Belk Dramatically Cuts Printing by Adding In-Store Signage Solution

Belk manages its in-store signage with Retail Enterprise Suite Episys and has already seen a reduction of approximately 30-40% in signage printing. Belk replaced a largely manual and time-consuming series of processes in favor of an integrated, automated solution from Episys.

"A lot of the initial features that were appealing to us related to the solution's ability to offer integration with other systems, including pricing and inventory, and the possibility of printing in-store," says Janetha Jones, business systems analyst for the signage application at Belk.

Prior to implementing the solution, Belk used hand written requests for signage, and sent to an external company that created a PDF, which was then manually printed and these were sent to stores based on a spreadsheet. This method took a great deal of time and effort. Belk then tried a different process, using a Lotus Notes based application, with the templates designed in Quark, but it turned out be a very slow system, with which it was difficult to customize or integrate.

Benefits of the Retail Enterprise Suite solution include the more descriptive information on signage, including product detail and benefits, which act as a "silent salesman." Other benefits have included simplifying the spooling process. Previously this was done manually, with a user having to click and spool on each and every store before being able to print the signage. Now spooling is done by the system automatically in the background.

Jones continued, "One of our biggest wins has been library signs, where at the start of a season we are now able to send the stores a set of signs for each applicable product with appropriate prices depending on the type of promotion being run at any time. This has reduced the number of signs we print by 30 to 40%. We will get a further reduction when we implement inventory integration and only send signs to stores that have the merchandise."
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