Seeing if That Suit Is in Stock? Anthony Squires Has iPhone-i App for That
July 20, 2010 Alex Woodie
Answering customer questions about which particular items of men’s clothing are in stock will be easier now that the Australian retailer Anthony Squires has developed an iPhone application for checking inventory. The new application, which was developed using IBM “i” technology from looksoftware, will cut down on time-consuming calls to the head office, and lead to increased sales and happier customers, the company hopes.
Before the iPhone application, employees of Anthony Squires did not have a good, reliable way of getting information about the location of items. For example, if a customer was interested in an extra wide black sport jacket and it wasn’t in stock at that particular location, the store staff member would have to put in a call to Anthony Squires headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, and hope that somebody there had the time to query the company’s IBM i-based server to see if that item was available in another store or in the company’s warehouse.
As one would expect, this process was time-consuming and led to lost sales, according to looksoftware, which is also based in Melbourne and announced the customer win last week.
Anthony Squires brought in looksoftware to develop a new application that allows store employees to check availability of items through an iPhone interface to the back-end IBM i-based system. The technology utilizes IBM i-based lookserver technology, as well as its recently developed iPhone client technology.
After a successful phase one, iPhones loaded with the item-availability app were distributed to all 18 Anthony Squires stores and concessions, as well as the company’s state sales managers. The wider roll-out also added new features, such as the capability to place orders and track store transfers.
Anthony Squires IT manager Rod Riley says he is enthralled with the new app, especially since it addressed a long-standing business problem, and did so quite quickly and at a reasonable cost.
“Menswear retail is a very old and traditional profession,” Riley states in a press release. “However having looksoftware’s toolset available at such a competitive price and speed of implementation has allowed us to operate at the cutting edge of technology, instead of just reading about it,” he says.
It has also reduced the cost of opening new Anthony Squires retail locations, which the head office is sure to love.