Cape Town, 10 Dec 2015
In a South African first, Sage partner Astraia has implemented the Infocentral point-of-sale solution for leather and leather goods and services company Woodheads. Fully integrated into its back-end Sage business management software, the Infocentral system delivers a more efficient, modern and accurate point-of-sale which improves customer experience while making stock control and other management tasks easier.
Woodheads chief executive Richard Harris says its previous point-of-sale (POS) system had reached obsolescence. "Our cash registers were old and no longer supported; that meant it was an ideal time to integrate shop sales with Sage Inventory Control and the General Ledger."
According to Astraia senior consultant Ian Booth, Infocentral is an Australian vendor which provides POS solutions for Sage business management solutions. "Sage itself has recognised that Infocentral is the optimal front-end solution for its software," he notes.
Harris explains the advantages of the new system: "It's analogue versus digital, chalk and cheese, apples and pears. The old cash register only gave category sales, with the till operator enjoying total control over prices. The items were only captured by category, not by item code, whereas the new system is a fully functional integrated cash system which gives all sorts of reports, locks in the item code and selling price, allows refunds, promotions and even trade account sales.
"It has also simplified the back office capturing of the cash and subsequent general ledger accounts, while the tax invoice slip provided to customers gives them more information."
As the first South African implementation of the system, Booth explains that it took around three weeks as Astraia familiarised itself with the setup and optimised it for Woodheads' retail environment. "This is an exciting development because it breaks ground for many retailers in this country who are looking for a better way of managing the front of store," he says. "This implementation proves the suitability of Infocentral and, with its flexibility, it is capable of being adapted to suit almost any retailer and their specific needs."
Booth adds that Woodheads has taken a phased approach to the introduction of new technology, focusing on perfecting the simple transactions and processes, before looking at deploying more advanced features and functions. "The system has been running for over two months now; after a couple of weeks of close support for the salespeople, most of that has been on their own. It is a simple-to-use solution which automates any changes [sales or returns] all the way back into the Sage system. That means better stock control, improved reporting and better information for stocktaking."
That's confirmed by Harris, who says data gathering by the Infocentral system is by far the best advantage. "The second is gaining control on the pricing of goods, as the till operator cannot manipulate the prices, thereby locking in the margins. And, thanks to user-friendliness, this system makes the till operators life so much easier, giving them more time to help customers."
Finally, Harris has a word for Astraia: "They are our partners for our Sage platform and our 'go to team'. As a first deployment, they were very professional and the strict 'hand holding' exercise was quite pleasant."