VAR Earns $200,000 From Brewpub Installations
Building on a seven-year relationship, one POS (point of sale) VAR has installed its system at three locations and is currently working on the fourth.
Looking for sales opportunities in upgrading your current customers' systems could be the beginning of a beautiful - and lucrative - business relationship. Delaware Business Systems, Inc. (DBS) (New Castle, DE) recognized the financial potential that existed with seven-year customer Iron Hill Brewery (Newark, DE; West Chester, PA; and Media, PA). The VAR installed two POS (point of sale) systems in the brewpub's two original locations (Newark and West Chester) in 1997; in 2002 it was time to add its latest site and upgrade the old. Iron Hill Brewery turned to DBS to find a POS (point of sale) system to meet its needs as well as integrate and install the system at its three locations.
Improve Reporting Capabilities
Iron Hill Brewery was a growing company, and with plans to add on several new locations in the following five years, it needed a POS system to keep business running smoothly. "The brewpub wanted a system that would offer a corporate polling module to centralize the data from all locations to one area. Equally important was the ability to customize and consolidate reports in real time. Finally, the pub had interest in creating loyalty and gift certificate programs," says Mike Hynson, VP at DBS.
The pub's current software was out of date and could not be upgraded. The brewpub's managers would spend several hours trying to consolidate different business items into one report. "To get the information they wanted, numerous different reports had to be printed. Then, that manager would have to manually pluck the information they wanted from these reports and consolidate it to create one report," says Hynson. This was time consuming, and it left space for human error.
Another concern was the time customers had to wait for beer. Being a brewpub, Iron Hill Brewery does a lot of business at its bar. Using the previous DOS-based software, a cash sale would take four touches. This may just take a few seconds, but every second counts when more items could be sold if the system operated more quickly. Also, the user interfaces did not offer easily navigable screens. Often, servers would skip over important menu choices, such as food temperatures, simply because there was unorganized information on the crowded screen.
Integration, Networking To Communicate Enterprise-Wide
To meet these needs, DBS presented Digital Dining restaurant software to the brewpub. After several demonstrations and tests, the brewpub decided to install the software along with new hardware at a brand new location in Media, PA. The brewpub used the system in that location for six months before deciding to convert its original two locations. The total sales cycle took one year and the cost for all three locations came out to be an estimated $200,000. Hynson says the most challenging part was integrating some of the old hardware (touch screens, receipt printers) with the new software. However, at the newly constructed Media, PA location, DBS installed all new hardware. The components included six Epson TM88 III receipt printers and eight U2100B Epson printers for the kitchen from ScanSource, Inc. (Greenville, SC), nine Dell PCs, and six Elo TouchSystems 15-inch flat panel touch displays.
Using this system's capabilities, Iron Hill Brewery is able to obtain the reports it wants, in greater detail, and in less time. "Before, they had to pick a report and run it as is. With Digital Dining, the brewpub can add filters to get only the information it needs," says Hynson. The reports are so precise that a manager can narrow it down to a specific item sold at a certain time of day in a precise section of that site, as well as a particular server's sales. With this feature, reports can be customized and polled in a matter of minutes. And, because each Iron Hill Brewery has an Internet connection, polling can be done on the corporate level from all locations every 24 hours. Soon, at the end of every business day, all of the report information at each site will be downloaded automatically to an FTP site at the corporate level. Based on that information, changes to the menu can be made and sent back before the brewpub reopens the next day.
Another benefit is upgraded customer service. Since the user interfaces are more navigable, a drink order cash transaction can be processed in just two touches, cutting down on customers' wait time. Also, the brewpub created customer loyalty and gift certificate programs to better serve its patrons.
VAR Capitalizes On Future Technology Needs
By the end of August 2003, DBS will have completed the newest installation of this system in Wilmington, DE. Aside from the aforementioned hardware and software, this location will also implement wireless order entry POS terminals and QSR kitchen video monitoring. "If the video monitoring turns out to be successful, Iron Hill will add the technology to all three of its other locations," Hynson says. If that is the case, DBS will be the VAR executing the task. Within the next two years, Iron Hill Brewery will be adding yet another location, bringing the total up to five brewpub locales. For all locations, the POS system installations will be contracted to DBS, and Digital Dining restaurant software will be used.