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2022: The One Where We…

  • 20th December 2022

Written by Andréa Williams, Head of Marketing

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2022 was the year we were allowed to leave our homes! Lionel Messi won his first World Cup, a record breaking 40 degrees heatwave hit the UK, we didn’t come last in Eurovision and the Lionesses brought it home.

So as we all start to wind down for Christmas, it gives us a chance to reflect on the year we’ve also had and a few of our own headlines.

January: East Midlands Leadership Awards Finalists

Three of our colleagues were shortlisted for the East Midlands Leadership Awards, hosted by

  • Samantha Wilde was a finalist for ‘Young Leader’
  • Tony Sherwin was a finalist for ‘Professional Services Leader’
  • Roland Kendall was a finalist for ‘Transformational Leader’

East Midlands Leadership Awards 2022

Sam, Tony and Roland made the shortlist thanks to their ability to make real difference, bring positive change and inspire those around them.

February: We welcomed Lewis to the Help Desk team

Lewis McManamon joined the Help Desk as Service Delivery Manager in December. After giving him a few weeks to settle in, we sat down for a chat with him to find out more about him and his role. Now part of the furniture, Lewis has grown the team, introducing Camila Cotting and Francesco DeVivo to the Customer Assurance team.

March: International Women’s Day

Celebrating the social, political and economic achievements of women, this year’s theme was #BreakTheBias as we all continue to consider how we as individuals, organisations and communities can raise awareness against bias, take action for equality and celebrate women’s achievements.

Only 27% of female students say they would consider a career in technology, compared to 61% of males, and only 3% say it is their first choice. So, on International Women’s Day 2022 we spoke to Jan and Liz, two brilliant women in technology roles at Retail Assist, to find out how they got into tech and their advice for anyone considering a career in technology.

April: Friday Shoutouts

In an effort to celebrate the small wins as well as the big ones, we launched Friday Shoutouts. A forum for showing appreciation for hard work, effort, progression or achievements in the Retail Assist team shared across the whole company every Friday; here are some of our highlights:

  • Silvia Edosomwan received a shoutout from Elsa Darkwah: She is always coming to work with determination and willingness to do things! She is very motivated and resilient.
  • Marek Pich received a shoutout from Andy McQueen: For going the extra mile and attending site over the weekend for a P1 issue, helping to put a workaround in place, and then playing a big part of resolving the issue. Great work, thank you!
  • Karen Gregory received a shoutout from Kieran Bowden: Karen has been parachuted into a significant number of new projects and onboarding work over the past few weeks thanks to new business coming our way. These deliverables are not always fully formed, but Karen does an incredible job of giving them shape, pulling together the troops and always delivering. Thank you so much for steering these so well and making sure we deliver a quality product. Much appreciated!
  • Sherralyn Freely received a shoutout from Gareth Thorley: Sherralyn has been working extremely hard, learning and absorbing so much information and creating procedures, whilst still looking after support calls. Awesome work!!!

May: Paperchase upgraded their infrastructure to allow for growth

Earlier in the year, Paperchase worked with Retail Assist to deliver future capacity for growth by undertaking a full upgrade of the infrastructure and operating system that underpins its omnichannel supply chain solution, Merret, which is also provided by us.

Paperchase commented: “As a result of the upgrade we now have minimal downtime, and much quicker overnight schedules. It has removed many of our time-consuming administrative tasks, clearing disk space. The new system has surpassed our expectations in terms of speed and availability. It has given us a brilliant foundation on which to proceed and focus on our future growth and development as a business”.

June: Round Table: Retail and hospitality have new opportunities to grasp

Experts from across the region joined us at The Magic Garden in Nottingham to discuss the way forward for the retail sector in terms of how to balance technology and provide a seamless customer experience.

The Business Desk & Retail Assist Round Table

Kieran Bowden, chief commercial officer of Retail Assist, said: “The retail and hospitality sector was hit harder than most, but now buyer and consumer behaviours have changed. Through this change however, there are new market opportunities to take”.

Read more about how city centres adapt to new working practices and changing consumer habits here.

July: We met George, our new Client Account Manager

Giving a true Retail Assist welcome (or welcome back in this case), we followed George for the morning and asked him lots of questions about his experience, his top tips and most importantly, what his go-to meal deal is!

August: We moved, and we were shortlisted for the Business Masters Awards

In August we moved out of our Head Office, our home for the last 13 years. Luckily it wasn’t too much of a trek as we moved down a floor in our building. This was a big change for us as our Help Desk and central operations now all sit under one roof with a fancy new kitchen and colourful meeting rooms. Check out the pictures:

Retail Assist Office

Retail Assist also made the shortlist for the East Midlands Business Desk Business Masters Awards for Medium Business! Each year the East Midlands Business Desk attract the most successful and inspirational companies across the region to celebrate business excellence.

September: Client Summit and The Big Hospitality Expo

September was a busy month for events with our Client Summit and The Big Hospitality Expo!

At the Client Summit, we invited our clients, colleagues and partners to come together to collaborate, discuss and debate with leaders shaping the future of customer experience in the retail and hospitality sectors. With guest speakers and industry experts covering focussed topics, everyone came away from the event with a bearing on what technology needs to do in order to have maximum value in a business.

Retail Assist Client Summit 2022

The hospitality industry gathered at Olympia London for The Big Hospitality Expo to explore the latest developments, products, and services in the sector. Not only did we meet with contacts old and new at our stand, but we also got to speak to leading experts and discover the newest trends within the industry. Check out our top takeaways here.

The Big Hospitality Expo 2022 - Retail Assist

October: ISO 20000 Accreditation

Following a recent audit, British Standards Institution confirmed the continuation of Retail Assist’s ISO accreditation. ISO 20000 sets out the method of best practice for IT service providers and is the only standard that confirms ITIL conformity.

Kevin Greathead, Managing Director at Retail Assist commented: “The ISO standard fits in with our ethos of putting clients’ requirements at the heart of our business. Our accreditation demonstrates our commitment to quality practice and to excellent service and formalises processes and procedures such as our adherence to ITIL which have enabled us to grow.”

November: Peak Trade Frenzy

In November we hit the start of our busiest period with Peak Trade. We supported our clients in getting ready for peak trade and prepared our peak trading checklist for store staff to carry out technical checks. We also looked at buying patterns and shopping habits to understand how customers were planning on shopping and how this would impact supply chains.

December: We stepped right into Christmas

Every year it comes round earlier and earlier… this Christmas we’ve quizzed, raffled and fuddled! We kicked off the festivities with our annual Director Lunch at Galvin La Chappelle followed by various team lunches and wrapping up the festivities today with ‘The Spirit of Christmas Awards’, here were our winners:

  1. The Comedian: Stuart Baker
  2. Walking Wikipedia: Aaron Francis
  3. Take a Lap: Niall Headland
  4. Tech Expert: Carl Hardy
  5. Coffee Pot: Rae Hayward


Thank You!

What a year! Thank you to all our colleagues, customers, suppliers and partners for your support, hard work and collaboration this year. We hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, prosperous new year.

  • 20th December 2022

Written by Andréa Williams, Head of Marketing

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