Melcombe News - Newsagent Retail Case Study
Octepos retail EPOS system gives Melcombe News easy and accurate stock control
Located opposite London’s Marylebone station, Melcombe News is a small friendly news and convenience shop serving local residents and commuters through the rush hour. As one might expect, the product mix focuses on papers, magazines, confectionery, drinks and tobacco. Owner, Amit Patel, invests a great deal of effort on the stores lighting and layout, attractively marshals the arrays of products to best advantage.. As part of his relentless improvements, at the end of 2008 he decided to equip his shop with an EPOS till. The dual capability of EPOS to increase profit and drive down cost seemed a wise investment in the face of uncertain financial times.
Melcombe News chose Octepos, a London-based EPOS company, to acquire new IT equipment. Amit recalls the installation day. At his request, Octepos had scheduled the installation for the holiday between Christmas and New Year. Though a window many suppliers would not work in, it meant installation and training could take place without disturbing Melcombe News’ busy work day trading. The EPOS company supplied integrated hardware and software altogether on time. Along site training and support took place. Amit, impressed by the ease of use of the machine, explains, “Octepos delivered the equipment, configured the system and then all the staff received a short training session. Indeed the touch screen till turned out to be very easy to use and was quickly operational”.
Considering the EPOS till now, Amit immediately mentions the key benefit, “Without any doubt, the most useful application of the EPOS system for my business is the Stock Management module. It’s easy to use, I program it myself. It accurately reports stock levels, daily takings, and sales data for previous months”. This module is the best way for Amit to keep on top of the ins and outs of his business. Since every incomplete order or return is registered, the manager can be confident that he pays only for what he gets. Using accurate, up to the minute stock information, he can much more easily take the right decisions at the right time as regards stock orders.
Amit was also pleased by the easy way to adapt the system, as well the data as the screen layout. “Another big advantage of the EPOS till is a high customisation level. Indeed, I can readily modify the touch screen layout and reports. For instance, if the price of any paper varies or if a new consumer good is supplied, the system is quickly updated with a few clicks”.
Further, since every item is bar-coded, Melcombe News staff doesn’t need to price each one individually. Scanning, increasingly common in newsagents and smaller convenience stores, also saves time at the checkout. Barcode scanning is faster and error-free; much more effective than pressing buttons or keying prices individually. For stores like Melcombe News which rely upon rush hour trade from time pressed commuters, it is essential to serve quickly to prevent long queues, crowded shop floors and lost custom.
“The EPOS system also saves a significant amount of time and money on the staff training front. They don’t have to learn any press details, and, if any data changes in the press sector, I don’t need to brief them. I just make a change in the system and it’s registered from the next scan. Therefore, they only have to scan an item to seethe updated data,” explains Amit.
Though there were some teething troubles Amit’s satisfaction remains high thanks to prompt assistance from the Octepos support team. “Several times, I called in the Octepos support service to help me regarding technical problems with the till. They assisted me with every issue via remote broadband access. There were a few days of work getting the system into the shape I wanted it. Once that was done, everything’s been fine; the till and all applications are working out really well for us.”
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