"Key to the success of the install at the Estate is the ease and clarity of use."
The history of Old Down Estate near Bristol can be traced as far back as 1856. Today, the thriving Estate comprises of four attractions: Old Down Manor - a Victorian Manor available for exclusive wedding & corporate hire; a country & animal park; the Barn café & restaurant; and an on-site farm shop.
The Estate has an ethos of offering, wherever possible, sustainable locally sourced products using either home-grown Estate produce or produce direct from suppliers within the local vicinity. Under the current ownership, the Estate continues to expand each year, with Old Down Manor becoming one of South West England’s most sought after and exclusive wedding venues thanks to its stunning backdrop and personalised service, hosting over 100 weddings in the last 12 months alone.
Higher visitor numbers to the Estate attract greater volumes of transactions. The ability to capture and utilise the information behind these sales led the management team to consider a switch from existing standalone cash registers to a unified deployment of the latest innovative EPOS solutions that would really empower and drive the business forward.
The pressure is on to maintain, enhance and expand the Estate’s line items offering quality options for guests. Previously, there was no visibility of departmental breakdown or options for management reporting to ensure customer choices are available and optimised.
Old Down Estate adopted the Casio EPOS solutions due to ease, speed and functionality for front of house service and back office integration. All areas of the Estate benefit from unified sales tracking enablement system. Maïté takes up the story:
“We already briefly ventured into Point of Sale (POS) as we knew the data going through the tills could be used to help us plan, manage and grow our business and stocking levels more efficiently. Sadly, it proved too complex and too slow with multiple entry points to continue usage, so we reverted back to standalone cash registers. But the experience hadn’t deterred us from wanting to utilise the transaction information fully, so we were thrilled when ZenithEPoS introduced the latest Casio V-R7000 easy to use, plug and play Android EPOS solutions. The difference has been nothing short of night and day as we have moved from simple transaction capture to business enablement right across the Estate.”
ZenithEPoS recommended three new Casio V-R7000s and a smaller Casio point of sale solution, primarily because of the noted ease of use in similar hospitality environments. This, together with the flexibility of the accompanying Casio Cloud software, would enable Old Down to gradually expand their management reporting and add other applications to suit their needs along the way.
Staff were quickly trained on the job, with feedback that the image based 15.4 inch wide touch screen LCD panel was fast, accurate and responsive, tracking individual and departmental detail with pinpoint precision and allowing for fast servicing of customer queues. Meanwhile, in the back office, Maïté was now able to track transactions and began interrogating the data on popularity of items such as dishes in the café and drink consumption in the manor house.
With overall food and beverage responsibility across the Estate, Maïté had always planned on using EPOS for complete stock control across departments.
“It was the item tracking that impressed us most. Before, we were not entirely sure of which item was being sold, be it ice creams, beverages or home-made frozen meals, there was simply no way of tracking individual transactions, causing stocking issues and the need for price labelling. Today, barcode enablement allows us to track each item with certainty and it saves us manually price labelling each product.”
With pinpoint accuracy of the EPOS till takings, Maïté believes that anomalies are easier to spot, increasing management confidence and removing any possibility for discrepancies in till readings. There has also been similar impact in reduction of wastage figures through accurate stock reconciliation.
Special offers can now be programmed into the main back-office V-R7000 (but can also be done on any device in any internet enabled location) which immediately updates the tills via the Casio Cloud software. This effectively removes all system access restrictions. Maïté can elect to access and enable changes online; interrogate takings while on the go via her mobile or view stocking levels at home, all through Casio Cloud management access.
For stocktaking, which used to be entirely manual and based on counts on the day, Maïté can now print system stock levels and verify against actual stock. For the future, this process will be reduced further still as the Estate moves from the arduous monthly manual stocktake count to reconciliation on transaction sales that automatically trigger ordering when stock thresholds are exceeded. This control on stock flow will be key to monitoring profit and loss of departments and understanding critical business information, like the amount of margin made on the Estate’s best-selling products.
There are other features that Maïté is keen to enable as the install progresses. Each EPOS unit has access to social media engagement, allowing representatives to post and respond in-situ and immediately to Facebook, Twitter and review sites. If a review should appear, managers have complete access to the transaction detail including time of order, full detail of transaction, for immediate and knowledgeable social media interactions. Maïté summarises:
“Key to the success of the install at the Estate is the ease and clarity of use. For the staff, this manifests in fast, accurate transaction enablement, and for the management team, we now have simple access to a wealth of reports that help drive our understanding of individual product sales and growth for the future.”