UK's University of Plymouth Students Union (UPSU) benefits from upgraded POS technology

"Our new AURES POS terminals are faster and more efficient. For staff they're a big bonus. We rely on Greenhouse Business Systems to bring out the best in our hardware and software," says Velu Balasubranamian, Director of Commercial Services.
By: AURES Technologies
RUNCORN, U.K. - June 29, 2017 - PRLog -- University of Plymouth Students' Union (UPSU) represents18,000 students, facilitates involvement, hosts clubs and societies and runs campus sports.  It also manages campus entertainment, retail, accommodation and catering. Turning over £5.5million, UPSU employs 80 permanent and 250 casual student staff.

Commercial outlets include the Quarterdeck Restaurant, the Pasty Shed, the Costa Lounge, a nightclub, three bars and a shop selling food & beverages and other goods.  An Accommodation Lettings office generates fee income.  Each business has a manager responsible for sales and back-office including product management, accounting and reporting.

Whilst the University provides the central IT infrastructure, Velu Balasubranamian and his team manage the software and hardware that each business requires.  "Our requirements differ from those of other commercial businesses," he says. "We have four types of outlets and across them POS systems are used for a huge range of operations."

Benefits at a glance

·         Specialised support services from Greenhouse ensure optimum systems performance;

·         Comprehensive software from Fidelity equips managers to drive front- and back-office functions;

·         New SANGO and YUNO touchscreen terminals from AURES deliver fast and reliable POS performance across all outlets;

·         Clear and intuitive screens lead to fast service, high transaction volumes and relaxed staff - especially valuable at bar and nightclub 'rush' times;

The Solution

Prior to Velu Balasubranamian's arrival three years ago, UPSU had selected a comprehensive Fidelity software solution to run front-of-house and back-office.  For installation and support (software, hardware and infrastructure), Greenhouse Business Systems became and remains the preferred partner.  Owner Richard Veevers has now been looking after UPSU for 10 years.  He undertakes all staff training and provides first-level telephone support and onsite support.

Upon appointment, Velu Balasubranamian reviewed hardware, software and services.  "I was keen to maintain our partnership with Greenhouse.  It's very important to have someone who understands our type of business we are and can be flexible with us. Richard altogether fulfils this need.  He gives us value for money and an in-depth understanding of our operations."

Fidelity software continues to deliver required functionality. "It goes across all our areas, tracking product and making it easy for managers to control sales and stock, to see everything.  We don't use Fidelity for purchasing but when a product arrives our systems are updated and it is tracked through to eventual sale."

Accounting and reporting are performed through the Fidelity solution too. Daily sales, product analysis, average sales transactions, special promotions, timing by operational periods are some of the many reports that staff rely upon to fulfil their responsibilities.

Point-of-sale hardware was included in Velu's initial review.  "It was clear that we needed to change some of the terminals.  Whilst a few were quite new, having come in as part of a refurbishment project, our bars and catering operations had old models. They were chunky and operated in an outdated environment.  However, upgrade wasn't an immediate requirement so we embarked on a phased project to change old terminals to something much newer."

Today, 80% of UPSU's terminals are new models from AURES, a total of 24, with just 20% still needing upgrade.  When it came to selecting new models, the decision was an easy one. "Just before my arrival, four new AURES SANGO terminals were installed in our nightclub.  They were really effective and looked trendy.  At that point, it made sense to acquire more SANGOs."

UPSU has since acquired further SANGOs, together with a number of YUNOs, the latest model and sister product from AURES.  "Our new hardware is faster and more efficient.  For our staff they are a big bonus."

Explains Velu: "Our new hardware needed to be very user-friendly and easy for students to operate.  It's important for us to employ students but as they work on a part-time, casual basis there can be lots of training.   Our systems have to be integrated and self-explanatory.  With the AURES terminals, you don't need to enter transaction values.  Both staff and student customers love the way they look and work."

"In the nightclub in particular we need a very slick system.  The new screens are very responsive.  Screen layouts have been customised, items predefined to touch buttons and menus set up to reflect our needs. We're now equipped to serve drinks very rapidly; ideal for when there's a crush at the bar and we need process a high level of transactions at speed and accurately."  He adds that the new terminals are pole-mounted in the bars.  Not only does this make them easier to use but it also protects them from the potential hazards of knocks and spilt drinks.

Also contributing to rapid service and queue-busting is the installation of Verifone units on all terminals.  The ability to process Chip & PIN cards including Contactless is ideal for the shop and bar environments where most purchases are modest.

"Sometimes in the past transactions would freeze and we'd have to divert customers to another till.  We no longer have that problem.  Our new terminals are quicker and more reliable."

"Richard Veevers' involvement is critical for us," concludes Velu Balasubranamian.  "From helping managers with report formatting through to spending time on site – including through the night when we run massive events such as Student Balls – his technical skills, flexibility and industry expertise give us a real sense of confidence.  He's demonstrated himself more than capable of supporting a large system a busy University."
Tags:AURES Technologies, University of Plymouth, Pos Technology
Location:Runcorn - Cheshire - England
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