London, England – March 6, 2012– Torex Retail Holdings Ltd., a European market leader for store systems in retail, hospitality, convenience and fuel markets announces Apple® iPad® and HTML5 support for its Furniture Retail System (FRS) 8.7.0 release, due this summer and based on the recently announced Genero 2.40.
“Torex are under pressure from FRS customers to move towards mobile and web based devices. We made this our priority as it's the first step in a new generation of applications that take us to the Cloud,” said Andrew Bee, Senior Analyst Programmer, Torex Ltd
Bee was particularly impressed with the clean look and feel of HTML5 and its customization capabilities.
“HTML5 is clearly the way forward for us – we tested on Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera. Despite all the caveats, we can use it in production now,” said Bee.
|Sample FRS 8.7.0 screens using HTML5|
The Power of Simplicity
Bee was an active participant in the Genero 2.40 Early Access Program and is an ardent believer in the Four Js ‘Power of Simplicity’ tagline.
“We have been amazed over the years how much code we have been able to remove from our original 4GL program – Genero now does so much behind the scenes and 2.40 continues in that vein. Rarely do we need to amend or append our code to take advantage of new releases. In fact we can usually simplify it.
“The new 2.40 ‘find and search’ features in 'display' and 'input' arrays are good examples of this. Previously we had developed this ourselves. Now we can rip out that code and use the built-in feature. It greatly simplifies life, making maintenance much easier. But it also benefits the user. An example is displaying available stock in the showroom, where there can be literally hundreds of lines in an array. This new feature eliminates the need to scroll, increasing responsiveness to ad hoc customer requests.
“It’s especially true too for Genero's Web Services, which have enabled us to “ditch” thousands of line of Java code that required specialist staff to maintain. We bring it all within the Genero application with minimal coding, or even understanding of how it works – it just works. We now have no Java or “C” programs linked to our FRS application – Genero does it all.
"Genero's Web services wizard helped saved well over 90% of that Java code. The finance houses simply supply us with a WSDL, which Genero neatly translates for us directly into 4GL code. Then all we do are function calls passing the variables and reading back the responses.
When asked about the Cloud, Bee felt that the model fit the sector well.
"Retail historically works on very tight margins and this is only exacerbated by the current financial crisis - I sense the business need converging with the technology to make it a real alternative solution. If I can reduce the need for on-site hardware, administration and specialised facilities, then that is giving me a real edge. And it greatly simplifies high-availability and disaster recovery. There's pent up demand for the Cloud and I know we can interest a different segment of the market with it. It's our natural 'next step'.
About Furniture Retail System
FRS was first written in 1991 and modernized with Four Js Business Development Suite in 2001. The Genero implementation took place in 2007. It uses IBM® Informix® Dynamic Server.
FRS is a fully featured system for furniture retailers, whose customers include Furniture Village, Barker & Stonehouse, Sterling Furniture, Alan Ward, Fairway Furniture, Peter Green and Scope Furnishings to name but a few.
FRS performs real-time sales order processing, unit stock control, purchase ordering for sales departments and the showroom including electronic order transmission to suppliers. In this case, FRS sends HTML formatted purchase orders generated by Genero Report Writer via email directly to suppliers from within the application.
The sales order module has a built-in quotation system that links via Web services to on-line finance houses such as Barclays, Hitachi and LaSer. This means that customer details need only be entered once for the finance agreement and the sales order. Sales orders are fulfilled in real-time, which if needed, will generate the supplier purchase order for goods that are out of stock. The customer delivery scheduling system uses SMS text messaging and email for immediate customer notification. The after sales customer care system monitors and controls repairs and replacements.
About Torex Retail Holdings Ltd.
1,150 Torex people help over 6,000 businesses serve their customers every year, in over 30 countries. Over the last year Torex has supported the launch of the PizzaExpress' ground-breaking voucher scheme and PayPal app, helped Mothercare to manage its franchise stock with Merchandise Planning and showed independent convenience retailers how to reap up to 2% improvement in margin. Its client list includes market leaders such as B&Q, River Island, Lloydspharmacy, Mitchells & Butlers, PizzaExpress, Costa Coffee, The Co-operative, Martin McColl, MRH, Londis, Hema and Deichmann.
Torex provides outlet and head office technology to its core markets globally, through a mix of software, hardware, consultancy, implementation, maintenance and services. Its technology ranges from Point-of-Sale to solutions which help customers deal with merchandise planning, business analytics, loss prevention and multi-channel trading. It also provides consumer-facing solutions for e-commerce, vouchering, loyalty programmes and integration with social media networks.
This technology and expertise together provide a number of benefits including smoother processes, operational efficiencies, seamless employee management, better customer service, allowing customers to keep up with consumer trends and stay ahead of the competition and improve profitability.
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Torex is a registered trademark of Torex Retail Holdings Ltd.