toshcomp.jpgSt Michael’s Store, an independently owned convenience store based in Chipping Norton has selected IT Retail Systems (ITS) software on Toshiba’s latest POS hardware, the ST-A10 TouchPos. When store owner Chris Patel first purchased St Michael’s Store, he continued to use the existing POS system. However, it soon became apparent that the existing solution was not meeting his needs. The system was inflexible requiring much manual operation. For example without automatic price updates. For new products and price changes, it was necessary to load individual prices on the system manually. Furthermore the POS did not link into the newspaper system, requiring additional manual time, consuming activity transferring data from one system to another.

When Chris decided to join the Bestway Group, renowned for their flexibility of service and wide range of products on offer, he began looking for a new potential EPOS supplier that could offer a reliable, flexible solution with the necessary functionality to run the business efficiently. Key elements were flexible stock ordering enabling access to the Bestway Cash and Carry ordering system and control of pricing. In addition, the system needed to seamlessly link the news solution ‘News Slave’ into the EPOS solution.

Although several companies were evaluated IT Retail Systems were the only company able to meet all requirements, tailoring their solution to fit the exact needs of the business. Commenting on the selection Chris Patel said: “ITS were recommended to me by a Bestway representative due to their wealth of experience in the convenience sector. This gave me confidence in their ability to deliver a solution appropriate to the needs of my store.”

ITS recommended Toshiba’s latest state-of-the-art POS unit, its ST-A10 TouchPoS. The compact footprint fitted neatly into the counter space and the stylish design blended in perfectly with the aesthetics of the new counter.

To ensure uninterrupted trading, essential in a convenience environment, ITS took a staged approach, firstly updating the back office and setting up all the prices on the system. As a second phase, the ‘News Slave’ solution was integrated onto the Toshiba ST-A10 tills early in 2008. With the ITS / Toshiba solution in place, Chris Patel can now operate with far greater efficiency.

The manual loading of prices onto the system – an extremely time-consuming process – is no longer necessary as product prices are now automatically loaded and updated. Reporting is much quicker and easier enabling store management tracking and analysis of sales by the hour, if required.

The store has also been able to utilise ITS’s Picco scanning gun facility, linked into the ITS software to connect to Bestways on-line ordering system. This facility enables the store to scan all barcodes, including Bestway codes, allowing identification of all products on the system. Speaking on this point Chris Patel said: “We needed access to a greater range of stock to meet the needs of local customers, which is why we selected the Bestway limited membership option. This level of membership allows us to meet Bestway’s minimum order requirement whilst still retaining the facility to purchase from other suppliers. It was therefore vital we had a flexible POS solution that enabled us to access the Bestway ordering system as well as manage orders from other suppliers.”

In addition to the improved processes, staff have found the new Toshiba tills quick and easy to use. Intuitive menu options have speeded up transaction times enabling customers to be served more quickly, particularly important in peak trading times, where queues often form in the aisles. By linking a laptop to the back office Chris has visibility of the live system and back office and can view transactions in real time, wherever he is in the store. For example, in the event of a query on a news account or the cashier needing clarification on a price, Chris can instantly access the correct information from the system, ensuring no delay at the till.

The store uses the ITS / Toshiba solution to manage promotions, such as special offers and BOGOF’s and also to print off discounts. Visibility of sales patterns has enabled Chris Patel to identify periods of peak trading in the shop – information which has helped him to manage staffing more efficiently. Future plans include using the system for full stock control. Commenting on the solution and service, Chris Patel said: “The ITS / Toshiba solution has given me a tailored, flexible solution at a very affordable price. The service from ITS has been fantastic. They have been very quick to respond to any issues – by simply logging into the back office via broadband (using a unique ticketing system for security), ITS has identified and resolved any issues straight away. I would be more than happy to recommend the ITS/Toshiba solution to other people.”

TOSHIBA TEC Europe Retail Information Systems
Karen Lowe/Becky Viccars
Tel: 0870 890 7200

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