PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF TECHNOLOGY
No retailer can afford to stand still these days – and those that thrive will be the ones who not only embrace new technology but are prepared to experiment and be the trailblazers. And that’s M&S, according to Israel, an Engineering Manager in our Software Engineering team.
Israel was one of the first to join our Software Engineering graduate programme some four years ago. Now the ‘graduate’ is line-managing other graduates, helping with their career development in areas such as business awareness, personal development and leadership.
In his time with us, Israel has seen at first-hand how we’re pushing the boundaries of technology. “I don’t think people realise how innovative we are,” he says. “We’ve implemented things like the Honeywell mobile device – which has eradicated the problem of carrying single purpose devices for service, sales and task – Radio Frequency Identifications (RFIDs) and Touch Screen Order Points (TSOPs). We’ve put a lot of time into cyber security, too. But there are other cutting-edge technologies that we‘ve tried, tested and decided weren’t right for us. We have a thriving Engineering community in which people are empowered and encouraged to try new things. Sometimes they work for us, sometimes they don’t.”
Before moving into his present role, Israel was part of our Staff Assisted Apps team and was involved in developing many of the apps for the Honeywells such as the Trading Safely & Legally Apps and the Date Expired Food App, which significantly reduces waste and saves huge sums of money, as well as delivering proof of concepts for colleagues.
“I would say that we differ from our competitors in that we deliver our software in an agile way. We sometimes deliver multiple iterations of an app with colleagues sitting alongside us to make sure they are fit for purpose.” Israel cites the time he worked in-store for a few days to streamline the Collect process. “We collaborated a lot with colleagues and involved two people in particular to develop the Collect App, which saved them time and made their jobs easier.”
Israel had no experience of IT in retail when he joined M&S, but he now gets a real buzz sharing his knowledge with other graduates and guiding them day to day. He plays his part in ensuring graduates get a rounded view of the business by arranging presentations from other teams in IT.
He also loves the fact that M&S is a pioneer in garment technology, with innovations such as our Stay New technology, which guarantees clothes keep their colour even after multiple washes, and Storm Wear technology. “I discovered that we did water-resistant jeans when I was working on our Knowledge to Share App. It was like a ‘light bulb’ moment for me!”Inside M&S