Every speaker was brilliant. It was great to get ideas from other retailers. And playing connect 4 was also a favourite!

The general feel and ambience of day made it a great experience and opportunity to gain some insights

Really good – the customer sessions were great to see others’ journeys, and refreshing to hear from the sponsors.

Metro Forum 2023 – Connecting, Collaborating, Celebrating

RMS hosted their 18th Annual User Forum on Thursday, 6th July, and were again fortunate with the weather, thankfully enjoying slightly cooler conditions than the previous year, where the event took place on one of the hottest days on record!

This year’s Forum was held on what were the old tennis courts at Castle Malwood due to our usual location on the South lawn being out of bounds thanks to (of all things) an invasion of moles, causing uneven terrain! 

The Forum began as always, with a cordial greeting from Karen Dyke and Rob Morgan. It swiftly moved on to a comprehensive program featuring industry experts, sponsor representatives, and customer presentations.

Keynote Speakers:

Gareth Harvey
Director of Behavioural Science at DECIDE

Chartered Psychologist Gareth had us fascinated with his insight into human behaviour as he illustrated and explained how merchandising, pricing and marketing all work together to influence customer buying decisions.

To learn more about how to drive your shopper’s decision-making, take a look here:

Jennifer Sproul
CEO, The Institute of Internal Communication

In a forum exclusive, Jen shared with us the headlines from its first-ever Internal Communication Index, developed in partnership with Ipsos Karian and Box. This study aims to identify what employees across the UK want and need from their internal communications function. Jen explains how IC teams can positively impact employees and what organisations need for workers to recommend their organisation as a great workplace.

You can download a free copy of the IC index here:
IC Index 2023 IoIC, The Institute of Internal Communication.

Diane Wehrle
Marketing & Insights Director at Springboard

Diane shared her current analysis of trends in retail and footfall, pre and post-pandemic, explaining drivers of footfall trends and how Springboards technology, ranging from video-based technology to Wifi and Geolocation data, is helping organisations identify footfall, capture rates, dwell times, and demographics to understanding the path of movement around a store, including determining where your visitors live and where they travel from.

To learn more about how Springboard can help your business increase conversion, measure the impact of products & services, and enhance current performance, take a look here: Springboard | Retail Footfall Counter And In-Store Analytics (spring-board.info)

Customer Speakers:


Kicking off in pole position, this year’s customer speakers were Rhys Williams (Group Continuous Improvement Manager), Nick Chapman (Group Operations Implementation Manager) and Will Burrows (Group Operational Excellence & Continuous Improvement Manager) from Halfords. Having recently partnered with RMS to digitise its store processes and efficiently manage communication, task management, and compliance across its store estate, they explained how their Digital Model Week has streamlined daily operations and ensured compliance with real-time visibility and reporting.

New Look

Next up was New Look, one of RMS’ oldest customers, who had recently moved off RMS’ legacy Ops Director product and migrated to Metro. The move has brought New Look many new features, including offering video content, the complete automation of Helpdesk requests, capturing comments and reactions, operating on smartphones and enhancing creative control. Ben Morgan (Central Operations Communication Manager) and Emma Gardner (Retail Programme & Planning Manager) generously shared the journey they have been on since 2003. 


Taking us up to lunch, we welcomed to the stage Stacy Meyrick (Senior Scheduling Project Manager) and Chantelle Hoal (Senior Project Manager, Central Operations) from Dunelm, sharing how for the past nine years, they have been using Metro’s People Suite and explained how it has supported the optimisation of scheduling and workforce management and also adapted to fit the evolving needs of the business and their colleagues. The session presented many ‘attendee only’ insights ranging from Top Requirements to Future Developments.


Breakout Sessions:

  • Metro V4– this session looked at the evolution of Metro Foundation and Unified Comms
  • Metro Comms – this session examined the next generation of Metro Self-Service and Engagement. We also debuted the highly anticipated corporate chat functionality. 

  • Metro Activity Planner – this session looked at Metro’s project planning toolset, including its latest capacity/impact management enhancements.
  • Metro Apps – this session looked at the latest functions and features of the Metro Apps family, including Metro Self Sevice, Metro Time, Store Visits and Metro Teams.
  • Metro Process – this session looked at the wealth of Metro process modules including Helpdesk, Date Rotation, Audits, Ordering and Equipment checks, just to name a few!

  • Metro Quick Wins – this session highlighted a range of quick wins and how to get the best out of what is already at your fingertips.
  • Metro Print – this session looked at our print functionality, including how it enables stores to print SELs, Barkers, Talkers, Stack Tickets, and Stickers and take in-store ticketing to the next level with the latest data enhancements that revolutionise the customer experience.

In Conversation With:

Our next customer presentation came as an ‘on the couch’ conversation with Jayne Robinson-Randell (Retail Systems Programme Manager) and Matt Turner (Head of Funeral Services) from Southern Co-op, explaining how Metro delivers significant benefits across multiple trading groups, including the society’s Food, End of Life, Cobra Coffee and Franchise divisions.

In a change to our planned agenda, our final customer presentation came as a discussion panel consisting of Wayne Lucas, Central Operations Manager from Schuh, Amy Ward from Dunelm, Laura O’Neil and Imogen Kenny from The Entertainer. Answering questions on AI and how they see it impacting their companies, sector and roles, this session was incredibly insightful. Additionally, the conversation covered the advantages of attending the RMS Forum, the benefits of having Team Metro and understanding how what they had seen during the day would help them do business better.

Many thanks to our Sponsors:

Recognition Awards:

As in previous years, RMS wanted to recognise some exceptional uses of Metro and celebrate how our customers innovate and use our technology within their business. Ultimately, we could only recognise some in the room, but we had some highlights. We extend our gratitude to each and every customer, user, and participant in the Metro ecosystem. Without your involvement, Metro wouldn’t be what it is today.


Event Photo Gallery:

Thank You!

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. On behalf of RMS, thank you for attending.

 We will be holding Metro Forum 2024 on Thursday June 27th at Castle Malwood. To register, please click here!

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