Beaverbrooks takes EPOS to next level with help from Vodat International

Beaverbrooks is reaping the rewards following the decision to design its own EPOS and work with partner, Vodat International, to ensure the technology was properly networked and supported. The new POS has transformed the customer experience and helps Beaverbrooks by delivering real-time sales statistics to drive business decisions and also dramatically reduce costs.

The retailer needed an EPOS system that could cope with the intricacies of the jewellery sector. It needed the EPOS technology to be able to cater for deposits, special orders and repairs.


Furthermore it needed the technology to support a business that places the customer experience at the heart of its operations. Walker explained, “We want to improve the buying experience for our customers by having plenty of payment options within the store. For example each store has four EPOS terminals, two static units and two wireless units. We also have two wireless chip and PIN devices across the four units, as well as one chip and PIN connected to a wired till.”


With this in mind Beaverbrooks named the solution Liquid POS as it wants to create fluidity around the customer experience. Walker added, “We don’t want customers to feel that they have to come to the till to complete their purchase. We needed technology to fit in with our business model. For example, our sales assistants bring jewellery to the customers. Our staff also shows shoppers our products via the mobile handheld devices. Alongside this staff need to be better informed so we wanted to ensure we had real-time sales information.”


Beaverbrooks needed to consider a number of factors for the implementation. It needed to ensure that its new EPOS kit was PCI DSS compliant. Datacash was selected to provide the EFT software payment processing, while Vodat International was selected to provide the network. Both solutions met with PCI compliance standards taking the pain away for Beaverbrooks.


The project team involved seven people from Beaverbrooks. This included; two developers, one systems engineer, two support desk workers, one project delivery manager and Patrick Walker, Head of IT.


Datacash took care of the EFT payment processing, while Vodat International is responsible for the network. Walker explained, “Vodat has invested in its network service and we’ve built a key relationship with the business. It was an easier decision to develop our own EPOS technology when we knew we had tried and tested partners who we could rely upon to support us as we looked to take the business to the next level.”


Once the company decided to develop its own EPOS technology solution in 2007 it then spent 18 months developing the solution. It began the rollout in April 2010 in a pilot in its Blackpool store. Walker said, “The rollout began in earnest in the summer and we got through approximately a quarter of our 65 stores. We then decided to take a break at the end of September until the beginning of 2011 as we didn’t want to be completing the roll out through the busy Christmas period.”


One of the key stores for this initial rollout was its flagship store in the Trafford Centre. Here Beaverbrooks opened an exclusive Omega boutique next to its traditional store and knocked through to present a single unit. Walker commented, “We found that the EPOS performed brilliantly. A prestige brand needs to deliver a first-class service and it achieved this, providing our customers with a great service experience.”


The business then traded through the Christmas period via a mixed estate and the rollout was completed in March 2011.

The system provides Beaverbrooks with a host of benefits. Walker explained, “Previously the technology used to poll overnight so there was no live sales data. The new POS delivers real-time sales statistics for the business. This means Area Managers, Executive team and Directors can get a real-time view of the business.


The company also believes its costs will dramatically reduce following the introduction. Walker said, “Traditionally EPOS technology needs to be overhauled every three to five years. However, by rolling out our own EPOS technology we will be able to modify the kit continually, tweaking hardware and working with partners to ensure we deliver a continued great service to our customers.”


We have also been able to take a new approach to the training of staff for the EPOS technology. Walker commented, “We have worked on a training module with our training partner Upskill to deliver an online training package so staff can work on modules online and we can see remotely that they have completed the necessary training.”


This is the beginning of a new dawn according to Walker. He explained, “Having real-time sales data has taken the business to the next level. We’re now looking at providing the business with real-time stock visibility. In our business it’s very difficult to hold all our ring stock in all sizes in all branches. However, by having better visibility across the company we’ll be able to improve even more on our service delivery.”


We’re also hoping to be able to spot new opportunities in areas such as mobility. Walker said, “We have netbooks in the store environment, but going forward we’ll look to see how we can bring galaxy tablets and iPads into the business. We’re also looking into the possibilities of emailing our customers receipts and sending out SMS messaging for special orders or repair. Our secure network will play a central role in ensuring we can communicate these messages across the business.”


The most immediate change is the forthcoming introduction of an electronic gift card into the business. Walker said, “This is a major initiative for our business and will be a key revenue stream, technology like this would not be possible without our new EPOS system. We’re fortunate to have a great team constantly coming up with ideas and a strong network of partners who can make these ideas come to fruition and take the business forward.”

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