EPoS and Ecommerce for Cycling Retailers
Cybertill’s integrated EPoS and ecommerce system allows cycle retailers to manage their bricks and clicks business. It is designed around the needs of cycle retailers from the workshop facility for bike services to real time stock levels to an extensive loyalty programme. Cybertill is used in over 100 cycle locations across the UK from single independent to multiple retailers. The Great British Cycling Team also use our EPoS system to manage their stock control to ensure they have the right parts, bikes, nutrition and clothing for each rider at every event.
Instant Stock Control
Cybertill’s EPoS system helps many cycle shops manage their stock efficiently and effectively. Retailers can set minimum and maximum stock levels across all products, as Wheelbase (an independent bike shop in the Lakes) does, or they can use in built algorithms that calculate what levels of stock should be ordered and carried. Some customers have seen stock levels reduced by 40% when using Cybertill, whilst maintaining and growing sales and improving their cash flow. And in Cybertill the stock levels are in real time, so retailers know exactly what stock they have and can make more informed decisions, as Mark James of cycle retailer J E James (a three store cycle retailer) explains. “We are seeing stock turned on a regular basis. Having up-to-the minute information helps us to make sure we have the stock we need.”
EPoS with a Workshop Module
For any cycle retailer managing their workshop and services side of the business can be chaotic. From booking in services and work, allocating the right time to the correct mechanic(s). Then recording and charging for additional parts used and ensuring it is all done in the time allocated. Once jobs are complete then notifying the customer it is ready for collection. All this is a huge administrative burden. The Cybertill workshop module can manage all this and more. And if extended time is required for the service this can be simply managed in Cybertill whilst notifying the customer about the updated schedule. It means that all costs are properly allocated, recorded and then charged. What’s more mechanics can log on to the system to check what jobs they should be working on that day, week or month. And if you have more than one store, but not all stores have a workshop area, those that don’t have the workshop facility in house can check other stores’ workshop schedule, in real time, and book in services.
Single Store or Multiple Branches
There is a real feel-good factor around cycling at present. It has been on the up for many years and there are many reasons for this. One of the most successful Olympic teams of any era is the British Cycling Team and there is a huge amount of individual success too. Both Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome have won the much vaunted yellow jersey at the Tour de France. More and more people are commuting and riding bikes as the price of fuel has sky rocketed and then of course there is Sky. Their sponsorship has created mass participation events like Sky Rides. Thanks to all this cycle retailers, large and small, have been able to exploit this success. And Cybertill is helping many of them manage their businesses more efficiently and successfully, no matter if it is a single store or chain. When Mark James, of J E James, was researching EPoS systems for his business Mark noted that Cybertill was equally adept at managing indies and chains. “What stood out was how good Cybertill was at managing multi-store businesses. Other products were competent in running a single branch, although Cybertill seemed better at that also.”
Cycling in the Cloud
How businesses operate today is vastly different to that of twenty years ago or even ten years ago. One of the main reasons for this is the internet. Of course it has created another very attractive sales channel, but it has also changed the way we work. Retailers that keep their business tools and applications on the internet (or in the cloud), like Cybertill’s EPoS system, can access them from any location. So retailers are not tied to the back office or the store and can work from anywhere, as Toby Dalton of Wheelbase explains. “I do a lot of work from home, or on my travels. A web-based EPoS system, accessed from anywhere, is ideal.”
Our EPoS system being web based was the main reason Maurice Burton, former professional cyclist and owner of De Ver Cycles, chose Cybertill. “I liked the idea for two reasons. Firstly, this is my business, I don’t start when the shop opens and finish when the shop closes. So Cybertill provides me with the tools necessary to work from home. And secondly I am away from the business a lot in the winter. So I wanted to be able to see what is going on and I can work in the same manner when in Europe, as I can here,” explains Maurice. “Plus of course if anything unforeseen happened, such as a fire, all of the records for stock and everything would be backed up in the cloud.”
Today retail is all about multi-channel and giving consumers a range of ways to buy and return goods, such as click and collect. To manage this all sales channels need to operate in a unified manner. And to give themselves a head start many cycle retailers are using Cybertill’s multi-channel retail system to do just that. “We weren’t initially multi-channel,” comments Toby. “But this is now very important and, over the past year, we’ve integrated both channels.”
“We can despatch mail order and ecommerce orders from our warehouse and our stores, depending on where the stock is located,” explains Chris Noy, of seven store cycle retailer Leisure Lakes. “We automate all this using Inter Branch Transfers (IBT) and the note system on Cybertill. So we don’t have to make phone calls, we just IBT the product and put a note in asking that particular store to despatch direct to the customer.”
Looking Down the Track
It can be difficult deciding on the right system for any retail business. But when making the decision it is prudent to have in mind that the business may be completely different in twelve or twenty four months’ time, so what you invest in today must be able to grow with you and your business, in the future, as Toby, of Wheelbase observes. “I’ve learnt a valuable lesson. If you get the right technology in place, you can scale it as the business scales. As with most things, you only get out of technology what you put into it, and we’re doing our best to keep on top of what Cybertill offers.”
And having a system that can grow with your changing needs is as relevant if you are a single or multiple retailer. The British Cycling Team has begun to use other elements of the Cybertill system other than stock control, as Dave Parsons, Purchasing and Equipment Manager, explains. “It is now more than just stock control. It is about being able to use it no matter where you are. So when people are away on events or camps they can use the system, which saves them trying to call or email us to check availability. Cybertill gives us all this and much more, whether it’s the mobility, the workshop module, forecasting and so on. It is this attention to detail that Cybertill gives us that is a huge aid to the Great British Cycling Team.”