Channel Island Co-operative Society Case Study

Established in 1919, The Channel Islands Co-operative Society (CICS) is a retail business dedicated to the principle of co-operative trade, returning profit to shareholders in respect to their purchases and where all members have an equal vote on Society policy at the AGM. CICS is one of the largest employers in the Channel Islands with 1,200 people serving customers with a wide range of products at 21 food stores including 6 with petrol stations, 13 post offices, 2 department stores, 2 travel agents, a sports shop and specialist funeral parlour.

To keep operations running smoothly and offer a consistently good service to staff and customers at all times, CICS has recently invested in new IT service management and Self-Service technology from Sunrise Software. After reviewing several vendors in the marketplace, CICS selected Sunrise primarily after reading how Vision Express one of the UK’s most trusted opticians, had successfully deployed its technology.

According to Mike Guest, Head of IT for The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, “If Sunrise could do such a good job for Vision Express with 500 locations, we were absolutely confident they would deliver the same excellent results for us. Sunrise met all our requirements, the right functionality at the right price with the added bonus of being flexible enough to support our many business operations, not just IT.”

In August 2010, CICS installed Sunrise Software’s IT service management and Self-Service solutions to replace the previously time-consuming process of relying on pens, paper and Excel spreadsheets to support 500 PC users across 25 locations in the Channel Islands.

Download the pdf case study to learn how CICS have gone beyond IT and use the IT Service Desk software to support other business functions, including Facilities, customer service, loss prevention and more.

Read the case study here:
Established in 1919, The Channel Islands Co-operative Society (CICS) is a retail business dedicated to the
principle of co-operative trade, returning profit to shareholders in respect to their purchases and where all members have an equal vote on Society policy at the AGM. CICS is one of the largest employers in the Channel Islands with 1,200 people serving customers with a wide range of products at 21 food stores including 6 with petrol stations, 13 post offices, 2 department stores, 2 travel agents, a sports shop and specialist funeral parlour. Offering good service at all times To keep operations running smoothly and offer a consistently good service to staff and customers at all times, CICS has recently invested in new IT Service Management and Self-Service technology from Sunrise Software. In August 2010, CICS installed Sunrise Software’s Sostenuto IT Service Management and Chameleon Self-Service solutions to replace the previously time-consuming process of relying on pens, paper and Excel spreadsheets to support 500 PC users across 25 locations in the Channel Islands. Creating transparency, boosting IT efficiency
Sostenuto now captures 100% of IT incidents ensuring all receive prompt attention. What is more, staff are encouraged to log their issues – everything from PCs to requests from the Store Development team for extra EPoS terminals when new check-out areas are built – via the Chameleon Self-Service portal. This boosts IT operations and customer service considerably as Rem Floris, IS Support Analyst at The Channel Islands Co-operative explains, “Not
only does Self-Service save time and reduce the number of calls coming into the Service Desk but it tangibly improves customer satisfaction by giving users complete visibility, for the first time ever, of how their incidents are being handled and the ability to track progress from beginning to end.”
The results of a recent user satisfaction survey speak for themselves. Since introducing Self-Service, 87% of users claim the system is easy to use, simple to log calls, the control of support calls is far better and it is welcomed by other parts of the business. A further 91% appreciate the ability to track the progress of their calls and have noticed faster response times.
Improving business processes across the board
Since implementing Sostenuto, the IT Operations department at CICS has been able to introduce a sophisticated business tool that encourages best practice ways of working and supports many parts of the organisation through
one single point of contact. Take the Facilities department. As a fresh food store business, The Channel Islands Co-operative relies on efficient refrigeration and air conditioning units to guarantee excellent products at all outlets. Now, if a fridge breaks down in a store, staff can simply log the asset number of the fridge into the Sostenuto system. This automatically flags up the breakdown by email to CICS’ third party maintenance contractor, Jersey Electricity, who is able to respond to technical issues more promptly and minimise loss of revenues for their customer. Mike, Rem and the rest of the IT team plan to expand this third party optimisation to other external corporate contractors to measure the performance of their supplier base and so continually improve customer service. Already, Retail Computer Solutions, CICS’ main retail software supplier has access to Sostenuto to enable seamless support to end users.
Configurability is critical to success Sostenuto’s extensive capability to be configured and adapted has made the deployed solution a real success at CICS, a sentiment backed up by Rem Floris, “What is really good about Sostenuto is its flexibility. You can tweak it to do whatever you want, very quickly. Customisation is very important to us. We are a quirky organisation and like the freedom to develop our own services that best match our business needs.”
CICS has configured the Sostenuto platform in a number of creative and ingenious ways that underpin the Society’s customer care, security and retail operations. Today, all external requests are logged in Sostenuto, enabling the customer service department to deal with everything from complaints to members of the public enquiring about potential job opportunities. When it comes to security, the loss prevention team can now record important security incidents such as shoplifting or drive-offs at petrol stations in a specially designed template that helps the local police requesting CCTV footage or detailed information for crime reports. Furthermore, whenever CICS plans to announce special offers or discounts at its stores, it can test product scanning codes and record incidents of where codes do not work before launching the initiatives publicly thus guaranteeing a superior customer experience at the checkout.
Best practice supports compliance with industry standards
In an industry where the use of Chip and PIN devices poses a real and constant threat to credit card fraud, The Channel Island Co-op takes customer security very seriously. The Society has taken advantage of Sostenuto’s Change Management functionality to comply with stringent Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. By tracking the asset numbers of every Chip and PIN device used and then recording all changes and replacements made to those terminals, CICS can confidently keep an accurate audit trail and present the necessary reports required by the PCI
Security Standards Council.
Rosy future
Next on the horizon is expanding the use of the Sunrise solution to support the Society’s Health & Safety initiatives, expense order process and point-of-sale requests. Mike Guest concludes, “Sostenuto’s reporting capabilities are second to none. The solution is clever enough to spot trends and enables us to prioritise and tackle any areas of weakness immediately. It’s also an excellent strategic tool giving us the hard evidence we need to drive forward business change and support industry compliance. We deal with many suppliers and Sunrise, with its first-rate technology and professional, accommodating team, is definitely up there with the best of them.” 

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