Department Store Case Study - Fields of Sidmouth

Originally established more than 150 years ago, Fields is one of the best known high street names in Sidmouth and Axminster and their four branches are now the only department store in the busy West Country towns.


The Problem

Fields’ Micro Retailer system has been in place for some 15 years but with the original Novell platform no longer being developed and programme support being withdrawn, continuing with such an outdated and inflexible system became increasingly costly and problematic.


The Solution

Fields decided their ideal system had to meet a range of different criteria and a number were evaluated and rejected on the grounds of cost, inherent unsuitability and lack of robust support.

In contrast, the Swan system was in an active stage of development and not only offered the company the maximum amount of flexibility, but also gave them a unique opportunity to influence the way the solution evolved with new advances such as we-store interface, integration with AIS systems and warehouse replenishment all adding to the comprehensive capability of the system.

While a few problems were encountered during installation, all of these were quickly identified and successfully resolved and the system went live in all four stores within 3 months, giving Fields the seamless integration of their till operations, stock management and financial functions that is of substantial benefit in a fiercely competitive retail environment.


The Result

The improvements and advantages were both immediate and impressive with touch screens transforming till operation, reporting becoming infinitely more coherent and flexible and numerous manual processes being automated with consequent increases in efficiency and cost effectiveness. The amount of paper print-outs was massively reduced while the facility for electronic import and export of data, along with the ability to store and retrieve it all, made both day-to-day management and strategic planning much more simple, straightforward and productive.


“Swan proved themselves friendly, adaptable and extremely helpful - listening to and acting on our suggestions to give us a system with the scaleable and sustainable performance that will deliver real and ongoing benefits” Tim Spores, Director, Fields