How stock management reduced waste at a countryside café

06/08/2009 - 00:00
Visitors to Huntley’s at Salmesbury in Lancashire can shop for and eat some of the county’s finest food, much of which has been produced onsite and promotes local farming.

Farmer Eddie Cowpe started Huntley's in 2001 as a response to the foot-and-mouth crisis that had decimated his family business. The shop originally sold milk, home-made ice-cream and fresh meat. Today, after eight years of hard work, it stocks all this and more: fruit, vegetables, delicatessen and fresh fish, and has been celebrated as a Rick Stein Food Hero. There is also a thriving restaurant. By 2008, Huntley's Epos system was not keeping pace with business growth. Tim Smith, Wedderburn's managing director, explains more: "We could see that Huntley's needed much more functionality in both its hospitality and retail areas, so we supplied a complete solution comprising our Total Stock Control software, ICR Touch and Fidelity GPOS software at point-of-sale, supported by J2 Retail Systems PC-based touchscreen computers." Huntley's has installed J2's 520 PC-based colour touchscreens, hand-held touchscreens and Mettler scales. The Fidelity GPOS software links to stock-take scanners and the scales, and processes transactions including multi-buys and 'buy one, get one free'. Integrated Chip & PIN functionality speeds sales through. In the café area, hand-held touchscreens link wirelessly to a point-of-sale terminal running ICR Touch. This makes for fast table service and allows staff to up-sell without returning to the cash register. The Total Stock Control software manages both retailing and hospitality. Simple icon-driven menus make it quick to use and password protection controls access to authorised users. The system links to Sage Line 50 and integrates with Microsoft Word and Excel. Inbuilt Crystal software generates an array of sales and profit reports covering the entire business. Access to actual data by date range enables management to match staffing levels with sales trends. Promotional loss reporting highlights the difference between the RRP and actual sales when discounts or promotions have been applied. Thanks to its new system, Huntley's has complete control of its stock management. It can compare historical and current stock levels, value stock and analyse consumption, highlight stock on hand and on order, and arrange transfers. By being better informed, Huntley's has improved its ordering and stock holding processes, and has reduced shrinkage. Huntley's owner Eddie Cowpe said: "The systems in place here are a credit to technology and support from Wedderburn has been second to none."

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