Metro Symphony Enterprise solution based on J2 580s is chosen to replace current POS & cashless payment handling operations
The University of Reading's solution will be installed on 36 of J2’s model 580 Celeron M 1.5GHz PC-based touchscreen tills.
Metro Symphony Enterprise, the web-hosted EPoS management and real-time reporting system designed and manufactured by MCR Systems, has been chosen by The University of Reading to replace its current point-of-sale and cashless payment handling operations following a detailed TUCO tender process.
Nigel Monks, assistant director of commercial services at The University of Reading, comments: “The University’s procurement team produced a detailed scope document to future-proof our capital investment. MCR Systems demonstrated a proven track record in delivering a fully-functional system offering complete integration that meets our business needs today and allows for proactive, changing requirements in the future. Everybody at Reading looks forward to working closely with MCR Systems.”
The system will be installed on 36 of J2’s model 580 Celeron M 1.5GHz PC-based touchscreen tills.
The University of Reading, ranked as one of the UK’s 20 most research-intensive universities and one of the top 200 universities in the world, employs 4,000 staff. It caters for over 18,000 students in 11 halls of residence and in a Student Village, spread across campus and the surrounding areas of Reading.
The University’s procurement team included representatives from Finance, Catering and Accommodation Services, Human Resources and Facilities. The team selected MCR Systems’ Metro Symphony following a number of site visits and supplier interviews. The tender document focused on specific business process changes that the University wanted to implement in anticipation of changing financial circumstances within the education sector. These included:
Opportunities to increase revenue and sales per customer
· Implementation of promotions
· Creation of loyalty schemes to drive sales and improve client retention
· Use of a smartcard to implement meal plans, thus guaranteeing revenue
Effective management and control
· Business decisions to be made based on real-time factual reports
· Decisions to be implemented in a controlled fashion via the back-office application
Increase sales volume
· Stimulating food and drink sales via targeted offers
· Introduction of menu engineering
· Increase the average spend per head
· Cost of sale to be monitored weekly across the whole sales mix
Reduce administrative costs
· Electronic integration to reduce time taken to generate data, and reduce admin labour costs by removing double data entry
· Real-time data required for instant decision-making
Improve customer experience
· Faster service at the till point, especially using a smartcard
· Greater variety of promotions within location
· Loyalty schemes reward all purchases
· Implementation of a single card platform
· Catering and hospitality
· Photocopying and printing
· Library use
· Sports and recreation
Having previously helped over 25 universities to develop and protect their business performance as part of a long-term relationship, MCR Systems were able to demonstrate their ability to deliver all the required functionality and work in close partnership.
Symphony controls all aspects of the maintenance and management of an EPoS, Stock Control & Cashless Payment systems estate. Built on Microsoft Server architecture, it provides a solid foundation that provides scalability, resilience, security and simplified administrative operations.
The Symphony suite of software was designed to leverage web technologies and is delivered as an internet-based service via a web browser. This is available as a self-hosted or an MCR-hosted solution. The advantages of an MCR-hosted solution are numerous:
· Reduced capital expenditure and infrastructure management costs
· Quicker, easier and cheaper to deploy than traditional software
· Ability to budget for ongoing costs
· Releasing technology budgets away from maintenance, to be focused on providing competitive edge
· Tangible improvements for continued business development
The project includes the delivery of:
· MCR-hosted Symphony Enterprise comprising EPoS and Cashless Payment
· 36 J2-580 (SSD) touchscreen terminals with integrated Chip & PIN, using the ultra-secure Ocius Sentinel (VX810), with a number of mobile Bluetooth VX670 devices.
· Centralised web reporting of the Chip & PIN estate, making reconciliation much easier for Finance
· Implementation of the Fretwell Downing Saffron catering management application along with five Saffron Connect hand-held stocktaking units
· Cashless is planned for installation in September 2010, including web loading
· Full on-site Project Management, including coordinating third-party applications
· Systems integration including Finance (Agresso), SITS Student & Course Administration System and TRENT Human Resource System.