ISLAMABAD: All offices, warehouses and retail outlets of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) will be hooked with a central information technology (IT) system by June next year, which will enable the managers of the state-run entity to maintain authentic data of inventories.

The USC has already established the required IT infrastructure and a modern data centre with the Private Cloud in its head office.

It has prepared a report to be forwarded to the production and industries ministry, stating that the automation will help identify trends in top-selling items and locations.

The report said that the initiative would also enable stocks to be moved with pre­cision and achieve higher sales volumes.

The corporation is facing serious competition from the private cash and carry stores across the country amid the loopholes in its purchase, distribution and sales sections.

Its management has already established an integrated data centre at a cost of around Rs5 million and a consultant will be hired this month for connectivity of 4,881 retail stores and 124 warehouses of the USC.

Under the system, all USC retail outlets and warehouses will be automated and linked with the central system for real-time sales and inventory management, and all USC business processes, including supply chain, warehousing, financials, human reso­urce records, payroll and e-commerce, will be automated by June 2021.

“The whole inventory will be controllable and the USC will be able to forecast the amount of items needed, thus preventing both product shortages and overstocking,” USC managing director Umer Lodhi said.

He said that through automation of the USC, synchronisation of warehouses and retail outlets data into the centralised data centre would provide a consolidated view of its performance.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2020

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