The RNLI has approximately 175 shops around the coast of the UK & Ireland which aid fundraising efforts for the life saving work it provides. These shops are run by an army of dedicated volunteers and all profit from sales goes straight back into saving lives at sea.
Here at CRS-epos we have spent the past couple of years working closely with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) on upgrading their estate of shops EPOS. The RNLI has been a customer of ours since the early 2000's at the start of this project they had two different Cash Registers, some shops had a very simple ring-up cash register with the others having Geller SX580's for scanning linked back to our office with dial-up modems.
In early 2021 the RNLI came to us seeking an upgrade to their EPOS solution so they could gather more data and manage their sales easier. We started off by putting together a trial terminal, making it as customised to the RNLI needs as possible. This was then installed just up the road from our office in the Southwold RNLI shop to gain feedback and data. The response from Volunteer Shop Manager Ian and his team was great.
Ian said that the new touchscreen system has gone down a storm with “The Volunteers loving it” “The new touchscreen system is much easier to use – the button are larger and clearly labelled and in different colours helping with identification, the most commonly used functions are on a separate screen to the less common functions”
From here the team at the RNLI head office started to see the great benefits in TouchOffice web and the amount of data they could access. So it was decided we would start rolling out the new TouchPoint solution across their estate of shops. We have currently installed 115 touchscreen terminals running Touchpoint with the remainder of shops set for install this year. Last year to the RNLI has processed over 350,000 transactions through Touchpoint, which is incredible to see. Knowing that this is not a full year of the system being rolled out we only expect to see this figure increase this year.
Below is some feedback we received from Steve RNLI Senior Retail Operations Manager
Why did the RNLI look to upgrade the EPOS solution across their estate? 'The old system was becoming obsolete, difficult to maintain and did not provide the back office information we needed.'
What benefits are there of the new till system over the old system?
'The new solution would enable us to have a user-friendly system for our volunteers, increase our ability to communicate with our customers and provide us with vital back office information that would enable us to make more informed decisions. As time has gone on the roll out has progressed we have also found additional benefits that remove a lot of manual work such as stocktaking, inventory management, adjustments, promotions etc.'
Is there any features on the new till system/back office software that has made life easier?
'Yes, a lot, many detailed above and there are a lot more we are looking into. We have had real positive feedback from volunteers who find using the till easier, we even had 1 shop where the volunteer team were considering stepping down but due to the new tills agreed to stay on.'
How do the RNLI volunteers find using the new tills?
'We have not had 1 complaint from anyone!!, we said to one volunteer what would you say if I said I was going to swap the new till back for the old one, the reply was “your not bring that old thing back in here”'
How have you found the CRS-epos Team on supporting and helping yourself and the volunteers?-
'I would say Exceptional, however that is standard for CRS. Nothing has been to much trouble for CRS, they have taken the time to understand our business model and adapted the till to suite us. Thank you SO much.'
The past couple of years have been very busy but exciting, this project has been a real team effort here at CRS-epos but we have loved working alongside the RNLI and their volunteers. It has been great to see how easily the volunteers have been able to use TouchPoint and the ability to remotely log in and help a volunteer through any problem they face has filled the volunteers with confidence. The Volunteer Shop managers have been loving TouchOffice Web as they have been able to gain more knowledge on what their shop is selling and what to re-order. As well as keeping an eye on the shop whilst at home or even on holiday.
I am very proud of our team for being able to take a single trial site touchscreen and roll it out across 100 sites.