As one of the UK's leading providers of family holidays, Park Resorts supplies over twenty thousand holiday homes and touring pitches across 39 parks nestled on, or close to, the UK coastline. From packages and short breaks; camping and touring holidays; to options for affordable ownership of holiday homes, Park Resorts have become the eminent, expanding force in UK 'staycations'. Central IT, administration, sales and marketing functions are run from their busy main office in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, where Chris Newton is responsible for retail and accounting systems throughout the group.
Averaging a 6% increase in annual growth and holiday makers year-on-year, demand for ongoing unparalleled service within the resorts' bars, restaurants, shops and takeaway outlets is also increasing proportionally. Chris comments, "Our ethos is to Create Amazing Memories - vacation time is so precious and the market so competitive that we want to keep every moment of the whole Park Resort experience hugely positive. That means minimizing items out of stock and decreasing queuing time so that our holiday makers can go back to enjoying the non-stop entertainment and facilities on offer."
With their previous integrated hospitality till hardware and management system reaching end-of-life, Park Resorts began the tender process to examine which EPoS networked tills would be best rolled out across all UK parks, consulting Casio partner, Microtill, for recommendations that would support local resort transactions and business management collection, analysis and sales report data.
Che Mainwaring is the Retail Operations Director at Park Resorts and takes up the story…
"We were looking for a maximum reliability, low total-cost-of-ownership EPoS solution to provide front of house transactions with immediate accuracy. We had several requirements. The system we selected had to be flexible and future-proof to safeguard the outlay. Front of house, it had to be easy to use for Park Resort's army of new seasonal staff, even in the busy summer season. Back office, we wanted the EPoS solution to deliver accurate sales and stock levels for each resort, thereby providing local and Head Office management tracking."
Microtill advised the installation of Casio's QT-6600 EPoS solution, networked across all sites into Hemel Hempstead complete with integrated Casio back office software (CBMS) to manage stock levels. This was to be a large install, to be progressively delivered in a two phase roll out across all UK parks; with each park averaging 5 EPoS tills. Highfield Grange Park Resort site in Clacton was elected as the first park to migrate; supported by the fact that resident Complex Manager, Nicola Brooke, had in-depth skills in EPoS management.
She explains. "The EPoS systems control all expenditure spent onsite together with the resultant stock ordering process. It was imperative that the rollout was in place, fully functioning and totally reliable in time for the start of the busy summer season. At Highfield, we relished the chance to be the pilot resort so we commenced the transition in the quiet winter months across 7 transaction points in this resort."
The first part of the install involved Microtill pre-populating each till with around 200 items purchasable in the resorts' various outlets and sub divisions.
Now, with half the rollout finished (the remaining half scheduled for the end of this summer season) and having dealt with one of the busiest summers in Park Resorts history, thanks in part to the above average British summer temperatures, Nicola is well placed to reflect on the advantages that adoption of the QT-6600 has gleaned.
On the PoS counters; the QT-6600 sits compact, robust with a touch panel LCD-screen to add high-end style to all service points on the resort. Park Resorts found it quick and easy to operate, with staff requiring only one training session to run through the functionality of the large touch-screen. When serving front of house, staff like the way they are guided through each transaction with prompts onto the next-screen and selection of images for easy recognition and orders per table. Customers can view their transaction with the large forward-facing display, and being designed for hospitality environments, the unit is splash proof and rugged.
Nicola expands:- "In the peak season we have seen a notable decrease in the queue time, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the Show Bar is at maximum capacity. We attribute it to faster input achieved through the customised graphical image touch-screens. At a glance, front of house staff can now confidently offer add-ons, alternatives and side orders, also prompted by the menus."
All terminals are networked back to the back office where Nicola uses the sales data to facilitate accurate ordering. Linking the stock and cash management ensures an accurate stock database that reflects sales data and if necessary, allows Park Resorts to monitor stock discrepancies and identify staff who may need extra training.
Che Mainwaring comments: "Across the UK, each year we recruit a large number of new seasonal staff, so not only is ease-of-use important, but any system that from Day 1 deters stock deterioration and ensures accurate till reconciliation to the penny by linking every transaction to a staff member, is good precedent to establish."
There are distinct benefits for staff too. Park Resorts can use the reporting functionality of the QT-6600 to incentivise staff and accurately reward those staff members who are making good sales. By using a combination of sales reports including bar total, operator total and number of voids per operator, Nicola is able to monitor staff performance; identifying the most efficient servers and on which shift pattern they perform best together with those that may need extra help to avoid excessive voids. Having the POS system linked into the back office software in the bar areas means that if required, Park Resorts can now register the volume of alcohol required for each cocktail or mixed drink against the amount sold and easily compare the two, so when a discrepancy arises; it can be identified and addressed.
And looking into the future, Che Mainwaring reflects "We are halfway with the current rollout with 66 new EPoS tills still be installed after the current season ends. So far, with the new infrastructure, we have successfully taken Park Resorts into the next generation of transaction processing with enhanced customer service with a scalable, realistically priced solution that meets all of our objectives."
Park Resorts Casio EPoS solution at a glance:
- 140 Casio QT-6600 EPoS tills with back office software
- Copes admirably with large volumes of transactions
- Lower Total Cost of Ownership
- Controls stock and ordering
- Allows Head Office tracking with local resort fulfillment
- Staff productivity and tracking responsibility offered
- A decrease in the queue times
- An accurate stock database that reflects sales data
- Helps to accurately reward staff members
- Only one staff training session needed
- Ensures accurate till reconciliation to the penny