The ultimate co-operative collaboration

15 Mar The ultimate co-operative collaboration

Celtech has created the ultimate solution for the UK co-operative sector.

The Dublin based technology firm has worked with co-ops for a number of years, carefully fine-tuning its sophisticated software application ab-initio.

The solution provides the core trading platform for a number of high profile food retail co-ops and department stores in the UK, managing everything related to sales, stock, cash and membership transactional activity across some of those businesses.

ab-initio not only provides best of breed functionality in support of core trading processes, but also provides all the specific features and trading capabilities which distinguish a co-op business from other retail businesses.

In a further move to deepen its commitment to the co-op sector, Celtech has created an I.T. collaboration amongst some of its co-op clients, enabling them to benefit from sharing knowledge, processes and solutions. The concept was that they could share ideas and to share costs where possible. Our software ab-initio could be subequently be enhanced further as this collaboration can provide strategic input to our development roadmap.

By deploying a single instance of the total co-op solution, once a feature is provided for one co-op customer, it is subsequently available for all.

ab-initio provides co-ops with the ability to manage all merchandise categories and all aspects of membership activity in the day to day running of the business. Key capabilities include:

  • Total ease of product and promotional information management with CRTG integration – Celtech has successfully integrated with Co-operative Retail Trading Group (CRTG) in record time to deliver full integration with ab-initio. This means that ab-initio has the capability to take electronic product and promotional data on a daily basis from the Co-Op Head office in Manchester and automatically update this information for its independent co-op customers. It will identify which products are relevant for the particular society and provide information to assist with product ranging in-store.


  • Space Planning through integration with Galleria – This feeds off ab-initio’s master data and out to its POS module which enables clients to take in space plans from the Co-operative Group, feed them into Galleria if required and then integrate into the store ranging functionality that exists within ab-initio.


  • Price Optimisation through integration with Retail Expressab-initio ensures that all prices are optimised through its pricing strategy validation with Retail Express.


  • Auto replenishment – The advanced forecasting and auto replenishment capabilities of ab-initio are further proving themselves to be vital for co-op chains to achieve significant cost and time-savings. The advanced forecasting function combines historical sales data and employs intelligence on seasonal trends to predict and manage stock availability. Local events near a store can be catered for using forecast overlays in order to optimise availability at store level. The powerful auto replenishment functionality covers every category of merchandise – from slow moving to fast moving stock, and ambient through to chilled and short-life products.


  • Membership Capability ab-initio provides a full range of membership capability, membership share account and investment management, and membership voting. It includes a powerful loyalty module which provides the capability to run a variety of tiered loyalty schemes. It has the ability to apply different rules and rewards, and its smart coupon management, when combined with membership loyalty schemes can produce personalised smart coupons to reward loyalty and grow basket value.


  • Promotions Management – ab-initio provides industry-leading functionality in the area of promotions management, enabling every conceivable type of promotion and combination of promotions to be implemented across the store estate.


  • Store Operations – ab-initio provides full support for the day to day operations within a store, from Point of Service to cash management, store receiving, stock management (including stock checking, reduce to clear and wastage management) store price release and label management, price checking, gap check management


  • Live View Reporting – ab-initio provides true real-time reporting and insights via executive dashboards and detailed reports relating to sales, margin, cash, stock, wastage, loss prevention and membership participation. Crucially it has the ability to view actual performance against budget, and like for like against last year. Custom filters are provided together with the ability to export directly into excel for further manipulation