Woolworths deploys 890 iPads for 'happier' store managers

Woolworths deploys 890 iPads for 'happier' store managers

Summary: The supermarket chain has given store managers across the country 3G-enabled iPads to reduce the time they have to spend doing tedious administration work in back offices.

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Supermarket giant Woolworths has rolled out Apple iPads to its 890 store managers across the country.

Woolworths ran an iPad pilot program with 90 area managers 12 months ago to resounding success, and last week decided to go ahead with a wider implementation program, as first reported by The Australian.

One of the biggest time wasters for Woolworths store managers is administration tasks, such as back-end reporting and stock management. Previously, these were performed through desktops in back offices.

The third-generation 3G-enabled 16GB iPads, deployed on 17 August, have been filled with bespoke applications that allow store managers to do those tedious administration tasks as they roam around their store floor.

Woolworths estimates that this will save 20 per cent of store managers' time per week, and will improve customer satisfaction, because the managers will have more time to help the customers, which will translate to "millions" in savings.

"The whole reason for doing this, is a well run supermarket has a happy store manager. There was a lot of frustration with the amount of time store managers were having to spend at the back office," Woolworths spokesperson Kristen Young told ZDNet Australia. "We just want to make our store managers happier."

While most of the apps were developed in-house through Google Apps, Woolworths did team up with Cognizant Technology to develop Tap for Support, an app that simplifies the process for calling in maintenance help at the supermarket's store fronts.

Hardware was supplied directly by Apple, while Optus is the network provider for the 3G iPads.

Optus also worked with Woolworths to implement a mobile device management (MDM) tool, to make it easier for the supermarket to push app updates and remotely wipe devices once they are lost.

Topics: Apple, Apps, Google, Mobility, Australia

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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6 comments
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  • Wow what a shame they rushed it and chose an overly expensive

    solution. Also surprizing to hear they are using 3G. Dont they have wifi in their facilities?
    Johnny Vegas
    • About that 3G selection

      Don't forget that these were given to "Managers". I suspect that they would be allowed to take them home with them.

      3G might come in handy while they were "on the road" or away from their desks and needed something checked or an action performed.
      kenosha77a
    • 3G

      3G is required so managers can log in from HOME.

      This means that any time of the day, a manager is always in touch.

      So much for "balance between life and work".
      ovazu
  • BUT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO WAIT FOR MICROSOFT SURFACE!!!!!

    HOW WILL MICROSOFT SELL ANY SURFACE TABLETS IF COMPANIES DON'T WAIT, AND KEEP BUYING EXISTING PRODUCTS INSTEAD!? IT'S SO UNFAIR!!!!
    ldo17
  • Woolworths deploys 890 iPads for 'happier' store managers

    Just a fad that Woolworths bought into. Lets see what the ROI is for this and if the managers actually use them for the intended purpose or if they will just be web browsing on it. Can't wait for that new toy feeling to wear off then we'll see what really happens. Woolworths fell victim to another case of solution without a problem.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Woolworths went out of business

    Uhhhh ummmm Woolworths went out of business in July 1997
    peterro@...