Lincolnshire Co-operative

As one of the most successful independent consumer co operatives in the UK, Lincolnshire Co-operative are proud to be able to offer a wide range of services from a number of trading divisions, including Food Stores, Filling Stations, Pharmacies, Home, Funeral, Post Offices, Travel and Motor.

The society was founded in 1861 and now comprises of over 200 outlets and a membership of more than 180,000 members. Food Stores’ account for 70 of the Societies stores, with an additional 10 Filling Stations and 47 Pharmacies.

Background

Lincolnshire Co-operative were using an old DOS-based POS system which had served them well for in excess of 10 years. However in recent years they had begun to experience a reliability and performance issue, which was resulting in an increase in support time trying to resolve problems. In addition, the nature of the old systems’ architecture meant that they could not implement new technologies such as a Chip and Pin solution.

Lincolnshire Co-operatives therefore needed to implement a reliable solution which was both robust and easy to use, as well as offering all the functionality and scalability they needed.

The Solution

In-Tech Systems innovative CHOISE suite of software provided the perfect answer. Enabling the seamless integration of their front end IPOS software on Digi-Pos integrated touchscreen terminals, with their CHOISE software in the stores back office and Head Office. One of the main criteria for Lincolnshire Co-operatives was to have one single solution that would operate effectively in all their differing business models, for example a solution that could handle the sale of petrol on a forecourt site as easily as an over the counter sale in a Pharmacy.

CHOISE is a fully integrated retail management solution with specific features to meet the needs of all types of retailers. Included in the solution are fully integrated modules to handle all facets of point of sale (POS), merchandising & planning, sales & profit analysis, and stock control, as well as accounting and financial reporting.

CHOISE enables Head Office, Store Back Office and POS to communicate in real-time across The LAN / WAN or Internet. The CHOISE central database uses industry standard software such as Microsoft SQL Server which offers the best price-performance and is the most open database available.

Furthermore, CHOISE allowed Lincolnshire Co-operatives to replace their existing non-Chip and Pin Credit and Debit Card system, which gave them the piece of mind and the faster transactions times they required.

The Benefits

One of the early major benefits that Lincolnshire Co-operatives realised was that the IPOS touchscreen menu options were both intuitive and easy for staff to operate which is especially important in the busier stores. This meant that staff training on the new system was minimal and subsequently reduced waiting times at the checkouts for customers.
In addition improved management information is available at Head Office. With sales data replicated from the POS into the store back office in real-time and accessible for reporting over the WAN from Head Office. This allows sales data to be analysed by senior management and informed business decisions made, both quickly and accurately.

“We wanted an EPoS solution that was both flexible but would allow us to have a high degree of control over our business” commented Andrew Turner, Head of Group Services for Lincolnshire Co-operative. “From a Head Office perspective we have now have visibility of all our stores and a clear view of how our stores are performing. This information allows senior management across the business to react quickly and decisively to the information available from CHOISE.”

“We chose to work with In-Tech Systems because of their excellent understanding of IT and retail, which they have combined to produce a system that delivers in all areas. The people at In-Tech seem to take a real pride in delivering a quality service and really understood our needs and provided a first class system to meet those needs” concluded Andrew.

An ideal CHOISE

In-Tech Systems are ideally placed to meet the needs of retailers. Providing in service terms, flexibility of available skilled and knowledgeable resources with a style of working that makes us part of the same team with our customers and who are recognised as keen to add value. We base our suitability to deliver the most effective and cost-effective solution on;

  • A complete ‘end-to-end’ solution meeting the retailers specific requirements
  • Our proven project delivery capability
  • Our proven Support Services
  • Our strength as a leading specialist supplier of retail software services