The magazine for Intelligent Business Systems clients
Issue 7 Autumn/Winter 2008
IBS launches POSLink University Challenge Animal Magic StockLink Top of the Class
Welcome to Impact 7 A warm welcome to the Autumn/Winter 08 edition of Impact, our bi-annual magazine designed to keep you fully up-to-speed with the impact we’re making in the fast moving world of pos and enterprise management technology. As you can see below and on page 10, we’ve just launched POSLink, our own very own touchscreen pos solution. It’s an exciting new product to add to our growing StockLink portfolio, matching ease of use with numerous clever features and short cuts to give customers the ultimate in flexibility. Versatility is important in our industry as our contributors reveal in this issue. Clients from universities, schools and safari parks show how we make a genuine and positive difference to the way they do business, both operationally and strategically. We hope you enjoy this edition of Impact and trust it gives you plenty of food for thought as always. Remember, if you want to find out more about how we can impact upon the way you run your business, simply get in touch. We’re only a telephone call or an e-mail away. Dee Powell, editor, Impact Front cover image: POSLink is an exciting new touchscreen solution from IBS. Impact is published on behalf of Intelligent Business Systems (St James Road, Brackley, Northants, NN13 7XY, 01280 709 400) by AFC (www.afc-uk.org, 0161 798 8810). If you have any comments or feedback, contact me on 01280 709 400 or e-mail me on deeP@ibs-systems.co.uk. We’re always delighted to hear from you.
News from IBS POSLink adds new dimension to IBS software portfolio Intelligent Business Systems has launched POSLink, a fully integrated, feature-rich touchscreen solution designed to help hospitality, leisure and catering enterprises simplify sales, purchasing, reporting and business control while enhancing the consumer experience. Built around a compact Windows WEPOS platform for instant familiarity and extra speed, the pc-based POSLink solution is expected to be one of the quickest front-of-house solutions for hospitality staff to learn and accurately navigate around. Staff new to the solution can expect to familiarise themselves with its functionality within five to 15 minutes. POSLink can be configured to suit the operational and brand requirements of individual businesses, while helpful features like bill splitting, table management and special requests allow staff to focus on customer service and selling more. As a management tool, it’s equally easy for unit managers and head office staff to update, monitor and maintain. “POSLink aims to be the easiest-to-use touchscreen solution in the marketplace. Our focus is on quick, easy navigation. Which is why the most popular products can be sold using the fewest number of touches while we’ve also looked to minimise the transitions between different screens,” said IBS managing director, Gareth Powell. “Obviously every business is different but they can configure POSLink to suit their individual and often unique requirements.” 2
Gareth Powell talks about POSLink on page 10 and 11.
University of Wolverhampton upgrade The University of Wolverhampton is in the process of upgrading many of its hospitality facilities to pc-based pos systems. It is anticipated that the work will be completed across all the campuses by the end of the financial year. “Even though we’re having more sophisticated technology at our disposal, the touchscreens remain very easy to use thanks to IBS’s understanding of our operational needs. Our staff can start operating the systems with minimal training, even those who aren’t really
all that computer literate. That’s a big selling point to me. Simplicity is the key to providing excellent service,” says Stuart Rutty, the City campus general catering manager at the University. Stuart Rutty, the University of Wolverhampton’s general catering manager of its City campus, writes about why the education sector has to match the high street on page 8 and 9.
StockLink increasingly popular with schools StockLink is an increasingly important business tool for many of the country’s leading independent schools like Marlborough College, Gordenstoun, King’s School and Haileybury, writes Carla McKenzie of MYA Consulting. The software package is being used to help schools plan, control and review expenditure while also planning and nutritionally analysing menus to encourage healthy eating. The School Food Trust is introducing new nutrient-based food standards into schools. These standards have to be interpreted and implemented in a way that doesn’t detract from the quality and presentation of the food or greatly increase the cost of providing food and drink for the pupils. StockLink is an important part of managing that process. It is also a vital tool in the constant battle to control costs. With an anticipated 20% increase over the coming months a very conservative estimate, careful scrutiny of prices, stocks and staff time-management are needed to
Flexibility key to hardware selection
protect the balance sheet. By using the software to plan meals, organise portion control and monitor production, schools are finding StockLink offers transparency across all aspects of the catering departments of client schools, while easing the administrative workload of catering staff. See page 4 and 5 to read more from Carla about how StockLink is making a difference to the independent school sector.
IBS helping to speed up talking to the animals
IBS is helping the West Midlands Safari Park introduce new-style kiosks over the coming months to speed up entrance to the Park so visitors can spend more time with the animals rather than waiting to get in. As part of this process, IBS has been developing an e-ticketing solution so visitors can purchase tickets on-line with printed vouchers scanned in
at the kiosks. “Like the innovation of driver-sided kiosks, e-ticketing will give us the opportunity to boost sales through making purchasing easier and quicker for our customers who come from Wales, Birmingham, Leicester, the Midlands and the north,” says Hannah Price, commercial manager at the popular Safari Park which attracts close to half a million visitors every year. As well as helping design and instal the ticketing system at the ten ticket kiosks at the entrance to the Park, IBS has provided pos and head office management for the busy privately-owned attraction. “Our work with the WMSP highlights our ability to create bespoke software solutions to accommodate each individual’s own unique requirements,” says Dee Powell, IBS commercial director. Hannah Price writes exclusively for Impact about the WMSP’s relationship with IBS on pages 6 and 7.
IBS really at home at Nottingham’s Home Intelligent Business Systems has installed a pos system with StockLink professional software to help run and manage Home, a brand new chic bar and restaurant opened in Nottingham by former solicitor and entrepreneur Nick Howdle. “StockLink really does give me complete control over the business. For example, the live journal reports provide real time pos sales information. The live update facility means
changes can be made during service while my specially adapted business sheet provides the vital figures on a day to day basis,” says Nick, who is planning to roll out the brand to other towns and cities as the concept develops.
IBS has introduced a three-tier hardware portfolio to accommodate the requirements of customers that cover a wide range of sectors from hospitality to retail to leisure to catering and education. “Understanding hardware and the full implications of each model’s specification is essential to ensuring the best return on investment. Our portfolio offers three different categories of hardware depending upon on a client’s specific needs,” says Gareth Powell, IBS managing director. Gareth and his team have been busy extensively ‘roadtesting’ all the models within the product portfolio to ensure they are all fit for purpose. They have created a three-tier to categorise the hardware according to whether they are premium, standard or economy.
Oxford Organic Burger Bar goes wall-mounted IBS has installed a full pos system at the newly opened Oxford Organic Burger Bar in Oxford, the third outlet to be launched in the town’s Cowley Road by Clinton Leisure. The others are Coco and Kazbar. This spacious bar uses only organic food and has wall-mounted terminals to fit in with the relaxed, open ambience of the restaurant bar. “Flexibility is important whenever we approach the design of a new bar. The layout demanded terminals that were easily accessible without being obtrusive so mounting them on the walls was the obvious solution,” said IBS senior project manager, Mark Bagnall. STOP PRESS: IBS is appearing at the Hospitality exhibition at the NEC Birmingham, 19-21 January 2009. For more details visit www.ibs-systems.co.uk or wwww.hospitality.co.uk. 3
StockLink making a difference to independent school sector
Carla McKenzie (left) is the managing director of MYA Consulting, who provide independent hotel and catering advice. As well as specialising in the private schools sector, she has previously been director of catering at the Royal Festival Hall and South Bank Centre. Here she talks about the importance of StockLink software to help schools run more effective catering departments without sacrificing the quality of food served to pupils. What do famous schools like Gordenstoun, Marlborough College, Haileybury and King’s School have in common - apart from representing the cream of independent schools in the UK and providing the next generation of political leaders and opinion formers who will shape how we live? They, along with dozens of other leading educational establishments, use StockLink to help plan, control and review expenditure - as well as plan and nutritionally analyse menus to encourage healthy eating. StockLink is our recommended software tool to help schools run and manage their catering departments. Whether it’s internally for pupils or externally for visitors and increasingly popular revenue-generating corporate hospitality events, it’s an integral part of our proposition that has established us as one of the country’s most effective, results-led catering consultancies. As specialists in the independent school sector, our objective is to make a difference to the way our client schools run and operate their catering departments. Our reputation, built over 15 years, is based upon inspiring and delivering creative change as part of a dynamic solution to ensure our clients have catering operations that combine the best of all worlds with imaginative and nutritious food served in exciting environments while ensuring value for money throughout the process. This process embraces a whole series of specialist skills and a unique understanding of the legislative and pastoral concerns that revolve around prestigious schools with histories dating back several centuries. The MYA team will design appropriate and sympathetic interior and exterior spaces to suit the specific requirements of individual schools - while taking in to account the architectural significance and heritage of the buildings. It’s a great challenge to create visually exciting environments for young people without diminishing the character of the schools. It’s one we relish with every project, especially as the presentation of the food is key to tempting the taste buds of children who can be fickle at the best of times. Design will cover everything from kitchen layouts and equipment to food counter displays and decorating the walls of eating spaces with appropriate images and furnishings. The schools may have hundreds of years of amazing history behind them but the children invariably have a thoroughly modern perspective.
Menu development is another major area of expertise where we balance several key objectives. Food, as we all know from our own domestic circumstances, has to look fresh, colourful and exciting. Obviously, it has to be nutritious too as part of healthy diet while meeting legislative guidelines. The School Food Trust is introducing new nutrient-based food standards into schools. These standards have to be interpreted and implemented in a way that doesn’t detract from the quality and presentation of the food or greatly increase the cost of providing food and drink for the pupils.
SIX OF THE BEST StockLink is proving to be increasingly popular with schools. Here are six reasons why. 1
Helps plan meals and portion control
Gives catering departments better control over prices, stocks and staff time-management
Offers catering transparency
Positively influences balance sheet
Helps interpret food standards
Eases administrative workload
Value for money and ensuring every pound is well spent is particularly important in the context of rising food costs - a 20% increase over the coming months is a very conservative estimate - and a stagnating economy. Careful scrutiny of prices, stocks and staff timemanagement all influence the balance sheet. Fortunately, StockLink gives us the control necessary to make a real and impressive difference to client catering departments. By using it to plan meals, organise portion control and monitor production, it offers transparency across all aspects of the catering departments of client schools while easing the administrative workload of catering staff. In fact, StockLink is such an important part of our offering as a consultancy, we have our own full-time specialist to maximise the impact of this powerful MS Windows-based software package. Rebecca Maltby’s natural organisational strength and systems expertise make her an obvious choice to look after the delivery and functionality of
Ready to be served - Andy Snook is the catering manager at King’s School, Canterbury, originally founded in 1541 and built around the famous cathedral. As well as organising meals for over 750 pupils, many of whom are boarders, Andy is busy catering for special commercial events at the school ranging from weddings to conferences. He and his colleagues work closely with the MYA team on a regular basis.
Rebecca Maltby is MYA’s StockLink specialist with a brief to release the full power of the software, including raising orders, reconciling deliveries and invoices and monitoring consumption.
StockLink. Rebecca is responsible for releasing the full power of the software suite, which includes the ability to raise orders, reconcile deliveries and invoices and monitor consumption. One of the major benefits of the package compared to other systems is the reports it produces. These can be tailored to suit the needs of client schools and integrated with other management and accounting systems. 5
West Midlands Safari Park is an exhilarating and exciting 45 hectare reserve, home to over 600 or so fascinating animals from across the world. These range from breeding groups of white lions, critically endangered African wild dogs and rare deer to enormous rhino, reptiles, bats and jumping rats. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and is a regular star of popular television programmes like Five’s Michaela’s Zoo Babies. Equally impressive is the pos, head office management and e-ticketing systems provided by Intelligent Business Systems, as WMSP commercial manager, Hannah Price, explains exclusively to Impact.
JUST THE E-TICKET AMONGST THE WILDLIFE “I’ve worked at the West Midlands Safari Park for six years and was delighted to be offered a full time appointment as commercial manager after I’d graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in Geography. After all, working at the Park is a unique experience where no two days are ever going to be the same. There are new births amongst the animals throughout the year. Whether it’s a new white lion cub or a camel or a giraffe, each birth creates a buzz amongst the staff who work here and the thousands who visit every day. New additions to the Park like Cheetahs from South Africa add to the magical atmosphere, grabbing the attention of families and the media in equal measure. Obviously, the weather influences the numbers of visitors who drive through the gates. The more sun and blue sky, the busier the queues for the four-mile drive round the Park, which takes about 90 minutes. There’re always special guests popping in as well. Bubbly TV personality and animal lover, Michaela Strachen, was here filming for her show about births in zoos and wildlife parks. We also welcomed
members of the GB hockey squad before the Olympics in China. The unpredictability of each day is part of the attraction - although from a business perspective we don’t welcome surprises, especially when it comes to monitoring what’s happening commercially around the site. Fortunately, we work very closely with Intelligent Business Systems, who supply our pos technology and ticketing systems for the Park. Our involvement with them helps minimise the risk factor and keeps things running like clockwork. As my responsibilities include retail, admissions and wristbands, I liaise with senior project manager Mark Bagnall and the IBS team several times a month to ensure the Park runs as smoothly as possible from both pos and ticketing perspectives. It’s a long-standing relationship built on mutual trust and one of the great things about them is that they always respond quickly to queries and issues. I can manage most things on the system but occasionally need help with things like reclaiming VAT or connecting one-off
Seasonal worker Ceri Cowley in one of the new style ticket kiosks designed to speed up admission into the Safari Park. The IBS system accommodates e-ticket sales where visitors pay in advance via the internet.
promotional offers to the journal or creating special reports. You always get the impression they are genuinely interested in what we’re doing
THE MORE THE MERRIER
Gobi, an eight week old camel rejected by her mother, has an insatiable appetite for milk.
and what we’re trying to achieve. One of the things I really like about them is that they are also very proactive and take a consultative approach to the way they carry out their business. For instance, IBS designed and installed the ticketing system for the ten ticket kiosks at the Park’s entrance. This system needs to be able to seamlessly accommodate up to 10,000 visitors per day when the Park’s at full capacity during bank holidays and summer season peaks. After all, we are busy marketing the Park throughout the year - and have numerous awards to prove the success of our efforts, which are handled by our internal marketing and creative team. We advertise on television and billboards around the Midlands, send out a quarter of a million direct mail pieces from our database, release numerous press and media stories - and run lots of special incentives to drive repeat business. One of the beauties of the system designed by IBS is that we have a real time snapshot of exactly how many people are in the Park at any one time and the income we’re generating. The information appears on the computers of senior staff so the likes of General Manager Ashley Gillam and Director of Wildlife Bob Lawrence can see how we’re doing hour by hour. We’re introducing new-style driver-sided kiosks over the coming months to try and speed up entrance to the Park so visitors can spend more time with the animals rather than waiting to get in. As part of this process, IBS worked with us to help develop an e-ticketing solution so visitors can purchase tickets on-line with printed vouchers scanned in at the kiosks. Like the innovation of driver-side kiosks, e-ticketing will give us the opportunity to boost sales through making purchasing easier and quicker for our customers who come from Wales, Birmingham, Leicester, the Midlands
and the north. Visitors can use the tickets anytime they want during the relevant season. IBS has also made its presence felt in the Plaza retail area, home to our African Trading Post shop and pizza and ice cream parlours. We use PC POS terminals and StockLink software in the shop. The system is easy for staff to use so they can concentrate on looking after customers while the sales reporting and stock control informs us about which popular lines to reorder and when. The shop’s packed full of DVDs, gifts and brilliant, high quality cuddly toys, including our own specially commissioned white lions. These are unique to us and many of our visitors like to take away a really special souvenir. After all, we were the first wildlife park to introduce a pride of rare white lions in 2004 - and we were also delighted to have been able to announce the first ever white lion cubs to be born in the UK. The arrival of four cubs then doubled our white lion population, which now numbers 20. Whether they are real or toys, we’re always striving to reach the highest standards with everything we do. That includes the day to day running of the business. Here the likes of IBS are helping us perform to our potential. However, we know in an increasingly competitive leisure and entertainment market, we can never stand still so visitors can look forward to even more attractions and further enhancements to our technology courtesy of IBS as we grow together.
The West Midlands Safari Park has picked up numerous prestigious awards for its marketing and promotional campaigns, writes general manager. Ashley Gillam. We’re extremely busy and we need to be. With over 400 full time and seasonal staff and hundreds of precious animals to protect and look after, we have to maximise the number of visitors at every opportunity. We regularly advertise on television and billboards. We send out mailshots to a quarter of a million loyal customers. We give away free return tickets with full price tickets to encourage repeat business. There are special VIP packages where visitors can get up close to the animals with our keepers. And we’re always keen to develop corporate business by organising fun days for the families. The Co-Op, Lloyds and Orange are three names that spring to mind who have brought thousands of guests to the site for special events where we set aside areas for lunch and entertainment. Also this activity has to be monitored and controlled which is where the system provided by IBS proves to be so valuable as a business tool. The West Midland Safari Park first opened in 1973 and covers an area of 200 acres that combines four miles of self-drive safari, a discovery trail, amusement area, live shows, cafes and themed retail shops. It stages a wide variety of annual events including a summer symphony, summer nights, safari illuminations, bonfire bonanza and santa safari. 7
University challenge aiming to graduate to high street standards! The biggest, most fundamental change in university catering operations in recent years has been an instinctive almost innate understanding that we have to aspire to the same exacting standards of commercial catering chains and brands operating in the high street. Students, irrespective of their age or whether they’re doing full or part time courses, expect us to deliver vastly improved services compared to say a decade or two ago. Even though we’re essentially contract caterers, the introduction of tuition fees has put a different complexion on how students view the university catering experience. If they’re paying for their education out of their own pockets they won’t accept inferior standards compared to the other places they visit in city and town centres. This mood change is also indicative of the national trend for people to go to their local university. They feel more comfortable demanding better service on home territory. But while they want the same quality food and drink and matching service, they also feel educational establishments should be subsidising the price they have to pay. To be fair, they have a valid point. We should be able to match what the high street commercial operators offer as we share the same vastly improved technology. A decent cup of coffee can be made and served quite easily. Likewise we can access the same pos touchscreen and enterprise management technology and software to emulate the service standards and operational controls. At the University of Wolverhampton we’ve enjoyed a good relationship with Intelligent Business Systems for several years. We’re using the same pc-based solutions that can be found in national restaurant, pizza and pub chains and fast food outlets. This technology gives us the same mindset as our high street counterparts and helps us move with the times. That’s all part of our obligation to give the 26,000 students of the University of Wolverhampton a service wherever and whenever they are studying. For instance, our day runs from 8.30am to 6.45pm to take into account full and part time students attending lectures and classes during the day and in the evening. 8
Stuart Rutty, the general catering manager of the City campus, the University of Wolverhampton’s flagship site, has been involved in the hospitality sector throughout his working life. He started full time at the Castle Hotel in Taunton the week celebrity chef Gary Rhodes left. After moving to the Regency Hotel in Solihul, he was the deputy house manager at a Birmingham cinema complex. Here he talks about how universities have to up their standards as fee-paying students demand catering facilities to match high street food and drink offerings. Like many high street hospitality businesses, we’re in the process of upgrading many of our tills to pos systems. Hopefully the work will be completed across all five campuses by the end of the financial year. Even though we’re having more sophisticated technology at our disposal, the touchscreens remain very easy to use. Our staff can start operating the systems with minimal training, even those who aren’t really that computer literate. That’s a big selling point to me. Simplicity is key to providing excellent service. The systems also have to be easy for management to use otherwise they’ll neglect useful features. I’ve seen this sort of thing in the hotel industry where they’ll ignore something that’s too difficult.
Luckily, we’re blessed with a strong catering team at the university. We’ve been together for a considerable length of time and they’ve responded positively to the new kit and the IBS training. We’re using the system for recipe costings, regular sales reports checks and to forecast budgets. It’s a great management tool for us at the university as it speeds up our way of working. This is especially important when we’re adopting a more commercial perspective. We find we’re doing more lucrative extra curricular work during the summer holidays and other vacations. The influx of foreign students influences our workload. Initially it was students from Hong Kong. Now it’s more Italians and Koreans.
I suppose it’s ironic in a way that just as our students demand more from us, we want more from our suppliers. Crucially, as far as I’m concerned, IBS are happy to oblige and are always responsive to our needs. Good relationships are key and it’s great not to have to call our pos supplier and have someone sounding miffed at the end of the phone because there’s an issue. It also builds confidence when you know your supplier is in it for the long term and can provide on-going quality, professional support. The pos market is a cut-throat business and is relatively easy to enter -
though it’s more difficult to attain and maintain top-end status. Technology within the catering industry is very exciting and is changing the way that we approach our business. IBS has helped us compete on a level playing field with commercial operators with the use of their new pos systems. I’m looking forward to seeing where they take the technology in the future. One direction is a situation where phones will have cash on them and be used as a form of payment or credit card. I’ve read about trials in Australia, where the concept is being tried out.
Branding in catering facilities is graphic, eyecatching - and wouldn’t look out of place in a commercial bar or restaurant.
University of Wolverhampton - home to 26,000 students after value for money.
Impact asks the University of Wolverhampton Q: How long has the university worked catering operations manager, Susan with IBS? Warrender, how IBS influences the A: Off the top of my head it’s been seven or strategic management of the catering eight years. I remember we had a good and hospitality facilities. look around at what was available in the market at the time and IBS ticked all the right boxes. They’re still ticking the right boxes today. Q: You’ve been upgrading your system with pc-based technology? What’s driven that investment? A: Changing needs and circumstances of our operation really and the need to maintain tight controls over what we do. We are spread out over a large geographic area, unlike a lot of educational institutions. We have five different sites. Our main campuses are in Wolverhampton but we also have locations in Walsall and in Telford which are 10 and 24 miles from here respectively. StockLink is designed for multi-site operations and is ideal for our needs.
Still ticking the right boxes
Q: What are the key benefits as far as you’re concerned. A: We use it primarily to manage stock, place orders and control costs. The reporting and business sheets show us
where they are increasing, monitor what’s going on across the catering function, whether it’s the cafes and restaurants or special hospitality events. It’s also invaluable to make sure we follow the correct processes. For example, managers can only order what’s on the system. Nothing else can be added without prior clearance. Although managers access the system with a pc, updates and orders are managed by the central office. Q: Have you realised the full potential of the system yet? A: I’m sure we haven’t. One of the joys of the system from what I can see is that you can explore its full capabilities as your own operation matures. For instance, we’re adding recipes for greater cost control. Q: How have your staff taken to the system? A: Very well although after a while bad habits can creep in. IBS helped us out by organising a special one-off training day to highlight the benefits of the system and ensure staff followed the right way of doing things. That sort of attention to detail makes a big difference. 9
POSLink is the latest addition to the modular StockLink suite that embraces all the tools needed to run and manage successful hospitality, catering, leisure and retail enterprises. StockLink Professional: users stay fully informed with pos, stock reporting and weekly business sheets on tap, whenever they want them. StockLink Enterprise: users really do see the big picture and so much more with extensive illuminating enterprise management intelligence. Crucial not only for operational staff but an essential weapon for head office staff when it comes to making informed, empirical decisions. StockLink Customer Ordering: users can add a new dimension to their enterprises with real time on-line ordering for faster, flexible, better sales. A natural progression for anyone looking for extra revenue streams. StockLink Loyalty & Promotions: used is to communicate directly to customers with cost effective, highly-focused pos-led direct marketing at the fraction of the price of hit-and-miss traditional advertising and expense direct mailshots. Speak to the people who already buy from you or are most likely to want to purchase from your business.
POSLINK PACKS A POWERFUL PUNCH The launch of POSLink by IBS gives clients access to a fully integrated, feature-rich touchscreen solution that perfectly complements and seamlessly integrates with the consultancy’s versatile StockLink modular software suite. The combination will enhance the ability of hospitality, leisure and retail enterprises to run better, more profitable businesses. IBS managing director, Gareth Powell, (right) is delighted to add POSLink to the product portfolio as it gives clients a complete in-house developed solution from one source supported by extensive sector-specific experience, as he explains here. POSLink has been developed as a direct response to customers who like what they’re getting with the StockLink modular software suite and want to see it emulated with a touchscreen solution. Every time we’ve been asked, we’ve always agreed it’s a great idea and a win-win situation for everyone concerned. Clients benefit from a top class, high specification solution which is specifically designed to help hospitality enterprises simplify sales, purchasing, reporting and business control. At the same time, they have a front-of-house tool that greatly enhances the overall consumer experience.
So, let’s take a closer look at POSLink. Like StockLink, it’s built around a Windows MS platform for instant familiarity. Microsoft has created an operating system specifically for the retail industry called ‘WEPOS’ (Windows Embedded at Point of Service). This operating system has all the unnecessary parts, such as games and accessories, removed - which makes the operating platform much more compact and faster to use. Although POSLink can be used on any standard MS operating system, WEPOS will be our standard platform of choice.
From our end, we have what we consider to be the best solution of its kind on the market, created by the same developers responsible for the evolution of StockLink. We know it inside out and how to successfully apply it across a wide range of different businesses. Its versatility and best-of-breed capabilities are going to be key selling points. Our core pos solution can be tailored and configured to the unique needs of businesses that all have their own specific requirements. What’s more, the initial configuration will be done by industry professionals who are among the most experienced and knowledgeable in the hospitality, leisure, retail and education sectors. It’s an attractive proposition made even stronger by the fact that it runs on various PC POS terminals. We’ve gone for this versatility because we appreciate that the budgets and requirements for enterprises differ wildly. Having hardware choices (from economy to standard to premium) gives clients the price and specification functionality to suit their own needs.
As a pc-based solution, we fully expect it to be recognised as one of the quickest front-ofhouse solutions on the market. That’s always been a key goal for everything we do as a
consultancy. Always create solutions that anyone can use in a matter of minutes. Keep it simple. After extensive testing and research, we expect staff new to the solution to familiarise themselves with its functionality within five to 15 minutes.
IBS Profile... Anthon Brits
That means they’re selling and interacting with customers almost immediately, rather than being confused by what they have to do next. We’ve deliberately looked to speed up the selling process. The most popular sales items, irrespective of what they are for different businesses, require the least number of touches. Two or three at most will transform the ordering and purchasing processes. During special promotions and happy hours, the list of popular sales items can be changed or amended to accommodate additional products that are going to be heavily pushed towards customers. Helpful features like graphical table management, bill splitting, customer re-order and special requests allow staff to focus on customer service and selling more, while the solution can be configured to match the brands of enterprises competing in an increasingly tough market. Clearly the front-of-house aspect stands out as fast, accurate new business tools. However, we’ve not neglected the equally important back office functionality. As a management tool, it’s just as easy for unit managers and head office staff to update, monitor and maintain as it for the front-of-house staff to use. Back office options cover extensive reporting facilities, on-the-spot and planned business checks including stock controls and numerous safety and security measures. POSLink can be updated, amended and accessed online, irrespective of the location or the number of sites networked to it. An automatic data backup protects the information it holds in the event of power cuts or server failure. Security includes multi-level password protection and restricted area access. The launch of POSLink complements the modular pos and enterprise management StockLink software suite marketed by us at
IBS. StockLink is extensively used by many of the UK and Europe’s leading independent and multisite hospitality businesses. The two software modules seamlessly integrate and combine together to provide a complete business solution for hospitality, leisure and catering operators from one pos specialist. Both are going to be developed and enhanced as the needs of our clients’ change, which is one of the great things about having all our software in-house. We’ve recently added customer ordering and loyalty modules to the core StockLink proposition and there’s much more on its way. Rest assured, we’re going to be upgrading and developing solutions as innovators rather followers. By taking the initiative, we’re focusing on giving customers a more professional choice that they come to expect from IBS. But obviously don’t take our word for it. Ask for a demonstration and see POSLink in action as soon as possible. We think you’ll be positively impressed.
POSlink is a truly versatile touchscreen solution complete with internet-based communications and programming options. It caters for hospitality functions from ‘Quick Service’ to ‘Fine Dining’ while its multiple ‘look and feel’ options allows it to fit in with client brand aesthetics and guidelines. Designed to make HQ terminal programming much simpler, impressive POSlink features also include stock countdown on buttons, right or left hand user screens, table and seat numbers or names, last round recall and super-fast Dutch and split billing.
Age: Job title: Married: Children: Interests:
55 Engineer Debbie Three boys Sport - watching rugby and cricket. I liked to play but my knees didn’t. Guess who won that battle?
Q1: How long have you worked for IBS? A1: About five years. Before I came here I was fixing mobile phones. I was a project manager for a telecommunications company in South Africa. Q2: What’s your day to day role at IBS? A2: In-house repairs of hardware like POS terminals, printers and kitchen dispensers. I love the challenge of discovering what’s wrong with things and then making them as good as new again. I also do some of the programming and sort out the delivery and dispatch of consumables to clients. Q3: What makes IBS special? A3: The people who work here are all great. It’s a good atmosphere that cascades down from Gareth and Dee. Everyone takes pride in what they do and it shows with the clients we have. When I was very ill everyone was very supportive. Gareth and Dee were absolutely fantastic, helping me and my family through it all. It’s very much appreciated by me and rest of my family. It’s a close-knit company - as I’ve learned first hand. And I’m glad it is. Q4: What is your approach to your work? A4: Do things as quickly and conscientiously as possible to the highest standards. And always look to improve. You’re never too young or old to get better. Apart from the knees, of course. Q5: What’s your biggest professional achievement? A5: In terms of IBS, it’s applying my knowledge of electronics to the epos market. If I can help save money for the company and clients then I’m very satisfied. 11
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.
nal’s Choice io s s e f o r P e Th 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: email@example.com or visit www.ibs-systems.co.uk