The magazine for Intelligent Business Systems clients
Issue 5 Autumn/Winter 2007
GBK seriously serious about burgers Nelson’s Column’s in the shade On-line loyalty’s your flexible friend Andy Price getting it right in Bournemouth
Welcome to Impact 5 A warm welcome to the Autumn/Winter 07 edition of Impact, our bi-annual magazine that shows you the impact we’re making within the fast-moving world of pos technology. When we were researching the features with various clients for this issue, one common denominator that united them was their ability to win prestigious hospitality awards for the quality of their offerings. It’s a tribute to their determination, foresight and the way they run their enterprises. We hope we’ve contributed to the various success stories! Our commitment to help all our customers stay at the top of their games is as strong as ever and is encapsulated by the launch of our on-line loyalty module (see page 10) which is a truly flexible means of encouraging increased spend and profits. Enjoy this issue. We hope it gives you plenty of food for thought as always. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can impact upon your business. Dee Powell, editor, Impact Front cover image: Nick Wong outside St Paul’s Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Impact is published on behalf of Intelligent Business Systems (St James Road, Brackley, Northants, NN13 7XY, 01280 709 400) by Creativespace2 (www.creativespace2.com). If you have any comments or feedback, contact me on 01280 709 400 or e-mail mail to: deeP@ibs-systems.co.uk. We are always delighted to hear from you.
News from IBS Geronimo flying high
London-based Geronimo Inns, named the Publican’s tenant/leased Pub Company of the Year, has commissioned IBS to customise stock take results in its 16strong gastro-pub chain’s back office systems and is now deploying StockLink V and real-time polling. ‘The idea is to get right into heart of the existing calculations and re-engineer the results to specifically suit the customer,’ says IBS project manager Justin Atkinson. ‘We can quickly achieve this by using the in-built ‘stock result designer module.’ Geronimo, founded by former Veuve Clicquot international marketing director, Rupert Clevely, launched its first site at the turn of the millennium and has made a significant impact within the hospitality industry. Half a dozen are now Michelin rated with two – the Tin Goose (above) and the Three Bells – located airside at Heathrow Airport. An additional three gastro pubs are due to open in the near future, including one at Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 when it opens early next year. 2
Are you being served fast enough? John Lewis, named the UK’s top retailer by Which magazine earlier this year, is developing innovative concepts to capture the imagination of discerning customers. Its newly opened flagship Oxford Street store has just completed a massive £61.1m refurbishment programme, doubling the catering offering to 20,000 sq ft. Here the focus is on the latest eating-trends of London’s West End, where speed-lunching and tackling desserts as the main course are extremely popular. Ensuring everything runs quickly and smoothly is IBS, who have provided the enterprise business management tools at the revitalised Oxford Road store’s catering facilities. IBS supplies all John Lewis's 29 UK outlets.
IBS takes pride of place at Safari Park
IBS...in brief Flexible StockLink on-line loyalty module launched by IBS
IBS is currently in the process of introducing a real-time easyJet-style internet-based e-ticketing system at the immensely popular 30-year old West Midlands Safari Park. Customers at the exciting park, recently featured on ITV, will be able to purchase tickets on-line. Printed out vouchers can be scanned at the 10-till entrance system. IBS also provides catering systems for the park which takes into account the seasonal nature of its business as catering outlets will open and close depending upon demand. The park uses PC POS terminals and StockLink V5 software.
IBS creating a south coast splash Award-winning restaurateur and south coast entrepreneur, Andy Price, has commissioned IBS to provide pos systems for two new restaurants opened in Bournemouth this year. Touch-screen and handheld terminals together with StockLink professional management software has been installed at Aruba, located on the town’s Pier Approach overlooking magnificent sandy beaches, and the Print Room, situated further inland in the local evening newspaper’s old printing works. Both venues are looking to emulate the success of Andy’s first venture, WestBeach, named Best Seafood Restaurant in England in 2005/2006.
Andy Price writes for Impact about the launch of his new restaurants and IBS. See pages 4 & 5.
Farmer’s IBS delight Mick Thurlby, an award winning farmer-turnedpublican, is creating a stir in Lincolnshire, revitalising and reopening a string of pubs in the county with the goal of creating ‘pubs where he’d like to drink.’ IBS is providing PC Pos terminals coupled with StockLink software at recent refurbishments, including Stamford’s Toby Norris and Periwing hostelries. PA Justine Atkins is impressed with the support provided by IBS and is planning to convert the rest of the estate.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen Roll Out The Clapham House Group, the ambitious restaurant operators launched less than four years ago, has appointed IBS to roll out StockLinkbased epos systems for its Gourmet Burger Kitchen brand. The brand, one of four owned by the group, was purchased as a six-unit chain. Clapham expects to open up to a hundred new outlets in the future. Clapham House Financial Director Nick Wong said: ‘We wanted to automate and simplify the entire process, ensure it was 100% secure and accurate and have instant access to the necessary reports to make informed decisions from director level through to our operational managers out in the restaurants.’
Nick Wong writes exclusively about IBS’s appointment on pages 6 & 7.
IBS has added an on-line loyalty module to StockLink, which can be purchased outright or added to Service Level Agreements. The internet-based module is flexible, versatile and easy to learn and use. Clients promote their own loyalty membership programmes and marketing activity through specific pages on their own websites with an on-line registration link to the IBS www. The module can be deployed in any number of ways to suit the client. The same card can be used for discount, loyalty and cashless activity. Pre-printed, pre-programmed membership cards with random six-digit ID codes are provided by IBS. Customers are invited to register on-line with their details and personal number or to apply direct to the client. ‘The module is a cost-effective, userfriendly, highly-targeted marketing tool that gets results for a fraction of the price of traditional promotional methods like advertising and direct mail,’ said IBS commercial director, Dee Powell.
Queue busters wrap it up with layout rethink Wrap It Up!, the highly original world wrap, salad and soup bar in London’s Bishopgate opposite Liverpool station, wanted to improve sales. Long queues of customers meant missed sales opportunities and a slower than necessary service. Owner Afnan Bashir asked IBS’s Justin Atkinson and Gareth Powell to see if they could come up with a solution as they had installed the pos system. The result is an additional 510% coming through the doors. The next step is to introduce on-line ordering. Time Out magazine was impressed by the new layout: in a review it writes ‘Wrap it Up! does a pretty good job of easing confusion.’
StockLink On-Line Special in the next issue of Impact 3
Three distinctly different offerings, one vision
Bournemouth entrepreneur, restaurateur and the creator of the travel terminus Gamegrid entertainment brand, Andy Price, (above right) leaves nothing to chance when it comes to the restaurant business, including selecting his pos system, as he explains to Impact. For me the thrill of it all is doing a project well and looking back on it with pride. A great example is my first restaurant venture. WestBeach offers the finest fish and seafood delivered to our front door on the pier by expert local fishermen and continues to collect awards and applause in equal measure. The popular seafront restaurant has followed up the prestigious AA Best Seafood Restaurant in England for 2005/2006 award with great feedback this summer from the renowned and respected Sunday Times restaurant critic AA Gill. His four star review is a tribute to the outstanding team effort at WestBeach. Great reviews and awards are almost as satisfying as the faces of happy customers after they’ve dined with us!
offers the very best of beach-side dining in Bournemouth with freshly-prepared signature fusion dishes inspired by the best cuisine from around the world and influenced by Polynesian, Caribbean and Pan-European food. Like all my concepts, Aruba mixes stunning cuisine with an equally impressive environment and atmosphere. In this instance guests can enjoy breathtaking 180-degree panoramic sea views taking in Bournemouth’s infamous sandy beaches. This Autumn saw us move away from the seafront with the launch of the Print Room in the town centre. The Print Room is housed in the newspaper’s old print presses, which became obsolete in early 90’s following digitisation of the printing processes, hence the name.
Now we’re really focused on emulating the success of WestBeach elsewhere in the town and a busy 2007 has seen us launch two brand new restaurants with exciting plans to open or refurbish others in the pipeline.
When I was shown round the art deco premises by the Echo’s MD I thought that it was the ideal site for a classic French/New York style brasserie and that’s what it has become to stunning effect. The ground floor space divides into two separate areas. The brasserie, with one of the longest bars I’ve ever seen, is in ‘The Print Room’ and ‘Ink’, which is aimed principally at the business market with its fast lunch time food offer and a huge range of wines, beers and spirits. The Print Room provides a classical environment which pays homage to the old newspaper days. Both venues offer an all-day experience if you want it. You can start in the morning with breakfast and work your way through the different areas enjoying the charcuterie, then the patisserie, a bit like the Harrods food court actually!
In the summer we opened Aruba, ideally located on Bournemouth’s Pier Approach and a stone’s throw from WestBeach. Aruba
In all seriousness, I knew exactly what I wanted from the first day that I walked into the building. I wanted a brasserie and took
inspiration from other brasseries all over the world including London, New York and Paris. The layout of the building worked well and everything was in the right place from the start. The loading bay has remained and is ideal for car launches or fashion shows, providing easy access to the venue. However, it’s not always that obvious about how to develop a concept. WestBeach came about as a result of the council writing to us about the old WestBeach café. I already knew the building and loved it so we went for it. The original concept, however, was for a tapas bar with a Mediterranean menu. This became more fish orientated because of our location on the coast. The restaurant business, like any other, involves spotting an opportunity and applying liberal portions of perspiration and inspiration. For instance, the amusement gaming part of my business, which is a small part of what I do, was a bit of an accident really.
3 1) Leaving a mark in all good food guides – Andy Price hopes the impact of WestBeach will soon be followed by similar critical acclaim for Aruba and the Print Room. 2) Always tempting at the new Print Room 3) Once busy printing the news, the old Echo print works is now a stunning brasserie and bar inspired by London, New York and Paris. The Print Room has 40 foot ceilings yet still maintains a great feeling of intimacy thanks to the subtle use of lighting and soft furnishings. 4) Just one of the reasons why Aruba should be emulating WestBeach’s award winning cuisine 5) Aruba has stunning 180 degree panoramic views of Bournemouth’s sandy beaches and blue seas.
I was working in marketing and advertising and just happened to write to Gatwick airport in the early 90's with a concept and they asked whether we would operate all their entertainment. We still have 300 game machines there as well as a number of other airports such as Bournemouth, Prestwick and Glasgow. Finding restaurant locations can follow the same ‘good fortune’ pattern.
We’ve started to use Intelligent Business Systems as our pos systems provider this year. They came highly recommended from a colleague. The best advertising is always word of mouth. I met up with the team including MD Gareth Powell and project manager Justin Atkinson and was impressed by what they showed us.
A restaurant can easily take a good two or three years of planning and research before you can go forward with it. However, while I’m happy to find locations almost by ‘accident’, I don’t leave the business elements to chance.
Since then they’ve provided us with touchscreen terminals for Aruba and the Print Room and StockLink professional management software to ensure we can exert all the necessary management and business controls across the two restaurants. We’ve also taken handheld ordering units, which are ideal for taking outdoor orders.
As well as the hardware and software elements, they’ve provided invaluable consultancy advice. They’ve got a wealth of experience within the hospitality sector which we’ve been able to tap in to in order to run efficient restaurants. It’s so easy to lessen the impact of an eating out experience by getting the order wrong or being slow to produce a bill at the end of the meal. That part of the equation is every bit as important as the quality of the food, the range of wines and drinks and the carefully crafted ambience. Both the Aruba and Print Room launches have created a stir with Bournemouth residents and visitors to the town alike. Ideally, I wouldn’t mind taking a couple of weeks off but I’m not sure when. Have I mentioned the church project and the hotel in the New Forest…? 5
GBK serious about burgers, serious about POS
Nick Wong, a physics graduate from Imperial College, qualified as a chartered accountant with Baker Tilly and specialised in corporate finance. He joined Clapham House to head up the group finance function three years ago and was appointed Group Finance Director a year later. His favourite Clapham House dish is the Pesterella burger from the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Here he talks about the importance of POS and IBS to Clapham House. We are growing rapidly and have actively looked at all the different POS and enterprise management solutions in the market before committing to IBS as our preferred supplier for the extensive Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) roll out. With an aggressive roll out programme planned for all four Clapham House brand concepts (we are opening 20 or more GBKs this year) we have to be spot on with key decisions. Naturally, this review process can be a tough time for an incumbent supplier like IBS even though a lot of our senior management team know the company through personal experience during their time with PizzaExpress and, of course, they supplied Tootsies prior to our acquisition of the brand last year. As we went out to the market to look at alternatives I could empathise with any unease shown by Gareth and his team at IBS knowing we were looking elsewhere. However, after our POS review we knew IBS was right for us. It was apparent, in our view, that there are few POS specialists able to meet the exacting demands of a forward-thinking dynamic company like Clapham House. Our goals for a considerable POS investment were clear. We wanted to automate and simplify the entire process,
Q: What’s so special about GBK? A: Lots of things. One is knocking the perception of a burger as ONLY a fast food option very firmly on the head. Q: How’s it done that? A: Simple. GBK is a concept based around a nutritious sophisticated product and the best, freshest ingredients. Innovative and exotic burger combinations have been designed by internationally recognised chef Peter Gordon. Q: Surely a burger is a burger? A: You’re joking! I know you’re joking. At GBK we offer an extensive range of freshly prepared burgers to suit all tastes and appetites, from classic flavour combinations such as Chicken, Camembert and Cranberry, or Beef, Avocado and Bacon, to exciting new combinations like
ensure it was 100% secure and accurate and have instant access to the necessary reports to make informed decisions from director level through to our operational managers out in the restaurants. Previously, all reporting was manually imported into Excel from an inherited POS system, a labour-intensive and timeconsuming process which delayed decision making. This process is now fully automated. We have overlayed the StockLink system with our own reporting suite that sends out relevant reports to the appropriate people on a weekly basis to give our senior management team the tools and information to make and implement decisions. The benefits of real-time reporting and identifying the information required to run a successful hospitality business should never be underestimated.
We originally acquired GBK with six restaurants and one of our first initiatives was to implement tight cost control procedures. We first put an IBS system on trial at Ealing. This was successful, I am pleased to report. IBS has worked well with our team to integrate StockLink into our bespoke wide area network infrastructure and embraced the difficult challenge of working with our latest technology. One aspect of the IBS approach that particularly impresses me is their ability to see the big picture and to understand the nature of our business. Their significant experience in the restaurant industry means they brought a wealth of expertise in business reporting to the table. We’ve only just started out on what promises to be a great journey but it’s good to have IBS at our side.
Where IBS scored highly was their desire to listen to our demands (and to be blunt we are quite demanding in a highly competitive business environment). We have great ambitions for all our brands, especially GBK. It may be a simple operation as Javed explains below but it still requires sophisticated, easy-to-understand real time reporting. Maintaining and improving cost controls are essential, especially as our longer term ambitions are to have over 100 restaurants nationwide in the coming years.
Chorizo and Sweet Potato, Lamb and Minted Relish, or the vegetarian Portabella Mushroom burger. Q: Manchester’s a very impressive layout with lots of iconic pictures and a very fresh design. What are you trying to achieve? A: Ambience, atmosphere and the right environment is critical to the GBK proposition. Our outlets should be seen as places to eat and relax. GBK premises reflect the sheer simplicity of the operation. The décor is clean, crisp and fresh. The kitchen is clearly visible so customers see what they are going to eat. Q: How’s GBK going down beyond London? A: They are loving it. Gourmet burgers are recognised as a favoured way of eating for busy people and families seeking good quality convenient food.
GBK Operations Manager Javed Akhtar is a busy man, up and down the country overseeing the roll out of the Gourmet Burger Kitchen brand. Impact caught up with him at the newly launched GBK restaurant in Manchester’s Spinnyfield Left Bank development. 7
Using your loaf pays dividends When former jewellery wholesaler Jonathan Cohen left his native Germany to set up home in London with his new family he noticed a lack of good bread on the capital’s high street – so he decided to do something about it with a helping hand from IBS. I moved to England lock, stock and barrel from Pforzheim, Germany, just under a decade ago with the intention of setting up home and starting a family with my wife, a public relations professional who had a great job in London. Although I’d been a successful jewellery wholesaler, the sparkle had gone from the profession, if you’ll excuse the pun, and I was looking to fire my imagination with other business concepts. One of the immediate differences between Germany and England was the lack of good bread and I quickly saw an opportunity to move into a niche market retailing and wholesaling special breads. I teamed up with a baker and used my business and marketing acumen to create a team dedicated to baking the best possible bread on a daily basis. Just as important as the product, our outlets would become focal points for their local communities, a meeting place for customers throughout the day. So as well as retailing bread, we have facilities for customers to sit, stop, have a chat, enjoy something to drink and eat. We’ve done the job so well that when I visit our St John’s store, I have to enter through the back otherwise I can be sidetracked for hours by friendly customers! Our brand concept was named the 'Bread Shop' to avoid any confusion about what we did. All the products are made from specially selected wheat, flour and other key ingredients to ensure we always maintain a superior standard and taste. We even have our own nutritionist as part of the Bread Shop team. Australian graduate Stephanie Driver specialises in nutritional and herbal medicine and dispenses health tips on a regular basis to our customers. She’s our prettier and less noisy version of Jamie Oliver, who you may know from his work promoting a certain well-known supermarket! 8
Not that we were trying to compete with the supermarkets. Our goal was and is to offer the best quality, freshest bread money can buy, which, until now, has not always been readily available. We wanted and still want to turn buying bread into a pleasure rather than a daily chore. When visiting the Bread Shop, we want our customers to enjoy and relish the aromas and be able to taste the freshness when they walk in. We now have five units with a sixth opening in Bluewater soon. Our breads can also be found in Selfridges, Harrods and other independent outlets, where there is a strong demand for a wide choice and variety of special breads. In terms of our POS systems, IBS has been involved from the start and we’re grateful for their expertise and the benefits of a longstanding relationship. Gareth Powell and his team were recommended by Formation, the shop designers who provided the distinctive eye-catching, earthy, natural feel of the selfservice Bread Shop high street and wholesale brand. The IBS till system, which utilises StockLink software, has been essential for business control from day one. It ensures we have the mechanisms in place to run the business effectively and correctly. Without a good system and the on-going support of Gareth and our project team led by Justin Atkinson we wouldn’t be able to manage the business and control our costs on an impressive £1.2m turnover so well. While I’m pleased with what we’ve achieved to date, one of the beauties of the
IBS system is its modular nature and we’re looking forward to unlocking further tools as and when they are needed. To prepare for further expansion I’ve appointed an operations director. Deniz Gul is an industry veteran with over 20 years experience and is helping shape the concept ready for expansion. He’s worked with lots of systems but gives IBS the thumbs up for the information and reports it provides to help the decision making process. Together Deniz and I feel the time is right to take advantage of an increasingly health conscious and more discerning buying public. We’ve got the products, the staff and the business control systems in place so we’re all looking forward to rising to the challenge.
St Martin-in-the-Fields, located right at the heart of London in the northeast corner of theatreland, is very much part of the local community. It's a busy city centre parish church with regular services in English, Cantonese and Mandarin as well as special one-off services (for example, marking the anniversary of the 7/7 bombings). The Connection at St Martin's provides a place of safety and opportunity for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The church is also a music venue with over 350 concerts every year. The Cafe in the Crypt is a vibrant, unique hospitality and entertainment outlet, offering an out-of-theordinary experience in the depths of underground Victorian burial vaults. It’s truly an unforgettable environment. The church and the hospital facility work together to create a special atmosphere and environment for our 700,000 visitors who come to the church or eat at our awardwinning Cafe in the Crypt or listen to a concert from an extensive classical programme. Whatever the activity, all the proceeds are re-invested to ensure the church makes a real difference to the way people live their lives.
St Martin-in-the-Fields enjoys magnificent £36m rebirth Nelson’s Column may dominate the skyline but centuries before the naval hero rose to prominence the hub of this particular part of London revolved around a church that can trace its origins back to 1222. And it’s still very much an essential element of the community, according to St Martin-in-the-Fields food services manager, Luis Martins, especially as this famous architectural masterpiece is benefiting from a £36m renewal project.
I may be bias, having had the privilege of working here for a dozen years, but there’s genuinely nothing like St Martin-in-theFields, anywhere. What’s more, it’s about to get better as we’re in the midst of a £36m renewal project that will add a brand new chapter to our fascinating history. We’re re-launching the Cafe in the Crypt this Autumn. Normally we’re open 364 days of the year (with the exception of Christmas Day) so you can imagine it’s been strange working from temporary accommodation while we’ve been closed during the renewal project. Highlights include a clean and classic design for new public spaces. The entrance foyer (which opens next year) includes a striking glass pavilion set into the church path. This stunning addition houses a spiral winding staircase taking you into the heart of St Martin’s. From my perspective, I’m naturally delighted the much-loved and ever popular award-winning Cafe in the Crypt has increased its capacity from 160 to 225 guests. We’ve created the extra space by moving the shop and the box office to the new foyer and the kitchens to new underground spaces beneath the courtyard. We're fortunate to have many regular customers, whether for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner by candlelight, and we're pleased that in addition to physical changes they'll see we will also be launching new menus that will continue to fill them up without emptying their pockets. We’re catering for all needs from a quick stop off for a snack or a longer lingering stay
for guests wanting to explore the gallery or book or attend a classical concert or jazz night. St Martin’s is a centre for musical excellence. An internationally respected musical programme attracts performers and audiences from across the globe to our 800 capacity venue. Naturally, a restoration of this significance needs the best of everything, including the right epos technology to run, manage and control our catering and retail operations. By managing the business operations well we will maximise the funds available to further the work of the church.
St Martin-in-the-Fields has been serving the people of London and beyond for centuries. The first official record of the existence of a church on the site dates back to the Normans when William, Abbot of Westminster, and Eustace, Bishop of London, argued about who had authority over the building in 1222. The Abbott won and his monks started a tradition for worship that has continued ever since. St Martin’s is also London's first free lending library and the site of the first religious broadcast. The £36m renewal project will see the church restored to its original 1761 specification to maximise the impact of natural light and improve access and facilities for visitors and homeless people. The exterior will also be thoroughly cleaned and restored.
Which is why we’re delighted to open our doors with a new epos system provided by IBS. When we were looking round for an epos system we had to find one to not only cater for our mix of retail and hospitality but also have the flexibility and versatility necessary to meet our requirements on an on-going basis. IBS ticked all the right boxes from the start and have shown they are always willing to listen and work with us rather than provide us with a restrictive offthe-shelf solution. After all, this not an ordinary hospitality venue! Come and experience for yourself. You’ll be impressed. 9
A flexible friend suitable for every occasion StockLink’s versatility as an essential POS and enterprise management tool has been reinforced with the release of a new on-line loyalty module, as IBS commercial director Dee Powell explains. An on-line loyalty module suitable for every occasion has been added to the versatile StockLink portfolio to give hospitality businesses a powerful, cost-effective new marketing tool. Specifically designed to maximise flexibility and versatility, the on-line loyalty module gives users total freedom to initiate, target, plan, manage and evaluate the success of loyalty activity. As a highly targeted marketing discipline it will produce additional revenue and increased profits at a fraction of the cost of advertising and other traditional marketing activities. Simplicity is the key to our loyalty on-line module, which runs on the www interacting with a client’s own internet presence and is 10
powered by a back office database residing on either IBS servers or the customer’s own. The on-line loyalty scheme runs on PC POS and Uniwell terminals and offers a high degree of flexibility and control. As I’ve already pointed out, on-line loyalty is designed to be totally flexible and can used as • A customer loyalty card where users accumulate points in direct relation to the amount they spend, in much the same way as the major supermarkets run schemes. Points can be redeemed as vouchers or discounts at the point of sale. This scheme rewards and recognises regular customers and encourages them to spend with you as opposed to taking their custom elsewhere. • A customer discount card where the user can take advantage of any number of highly-focused, pre-programmed schemes to promote and increase sales within a hospitality business. These can range from a free bottle of house wine for diners celebrating special occasions, 10% discount off desserts or starters, 25% off food only or early bird discounts for families eating before a certain time. The choice of promotions and loyalty initiatives is infinite. Each activity is allocated a scheme title and code in the on-line loyalty module and can be changed or updated by the click of a button. • A cashless card scheme for local businesses who can pre-credit accounts
similar to mobile phone pay-as-you-go top-ups. These cards can be coupled with a cash incentive (buy £50 and get £55 worth of credit). Whichever scheme you run, you can regularly communicate with customers by e-mail sent via the on-line module. This can be done individually (an invitation to celebrate a birthday or a wedding anniversary at your outlet) or in batches (to promote early bird meals for customers with young families).
So how does it work? First you need to sign up customers and add their names and details (including birthdays, anniversaries and any other criteria you want to log) to a database. This can be done two ways: either by inviting customers to fill out application forms and then processing internally at head office or asking them to register themselves on-line. Customers are supplied with preprogrammed branded plastic loyalty cards complete with a random six digit number as their exclusive ID for logging on. Once this has been done, you’re ready to boost sales and profits. It really is that straightforward. Of course, we’ll project manage the set up process like we do with all the StockLink modules. Prior to the launch of a scheme, our in-house development team will work closely with a customer’s website team to create, publish and go live with a specific section designed to sign-up customers to the loyalty membership scheme.
A Scotsman’s Letter from America John Naismith is a POS industry veteran who has worked in Scotland, England 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 USA. Here is the fifth of his letters from America. Metropolitan Atlanta has a population of over 5 million, having grown by more than 1 million in the last decade. That’s a lot of people and, like most Americans, they eat a lot of food not cooked at home. A recent food service survey reported that US consumers each spent seven times more eating out than the Brits, French and Germans. In Japan, where eating out is generally more expensive, they spent only one third as much as their American counterparts. Revealingly, the report noted the US was the only country to spend more in Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) than dining out. This explains the popularity of the drive-thru to the American way of life. The first restaurant windows appeared in the 1940’s, followed by drive-thru banks, pharmacies and liquor stores. In Las Vegas you can even get married without leaving your car. (I wonder if they also do divorces?)
ERC also sell systems for bars and table service, but they are best known for their QSR solutions. With 150 employees, and branch offices in Ohio, Kentucky and North Carolina, ERC have installed more than 8,000 sites with POS and drive-thru performance timers. Their interest in StockLink coincided with Speed of service is clearly a priority, so the addition of Uniwell to their product line QSRs have systems to measure the time to and the introduction of the Uniwell DX915 – take, process and deliver each customer Uniwell’s first POS product with drive-thru functionality. order. There are conflicting estimates as to the number of QSR units but it’s a lot. The three largest burger chains – McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s – alone account for over 27,000 outlets. I’m telling you this by way of introduction to ERC – the latest company to become a StockLink reseller. ERC’s corporate office is in Kennesaw, about 30 miles north of Atlanta. They started out in 1980 as a distributor of electronic parts to the cash register industry, with a staff of 5. They still carry over 5,000 parts in inventory, but ERC is now one of the largest distributors of Hospitality POS and Wireless
The team in Columbus, one of two ERC sales and support offices in Ohio, were quick to see the benefits of StockLink, and have already booked a number of orders. Simon has been to Columbus a couple of times to train their support people and help with the first installations and is looking forward to working with them on other opportunities they’ve identified. With ERC’s professionalism and experience of the sector, I’m sure he won’t have long to wait. I’ll tell you more about ERC and their StockLink customers later but the temperature here is around 33 Celsius so I’m putting the roof down and heading to the nearest drive-thru for ice cream.
Richard Cowell IBS Profile...R
Name: Age: Job title: Status: Interests:
Richard Cowell 39 Support engineer Married, two step-children Motorsports, technology, music Ambition: Base jump off the Grand Canyon or abseil from a helicopter Fav song: “Nothing Else Matters” – Metallica Fav drink: Red Wine Fav food: Authentic Indian Fav film: Blazing Saddles Fav country: USA
Q1: What is your day-to-day role at IBS? A1: To provide support and training for our wide range of customers. One of the great things about IBS is the range of customers in the client portfolio from large multi-nationals to very successful independents. They’re all different so every day is also different. Q2: How long have you been with IBS? A2: Just over ten months. I’m enjoying every minute. Q3: What is your approach to the job? A3: Always learn and progress and increase your knowledge and experience. I naturally seem to enjoy helping others and strive hard to give customer what they want, expect and more importantly, need. It’s very satisfying when a customer says thank you when an enquiry is satisfactorily concluded.
Q4: What is your previous industry experience? A4: I worked with another epos company installing and training Uniwell and pcbased systems. Q5: What makes IBS special? A5: What can I say? A class leading team with a class leading product range. Seriously, we set ourselves very high standards across the board and work hard to maintain and improve them. There’s also a great team spirit and work ethic. I particularly like bond sessions when a curry is involved. Q6: What is your most memorable life/work experience? A6: Getting married and seeing my daughter graduate. If either had involved abseiling from a helicopter they would have been perfect days!
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.
Intelligent Business Systems, St James Rd, Brackley, Northants, NN13 7XY Tel 01280 709 400 Fax 01280 704 315
We do it for the likes of PizzaExpress, BBC, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Fresh Italy, Peach Pub Co, Fat Café Bar, Geronimo Inns, Tootsies and John Lewis. And we can do it for you as well. Call 01280 709 400 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ibs-systems.co.uk