Sue Ryder is a registered British charity dedicated to offering palliative, neurological and bereavement support. It was founded in 1953 by Lady Sue Ryder, a humanitarian who dedicated her life to the relief of suffering. Today the charity supports its activities with fundraising campaigns, donations, and with the profits from the retail side of the business.
Sue Ryder runs a retail chain of just over 420 charity shops which sell a large variety of new and donated items, from second-hand clothing, to furniture, to white goods and even food items. The company’s strategy is to distance its shops from traditional charity stores, offering instead a modern shopping experience with large shops in primary locations like retail parks, stocked with high-quality goods at a good price. The company also sells items via an online store and on eBay marketplace.
When Sue Ryder decided to upgrade the IT technology in the retail side of the business, they had two key goals: efficiency, and cost effectiveness.
As a charity that relies on supporters for their funding, Sue Ryder is understandably very cost conscious. “Our whole reason for being here is to make money to do good things, to support our healthcare directorate. So when we selected a new IT system, it was very important to us that we would get value for money,” says Ralph Larcombe, EPoS Systems Manager at Sue Ryder.
At Sue Ryder, the revenue from retail sales goes entirely into the care side of the business. For that reason, the company needed a system that would enable them to optimize their retail offering, so that they could maximize sales and revenue while keeping as little money tied into stock as possible.
The company’s stores are mostly manned by volunteers, who can range from sixteen-year-olds looking for retail experience to retirees well into their eighties. With a fluctuating workforce of different ages, Sue Ryder also needed to find a system that would be easy to use, requiring minimum training.
After investigating several alternatives, Sue Ryder selected LS Retail software, based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP.
The decision to implement LS Retail software was based on several factors:
This implementation is one of the largest capital projects is Sue Ryder’s history, especially in IT technology. The business case was audited by Sue Ryder’s Trustees, who made sure that the project would provide the needed ROI to the company.
Sue Ryder was supported in its implementation by TNP (The NAV|365 People), a UK-based IT consultancy and LS Retail partner. “We have a very small IT team, so TNP’s support has been invaluable to us,” says Larcombe. "The teams at TNP are engaged, and they know what we require. They’ll pick up the phone and suggest things that may work better for us. It's a true partnership, they support us, and we feel like they’re not in it for the money – they’re in it to help us get what we need for our business.”
Today, all the Sue Ryder stores run on LS Retail technology. The company has experienced several benefits from its new technology:
“The LS Retail software solutions has enhanced our shops,” says Larcombe.
Sue Ryder plans to delve further into the system’s functionality. “We are looking into the LS Retail promotions and offers modules. We have just scratched the surface with what we can do with our new system,” Larcombe says.
The LS Retail solution has made work in the shops easier. We can see what products we have available and make judgments, like understanding what we need to buy, that increase our profit.Ralph Larcombe, EPoS Systems Manager at Sue Ryder
The NAV | 365 People are one of the UK's top resellers of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics NAV, providing support, services, training and enhancements for all users.Connect