“Super duper ultra mega satisfied.  Everyone was great at presenting, no waffle, no sales pitches – just sharing information.  Loved it.”

“Just a thank you to everyone for working so hard and making everyone feel so welcome.

It was a really lovely event.”

“The keynote speakers were great to see, and the breakout sessions were a good way of showcasing the relevant elements of the platform.”

Metro Forum 2022 – Appreciation, Celebration and Recognition

RMS was once again blessed with glorious sunshine for their 17th Annual User Forum held on Thursday 14th July in what seems to be almost preordained when it comes to good weather and is the first Metro Forum envisioned by RMS’ Forum Steering Group – our thanks to representatives from The Watches of Switzerland Group, Greene King, Ryman, The Entertainer and One Stop for the ideas and input to the day’s format.

The Forum was opened with a warm welcome from Karen Dyke and Rob Morgan and very quickly got going with a recap on what has been a pretty manic three years since we were all last at the Castle. The changes we have all had to make regarding working habits, social behaviours, locations and technology have driven the RMS team in terms of development and creativity, but what we have learnt more than ever is just how fragile, complex and challenging the world can be and how quickly things can change.

Keynote Speakers:

Jennifer Sproul
CEO, The Institute of Internal Communication

Jennifer Sproul
Jennifer understands the trends transforming internal communication. She talked about digital transformation, globalisation, and the sobering statistic that 50% of all employees will require significant upskilling over the next five years before then sharing the changes in attitudes toward work where ‘Trust’ takes centre-stage.

Jen also discussed the effects of overloading the connected workforce and the impact of ‘attention deficit’, and left us with many great tips to improve internal communications.

Gareth Harvey
Director of Behavioural Science at DECIDE

Gareth Harvey
Chartered Psychologist Gareth had us mesmerised with his insight into human behaviour, and had pretty much everyone in the room suddenly doubting what they ever thought they knew about merchandising, pricing and marketing.

Using coloured cards in the style of the TV show ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’, our guests were asked to vote which was more effective when it came to merchandising POS ticketing and pricing. This approach certainly generated much amusement and discussion, and many agreed that they would be looking at their current organisational methods in a new light going forward.

Diane Wehrle
Research Director at Springboard

Diane Wehrle
Diane shared her current analysis of the high street and how the impact of covid led to a boom in online transactions. Of course, many retailers had no choice – trade online or do nothing. The latest data, however, shows that the UK population is ready to return to the high street and in-store ‘face-to-face’ shopping.

Diane went on to share that although online shopping is here to stay, its market share of customer buying power is plateauing and that harmony between online, high street and retail parks will eventually balance themselves out.

Customer Speakers:

Wayne Lucas
Retail Operations Manager, Schuh


Wayne LucasWayne shared Schuh’s journey with Metro over the past four years. Starting from their initial search to development requirements to launch, how things changed during Covid, and how since then, their Metro instance (ingeniously named ‘Schuhbox’) has been redesigned to encourage employees to engage with the business.

Schuh was one of RMS’s first customers to embrace Metro’s comments and reactions functionality which had a tremendous business impact.

Mark Klieve, Head Of Business Improvement
Coby Davis, Business Change Specialist
Dan Sherry, Labour Productivity Specialist
Card Factory

Card Factory TeamMark, Coby and Dan talked about part of their metro implementation, specifically Workforce Management, clocking in/out, timesheets and absence management, explaining how the benefits to their employees have been so well received, backed up with video footage of colleague reactions.

A key message from the presentation was how simplicity and improvement in store planning resulted in 100% clocking compliance within three weeks of implementation.

Mark, Coby and Dan also explained how the implementation had significantly reduced the requirement for seasonal staff due to the visibility or existing employees’ availability to work, maximising existing contracted staff rather than incurring the cost of employing additional temp staff.

Laura-Jane Mabon
Change Project Manager, Scotmid Co-op


Laura-Jane shared Scotmid Co-op’s journey on the metro platform.

Known internally as ‘The Hive’, Scotmid Co-op deployed Metro during the peak of Covid and worked closely with RMS throughout, collaborating on the development of new modules and features to transform their retail employee engagement, from task management, communications process management (store audits, incidents, accidents) helpdesk management, and print management).

L-J talked about the future opportunities Metro can provide to enhance business & colleague engagement further and rationalise the need for a patchwork of disparate applications.

She said the platform’s flexibility has enabled them to deliver a specific user experience to any given outlet from a single platform.

Breakout Sessions:

  • Metro Apps – this session looked at Metro’s suite of mobile apps, including our employee self-service and site audit applications.
  • Metro Data – this session looked at the data held within Metro. It explored how it can be extracted/used to improve business performance.
  • Metro People – this session looked at the latest features within Metro’s workforce management solution, which includes Employee Management, Scheduling and T&A functionality.

  • Metro Activity Planner – this session looked at Metro’s project planning toolset, including its latest capacity management enhancements.
  • Metro Helpdesk – this session looked at our new helpdesk ticketing module designed to cover all areas of your business so sites/users can raise support tickets from within Metro.
  • Metro Messaging – this session looked at the benefits of the metro messaging function, highlighting the new ‘user’ versus ‘location’ functionalities.

  • Metro Quick Wins – this session highlighted a range of quick wins, usage and functions within the unified comms platform.
  • Metro Print – this session looked at our print functionality, including how it enables stores to print only valid point of sale material (SELs, Barkers, Talkers, Stack Tickets, Stickers etc.) for their locations.
  • Metro 365 – this session looked at the new Metro/Microsoft Teams integration work.

In a change of format, our final customer presentation was an ‘on the couch’ interview with Alys Britton, Retail Operations Assistant at Space NK and RMS Head of Team Metro, Giles Pedlar.

It was terrific to see and hear a ‘question time’ style discussion where Space NK described their journey as they navigated through Covid to today, being able to operate all of their stores in a full trading environment.

Alys talked about how Metro has enabled Space NK to change and emphasise the differing needs of a ‘closed trade/dark store’ to a fully operating customer-facing environment. Space NK said that during the lockdown, they could not have engaged with employees or operated and managed the complexity of the furlough program.

The penultimate session of the day was a panel discussion where Steve Shepherd (The Entertainer), Michael Errington (Ryman), Mark Denton (One Stop) and Alys Britton (Space NK) were on stage.

It was clear from discussions that many of their future desires for Metro functionality had already been developed by RMS during the lockdown period. Furthermore, it was clear that the Metro Teams/365 offerings would give them all the opportunity further to expand the use of Metro within their organisations and outside of the store environment.

Collectively, there was much excitement about the availability of the new social functionality, metro apps, and messaging extensions, and there is much that they can all embrace from these new features and developments in the coming months.

With guest and customer presentations complete, Karen closed the Forum by updating attendees on development plans for the balance of 2022 and 2023, covering further enhancements to the platform alongside new features and functions on all Metro main lines, Metro Comms, Process, People, Print and Activity Planner.

In addition, further developments are imminent in the Metro Apps world, increasing the front-line workers’ functions and experience.

In closing, she highlighted that the continued participation of the RMS customer base cements the development of new modules and features; these have always been the catalyst for product enhancements.

It goes without saying that the day had been informative and enjoyable (if, at times, a little hot!) and that the consumption of ice lollies at Castle Malwood had outstripped sales expectations across Hampshire’s Retail Sector!

The guest and customer speakers and breakout presentations were superb. The evening event with recognition awards was the most exciting and best way to round off an exceptional day.

We cannot wait to welcome everyone back next year!

Recognition Awards:

The last two years have been challenging and exceptional for all of us.

At RMS, we felt that a formal panel and ‘normal’ approach to our awards ceremony would not encapsulate what we have all been through.

This year we want to celebrate some very special uses of Metro and hear our customers’ stories of how they discovered ways to respond to these circumstances. Ultimately, we could not recognise everyone in the room, but we had some highlights. We want to thank every customer, every user and every participant in the Metro world. Without you, Metro would not exist.

Join us next year to do it all again – Registration is open now!


Event Photo Gallery:

“The balance was just right – more of the same, don’t change a thing!”

“As always the lunch and evening provided suitable time for networking.”

“First rate – enjoyed meeting other Metro users, and see how they use the platform”

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