Time Computers will test an in-store downloading and burning software replication system in three stores over the next three months. Following the trial period, the company will decide whether to roll it out to its entire retail network.
The SoftWide distribution system, from Tribeka Ltd, provides a catalogue of "thousands of different software titles," which customers can browse and choose. The selection is then pressed onto CD while the manual and CD cover are printed. Time believes the whole process will take less than 10 minutes.
Time says this will avoid the regular hassles of distribution, purchasing and planning; and give its customers a cost-saving as well as a wider range of software to choose from.
Should the system prove to be successful, especially through the peak Christmas period, the retailer will start a countrywide rollout early next year.
Time is also mulling a change in its post-sales support, in which the bulk of the head office support operation would be moved back to an in-store operation, especially for front line support (installation and software issues), which apparently form the bulk of support issues. Should the new structure be decided upon, the rollout will happen within the next few weeks.
Last week the company also restructured its retail sales management, reducing its geographical retail region split from seven to four. The new areas are simply: London, North, Midlands and South.
Time insists that no redundancies were created from any of the changes. The retail area managers that no longer have areas to manage are being offered other roles within the company. ®