Australian Geographic has refreshed its Australian point of sale (POS) network in a move to lift customer service and IT reliability.
The deployment of IBM’s SurePOS 300 system involves the replacement of some 100 machines across 49 locations and follows a period of unreliability due to ageing hardware.
“We had some machines in this business encroaching on the 10 year period,” the retailer’s IT manager, James De Berardis said.
“We had a lot of problems with… computers dying in the middle of a sale or while the EFTPOS was going through so that presented a few challenges for us. A lot of our time was spend re-imaging computers and sending them out to stores.”
With the new POS system, which also includes IBM’s Power 520 Express server and with remote management agent, Australian Geographic has improved its system availability by some 90 per cent cut down on management time and increased power efficiency of its POS by 25 per cent.
“Just from the hardware point of view we are looking at a 90-95 per cent reduction in the number of tickets raised due just to hardware failure-related issues,” De Berardis said.
As well as moving the retailer to a standard operating environment, the new POS has also helped lift customer service — a major focus for Australian Geographic.
“A couple months ago Roy Morgan did a poll on customer satisfaction and we came out top of that,” De Berardis said. “What we’ve been doing from our point of sale point of view, and how the customer is treated in store – I feel a part of that.”
Despite the trend toward real-time analytics among retailers, De Berardis said Australian Geographic opted for a little less than real time when pushing back sales data using AdvanceRetail POS software to its head office.
“We actually reduced to out to about an hour between updates,” he said. “We had it going about every 10 minutes at one stage but a business our size, as long as we get updates every hour, its enough for planning and checking how we are going.”
As part of its move to increase customer service the organisation has also recently upgraded its website with improved accessibility and ease of interaction the goals.
“We’ve had the site online for about a week and have seen an increase in sales,” De Berardis said. “It is a vast improvement on what we could do before and our online customers are quite happy.”