The magazine for Intelligent Business Systems clients
Issue 6 Spring 2008
Love Vodka, Love Revolution, Love StockLink London Calling Claude & Claire Educating the Educators StockLink goes On-Line
Welcome to Impact 6 A warm welcome to the Spring 08 edition of Impact, our bi-annual magazine designed to keep you fully up-to-date with the impact we’re making within the fast-moving world of pos technology. Once again we’re grateful to our contributors who cover the entire spectrum of the hospitality sector from the great British pub epitomised by the professionalism of Geronimo Inns to the exciting vodka retail concept Revolution to award-winning restaurants and imaginative educational establishments. So many thanks Ed, Marc, Claude, Mandy, Sara and Walter. On page 11 you can read my own contribution about the introduction of our new strapline, the professional’s choice. We hope this issue shows you why we are the preferred supplier for many hospitality professionals. Enjoy Impact 6. 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: Vodka, Revolution, Manchester. 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 Revolution rolls out StockLink Award-winning Revolution bars, named the Publican’s Retail Concept of the Year, has installed StockLink at its 55 UK outlets for stock checking, general sales reporting and production of daily business reports. Marc Dawson, IT manager at Inventive Leisure who owns the Revolution brand, said: “Our end goal is to be able to deliver data to head office in a timely fashion and StockLink is integral to that achievement. Although our bars operate at different closing times depending upon location and the time of the year, our tills are polled throughout the night so at 6am our systems at head office produce management reports. These are automatically sent out via email and PDA to our site managers and head office teams so they get the information they need to be able to drive the business forward.” The launch included training roadshows in Manchester, Bath, London and Derby to introduce managers to StockLink. Inventive Leisure’s Marc Dawson writes exclusively for Impact about Revolution and StockLink. See pages 6 and 7
IBS adds pos to menu at Hibiscus IBS has installed a pos system at the award-winning Hibiscus restaurant managed by husband and wife team, Claude and Claire Bosi. The couple recently uprooted their two Michelin-starred restaurant from its Ludlow home to London’s Mayfair and installed a pos system featuring StockLink. Claude is famous for his ingeniously inventive cooking but is equally pleased to have added IBS to his menu. “It’s a great shame we never had IBS when we first opened in Ludlow as it would have made life a lot easier and less stressful!” he said. Claude Bosi writes about his new challenge moving to the capital on page 4 2
IBS graduates at South Cheshire College
IBS...in brief StockLink On-Line goes live
South Cheshire College, one of the country’s leading tertiary and sixth form educational establishments, is benefiting from the flexibility of IBS’s pos systems after installations in the retail shop and large cafe. Catering for thousands of students, IBS has a long-standing relationship with the college and has recently upgraded the pos system to include pc-based terminals in Cafe Chill. ‘We operate and manage it along commercial lines with the same management information and reports that you’d find in any high street retail operation
so we need an appropriate pos system like the one provided by IBS,’ says head of retail operations, Mandy Malam. IBS has also carried out bespoke work on student cards and StockLink is used by the hospitality faculty to give the next generation of hospitality professionals realistic hands-on experience. See pages 8 and 9 to find out how we’re stacking up with the professionals at South Cheshire.
Geronimo Inns Timely Arrival at St Pancras Award-winning managed pub chain, Geronimo Inns, has opened a bar and kitchen at London’s newly refurbished St Pancras railway station, the Baby Betjeman. “We’re reinventing customer expectations of the pub when they’re travelling. After all, it’s a stressful experience travelling and our remit is to give travellers a friendly environment where they can relax with great grub and a pint,” says Ed Turner, Geronimo Inns commercial director. The bar at St Pancras, home to the Eurostar and gateway to the London Olympics, has a number of rooms including a south facing terrace and another underneath the glass room of the station itself with stock control and reporting provided by the IBS pos system. Geronimo also have three pubs at Heathrow Airport, including the Three Bells.
IBS has launched a www-based edition of StockLink to complement the existing off-line version. Both have essentially the same functionality and are designed to give hospitality professionals greater choice and flexibility. “Whether you go off-line or on-line really depends upon your own particular preferences. Whichever route you take, you’re guaranteed the easy-to-use, accurate feature-rich business control and intelligence that’s become synonymous with StockLink,’ says Gareth Powell, IBS’s managing director. With the On-Line version there is no need to physically install StockLink at each individual site. Nor is it necessary to update and maintain on-site databases as everything runs through the web. Database management and updates are carried out real time on centrally controlled servers (either our own or the customers). ‘On-Line will save multi-site businesses a lot of time and resources through operating with one web-controlled database,” says Gareth. See page 11 for more details about StockLink On-Line
Ed Turner writes about the traditional pub and IBS on page 5
IBS installs pos at Eight at the Thatch IBS has installed a pos system at the Eight at the Thatch, in Thame, Oxfordshire, which is run by Jeremy and Jane Hooper, the winners of The Restaurant, the popular BBC series featuring Raymond Blanc and the Peach Pub Co’s Lee Cash. A second series is being broadcast this Spring with producers looking for up to nine working restaurants. The restaurants will be hired for between five and 11 weeks in Spring 2008 with a fee paid for each week. The restaurants need to be within a fifty mile radius of Oxford. As well as the cash, the publicity for featured restaurants is considerable. Interested? Go to the BBC www for further details.
Hostec Here We Come IBS launches its new StockLink On-Line modular suite at the Hostec exhibition (Stand number H1330, 18-21 February 2008 at ExCel, London). “Hostec is a great opportunity to meet fellow hospitality professionals from all sectors of industry and update them with the exciting developments within IBS. As well as StockLink On-Line we’re promoting loyalty and promotional modules and on-line customer ordering,” says Dee Powell, IBS’s commercial director.
Hibiscus’s award-winning French chef-proprietor Claude Bosi and his wife Claire uprooted their acclaimed two Michelin-starred restaurant from peaceful Ludlow to the heart of London’s Mayfair in 2007 because they wanted a new challenge. Here Claude talks about the move to the capital and his introduction to IBS.
Claire Bosi, Hibiscus’s restaurant manager.
Claude Bosi, landed in Ludlow and collected numerous awards.
London Calling for Claude & Claire Bosi I was practically born in the kitchen because my parents had a restaurant in Lyons. Even though my mother never dared let me near the restaurant kitchen, cooking has always been a passion of mine. I graduated from catering college and did my apprenticeship in Lyons prior to two and a half years as a sous chef in Paris. I moved to a restaurant in Ludlow, England in 1997, meeting Claire, my future wife and business partner. Together we opened Hibiscus (named after a beautiful flower we both love) at the start of the millennium. I was chef and Claire looked after the front of house. We collected two Michelin stars, were named restaurant of the year by Egon Ronay and the Good Food Guide and opened a pub called the Bell Inn in Yarpole (run by my brother Cedric). Although we’re proud of our achievements we wanted a new challenge. We decided to move Hibiscus to new premises in London’s Mayfair. They were located by myself and one of our investors, Tim Woodcock. It’s certainly a challenging area to launch a new restaurant as the district has some of England’s best restaurants, all within stepping distance of one another. Our biggest challenge since opening last year is demand. Every session has been full with the private room also incredibly busy. This time of year in Ludlow we’d be busy at weekends but less so at the start of the week. One of the big differences is Ludlow’s 4
essentially a gastro leisure and pleasure market while in Mayfair there are lots of business customers, especially at lunch sessions. With the move we’ve increased the number of covers from 36 in Ludlow to 48 in Mayfair and employ approximately two dozen staff, split evenly between the kitchen and front of house. Although we could have more covers, Hibiscus is the type of restaurant where customers need to have space to dine in comfort. Being busy throughout the week (we don’t open at weekends as it’s important for Claire and myself to balance work and quality of life, especially as we have a beautiful young daughter) means we have to have high levels of business controls. Tim was invaluable again, introducing us to Intelligent Business Systems. Gareth and his team were recommended because Tim had used IBS for his own restaurant businesses. We’re delighted with the pos system and support. It’s a great shame we never had IBS when we first opened in Ludlow. It would have made life a lot easier and less stressful! Like most people, we’ve had to learn the business side of running restaurants through practical experience. I remember at the end of the first week in Ludlow the staff hanging around after they had finished. I’m thinking why are they waiting behind? It was for their wages. I had not thought about them!
Room to eat – spacious surroundings are essential to the Hibiscus experience.
Those days are long behind us and our communication between the office and the restaurant is better than ever before. Good stocktaking and communications have never been more important. Consistency and attention to detail are very important to me. It’s why we limit ourselves to six starters, six mains and six desserts to maximise the fresh produce ordered daily by me and my head chef Marcus McGuinness. It’s why I love fish, line-caught like sea bass and organic salmon, because of the precision involved. And it’s why we have an eclectic range of 550 wines ranging from £16.75 for a bottle of house wine to £3,000 for a 1982 Bordeaux to complement our food. And it’s why we’re working closely with IBS, because one of the beauties of the system is our option to upgrade as our business matures. And our next challenge? It could another pub or a bistro. But first there’s six nations rugby. I love England and the call of London but when it comes to rugby I’m very much for the Frenchmen at heart.
Geronimo travelling on the right path Geronimo Inns was named best Managed Pub Company with under 100 pubs by the Publican magazine last year. Here Commercial Director, Ed Turner, discusses his love affair with pubs and the involvement of IBS in Geronimo Inns’ long-running success story Love pubs. Always have done since I was old enough to drink in them and I think it’s going to be a lifelong affair. They are essential to our heritage, the foundations of our culture. I’ve been lucky enough to work in the pub industry since leaving Exeter University, working as a business development manager with Bass and then Mitchells & Butler, which had over 7,000 managed pubs at the time. When I joined Rupert and Jo Clevely, who launched Geronimo in the nineties, I had the opportunity to help redefine what we mean by the pub, which was a great challenge. Where we score as a business is our positive outlook on everything we do. For instance, the smoking ban is a fact of life. Rather than moan, we’ve responded in the best way for our customers. We’ve supplied ’Gone for a smoke’ beer mats, Nintendo games, umbrellas, sexy gardens and more to make both the smokers and the smoking widows feel at home. For the anthropologists, we’ve even identified a new behavioural human pattern, “smirting”... flirting in a smoking garden! Joking aside, our goal is to manage popular large, truly British pubs with a great heritage and a modern twist. An essential part of our offering is to be very creative with our interpretation of what this means. Perhaps our approach is encapsulated by our pubs at Heathrow and St Pancras. We’re reinventing customer expectations of the pub when they’re travelling. They are in unique locations and open 5am to 11pm but they still capture the spirit of Geronimo. We want to do our thing much better than it’s been done previously. After all, it’s a
Pub lover Ed Turner (above) is helping to redefine the concept of the great British pub with the award-winning Geronimo Inns.
As well as traditional pubs in and around the capital, Geronimo is making its mark with high profile sites like the Tin Goose at Heathrow and the Baby Betjeman at the inspirational St Pancras rail station.
stressful experience travelling and our remit is to give travellers a friendly environment where they can relax with great grub and a pint. Funnily enough, the chief difference between the rail and airport pubs and the rest is the number of breakfasts we serve, no matter what time of the day. We’re currently very busy at both Heathrow and St Pancras. At the former we’re opening a third site in Terminal Five, which is a truly amazing piece of architecture and a really exciting concept in modern day travel. The latter is our first Geronimo arrival at a London train station. However, like the advertising says for a certain supermarket brand, this is not your average station but the beautifully renovated St Pancras, home to the Eurostar and gateway to the London Olympics. The pub has a number of rooms including a south facing terrace and another underneath the glass room of the station itself. Stunning. As commercial director, I’m very much hands-on, much more than in a larger
corporate organisation. I take care of purchasing, training and the pub set up from pos to fridges to marketing to ensure our customers receive the right messages. When I joined Geronimo in 1999 we had a standalone set up. I wanted a complete pos system and looked at what was in the market. IBS ticked the right boxes and have proved to be a very responsive company, very helpful. They do things with a certain smile and have provided us with a fully integrated system and on-going support. From our perspective, stock control is critical to our ability to perform. Our management reports tell us where we’re at and how promotions are doing, what are our staffing levels and so forth. The system is essential to helping us understand the impact of our activity and our people. It’s this infrastructure that helps us constantly perform at the top of our game – and will keep us flying the Geronimo flag as high as we can, wherever we travel with our pubs. 5
IT manager and vodka lover Marc Dawson is passionate about the Revolution brand which is planning to host over 100,000 parties at its fifty five bars this year. He’s equally pleased with the infrastructure behind the scenes where IBS’s StockLink software is changing the way the company does things as Marc explains exclusively for Impact.
Revolution is a party paradise with over 100,000 taking place this year
Love Vodka, Revolution, StockLink
I know I’m going to sound extremely bias because I do love vodka and I work for Inventive Leisure which owns the concept. But I’m a genuinely big fan of the Revolution bars brand and its emphasis on quality service and products which enable our bars to deliver an exceptional experience to our customers. Even before I worked for the business, I was converted to the cause as a student in the North West and remember (vaguely) sampling a few distinctive vodkas in the very first Revolution bar, which was opened in Manchester’s Oxford Street in the midnineties. Like nearly all of the 1,800 plus employees who are helping us spread Revolution to the masses, I’m passionate about the brand. After all, a success story like Revolution depends upon the 100% commitment and belief of its people. It’s why we as a business are able to focus on great service, great venues and a great atmosphere as our selling points rather than discounting and happy hours like other hospitality competitors. That’s why from our perspective Revolution stands for adding value through service at every stage of the customer experience. This year we’re looking at hosting over 100,000 parties at Revolution bars, which stretch up and down and across the UK from Aberdeen to Plymouth and Lincoln to Cardiff with hotspots in all the major cities including London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle. Whether it’s five or a hundred or more, the variety and number of our party offerings almost match the different core vodkas on sale behind the bar. For fellow vodka connoisseurs its over 30 inhouse flavours lovingly created and tested by revolutionaries at our very own vodka factory where intriguing options include porridge, banana, glacier mint and chilli
Always plenty of choice and always served with a flourish!
complemented by 70 of the world’s very best premium brands ranging from Absolut and Zubrowka to Polska and Ketel One. Our parties are legendary with each one enhancing our reputation still further. Customers can get all educational (to a degree) with hosted hands-on cocktail and vodka masterclasses or book a vodka ice luge where our favourite drink is poured through a slab of sculpted ice for an unforgettable taste. The favourite ice option is a ski slope but this is a bespoke service and we’ve had some pretty wild requests. Masterclasses and ice luges are just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll do our best to ensure our customers have the best-ever party with us. At Revolution burlesque showgirls, body-painted girls and boys, live music and personalised DJs, stilt walkers, fire eaters and snake artists are all on tap for our customers when they want to create that once-in-a-lifetime party occasion. With so much going on it’s essential we stay a step ahead when it comes to controlling and reporting on our business activity, which is why we have our own IT department
headed by Michelle Smart and myself. An essential section within the IT department is managed by our dedicated pos guru Tony Murray. We currently use a centrally controlled pcbased system using either Uniwell or PC POS touchscreens. StockLink from Intelligent Business Systems helps us control general sales reporting and stock checks and feeds our management team with the business reports necessary to drive day-to-day and strategic decision making. Historically, the quality of data has been a concern although this is no longer the case. Through StockLink we have improved the quality and reliability of pos data which enables us to deliver efficiencies across many business processes. By streamlining and integrating systems we have created a positive impact in several head office departments and our sites. With considerable support and assistance from IBS senior project manager Mark Bagnall, we rolled out StockLink in two phases. The second phase saw us create the business sheets that are designed to interface with our head office management information systems.
Our end goal is to be able to deliver data to head office in a timely fashion and StockLink is integral to that achievement. Although our bars operate at different closing times, depending upon location and the time of the year, our tills are polled throughout the night so at 6am our systems at head office produce management reports. These are automatically sent out via email and PDA to our site managers and head office teams so they get the information (for instance, revenue, stocktakes and payroll) they need to be able to drive the business forward by individual outlet and as a whole. No matter where they are, they can access the information. From our point of view, it’s important we don’t drown ourselves in data. That’s why we focus on the key performance indicators that ensure our operational and head office guys are always well read and prepared. With the right information at their fingertips they can react quickly and effectively to any given business situation. Flexibility and the capability to deliver consistently accurate information in a timely fashion is one of the key StockLink attributes. We’re also looking forward to taking advantage of new StockLink initiatives. Revolution has developed a cando culture and StockLink dovetails neatly into this philosophy. We launched StockLink to our managers last summer, hosting roadshows and training sessions in Manchester, Bath, London and Derby. Not only did we show them how we’re constantly driving efficiency and timely reporting but we also received a lot of positive feedback, which is very encouraging and a big thumbs up for StockLink. One of the really good aspects of working for a business like Inventive Leisure is their commitment to excellence across all areas of the business. This is epitomised by this year’s managers’ annual conference which will have close to 100 of our bar managers and senior head office staff jet over to Las Vegas. It’s also encapsulated by the desire to invest in the best infrastructure possible with the likes of StockLink.
The message that vodka drinkers can clearly identify with
Educating the Educators Run along similar lines to a traditional university, South Cheshire College is one of the country’s leading tertiary and sixth form educational establishments. Over 3,000 full time students and thousands more part timers and visitors from Nantwich, Crewe and the surrounding catchment areas regularly pass through the college gates. Many of them use its extensive facilities, which include a shop, fitness academy, nursery, theatre, cafe, restaurant, travel centre, sports hall and hair and beauty salons. The common denominator linking many of these facilities is IBS as three South Cheshire managers explain exclusively for Impact.
Mandy Malam, head of retail operations Supermarkets, naturally enough given their massive resources, were the first to deploy pos systems. At the time this represented a massive financial outlay way beyond the rest of us who could only look on with envy. Later, after large independents embraced similar technology, it was our turn with the likes of IBS offering an affordable and realistic epos investment for forward-thinking educational establishments like South Cheshire College. We jumped at the chance to take advantage of pos technology because we knew the benefits would be immediate, long-lasting and help us meet strategic objectives. Our ambition is to create first class onsite retail, leisure and hospitality facilities to encourage students to stay on campus. After all, it’s tough for students to learn anything and participate in social activities if they’re not in college! If everything they want - refreshments, college materials, places to relax and socialise with their friends – is readily available there is less temptation to look for it elsewhere. It’s hard to imagine for first-time visitors but when I first managed the shop it was just a basic hole-in-the-wall facility. It has been transformed in the decade or so since I’ve been here. 8
Now the shop is an integral part of Student Street. We operate and manage it along commercial lines with the same management information and reports that you’d find in any high street retail operation. For instance, at the start of the school year, the shop can turn over £30,000 per week. Our complementary facilities are equally as impressive with, for instance, our on-site ABTA-bonded travel centre attracting many non-student clients who book their holidays direct with us. Naturally if we’re emulating the high street with our approach to retail and hospitality we want to do the same with our pos systems and management controls which is why we work in close partnership with IBS. Throughout our association IBS has been first class with senior project manager Mark Bagnall and head of development Mike Ball carrying out a lot of bespoke work to meet our specific requirements. They’ve always been willing to understand our needs and recommend appropriate solutions. From my point of view they are extremely flexible and always prepared to listen. For example, recently introduced pc-based terminals ensure we don’t lose data if our network goes down. Previously if the network crashed it could take a lot of information which we could never get back. Likewise, our welcome pack to new students includes £25 worth of complimentary vouchers. This is designed
to act as an incentive to use college facilities and part-fund equipment and supplies for their education. Initially we used ‘paper money’ with all the obvious problems, including the inability to give change. Thanks to IBS this scheme is now fully automated. We manage it via a loyalty package where all the relevant information is stored on the individual student’s ID card. When they start they are credited with £25. The money is deducted as and when they spend it. The system allows us to top up the credits to reward good attendance for students. Equally important, should a student finish at the college or leave before the end of term, we can instantly stop them accessing the college’s cash. One of the great spin offs with StockLink is students in our hospitality and catering faculty using the software to gain realistic hands-on experience processing data front of house and in the back office. This is great news as our return on investment through the IBS system not only saves us money, time and resources but also helps train the next generation of hospitality professionals. Walking around campus, I’m reminded daily of the prowess of IBS’s contribution to the smooth running of our facilities when I notice how quickly our queues shift. Unlike the popular myth, our students don’t see a big queue and immediately join it!
Walter Williams, catering manager
Sara Blundred, shop manager Our retail shop is really busy and has everything from fresh sandwiches, magazines and newspapers to chilled foods, sweets, drinks, crisps, and ice cream to keep students fed and watered when they’re on campus. Just as important, it’s also the place for students to purchase stationery, computer and photographic consumables, artists’ materials and numerous other studying aids. IBS was introduced to the college via our current head of retail operations, Mandy Malam, who was the previous shop manager before I took over. She had a great relationship with Mark Bagnall and the IBS team and I have too. The support contract we have with them is important and we’re free to contact them whenever we need their assistance or advice. The impact IBS has made in the shop is visible and immediate. We’re busier than ever before with a massive increase in footfall in a retail space that has remained the same size. An idea of the sophistication of the operation is the fact we have over 15,000 items on sale, including recently introduced chilled products. It’s funny but I remember deliveries and stock taking used to be very long-winded processes. Now it’s all automated, including using handhelds for checking stock. Our pos system is easy to use and explain to my colleagues in the shop. I have three full time staff and one part-time as well as students working with me. We’re able to work a lot faster and be a lot more accurate with everything we do. Automated student cards have been a revelation. We used to have to put an ID number on the cards manually but this is now done automatically. Students get a £25 credit in September for course materials or anything else they want to buy. The card stores all their transactions so we have a historic record of their purchases in case there are ever any misunderstandings. The downside, and I’m saying this tongue–in-cheek, is we’re incredibly busy for the first couple of weeks when the students spend, spend, spend... We love it. I’m looking forward to developing the card system so we can run a whole series of promotions like two for one. It’s all part of our constant desire to look at ways to improve and enhance our retail operation.
Cafe Chill is, as the name clearly suggests, the place where students can take time out from studying and chill out. It’s a busy hub for lots of socialising with students engaging in music, dancing, karaoke and fundraising for good causes. Our remit is to offer them a whole range of foods from full meals and breakfasts to sandwiches, snacks and hot and cold drinks, including a fully-stocked salad bar as a healthy-eating alternative. The Cafe used to be a franchise but has been brought under direct college control and we’re currently creating all the necessary databases for the IBS system which was installed at the tail end of last year. The system is based around four pos terminals covering the different offerings in the cafe. Although it is still early days we’re already seeing the benefits with the stock countdown particularly helpful when it comes to reordering. Feedback is positive from the team with assistant manager Jeanette Lowe (above right) and floor supervisor Linda Vickers using the system to monitor deliveries and cashing up respectively. Longer term, we’re hoping to operate a cashless option. You’d be surprised at the number of students who forget to bring cash. Actually, if you have children you won’t!
Why we’re the professional’s choice
StockLink offers the best of all worlds
What’s in a strapline? Quite a lot actually, as IBS commercial director Dee Powell explains.
We’ve added a new tagline, or marketing message, to our branding to co-incide with our appearance at Hostec. Our phrase, the professional’s choice, works in close conjunction with our IBS logo. It’s designed to create and communicate a genuine point of difference with customers and from competitors. Like all good slogans we want it to encapsulate our core values as a peopleled business servicing professionals in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors. You’ll be familiar with taglines used on household names; Boddingtons (cream of Manchester), Audi (versprung durch technik), Nike (just do it) and McDonalds (I’m loving it) are four classics that immediately spring to mind. These examples are all instantly memorable without ever mentioning promoting beer, cars, sportswear and fast food. Our line fulfils the same function, communicating that our POS and enterprise management systems are the choice of hospitality professionals without mentioning pos. There’s ample evidence of credentials within Impact where customers write about their businesses and their experiences with us. The line works on another level, highlighting our own professionalism within our two-tier senior management structure and the numerous choices we offer like on-line or off-line versions of StockLink. While the various merits are discussed by our development team’s Michael Ball and Will Mainwaring on this page your specific answer depends upon your requirements. The important issue is that you have the choice – and always will with IBS.
IBS launches StockLink On-Line this spring as part of an on-going commitment to offering hospitality professionals a variety of choices. However, whether it’s on or off line depends upon individual requirements says IBS developers Will Mainwaring and Mike Ball (right). Our new StockLink On-Line option mirrors the functionality of our popular POS and enterprise management off-line software installed at thousands of sites in the UK, Europe and North America, writes Will Mainwaring. We’ve taken everything currently in StockLink V5 to create an internet-based product that complements and offers an alternative to our flagship product. Although the functionality is virtually the same there are key differences. There’s no need with On-Line to physically install StockLink at each individual site.
databases wherever there’s an internet connection, day or night, in the UK or abroad. Naturally, there are associated time-saving and resource-rationalisation benefits. Time inputting and processing data is going to be dramatically reduced. What’s more, bulkupdating on prices and menus would normally involve amending each site database individually. On-Line a simple tick box procedure allows for multiple site changes with one mouse click.
Of course, StockLink off-line is still very much part of our offering and sits Neither is there any need to update and comfortably alongside the new On-Line maintain databases on site terminals as version. It’s particularly relevant for everything runs through the web. No polling independents and single-site operators who is needed as database management and can look after their own databases on-site updates are real time on centrally controlled (after all, there’s no need to pay to ship the data to us when they can manage it servers (either our own or the customers). themselves). For hospitality professionals this means having the freedom and flexibility to access From the customer’s point of view, it’s great and work in centralised www-based to have the choice.
What’s cooking with StockLink? On-Line StockLink modules are an increasingly attractive proposition for clients and we’re responding to their feedback with more new developments this year, says Mike Ball. Loyalty and promotional modules are already out in the marketplace and attracting new and repeat business for customers. We’re also looking forward to the impact of customer ordering, Amazon-for-food we call it in the development department. Essentially, ordering is hosted by our servers although the end user customer thinks they are still on the operator’s site courtesy of an invisible link. This has been successfully trialled with Fresh Italy in the capital. This module matches pictures and descriptions of the offerings alongside practical easy ordering and purchasing functions. The functionality of customer ordering features design tools so we can emulate the client’s own web pages. There is more in the pipeline, including POS TouchLink, which we’ll unveil in the next issue of Impact. Watch this space.
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 sixth of his letters from America.
easy to read color screens, a small lightweight form factor and a long battery life.
Restaurant handheld products have been around a while but performance, reliability and ROI issues mean they’re failing to make major inroads. According to TriniTEQ, that’s about to change. WaiterPAD uses superior wireless technology ideally suited for the hospitality industry, where high powered microwaves, stainless steel, liquids, mobile phones and wireless laptops are all frequently found. These inhibit handheld In a previous letter, I wrote about the systems that use standard “Wi-Fi” wireless WaiterPAD uses Radio popularity of the drive-thru in American life. technology. Here you can visit your bank, pharmacy or Frequency, or “RF”. RF is a better choice for liquor store without leaving your car – and in hospitality because it offers less interference Las Vegas you can even get married! Even and fewer drop outs, longer battery life, so, the biggest impact has undoubtedly longer range and improved transmissions been on Quick Service Restaurants, with through solid objects and liquids that tend to 60-65% of total sales coming from their “shield” traditional wireless signals. drive-thru windows. TriniTEQ also offers WaiterPOS, a Windows While there’s more to hospitality than based restaurant pos system, either speed, fast and efficient service is always bundled with WaiterPAD or stand alone. important. The major claim to fame of our WaiterPOS provides multiple security levels latest US partner TriniTEQ is that they bring (e.g. server vs. manager) and operates in a quicker – and more accurate – service to variety of modes: quick-sale, bar, restaurant and takeaway. It offers advanced reporting casual and fine dining restaurants. facilities and also includes time and TriniTEQ is a global leader in handheld point attendance and loyalty. of sale systems. The company started out in Western Australia 10 years ago and today Located on the Embarcadero, the Waterfront has offices in Australia, the US and the UK. Restaurant is one of San Francisco’s foremost dining destinations. Owner Al Falchi Their flagship offering is WaiterPAD, a transformed an old longshoreman’s bar into a handheld ordering solution designed to three level, 350 seat restaurant featuring improve service, while increasing table turns white table cloth service, indoor and outdoor and average check size. WaiterPAD features dining, a bar and lounge and separate
upstairs dining room for private functions. I recently had lunch there with Scott Allan, TriniTEQ’s CEO. I’d already seen WaiterPAD in his office, but Scott wanted me to see it in a live environment. I’m glad he chose the Waterfront! “The WaiterPAD handheld ordering system was the perfect solution for our operation,” said Mr. Falchi. “Directly sending orders from the table side and outside patios to kitchen operations is wonderful. We can have a drink delivered to the guest’s table even before the entire order has been taken. We could not offer that speed and service before.” We’re now working with TriniTEQ to integrate WaiterPAD and WaiterPOS to StockLink, to provide a true enterprise solution for multi-concept independents and multi-national chain restaurants. We’ll look at how this relationship develops in a future letter, but in the meantime TriniTEQ have other high profile restaurant customers they feel I should visit. As they say, it’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it!
IBS Profile...Sheila & Jeanette Name: Job title: Status: Interests: Ambition:
Name: Job title: Status: Interests: Ambition:
Sheila Land (Left) Receptionist Married, two children Cooking, cricket, rugby union, walking To go on a rugby tour of Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand Jeanette Redmond Receptionist Married, three children Cats and gardening Live in Florida
Q1: What is your day-to-day role at IBS? SL: We’re responsible for manning the switchboard, greeting visitors and general administration duties. For many we’re the first port of call so we need to convey the right impression from that initial point of contact. Q2: Where else have you worked? SL: I worked at a large manufacturing company for 13 years. JR: Everywhere! Q3: What makes a good receptionist? SL: Treat each customer as I would like to be treated myself while communicating efficiency and courtesy and steering each call to the correct department. JR: Listen first, speak second.
Q4: What makes IBS special in your view? SL: There’s a great team spirit and everyone is on first name terms. That’s not always the case in other larger businesses. JR: Everyone seems to care about what they do and there is a great family atmosphere. Q5: And your bad advice for those very occasional bad tempered customers? SL: Listen and direct them to the department best suited to resolve their issues. JR: Bite your tongue!
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.
al’s Choice n io s s e f o r P The 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