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+Last year saw Tesco consolidate its dominance as the world’s third largest grocery retailer, both domestically and overseas in the US, Europe and Asia. Despite recent trading updates that indicate challenging economic times are having a direct impact on consumer incomes and slowing growth in its booming non-food business, Tesco has largely bucked the downward trend in UK-based retailers’ profits. They were up 5.7 per cent before tax during 2007/8 for the group, with total sales increasing 11.1 per cent to £5.2 billion. A standardised and reusable IT infrastructure lies at the heart of its international growth. Getting to grips with its global organisation from a central and local perspective has characterised much of the IT investment building on its infrastructure goals. For example, the retailer has expanded its use of supplier management software to reduce supplier setup lead times. Having originally used the software to accelerate the implementation of its new Oracle 11i procure-to-pay and financial back office systems for goods and services not for resale, it is now using the software to streamline its overall supplier management. Oracle has always featured heavily in its IT environment and last year it completed the strategic, global roll out of Oracle Retail Planning systems across the world to match local needs with product assortments. With non-food sales increasing five-fold in the past six years to reach £6.8 billion, Tesco’s merchandising department was still heavily reliant on spreadsheets three years ago, when it began its initial deployment. It also extended its applications management outsourcing contract with Indian provider, Xansa in a deal worth £18 million. The supermarket giant said it would use the further reduction in the cost of core UK and Ireland IT operations anticipated with the three-year deal extension to focus investment on extending its retail offering and improving customer experience. Most recently, Tesco signed a five-year,...
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