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Jane's Trains - Retail Case Study

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Jane's Trains upgrades family business with Octepos’ retail EPOS system

Janes Trains shop

Since the early 19th century people have been fascinated by model railways. Originally small replica locomotives and carriages were produced and used purely as advertisement material for the vehicles themselves. Soon, however, they won the hearts of the many children, adults and collectors who spend their free time modelling the rails, pewter figures and miniature landscapes, and the market boomed.

Though the mass market popularity of electric model railways might have decreased during the last decades, there is still a huge number of enthusiasts who remain as devoted as ever to a tradition that started with Napoleon Bonaparte. If you count yourself amongst those admirers, you likely already know about "Janes Trains"; a South London model shop for all your railway requirements.

Operating for twenty-eight years now, the family business not only offers model railways, but also slot car races, scale aircraft and die-cast makes. Robin Sykes, who manages alongside his mother Jane at the business his parents founded, reports: "We now supply customers all over the world, even in China, Australia and America. Many of them are collectors, though in general our customer base is very diverse".

In the past Janes Trains received loud praise for the best selection of discontinued items, mint pre-owned locomotives, rolling stock and track in London. To live up to and maintain its good reputation, Janes Trains carries a large stock that, until lately, required a great deal of manual attention, as everything had to be managed manually. The burden on management time demanded by this stock monitoring was distracting from promotional and customer initiatives, whilst encumbering the business with avoidable cost.

It was time for a modernisation, therefore Robin and Louisa Sykes decided to invest in a modern EPOS retail system which would combat this issue, whilst giving them the tools to better invest the time savings they would reap. "Primarily we were looking for a solution that is able to provide us with accurate information about our changes in stock. At the same time we wanted to make the counter look more professional," explains Louisa.

Searching on "Google" for a convenient EPOS solution, Louisa found a number of EPOS providers. "I sent emails to various EPOS companies, but in the end we chose Octepos. From the initial contact on, they offered great service and as we hadn’t used an EPOS system before, they also provided us with a demo version. That strengthened our decision." In order to enable Louisa and Robin to use the integrated EPOS solution without any difficulty, Octepos’ in-house build team conducted a training session on the day the software and hardware solution was installed at the business.

Due to the changeover from an ordinary till to a modern EPOS system, Louisa and Robin had to overcome some minor problems right at the beginning; but even in these moments the Sykes could rely on the London EPOS company. "Whenever a challenge did arise we just called upon the support team at Octepos and they were able to assist us immediately," reports a contented Robin.

Janes Trains of course takes advantage of the Stock Control module which is integrated in the bespoke EPOS system. This module enables Louisa and Robin to review past, current and outstanding orders. It also helps to reduce potential ordering errors and thereby costs.

In addition to that, the tool allows them to set up and review information by PLU and check deliveries against orders, so that they only pay for the items they really ordered. Like many satisfied Octepos customers before, Janes Trains also benefit of the core functions of the system like the daily calculation of cash flow or the report on turnover. Those tools enable the management to save time and money eliminating useless manual processes.

Thinking about the EPOS system now, Louisa and Robin conclude: "Doing business with Octepos was definitely the right choice. The team does a great job and offers an outstanding service. We’re really pleased we made the decision to invest in the EPOS system."

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