Blue Chip Benefits For Small Business
London, UK, 22nd February 2006 – Elegusto, a retailer specialising in selling high quality wines, bread and cheeses, is using a new management software solution from Toshiba TEC Europe in partnership with BCP. The flexible solution that has been tailored to Elegusto’s requirements, combines Toshiba POS hardware with the latest Accord-Retailer software from BCP.
Elegusto was set up to sell a wide selection of fine wines, cheese, breads and speciality products from a retail outlet in Birmingham as well as over the Internet, and began trading in April 2005.The layout within the Birmingham store is unique. Unlike a traditional counter style delicatessen, Elegusto is a walkabout deli. The customer experience is key – customers can choose products, like speciality cheese, have them weighed and still browse the store for other products before approaching the till for payment. This flexible approach ensures a superior customer experience, with minimal queuing and more time to spend with staff asking about products.
Managing director, Alan Johnson began by looking for a potential EPOS supplier, and not only researched, but sought advice from an IT consultant to find a reliable, flexible solution that would provide the required functionality. Three key elements were essential: control of stock, control of cash and management information on the sale of the products. In addition, the system needed to seamlessly link the web based ordering into the EPOS solution.With a wealth of established reference sites, BCP was chosen as the supplier. Most important was BCP’s ability to listen to Alan’s requirements and tailor a solution to fit the exact needs of the current business, but with the potential to expand with future growth. BCP recommended Toshiba hardware due to the renowned quality and reliability, the small footprint of the products and the stylish aesthetics, essential to the design of the new store.commenting on the Toshiba hardware, Alan said, “The aesthetics and styling of the store are very important to us. The Toshiba ST-60 is compact yet robust and fits perfectly into our small counter space. The touch screen is bright and very easy for our staff to navigate. To be honest, we don’t really notice it’s there. I can see why BCP recommend Toshiba – the quality and reliability is legendary.”The installation went very smoothly, predominantly due to BCP’s flexible and professional approach.
Alan said: “BCP and Toshiba understand how to get the maximum value out of a business. They listen and have the ability to work to your exact requirements. The installation was seamless and BCP’s flexibility with the timing and support was excellent, responding to our needs both on-site and over the phone.”
Elegusto now has the confidence that it is using a superior solution that is not only scaleable, but future-proof to allow for growth and the latest technological developments.With the store up and running, Elegusto was able to see immediately that the new retail solution met with its expectations and requirements.
It now has clear visibility of the three key elements: stock, cash and management information.Hourly, daily, weekly and monthly, information is now available on exactly what stock is sold across the different product lines. This information is critical for a variety of reasons. It enables planning of the layout within the store, to see if there is a correlation between product positioning and sales, particularly important on the run-up to Christmas when Elegusto wanted to maximise cross-selling opportunities for its range of gifts and seasonal items. In addition, orders can be planned to ensure the best prices are achieved – many products require large quantity orders to get reduced prices, and the stock intelligence helps to prepare orders to get the maximum discounts from suppliers.
Alan Johnson commented on the stock control: “I now have clear visibility on a daily basis on what lines are selling. This is so important in terms of making stocking decisions as I can be confident in my planning and maximise my potential for the best prices. I can also monitor and keep control of shrinkage and make informed decisions about product positioning in-store. The management information we are building up this year will be absolutely essential for planning our product range for our busiest time of year – for Christmas 2006.”With peaks and troughs in customer numbers, it is essential to have the optimum staffing arrangements to ensure, most importantly, that customers do not have to queue and wait for long periods of time to be served, but also to make the best use of staff. The BCP and Toshiba solution enables Elegusto to see exactly when customers are coming through the door, with some surprising results.”We thought that we knew generally when the peak periods of trading would be, and had planned maximum cover around lunchtimes and on Saturdays, but when we looked at the management information from the system we were surprised to see that, actually, one of our busiest times is between 5pm and 6pm, when people finish work.’ Alan continued: ‘This valuable information has given us the confidence to extend opening hours to maximise our trading potential.”Essential to the operation is the web site with its on-line ordering system.
Elegusto can not only seamlessly integrate web orders into the EPOS solution, but also accommodate different pricing options for its different types of customers, including its wine club members.Promotions are another vital part of the business, with the system able to facilitate a variety of different promotional options, including discounts, three for two offers and buy one get one free options. Alan added: “We often host wine tasting sessions. Customers like the opportunity to try products we recommend and we can use the system to maximise our sales potential at these tastings by offering special promotions like three for two or 10% discount.”
With the success of the first retail operation, Alan has ambitious plans for the future. “Obviously our initial goal is to maximise revenue from our first store.
I have plans for a similar style retail outlet, possibly with a different focus and different branding, but within management distance.’ Alan continued: ‘I have no doubt that my future expansion plans will include the BCP and Toshiba solution, it’s so suited to the specialist independent retail environment. I believe they offer the benefits of a blue chip operation to small business. The whole system is total value for money – not a cost, but a true investment for the future.”