Woolworths traces lost trollies with mobile app

In an effort to reduce some $50 million a year in trolley collection and replacement costs, retailer Woolworths has launched a mobile application that allows people to report a lost trolley, including its location via GPS.

Trolley Services Australia developed the app which works in conjunction with its existing Trolley Tracker hotline and website. The app uses the phone’s inbuilt GPS systems to locate the position of the lost trolley.

People who report an abandoned trolley go into a draw to win a $1000 reward every month.

According to Woolworths, the app can run on most smartphones, including the iPhone and Android-based handsets.

The Trolley Tracker app is accesses via the Woolworths website (www.woolworths.com.au) by clicking on the Trolley Tracker link and entering their phone number. A message will then be sent to the phone to complete the installation.

In recent years Woolworths’ CIO Daniel Beecham has worked to tighten its retail store operations, including adding BPM to the company’s supply chain systems.

More recently the company invested in mobile technology by becoming offering retail mobile services in partnership with Optus.

Head of store operations at Woolworths, Ziggy Kwarcinski, said the app will also make it easier for people to rid their streets of stolen trolleys.

“It literally takes a few swipes from a smart phone and the exact location of the trolley will be reported to a local Woolworths trolley collection team,” Kwarcinski said.

“Our experience is that many trolleys aren’t collected because they are remote from established trolley collection routes.”

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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