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Green IT to become a key business driver for eco-savvy retailers
Nov '09
Epicor Software Corporation introduced the Epicor Retail Green IT Initiative, the first program of its kind to be offered by a retail software systems provider, designed to provide cost savings while positively impacting the environment by reducing power consumption and paper waste associated with retail point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Epicor's program involves onsite analysis conducted by a team of Epicor consultants and business analysts specializing in green IT initiatives. This analysis includes an energy consumption evaluation, a review of current hardware and system configurations, specific recommended actions and areas of focus, and a detailed return on investment analysis that demonstrates resulting bottom line benefits that retailers can achieve. The team then supports the retail organization's execution of the recommendations to their locations in the field.

Through a series of small operational adjustments such as tuning POS system parameters to lower power consumption and conserving paper, Epicor Retail's Green IT Initiative affords retailers the opportunity to expand their sustainability efforts while saving tens of thousands of dollars per year. For example, a 10 percent reduction in energy costs for the average full-line discount retailer can boost net profit margins by as much as 1.55 percent, or the equivalent of $25 in extra sales per square foot of retail space.

Epicor designed the software which drives “smart hardware” platforms from NCR and IBM, leveraging IBM's Remote Management Agent (RMA) technology to achieve green benefits.

“IBM is committed to supporting green initiatives that conserve resources, lower power consumption and improve retailers' bottom line profitability,” said Leo Suarez, vice president of marketing & strategy, IBM Retail Store Solutions. “Our remote optimization support enables retailers to be more agile and achieve management efficiencies, and now – more environmentally friendly – via the Epicor Retail Green IT initiative.”

According to an independent report from Forrester Research covering green IT, “The top motivation for pursuing green IT is to reduce energy-related operating expenses. This is not surprising, since energy conservation and efficiency initiatives offer tangible, and in many cases immediate, financial and environmental savings. As such, reducing energy consumption should be foundational to any green IT strategy.”

Lynne Davidson, vice president, Services and Support for Epicor Retail, says that small changes can have a big effect. “Based on calculations from the U.S. Department of Energy, retailers can achieve 500-600 kWh or an average of $70 of power savings per register/device per year. If applied to 500 registers, in three years this could translate to roughly $101,000 in savings, a reduction in CO2 emissions by 60 tons and, from an environmental standpoint, is equivalent to planting 125 acres of trees.”

“Being 'green' is becoming a key business driver as eco-savvy consumers are drawn to environmental-friendly companies when making purchasing decisions and demand 'green' conscientiousness from the brands they trust,” said David Henning, executive vice president and general manager for Epicor Retail. “In today's economic climate, spending is tight on both the consumer and retailer sides, so initiatives that produce both financial and environmental benefits, particularly without increased capital investment such as Epicor's Retail Green IT Initiative, are a win-win.

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