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LONDON, United Kingdom -- In an effort to have its store managers spend more time out on the sales floor, International retail chain Tesco is deploying mobile office solutions at approximately half of its UK stores.
The retailer is now using Symbol Technologies' MC50 enterprise digital assistant (EDA) handheld devices which enable store managers to stay connected to email and other business-essential IT applications while away from their desks. Tesco has equipped its store managers with Symbol MC50 EDAs with Microsoft Windows Mobile software across 750 of its 1300 UK outlets. The familiar platform Windows platform makes is easy for Tesco to integrate the MC50 devices into its existing IT infrastructure, ensuring minimal roll-out maintenance and training costs.
"Using Symbol MC50s will help managers spend more time on the selling floor while still remaining connected to essential IT applications," said Simon Hick, project manager at Tesco. "The use of email on the shop floor frees around seven to eight hours of a store manager's time per week."
Tesco chose the MC50 EDA unit for its durability and a built-in bar code scanner and voice communication capabilities, according to Symbol. These features enable managers to have the ability to conduct activities on the sales floor that previously would have required a visit to the back office, such as email access, pricing checks, reviewing store sales reports, or checking an item or category performance.
Tesco is planning to develop and roll out more Microsoft.NET-based solutions on the MC50 enterprise digital assistant over the next three months. Additional business-essential applications will utilize the MC50's voice over IP (VoIP) capabilities to provide voice services. Tesco is also looking to trial the Symbol MC50-based solution to departmental heads in store before the end of the year.
Tesco is considering adding current desktop applications to the Symbol MC50 device to support customers, finance, and operations. This service is currently anticipated to be available by the end of November.