Castle Malwood, Minstead – Hampshire. Wednesday 29th June 2016
The traditional British summer did nothing to dampen the day for the guests and speakers who attended the 11th Annual RMS User Forum. For the first time in over a decade rain made an appearance, however, the record number of visitors remained dry within the RMS marquee and enjoyed a spectacular mix of presentations and talks from customers, guest speakers and the RMS team. The day started with a warm welcome from Rob Morgan before introducing and handing over to RMS’ Managing Director, Karen Dyke.
From politics and Brexit to the weather and social trends, Karen took a packed house through a whistle-stop tour of what’s happened at RMS since last years Forum. It was a great opportunity to welcome 12 new customers and confirm that 7 existing customers have made the move to metro. With 7 major releases and more than 195 new key features launched within Unified Comms alone, the metro product suite continues to evolve at a pace. The People Suite (consisting of WFM, Employee Management and T&A) received 5 major releases and 153 new features. Print Controller received a completely new User Interface and has undergone integration into Unified Comms, so print-related tasks now appear within the Unified Comms Tasks Calendar. There have been further enhancements to the Print Designer and RMS have launched iPIM – a brand new fully integrated inventory, product & promotions information management suite – What a year!
Next up we heard from RMS’ Chris Ferns and Tracey Fagan who showcased the latest new features that have been made to Unified Comms. Aside from explaining the benefits of great communication, guests were shown the enhancements that have been made to the Ordering, KPI, Task, Planner, Social and Mobile modules. The main announcement in this presentation though was the introduction of Yap! – our latest instant messaging/chat/gamification platform designed specifically to take social engagement to another level. Working in partnership with our technology partner Yapster, we have already trialled the technology to great effect within Ryman Stationery.
Leading on nicely, we welcomed our first customer guest speaker of the day, Michael Errington from Ryman Stationery who shared with the audience how the Theo Paphitis Retail Group have been using RMS technology to support their multiple brands and drive sales. Multiple metro modules are bring used across all three of the TPR brands (Ryman, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue) to maximise opportunities, support stores, share best practice, measure, manage and improve processes and drive competition between stores and colleagues. A truly inspiring presentation topped off with a great quote from Theo himself – “Make Money..Have Fun..& Don’t forget to Make Money!”.
Next taking the stage was Sarah Snow from Dunelm to tell us how they make the most of using the metro Unified Comms Homepage Designer – an insightful presentation that took the audience on the journey Dunelm have undertaken to migrate from their original intranet to ‘Intouch’ (the name given to their deployment of Unified Comms). Sarah explained how Dunelm have optimised the structure, look and feel of ‘Intouch’ so as to simplify the ease of use and navigation across the web portal. It was impressive the thought and logic Dunelm have put into the creation of each element and how from skillfully using the homepage designer they have created a store homepage that is incredibly simple to navigate quickly and easily to all the main areas within ‘Intouch’.
From Homepage Designer to Compliance, the next guest speaker was Michelle Tran from Nuffield Health – if there is any industry that requires assured compliance, a healthcare business that provides access to more than 10,000 health experts across 31 hospitals, 77 gyms and more than 210 corporate facilities is probably about as challenging as it gets. Historically, compliance was managed via spreadsheets, shared drives, learning and risk management systems – the ability to have a consolidated view of compliance was not possible so Nuffield Health invited RMS to tender and were identified as the best provider for the system which has been called QMS (Quality Management Software). RMS has worked with Nuffield Health to design/build the homepages and during that process have made a number of software enhancements to accommodate their specific needs. In doing so we have enhanced the overall product and since launching in March the user feedback has been incredible, including statements such as “Using QMS saves us so much time”, “The layout is clear” and our personal favourite “I love this system”!
Leading us up to a well-deserved Lunch, we welcomed back Tracey to talk through the importance of Process and how this metro module has evolved and been adopted by leading retail businesses such as Jollyes, Boux Avenue, Matalan, The Entertainer, Mothercare, Ryman and others to drive compliance in the workplace. There have been a number of significant enhancements over the past months to Accident & Incident reporting, Click & Collect, Sundries Ordering, Site Audits and Store Visits functions, however, the development is not stopping there – the product roadmap for 2016/17 contains a number of further enhancements and new functionality to look forward to.
Fed and watered, after lunch it was time for RMS’ Jim Chapman and couple of ‘special guests’ to take to the stage and talk about Print – with more than 1,000 stores now using Print big changes have been made to the whole solution – integrated into Unified Comms, the latest Print solution takes on a much more mobile and agile look and feel. Add to this a completely new Inventory, Product and Promotional Management capability, RMS continues to set the benchmark for Print software. As a bit of light relief, the RMS ‘amateur dramatics society’ then trod the boards as Star Wars characters to demonstrate how using ‘the Force’ of metro Print helps remove buyers doubts and drive sales in-store. Enter stage right, Jedi Ticketing Master ‘Robi RMS Kenobi’ and his furry friend Simon.Chewbacca’ Mills!
It was back to Karen to make the official launch of iPIM and take the audience through the rich functionality this latest addition to the metro product brings. iPIM delivers all the key elements of Promotional management as simple as A, B, C, D – Analyse, Build, Communicate, Deliver.
Rounding off the Print session, our next guest speaker needs very little introduction – Phillip Adcock, Shopper Psychologist and Managing Director of SBXL has made many appearances on TV’s Rip Off Britain and in 20 minutes took guests through a whistle-stop tour of the psychology of shopping – from looking at how the brain has evolved to how shoppers ‘really’ decide what to buy in-store along with the key to their hearts, wallets & purses! A fascinating, topical and amusing insight into the psychology of promotions with the added benefit of a few ‘free’ examples thrown in as to what not to do. To hear more from Phillip, you can contact him directly via email@example.com
Next, Diane Wehrle, Marketing & Insights Director from Springboard explained how ‘it’s all about the footfall’ and shared valuable insight into how to understand, interpret and act on footfall data along with the application and benefits this type of information brings. Finishing off with some pre/post-Referendum data, it was interesting to see how the immediate aftermath of the referendum affected the high streets, retail parks and shopping centres across the UK. For more information on the services, Springboard provide, you can contact Diane direct via firstname.lastname@example.org
From it being all about the footfall, we tuned in to hear how (in the words of Meghan Trainor), ‘It’s all about the Base’. Our third and final double act of the day was from Kate Robins of Dunelm & RMS’ Simon Mills where we heard first hand how to make people work for you. Using Base Rotas (linked to footfall and sales profiles) Kate and Simon showed and demonstrated the functions and benefits of the WFM, T&A and Employee Management modules.
Tracey Fagan gave the forum a look at the latest developments within Activity Planner before handing back to Karen to make the second major announcement of the day – the introduction of our new Mobile/Employee Engagement module. With Phase 1 consisting of an all-new mobile-browser based portal, the ability to create and view Tasks, News and Messages, view KPI’s and create, view and respond to ‘Yaps’ from any mobile device is coming soon and set the scene nicely for our final presenter of the day.
CEO and Founder of Yapster, Rob Liddiard (not wishing to get between a thirsty audience and a free bar!) gave us a quick overview of Yapster and the benefits of fast, open communication to staff who rarely, if ever, have access to a PC. Unlike other ‘free-to-use’ chat services like WhatsApp, Yapster is under full control of the customer and allows colleagues to interact in a secure, closed environment. From sharing ideas and organising events to showing how teams are performing against targets and initiatives, employee engagement is something both Yapster and RMS embrace. Rob can be contacted directly via mailto:Rob@yapster.info
Following an action-packed day, the RMS marquee changed from hosting more than 25 leading retail brands and businesses during the day to a venue that would see seven prestigious awards being presented to celebrate the success, ingenuity and achievements of RMS customers. The winners of each award were decided by a judging panel consisting of retail industry experts Phil Chapman, Diane Wehrle, Bill Thomson and Rob Liddiard. The awards were hosted and presented on the evening by TV comedian Ian Moore and TV retail expert and author Phillip Adcock from SBXL. See here for more information on the award winners