking around at what was being done with web services, and looking at different applications the SAPs and Oracles of the world and where they were going,” Mr DeWildt said.
"We started to build (web services) into our integration layer … so even before we fully embarked on a SOA strategy we started doing stuff on the integration layer.”


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