|Firkins Bakery was founded in 1870 in Carter's Green, West Bromwich less than half a mile from its current factory in Black Lake. Famous for its cakes, sausage rolls and hot pork sandwiches, the Black Country bakery recently opened new shops in Harborne, Dudley and Bearwood. Ian Bolderston, Managing Director of Firkins got into the bakery business 14 years ago. Firkins now have over 30 shops and they are all within a 25-mile radius of the bakery, with Solihull being the furthest and their number one shop is in Kings Square, West Bromwich.
Ian had been looking for a computerised EPOS system that would meet his firm's needs for years. He was immediately attracted by Quantum's advanced reporting functions for bakers and price-promotion management capabilities. "I was looking at how you handle your promotions products, your linked-in products, your meal-deals and that type of thing and still actually retain the integrity of the data," says Ian. "We weren’t able to say that inside a meal-deal we sold x amount of a soft drink. We could only say that we’d sold so many meal-deals, which ruined the integrity of our stock control system because we didn’t know what to allocate." Quantum solved this for him with live reporting via broadband back to Firkins head office so managers could see exactly what is selling in each shop in real time as well as cash declared. For promotions, Quantum allows Firkins to complex discount involving combinations of products (or even combinations of products, special vouchers and specific customer-types) to be set up and automated on till screens from head office. There is no staff discretion, allowing for totally accurate margin control and detailed reporting on the success or otherwise of such offers.
"We are also going to develop the customer loyalty side of Quantum with customer loyalty cards and the ability to understand and analyse what people buy," explained Ian.
Stephen Boyes, EPOS Group Managing Director says, "When we were looking at Firkins' requirements, it was clear that the level of complexity the company was asking for its price-promotions would be a challenge for most EPOS systems. EPOS Group was uniquely placed as our new bakery-specific version of Quantum proved to be an excellent fit and the very close proximity of the Firkins' estate to our Birmingham division has allowed for fast responses and plenty of face-to-face contact."
Ian Bolderston was also impressed with the way EPOS Group had integrated Quantum with the CyBake Touch software solution. CyBake Touch works alongside Quantum on Firkins' new touch-screen tills so that orders, waste and deliveries are entered in-store. As with Quantum, the data is then transmitted to head office in realtime via broadband. Using CyBake Touch's sales order processing module at head office, all shop orders, adjustments, waste and stock figures can be checked and amended by the sales orders team.
Ian says: "The Touch side of it was all about completing the loop for us; we’ve got the sales data, we really needed to understand the waste data and the ordering and the suggested ordering and how it linked then back to my bakery system. This has gone down well with staff, as it provides them with the tools to maximise their shops' takings and achieve bonuses for hitting sales targets. With CyBake Touch, staff won’t be ringing us up for their changes, they’ll be keying them in themselves and it will give them a degree of control of information. The system will show them the last four weeks sales, so when they make their judgment, there’ll be our system’s suggested order, but then they can actually change that or alter it, soit gives them some control and some feeling of being part of it and that’s quite important as well.
"I was trying to get a system that will revolutionise the way we operate as a bakery and what EPOS Group's till system in conjunction with my CyBake system is giving me is a complete solution. What my shops want and what they’ve sold and what they want to re-order is integrated seamlessly into my production system."
Some of the key elements to Firkins Bakery decision to go with EPOS Group included:
- Powerful promotions module
- CyBake integration
- Simple and easy to use
- Prints barcodes and shelf edge labels
- Coupons and vouchers, internally generated and verified at the point of sale
- Manual or suggested ordering
- Extensive reporting (Best/Worst Sellers, By Profit etc)
- Approved scale link
- Handheld PDT for stocktaking and re-ordering
- Online ordering to major suppliers including handling, delivery notes and product updates
- Integrated Chip & Pin
- Custom reports
- Central consolidation and control of multiple sites