METRO SYSTEMS Romania celebrates 10 years of IT for the retail industry

23.01.2015. METRO SYSTEMS Romania, member of METRO GROUP, which provides complete IT solutions for all sales lines of METRO in more than 30 countries across Europe and Asia, celebrates 10 years.

800 IT professionals and counting!

METRO SYSTEMS Romania is a subsidiary of METRO SYSTEMS Germany. Since December 2004, when METRO SYSTEMS Romania was established, the number of employees has increased to 800 and the company continues to expand.

The core of METRO SYSTEMS Romania was the IT Competence Center within METRO Cash & Carry (MCC) Romania, located at MCC headquarter in Otopeni. Many of the professionals who formed the initial team continue to work for the company and now hold management positions.

"METRO SYSTEMS Romania is 10 years old, but I am in this environment for about 15 years," says Alma Balaş, Senior Manager of Oracle Technology Center within METRO SYSTEMS Romania. This environment is the team of people within the IT Competence Center of METRO Cash & Carry, built in 1997. Sorin Lăpădat, now Managing Director of METRO SYSTEMS Romania, hired the team for this center "Back then, Sorin Lăpădat was the local IT manager and built up the core from which the entire METRO SYSTEMS Romania team grew afterwards”, Alma Balaş recalls.

"For a great deal of time, the team of 30 people was constant. When the decision to introduce a larger number of activities was taken in Romania and the HR Department from Germany started an accelerated recruitment process, the team increased", says Alma Balaş.

For Sorin Poenaru, Senior Manager Infrastructure & SAP, the story of METRO SYSTEMS Romania also started in December 1995, when METRO Cash and Carry decided to step into the Romanian market. "In a startup process, one of the first steps is to hire IT staff. Starting from that moment, an enthusiastic IT team was formed. Its achievements were quickly noticed and appreciated; in those times, Romania and China were the first METRO Cash and Carry countries, which were using Windows based merchandise applications instead of the common mainframe based merchandise systems. The implementation was a success, despite of all challenges, thanks to the IT team engagement. This success story was considered as one of the main reasons for building a team of developers in Romania, who were involved in developing of the Goods Management Systems Small Country Solutions (GMS SCS). Both teams, international development and operations, continued to grow and to consolidate", recalls Sorin Poenaru.

A general and important characteristic for each new team was the strong focus on customer experience: pro-active monitoring and support of the systems on one hand, as well as a keen interest in developing and implementing new features based on the customer’s needs on the other hand.
From the very beginning, the team of IT professionals at METRO SYSTEMS Romania worked internationally and had to implement products across several countries. "I was the team leader for a team of 3 people, who worked on setting up the management system for bonus and advertising contracts with suppliers. This application was developed entirely in Romania, implemented in all METRO countries and continues to be actively used” recalls George Ivan, Senior Manager of Sourcing and New Technologies department.

Trust and respect, METRO SYSTEMS Romania values

"Each of us, who are here since the establishment of this company, has his or her own reasons. Mine are the respect I find here every day, the fact that each and every time I have been given trust and freedom: the freedom to think, to give each idea a chance, to try things even with the risk that I might be wrong. This matters a great deal to me and helps me do my job as best as possible for the entire main department and for the METRO SYSTEMS community. These are values that I stand up for", says Alma Balaş.

"Considering the experience over so many years in METRO SYSTEMS, I truly know that this is a company that continuously redefines itself and is constantly searching for evolution”, says George Ivan. On the other hand, Sorin Poenaru says that "the mixture between the old reliable attitudes and the young innovative spirit, brought by the newcomers, is one of the success factors of METRO SYSTEMS Romania".

It is its experience, scale, professionalism and innovative spirit that make METRO SYSTEMS Romania different from other companies providing IT services for the retail industry. "In the retail industry, innovation goes hand in hand with technology. The launch of an in-house innovation platform gathering ideas from our colleagues will be followed by other actions aiming to obtain an innovative mindset across the company", say Juergen Boekholt and Sorin Lapadat, Managing Directors METRO SYSTEMS Romania.

METRO SYSTEMS Romania develops IT solutions in the area of merchandise management and logistics applications, customer relation management and check out applications, data warehouse and application integration solutions. The quality of all solutions is assured by 60 ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) certified QA (Quality Assurance) specialists who assure product, integration and regression tests as well as user acceptance tests. Rodica Piciorusi, Department Manager of the QA department: "The requested level of quality is assured by a high degree of test automation and a specialized team for load and performance testing".

In the area of system, database and network administration, application operation and monitoring, METRO SYSTEMS Romania is highly specialized and supports all METRO countries and the full product landscape with a 24*7 service. “Operational excellence for enterprise structures like METRO means permanent availability of all business solutions and the entire IT network infrastructure” states Cornel Turcanu, Department Manager Infrastructure Operations Services.

METRO SYSTEMS Romania is a top employer in the IT industry

"Recently we have been steadily recruiting around 100 IT professionals per year. In 2014 METRO SYSTEMS Romania opened a support center  in Brasov that provides services to the METRO GROUP Campus in Germany. As of 2015, application development activities will also be carried out here in Bucharest meaning a further increase in headcount", says Sidonia Barna, Senior Manager of the Human Resources and Administration Department.

As part of METRO GROUP, METRO SYSTEMS Romania provides IT solutions for the global retail network and cross divisional companies within the group. Our company develops and operates IT solutions across the entire retail value chain: merchandise and logistics management systems, customer relationship management applications, Data Warehouse and reporting solutions, system integration, infrastructure and helpdesk services, check-out systems and last but not least, E-commerce solutions.

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international trading companies. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.