Electronic wizardry spells point of sale magic16 March 2017
Advances in EpOS technology allow drycleaners to do so much more than merely take money over the counter. Kathy Bowry explores the latest systems and the benefits they offer
The days of the kerr-ching till and hand written instructions and receipts when taking in work has disappeared into the mists of time as computerised point-of-sale technology becomes ever-more sophisticated. Today’s systems offer drycleaners (and wetcleaners for that matter) the services of an invisible assistant that is not only useful front of house but is also an expert bookkeeper, stock control clerk, customer service manager and marketeer. Systems nowadays will also facilitate online business.
DryStream for one has made a name for itself in the industry and claims to be the leading EPoS brand for dry cleaners and laundries with thousands of systems supplied for receivers, units, groups and CPUs in the UK and overseas.
DryStream managing director Jon Beach tells LCN his EPoS systems have been in high demand over the past year as dry cleaners and laundries update their counter solutions and production systems to help increase profit, reduce operating costs and maximise customer service. “The market is changing,”he says. “Today’s customers demand better service meanwhile new competitors are appearing online as they advertise pickup and delivery to entice your customers to their service.
“In response many operators are gearing up with DryStream EPoS since it provides everything necessary to help dry cleaners and laundries beat the online threat and succeed over local competition. DryStream ensures customer loyalty helping you resist client attrition and allowing you to respond positively to reverse such trends.”
New features for the DryStream system include a set of connection tools enabling connection of DryStream to an operator’s own website and mobile app to allow customers to place their own collection and delivery orders with online.
Beach says DryStream is looking beyond drycleaners, its traditional hunting ground, and is now increasing its penetration into the laundry, group and CPU sector. “This corresponds with the need our customers have to reduce costs and improve customer service. DryStream works really well in the laundry environment and accommodates agent, hotel and account customer work with ease.”
New features of particular note include DryStream’s Garment Imaging system. “Garment Imaging allows laundries and dry cleaners record garment damage in order to prevent false compensation claims and provide repair upsell opportunities. It turns a potential negative into a revenue opportunity” says Beach. “We also introduced paperless tickets recently which help operators reduce costs even further and promote their green credentials to clients.”
Meanwhile, Emperium EpOS also has its eye firmly on the drycleaning sector with its offering which provides EPoS management tools, customer management, item tracking, inventory controls, extensive reports, time and attendance, KPI’s and comprehensive digital records. “The Emperium EPOS for Services solution is designed to grow with your business, with scalable modular design enabling you to add more functionality as your business needs change,” says a spokesperson for the company.
Distributor Cashew believes it has the right solution with the Q-Touch drycleaning EpOS system which it says can also print on special laundry paper with a normal EPSON printer. Hydrofix paper is 44mm, but ma be usedon the normal 76mm EPSON as well thereby keeping purchase cost down. The Q-TOUCH drycleaning system comes with software pre-installed from the factory. The manufacturer designs both the hardware and software, this ensures high performance and trouble free operation.
If rental rather than purchase of a system is more attractive, Cashew offers all of the equipment (hardware and software), as well as unlimited support for programming the EPoS till for new prices and any other changes. “We'll even do your changes for you if you prefer. All call outs are free, as are maintenance and repairs. In fact except for till rolls and the odd printer ribbon. you don't need to pay a penny more than your monthly rental,” says Cashew. “And ur rental agreement is really simple, you don't have any long term commitment and can cancel whenever you need to. “
EpOS specialist Tills4change offers advice to purchasers wishing to upgrade, stating that with changing technologies many of the favoured but ageing drycleaning ticketing cash registers have become redundant, but the basis of their capabilities has become the bench mark for new technologies.
The basis of any dryeaning system should be:
• Open up a new rail (ticket order)
• Allow open price, or preset price items to be entered to the rail (order)
• Enter a collection day (or even date) to be printed on tickets/receipts.
• Store the rail order as an open transaction and print:
i. A collection ticket with collection day (or date), list of items and value for the customer
ii. Print tickets on drycleaning paper, using indelible ink, to be attached to each item – for example, a preset price item on a till for a three-piece suit, would produce three seperate tickets.
iii. A copy ticket of the order for the dryleaning.
On return, the customer can present their ticket and the operator can recall the rail (open transaction) from the rail number, then locate the articles on the ticket, take payment and receipt.