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Men’s Room EPoS is cut above rest

By Retail Technology | Friday March 1 2013

New Android-based till system enables growing regional hairdressing business to manage transactions and inventory more efficiently

Liverpool-based contemporary barbers, The Men’s Room, has achieved a full return on its investment in a new Android-based Casioelectronic point-of-sale (EPoS) system within a few months of installation.

With a full overhaul twelve months ago and future extensions planned for this year, the salon’s owner, Sam Rice, wanted to also ensure that the infrastructure was equally upgraded to befit such a modern environment. “For us, it wasn’t just about revitalising and refurbishing the premises. We offer contemporary services and want to extend this to the entire experience, including online bookings of appointments and effective transaction processing.”

Like many small businesses, Rice had been using a standalone cash register to manually capture each transaction. Fraught with reconciliation issues every day, the standalone system critically failed to capture which transactions were entered for product and which were for services. This information was vital as it attracted differing levels of commission for staff members and, therefore, accurate reconciliation could only be achieved by manually going through the week’s register rolls.

Till becomes source of inefficiency

The results of this cumbersome weekly audit also facilitated the restocking of products. This reconciliation took an entire day of Rice’s time and even then, mistakes could occur. It became a day of fine balancing each week, as Rice explained: “It’s critical that our stylists are compensated fairly and appropriately. We maintain a reputation for great customer service and this can only be achieved if our team receives the correct levels of pay and we have the right stocks in.” Over and above the consuming till reconciliation, a further day of calculation was needed each week to maintain accurate manual bookkeeping, accounting and wage slip generation.

Rice was made aware by IT partner DCGS that Casio had just developed an EPoS terminal running the latest Google Android operating system, specifically designed for small businesses with applications to suit retail environments. The large colour 10.4-inch LCD of the Casio V-R100 is designed to withstand the moisture and heat generated within the shop, and provides an 80mm receipt for customers and an audible opening cash drawer for increased security. At The Men’s Room, DCGS installed the unit within minutes; straightforward plug and play technology, with styling items easily added and customising services buttons specific to The Men’s Room. Training of the five stylists slotted in seamlessly in-between appointments, with all quickly grasping the enhanced usability and menu driven prompt screens that sit behind the V-R100.

One month after installation and the Casio V-R100 has revolutionised the back office at the salon. Each product is now listed and reconciled and transaction linked. Each staff member has their own bookings appropriately tagged against their commission wage slip. Proof of how effective the unit is came with the first stock take in week one. Rice commented: “We took a stocktake as a proof point for the new system. We were right to do so as it was 100% accurate. Suddenly the guesswork of what we need to re-order was alleviated. We now have a full and accurate consumption report that we can download at any point in time. Eventually, we will explore the use of the automatic ordering Apps provided by our wholesalers so that the entire procurement chain is automated.”

New EPoS improves customer service

As The Men’s Room operates on an appointment basis, the salon can now deploy a real-time booking system for the staff, allocating 30-minute slots across the calendar online. As the Casio V-R100 is linked to the internet, it also allows customers to seamlessly book their own appointments back at base or from within The Men’s Room. 

Staff can check the appointments via the unit, make block bookings and use the internet for other applications, such as social networking sites. Rice added: “It says something about the inherent power and functionality within when EPoS till applications replace the programmes on our laptop. Indeed the laptop has been pretty much made redundant all bar the playing of ambient music.”

He added: “The benefits to an expanding business cannot be over-emphasized. I personally used to spend a full day tallying receipts and then my partner would spend the next day compiling accurate books to submit to the accountant. All of this is now achieved with a touch of a button with an automated report. The savings in our time alone in the first month far outset the cost of the initial purchase.”

Platform for business growth

Rice now plans to double the number of stations and services offered in 2013. And the accessibility of such services like social networking, review sites and updating of FaceBook with news and promotions on the V-R100 will help this growth. He is looking forward to getting to grips with the Casio Business Portal to expand his current client base. This will provide him with a number of marketing tools, including SMS texting, the ability to generate e-shots and to fully expand the current customer loyalty scheme so that birthday and seasonal promotions can be added.

He concluded: “We are just scratching the top of the surface and we are absolutely thrilled with what we have seen so far. I would be the first to 100% recommend the Casio V-R100. It is a truly empowering solution that will grow with you and facilitate that growth.”

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