Issuu on Google+

The magazine for Intelligent Business Systems clients

Issue 1 Summer 2005

Tootsies POS upgrade ready for expansion Fresh Italy concept marries quality and speed StockLink 5 accessible to all! A Scotsman’s Letter from America


Welcome A warm welcome to the first edition of a brand new magazine from Intelligent Business Systems. This is your magazine, designed to show you our impact within the fast-moving, dynamic world of POS. Helps explain our choice of name too. Impact. A title to reflect the difference we make to multiple-site hospitality and retail businesses courtesy of our POS and enterprise management systems. Inside the pages of this and subsequent issues we’ll supply the evidence. Kicking off with our news section, Impact highlights recent IBS achievements. We then go backstage and take a closer look at the stories behind the headlines, in one instance letting one client do all the talking. After all, clients are the best judges of our work. Enjoy reading the first edition. We trust it gives you plenty of food for thought. Hopefully, you’ll be asking yourself the question of how IBS can make an impact on your business in the near future. Dee Powell, editor, Impact Front cover image: Tootsies in Manchester. Impact is published on behalf of Intelligent Business Systems (St James Road, Brackley, Northants, NN13 7XY) by Creative Space Squared. If you have any comments or feedback, contact me on 01280 709 400 or e-mail dee@ibs-systems.co.uk. We are always delighted to hear from you. Check out www.ibs-systems.co.uk for regular news updates from IBS.

News from IBS Tin Goose takes off at Heathrow Geronimo Inns has unveiled its newest pub. The Tin Goose, in terminal 1 at Heathrow Airport, comes complete with a new PC POS touchscreen system, four touchscreen terminals and ICR touch POS software. According to IBS project manager, Justin Atkinson, the PC POS system was selected for its hardware robustness to accommodate fast customer throughout at the world’s busiest international airport, which welcomes over 63 million visitors every year. Key to ensuring the Tin Goose took off on time and without any hiccups was the forward planning carried out by IBS. Justin and his team created a graphical table and seating plan for the POS as the pub makes extensive use of table and seat numbers for customer billing. The contract also includes StockLink back office reporting to the existing StockLink central management system.

Life is a peach with a virtual head office Dynamic gastro pub restaurant chain, the three-year old award winning Peach Pub Company, has asked IBS to create a virtual head office. With six gastro pubs in the south and central midlands and more to come over the coming months, the Peach management team, led by Hamish Stoddart, wants to focus its energies in the pubs, without the distraction and expense of running, managing and maintaining a separate head office. Thanks to the IBS virtual head office, the Peach team can access the system by logging on-line, no matter where they are. “This system gives us the flexibility to manage a fast growing business that relies on high volumes of traffic,” said Peach Pub Company director, Hamish Stoddart. 2

Sheffield’s IBS Showcase Sheffield’s premier media production and exhibition centre comprises a unique managed workstation for the creative industries, including a 650 seat independent cinema and exhibition complex. It also hosts numerous special events throughout the year with its café bar catering for conferences, festivals, functions and parties. With an extensive range of buffets, wines and menus, a flexible POS management system is essential to the successful running of the busy venue. IBS, after designing and developing a similar system for a cinema and media centre in Doncaster, won the contract to install six Uniwell touchscreen terminals and StockLink software.

IBS has a French Connection IBS has installed new POS and back office systems for the Mountain Trading Company, which runs bars and restaurants at major ski resorts throughout the French Alps. The project, overseen by IBS project managers Mark Bagnall and Justin Atkinson and supported by field engineer, Lawrence Booth, included the installation of Uniwell POS terminals and kitchen printers together with StockLink software, which was programmed to accommodate multicurrency, multi-tax rates and various levels of discounts.


Living Venture’s brilliant performer

IBS... in brief StockLink 5 launched

IBS business partner, GS Systems, has installed StockLlink enterprise software as part of its central management system for Living Ventures, one of the rising stars of the hospitality industry. With 18 sites in major cities in the UK, Living Ventures has won numerous industry awards for its Living Rooms, Mosquito and Prohibition brands.

Perfect vision at the BBC IBS has provided the BBC with EPOS and enterprise management systems for seven sites in London, including White City, Woodlands, Television Centre, Bush House, Victoria Road, Head Office Finance and Elstree Studios, home to EastEnders and numerous other world famous BBC productions. IBS’s own production caters for thousands of staff and visitors every week and gives site managers access to cash control business sheets and stock control as well as full site and head office reporting. The installation, implemented under the direction of IBS senior project manager, Mark Bagnall, consists of the latest Uniwell DX890 touchscreen terminals, thermal receipt printers, Epson impact kitchen printers and StockLink back office and head office software.

Full system upgrade as Tootsies eyes rapid expansion IBS has upgraded Tootsies entire enterprise and POS management system as part of a £200,000 investment for the fast-growing national burger restaurant chain. Tootsies re-selected IBS as part of an on-going expansion programme that has seen the company build a 24-restaurant chain in less than five years. There are plans to open a further 75 over the next three years. IBS supplied new touchscreen terminals and back office computers together with its own StockLink back office and enterprise management software. System partners were commissioned to install the latest cabling infrastructure at each site and a managed broadband-based infrastructure. See our Tootsies feature on pages 6 & 7

Fresh Italy deliciously fast thanks to IBS Fresh Italy, an exciting new quality food concept where meals are served up in less than two minutes from placing an order, has commissioned IBS to help give them the clockwork precision necessary to guarantee fast delivery. IBS has designed and developed a new POS system for Fresh Italy, which can be used for face to face sales or distance buying via the internet. Fresh Italy founder, Tom Allchurch, writes exclusively for Impact. See pages 8 & 9

IBS has launched StockLink 5, the latest edition of the best selling POS enterprise management software. Based around MS Windows XP software, StockLink 5 is using the latest enhanced drag and drop technology to simplify use and features unlimited security levels. The StockLink Enterprise version, targeted at multi-site hospitality chains, has many new features and functions designed to speed-up processes. This includes an all-new touchscreen drag and drop design module.

Neil heads managed services team Neil Quinn has been appointed to run the managed service department at IBS. Formerly working at Drayton Manor theme park, Neil, 29, and his team will provide a total managed service from adding new suppliers or products to updating menus and prices across either client chains, brands or individual outlets.

IBS call system enhanced IBS has developed and rewritten its in-house call support system to improve the way it deals with customer communications. The sophisticated call system has been written in-house by the IBS software development team using the Microsoft .net framework. As well as being faster and more efficient, it also enables IBS engineers and customers to track the progress of projects and jobs on-line.

STOP PRESS! IBS about to roll out £500,000 contract for national restaurant chain. More in next issue of Impact! 3


Q1:

How the devil are you?

Q9:

So what exactly is the IBS offering?

A1:

Very well, thank you. I loved Wales winning the Grand Slam. A lesson here for all businesses, no matter how large or small, as it shows patient planning and painstaking groundwork pays dividends.

A9:

Q2:

That’s an interesting analogy. Are IBS the Welsh equivalent in the POS world, upstaging the big boys like England?

A2:

That’s not for me to say. You’ll need to ask our clients! Seriously, however, I would say we’ve been achieving great results at IBS by adopting the same philosophy. We’re not the biggest player but we are one of the most successful because we play to our strengths. We’ve won several prestigious contracts (see our news section) with more in the pipeline. And we’re making great inroads beyond the UK with our StockLink enterprise management systems, both in Europe and the USA.

Again in simple terms, it is taking hardware and software combinations and installing them in multiple site hospitality businesses. However, it is much more complex than this. You have to pick the right hardware to work with the most appropriate software. You have to ensure the infrastructure gives the client speed and security. And you need to have a system that is easy to use for everyone involved in the business, from the youngsters serving at the bar to the directors dissecting information in order to plan for the future. Each link in the chain has to be happy with the system. That’s why we place such a great emphasis on professional project management. Having quality industry professionals overseeing installations and providing after sales support is crucial to our overall offering. Without it, we cannot stand out from the crowd. We are not able to make the right impact.

Q3:

That’s great news. So are you prepared to unveil the secrets behind the IBS success story?

A3:

First of all, we’re very good at listening. It is a natural starting point. If you go into a meeting with a pre-determined view, either you or the prospective client are going to be disappointed.

Q4:

And any other secrets?

A4:

The big secret is there are no other secrets. It is about hard work, attention to detail and sheer determination.

Q5:

Surely there is more to success in a highly technological field?

A5:

Obviously you need the right people, the right products and right software. We have that, notably with our StockLink software. Experience of the market place you operate in is critical too. I think the fact we have evolved from corporate backgrounds in the hospitality industry enhances our understanding of the needs of our corporate clients. Irrespective of what business you’re in, you need to see what the client sees. It all goes back to the ability to listen and understand, as I mentioned earlier.

Q6:

How do you mean?

A6:

If you empathise with corporate issues, it is so much easier to respond to them. Anticipate the future demands and requirements placed on the multi-site hospitality corporate world. By appreciating their needs, we can tailor our world to theirs faster than anyone else.

Q7:

And how do you do this?

A7:

Well, we have to be more than just a POS company. Looking at the big picture, we are a ‘solutions provider’. We’re not any single one thing. We’re not trying to sell a box, or a terminal, or a software package. We’re giving our clients an end result. Our client offering has to make a difference to the way clients operate and understand their businesses. They have to notice an impact on the bottom line, see a tangible return on their investment.

Q8:

Obviously this approach is working. Could you try and encapsulate why?

A8:

I think the fact we have a very high retention rate speaks volumes. Client loyalty and winning repeat business is very rewarding and brings about a remarkable sense of achievement, which is shared by everyone in the company.

Q10: Elsewhere in the magazine, we notice you’ve recently added ‘managed services’ to your portfolio. Was the thinking behind this about enhancing your overall offering? A10: We are a service provider and we cannot afford to be complacent. One of my major responsibilities is to constantly look at new ways of making the day to day lives of our clients as easy as possible; hence Neil Quinn has joined us. Neil and his team give clients more choice as they can control and oversee customer product files so we can update products and price changes in the most effective means possible. This saves clients a considerable amount of money in terms of employing staff and applying resources. Employing Neil is typical of our constant efforts to improve the way we operate. His department represents a substantial investment, although it is one we’re more than happy to make. In fact, we’re constantly reinvesting in IBS. Q11: Are there any other examples? A11: Well, we’ve recently completed rewriting our in-house call system to improve the way we manage communications with our clients. This dovetails with the internet so clients are always kept fully in the picture. We’re also investing more in marketing. Q12: In what ways? A12: We’ve got a new, improved website for a start that reflects the direction of the company. This sets out and establishes our credentials. It is also going to be a great way for clients to communicate with us longer term. We’re also trying to be more pro-active rather than re-active in terms of marketing. We’ve published Impact too as a means of keeping existing and potential clients fully in the picture about what is going on in our world. Q13: That’s very encouraging. What, in a nutshell, does the future hold for the IBS? A13: More of the same with the proviso that we’re always looking to improve and enhance the way we do business. If we want to make a genuine impact, there is no other way forward. What we’ve achieved to date is fantastic but it is also history. Just as I hope the Welsh coaching team will be thinking about how they can improve on the Grand Slam, we’ll be doing the same for the multi-site hospitality sector. Q14: Thanks for your time. A14: My pleasure.


Question time

As a tough-tackling, no-nonsense rugby union forward, Gareth Powell always gave 100% on the pitch. He applies the same total commitment philosophy off the field as he dedicates his energies to ensuring IBS creates the maximum possible impact in the competitive world of hospitality POS systems – taking time out from his busy schedule to tackle our questions

Still loving the impact game!


Spotlight

IBS creates platform for Tootsies expansion In the cut and thrust of the modern business world, as in life itself, nothing can ever be taken for granted.

Tootsies. So we were confident we would bring a lot to the table in a tender situation,” said Gareth.

Nor should it be, according to Intelligent Business Systems’ managing director, Gareth Powell, who was under no illusions when the new owners of the Tootsies grill-based family restaurant chain said they were putting the upgrade of its POS and back office management systems out to tender.

In fact, by describing the criteria for the project, Tim Woodcock was also outlining the perfect IBS system.

After all, with a senior management background in a top blue chip corporate environment prior to launching IBS, Gareth was fully aware of the need for businesses to carry out best practice procedures to ensure they get a maximum return on their investment. “We may have had a track record with Tootsies over five years but it makes sense for the new owners to have a look around and see what is available in the marketplace. We do it ourselves when we purchase from suppliers, so we would expect the same from a new team of directors who didn’t know us or what we could do. We would never purchase by reputation alone and wouldn’t expect our clients to do so either.” “From our point of view, we were satisfied to be placed on the tender list so we could present our recommendations on how to upgrade the system in line with Tootsies exciting planned expansion programme,” said Gareth. “Saying that, we were confident that we had the ability as a solution provider to understand and fully satisfy Tootsies requirements.”

6

For Tootsies, the requirements meant maintaining control over a fast growing brand that will have developed to over 30 restaurants by the end of January 2006. An ambitious new management team, headed by finance director Tim Woodcock, wanted to enhance the speed and scope of its POS system as it plans to roll-out Tootsies restaurants across the UK over the next five years. Hence the tender process to scan the marketplace for other ideas and options. Gareth and his team relished the challenge to provide Tootsies with such a platform, despite knowing past efforts would not unduly influence the directors’ final decision. However, their previous experience was an immense help in constructing their proposal. “We are a niche POS company, specialising in the multi-site hospitality sector, with the flexibility to work quickly and efficiently. We also have a track record with corporate clients who need key business information fast. Names like Pizza Express, Coffee Republic and the Bagel Factory have benefited from our expertise as a solution provider, as has

“The more the business grows, the greater our need to have quick and easy access to every element of our operation. That in essence was what we were after and the company that could give us that control at the right price would get the business.” “At the same time, speed of installation and specialist knowledge of the hospitality industry were other key factors influencing the decision,” said Tim Woodcock, who after careful consideration re-selected IBS to upgrade the entire enterprise and POS management system for Tootsies. Gareth and IBS team were delighted to win the six figure contract. As they expected, its recommendations were best suited to the requirements of a fast expanding restaurant enterprise. These included facilitating much faster communications and data transfer and the ability to expand and develop the system in the future to accommodate future technology advances. “Like we do with all our clients, we listened to what Tim and his team wanted before developing a plan that would suit their requirements, now and in the future. Speed was of the essence as was the ability for senior managers and operational staff to access up-to-date information as and when they needed it,” said Gareth.

(Left) good project management is critical to the process (centre) Tootsies Basingstoke interior (right) quality food is essential to the Tootsies proposition.


IBS won the £200,000 Tootsies contract in a competitive tender

Service with a smile at the Trafford Centre, Manchester.

“Like we do with all our clients, we listened to what Tim and his team wanted before developing a plan that would suit their requirements, now and in the future.” Gareth Powell

To achieve this each Tootsies restaurant has been fitted with extensive cabling for broadband-based fast data transfer. IBS supplied the latest DX890 Uniwell touchscreen terminals and back office computers together with its own StockLink back office and enterprise management software. IBS has installed extra points and capacity to enhance and build the system in the future to take into account anticipated technological advances.

The contract also highlighted IBS’ ability to work to tight deadlines.

To facilitate fast, cost effective data transfer, Tootsies now has greater immediate data management through the system’s internet push polling communications or browser-based options.

“We have remarkable retention rate amongst clients, although when we tendered for this business our track record with Tootsies counted for nothing. It was a new management team led by Tim and they were after the most cost effective system that met their specifications for their future anticipated growth. We satisfied that criteria. And we would like to think we would do so, no matter who we are competing against,” commented Gareth.

“Our new IBS solution gives us key knowledge, with the end of day of journals automatically streamed across from each outlet with the option of real time information,” said Tootsies director, Tim Woodcock.

“One of the key elements of the installation was to ensure it was all in place within a month. This meant carrying out two installations per day, starting at 6am and finishing by 11am in order to minimise trade disruption to the business,” said IBS project manager, Justin Atkinson.

The new management team intends to roll-out the grill-based, 24-unit family restaurant chain across the UK over the next five years StockLink back office and enterprise management software has full FTP reporting tools for senior managers and operational staff, giving them up-to-date information whenever they want it IBS also supplied Uniwell touchscreens, back office pcs and specified and project managed the installation of the cabling for the broadband-based infrastructure

7


“I’ve always instinctively liked the challenge of new business development. Even when I worked for major corporate organisations, I’ve always enjoyed the entrepreneurial aspects the most. So really it was always on the cards that I would probably start my own company some time. It was just a matter of when, where and exactly what I would be doing. And as food has been a part of my professional background, it was always going to be something to do with catering. Originally, the idea hit me when I was staying in Los Angeles on business. It suddenly struck me that there must be room for an upmarket fast food concept where customers can enjoy quality food served extremely quickly at great prices, a concept where I could marry all the benefits of a fast food outlet, except we’d be serving genuinely healthy food. With these parameters certain styles of cuisine were obviously no go. Naturally, Indian and Mexican food would take too long to prepare for busy customers. However, Italian food, fresh Italian food, would not. And there, quick as a flash, was my concept. And the name came at the same time as the idea. Fresh Italy. Describing exactly what we set out to do: serve fresh Italian food to discerning customers in either city centre London locations or at shopping centres within the M25 belt.

Exciting new fast food concept, Fresh Italy, has installed Intelligent Business Systems POS and enterprise management systems. The fast food brand, which currently has two outlets in central London and at Lakeside Shopping Centre, Essex, is looking to expand its horizons. Three new outlets are to be opened in the coming months as part of an on-going development plan

8

As with every business venture, thinking of the idea was the easy part. Testing its potential before looking for serious investors was a little more difficult. I liked Italian food. I thought the British did too but I needed proof. It took three months to research the proposition, discover if there was a market for it beyond my gut instinct.


FAST FOOD GOES UPMARKET WITH FRESH ITALY Tom Allchurch, 42, gave up an immensely successful globe trotting marketing career with the likes of Unilever and Amazon.com to launch Fresh Italy, an exciting new upmarket fast food concept. Here Tom (left hand page) exclusively tells IMPACT why he did it – and how IBS played a crucial role in the development of the brand Once I had convinced myself of the feasibility it took another nine months to develop it and then appoint an experienced management team with a wealth of experience of upmarket fast food retailing. During that time my kids – Ben, Hazel, Daniel and Zoe and wife Sue – ate really well as they became the self-nominated initial product testing team. We had hours of fun comparing homemade pasta and rice cooking versus the Fresh Italy option. At first mine won then it levelled out – then we could not tell the difference. Bingo. An idea fertilised in LA was ready to take shape in the UK. With a business plan drawn up and funding in place, we were ready to launch Fresh Italy. Our philosophy was to surround ourselves with the best in each specialist area, which is how I came into contact with IBS, who would play an integral role in the development of the concept. Originally, I met IBS directors, Gareth and Dee Powell, at an exhibition. I was looking at my epos options. There were two choices. Pick one of the big boys who may or may not give me the service I needed. Or pick a smaller established player whose ambitions matched ours. There was only one option and it was the latter as IBS ticked all the right boxes. An established player, still relatively young with the credentials of working with the large hospitality chains we wanted to emulate. Since then my judgement has been proved right with Gareth and his team putting a lot of effort into what was always going to be a small first order. But

the great thing is that IBS understood what we wanted to achieve. With the help of IBS, we have delivered a concept where speed is of the essence. My idea was fresh food served fast. Which is exactly what we do, currently serving freshly cooked pasta and rice dishes cooked to order in less than two minutes. I am impressed by the efforts of the team but want to get faster. It is the perfectionist in me and everyone else in the team. It was clear that only by having the right technological platform would we be able to deliver our unique selling proposition. IBS designed and developed a new system for us, which is currently used for face to face sales in our city centre London or Lakeside Shopping Centre, Essex, stores. The system has been designed to also cater for distance buying via the internet with Fresh Italy marketing deliveries to the city of London for minimum orders of 15 or more people. That’s for the near future when we look to fine tune the concept. For face to face sales, in-store customer orders are taken by staff and inputted to one of half a dozen Uniwell touchscreen POS terminals in each outlet. Information is dispatched to a variety of label printers to identify and tag the delicious pots of freshly prepared food. Data is also sent to a PC POS terminal to finalise, bag for collection or recall orders. It is easy to run, manage and train staff. But retail is about showbiz too. To this end, IBS integrated our POS and enterprise management system with large eye-catching plasma screens. This enables customers to view orders taken, see average waiting

time per order and know when food is ready for collection. The screen is also used for advertising and disseminating information about daily specials and loyalty cards to Fresh Italy’s growing number of repeat customers. As I said, retail is also entertainment and part of the fun of the concept is tracking orders. Customers can see the average time taken to prepare each freshly cooked meal on the big screen. It all adds to the dynamism of Fresh Italy that I first envisaged in LA. Months on from that initial great idea, we are attracting regular customers who visit three or four times a week. People like me who have fallen in love with our total commitment to Italian produce. People like me who appreciate that we only use Italian recipes and ingredients. All our oils, pastas and risotto rice are 100% Italian. Only time will tell how good the idea is. It is a question I cannot answer, much as I’d love to! There is a vague ‘masterplan’ to take Fresh Italy to the rest of the UK but it is very much one step at a time, like getting the POS system spot on. Now we need to make sure we get every other element right too. Then we’ll see where we go to next. One thing is for certain, I am definitely enjoying the buzz of Fresh Italy almost as much as our customers love the food.”


StockLink for everyone, from the MD to bar staff! Managed services manager, Neil Quinn, (right) is in the process of producing on-line demonstration modules for StockLink 5, the latest version of IBS’s best selling POS and enterprise management software specifically designed for multi-site hospitality businesses. Here he explains what he intends to show and why.

StockLink is an enterprise management system designed and developed by IBS for multi-site hospitality chains from a dozen to literally hundreds of outlets There are three StockLink versions: standard, professional and enterprise All three are updated every quarter by the IBS software development team in response to an on-going customer-consultation programme Updates are free of charge to clients with customer service level agreements StockLink is currently available in the UK, Europe and the USA

10

One of the first things we need to show with any demonstration module is how easy it is to use StockLink. That has always been one of the many key selling points as StockLink has been written from day one to be accessible to everyone involved in the hospitality industry, not just IT professionals. When the software development team were looking at producing Version 5, its user friendly nature was front of mind. This has always been a consideration, even from the early days when we used dos. Nowadays StockLink 5 is based around Microsoft Windows XP software. As the biggest software name bar none in the world, most people are familiar with Microsoft, either in the office or at home. They will certainly feel comfortable with the drop down taskbars with newly designed icons to complement and enhance the look and feel of StockLink. We’ve also introduced a whole series of ‘wizards’ to guide customers effortlessly through set-up tasks. This all reinforces the message that StockLink is extremely accessible. When we go live with the demo modules on our website, we’ll be looking to illustrate this for existing and new clients. We will also be showing how the StockLink Enterprise version, targeted at multi-site hospitality chains, has many new features and functions designed to speed-up processes, including the previously mentioned all-new touchscreen drag and drop design module. From customer feedback since the launch of Version 5, we are finding that they are impressed by the multi-level screens while they appreciate the fact that prices, condiments and cooking instructions are easily designed and deployed. This does not matter whether it is for individual sites, areas, regions, countries or multi companies, including franchises. Again, as we want to make StockLink more accessible than ever before, we have extended the reporting capability so this can now be configured on-line for use by operations managers and remote workers. And we’ve also extended the number of ‘League Tables’, which can also be sorted

and viewed by as many as 50 different column headings. We’ll be demonstrating this on-line too. As well as ease of use, compatibility with other software is important. Version 5 now includes POS integration with the new Sharp ‘Venta Pro’ and ‘Revelation’ applications as well as ‘Aloha’, ‘ICR Touch’ and all Uniwell ROM based touchscreen terminals. Of course, there is no need to wait for the demo versions of StockLink 5 to be launched on-line. We are more than happy to bring StockLink 5 to you. One thing is guaranteed, whichever way you view Version 5, you, like all who have seen it so far, are going to be impressed.


A Scotsman’s Letter from America John Niasmith is a POS industry veteran who has worked in Scotland, London and Canada. Now he operates out of Atlanta, Georgia, in the USA, heading the IBS invasion of North America after a spell as President of Uniwell. Here he gives his impressions in his first Scotsman’s Letter from America. One of the beauties of launching a new brand from a position of strength is being able to control the roll out. With IBS and StockLink well established in the UK and Europe, there is not the same urgency to gain massive distribution that others have to face. During my 11 years on the continent, America has proved to be a fascinating, exciting place. A huge internal economy is driven by immigrant workers wanting to succeed and feed the American dream. Protected by the oceans, however, Americans are instinctively insular with an innate distrust of anything not born in the USA.

Q1: A1:

Q2: A2:

What is your day to day role at IBS? It is a mixed and varied role including sales, pre-and-post sale project management, hands on installation of hardware and software, systems training, systems trouble-shooting, systems support. Anything that is necessary to ensure the smooth running of the client relationship. And what projects stand out as major achievements? Two spring to mind. Helping to complete the system sale to the BBC and working closely with their finance department to deliver the complete solution from POS to Integrated financial reporting. Also Drayton Manor Park was a major personal achievement as I projectmanaged the complete installation and implementation of 80 POS terminals, across 30 locations in one of the country’s leading theme park attractions within a tight threemonth time schedule. Hard work but lots of fun.

To succeed here, we have therefore decided to focus on the top end of the market, targeting quality resellers, who can bring something extra to the party, and sophisticated end users, like our latest account gain, Smoothie King, a massive franchised health food store chain with over 360 outlets from coast to coast, from border to border. It is great to have Smoothie King on board as one of our flagship clients as it is a typical American success story. Founder Steve Kuhnau started the company back in the seventies to combat his own allergies. Since then he has seen it mushroom as spiralling demand for healthier lifestyles has encouraged sales of health drinks, vitamins and supplements. We’ve spent 12 months working closely with the people at Smoothie King, ensuring we successfully allayed any doubts they may have had about using a product that originated outside of the USA. To this end we adapted the front end of StockLink to suit the specific demands of America where even a simple matter of ordering a salad can take five minutes. And I am being serious. In the UK, you have two options with your salad. Here you get 20! It is a much more comprehensive purchasing process.

Q3: A3:

Q4: A4:

Q5: A5:

Q6: A6:

What makes IBS stand out from the crowd? Our ability to understand the exact requirements of the customer and to deliver the complete solution And how is this reflected in your own approach? I treat each project individually, listening to the customer’s requirements, agreeing a format and managing the project with flexibility and continually looking to give complete customer satisfaction. And does it always run smoothly? Not always. Many years ago I was running data cable in the ceiling of Claridges Hotel in central London. While crawling on my hands and knees, I accidentally leaned on a speaker fitted in the ceiling tiles and it crashed to the floor falling in the middle of the restaurant. Fortunately nobody was hurt, or had a camera! And the future? Carry on the good work. These are exciting times at IBS and it is great to be a part of what’s happening.

(Top) Popular in Denver and at over 350 other locations across the USA (bottom) another satisfied customer is all smiles.

Richard Leveille and his IT team at Smoothie’s head office in New Orleans have been impressed by what they have seen and have given us the thumbs up to roll out. Our challenge over the coming months is to ensure the installations are as smooth as one of the high protein drinks Steve Kuhnau devised – and let the rest of the American hospitality industry know about us too. I’ll keep you posted in my next Letter from America.

IBS Profile…

Name: Age: Job title: Status: Children:

Mark Bagnall 36 Senior project manager Married to wife Liza Two children, Matthew age 3 and Holly age 6

Special Interests:

Cycling, fishing and following Aston Villa FC (for my sins). Ambition: To go marlin fishing in South Australia Fav song: U2, With Or Without You. Fav film: The Life of Brian (Monty Python) Fav country: Australia

11


FAT CAT

café bar

john lewis

We’re definitely their cup of tea. And we could be yours too! Intelligent Business Systems provides POS and enterprise management for multi-site hospitality businesses in the UK, Europe and in the USA. We do it for the likes of Pizza Express, BBC, Coffee Republic, Fresh Italy, Peach Pub Co, Fat Café Bar, Geronimo Inns, Tootsies and John Lewis. And we can do it for you as well. Intelligent Business Systems, St James Rd, Brackley, Northants, NN13 7XY Tel 01280 709 400 Fax 01280 704 315

Call 01280 709 400 email: justmycupoftea@ibs-systems.co.uk or visit www.ibs-systems.co.uk


IMPACT 1