The Mothercare and Early Learning Centre brands are synonymous with children and parenting. Both brands carry with them a reputation for specialism, quality, safety and innovation in providing products and services for mothers, mothers-to-be, babies and young children. Both are committed to offering customers a multichannel shopping environment through retail stores, catalogues and the internet.
Mothercare has awarded retail systems experts PMC, a three-year contract to handle testing services for the EPoS systems that cover both Mothercare and Early Learning Centre stores. The two brands use different EPoS systems - Mothercare uses BT Expedite STORE6 and the Early Learning Centre uses Torex Powerstore.
Richard Godfray, Head of IT Services at Mothercare states: "The contract covers a range of testing services that ensure our EPoS systems are fully tested and accredited before they get in front of the customer. That's important, because the last situation any retailer wants is to 'test' on it's customers."
PMC's extensive testing expertise of over 15 different EPoS systems enables them to quickly come up to speed to meet retailers' testing needs.
Andy Hicketts, Client Services Director, PMC states: "Our testing, while regression-based, uses confidence tests and targeted functional testing to suit the customer release. This ensures our testing service remains cost and time effective, while protecting the in-store customer experience. Whenever there's a change to an established process we use a regression-based approach to check that introducing something new will not adversely affect the system. It's a check and measure on PMC and it ensures the integrity of a system."
Godfray continues: "Every time there's a software release, not only does PMC create scripts to test the new functionality, they also run an update on the regression packs to ensure that our mission-critical EPoS runs as before."
Sarah Wilders, IT Project Manager at Mothercare states: "Mothercare has long known PMC. Appointing them to handle our testing was the next logical step in our relationship. The key point is our experience of working with PMC. We know the calibre of their retail knowledge and expertise across all areas of retail IT."
PMC provides Mothercare with testing services based on a flexible service model. This allows Mothercare to purchase a number of testing days each year, delivered primarily from PMC's Abingdon Test Facility. Mothercare use the service as needed in line with their fast changing retail programme.
Godfray closes: "It's PMC's job to ensure they have 'Mothercare-savvy' people when we need them. To provide the support offered by PMC would mean Mothercare recruiting an in-house team that could often be underused. PMC's approach allows us continuity of resource without the need to employ permanent people."