Fuelling Forecourts

Ibec's retail apprenticeship programme aims to provide clear career paths and goals to its attendees

Fuelling forecourts Technology can help drive a business forward in a range of ways, to the benefit of retailer and consumer alike, writes Doug Whelan


Brand Central

15 November 2017

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The world of retailing is one that never stops evolving. Store by store, retailers look at their departments on an almost daily basis, tweaking this and that so as to be sure they’re getting the best out of every square inch of the store. Meanwhile, their symbol groups are looking at the big picture, how consumer behaviour and trends are affecting sales, and what the long-term potentials are for the industry.

At the same time, groups and companies are out there dedicated to finding out how technology can be best put to use to help all of the above achieve their goals. Whether it’s EPOS technology, security monitoring, fuel pump systems or more, companies like these aim to ease waiting times for customers, cut costs for retailers and to push the industry forward in ever-more-innovative ways. Pay-at-pump options, for example, offers motorists the option to be in and out of the queue in a very short time, thus reducing wait times and increasing turnover.

Behind the scenes, wet-stock management options can minimise fuss for retailers when it comes to replenishing stocks and monitoring sales. In the shop, new digital innovations in cash management and till interaction can reduce security risk and assist in all financial activities.

In this feature, we’ll take a closer look at some of the smartest retail technology solutions currently on the market that can and will help drive your business forward in a wide variety of ways.

Station Master

Producing software that increases efficiencies, reduces labour costs, and improves margin Station Master has been delivering innovative solutions to the Irish convenience retail and forecourt convenience retail sectors, both north and south, for over 25 years. In that time, the company has developed strong relationships with the grocery wholesale groups and oil companies operating in the 32 counties. Station Master’s software is the solution of choice for Maxol in its company-owned, dealer-operated (CODO) sites.

Most of Station Master’s staff are ex-retailers with real-life experience of running both high street and forecourt convenience stores. This retail experience has enabled the company to have a higher level of understanding of the customer’s requirements and has assisted it in delivering intuitive POS, handheld and back office software to a wide customer base.

A management buy-out three years ago added new impetus to the company and a desire to reposition from a scanning provider to a business information provider. To this end, Station Master became a very outward-looking organisation, seeking synergies with other like-minded companies operating in its vertical to deliver a seamless IT solution to its shared customer base.

Station Master’s software now integrates with some of the leading cash management systems, electronic shelf edge label suppliers, data mining software, loyalty programmes, accountancy services, and CCTV providers in the Irish market. Station Master’s EPOS, handheld and back office software is developed by its in-house development team, its technical, installation and support staff are based in the company’s office in Celbridge. This year, Station Master is proud to add the SmartDeli POS and its web app to view live sales and tank stocks across all devices to its portfolio of products.

With a strong emphasis on increasing customers’ “bottom line”, Station Master strives to produce software that increases efficiencies, reduces labour costs, and improves margin. Its software is SEPA ready, ROM1 compliant and Diesel Rebate Scheme approved and can import wholesaler invoices electronically to its integrated Purchases Ledger delivering tighter departmental margin control while reducing data entry time to just minutes per week. For more information please contact: Station Master, Church House, Church Road, Celbridge, Kildare. Tel: (01) 610 2000. www.stationmaster.ie.

Retail Solutions

Innovative EPOS products built on a foundation of first class customer service and after sales support Retail Solutions, a market leader in the design, delivery and implementation of innovative electronic point of sale (EPOS) systems for over 20 years is delighted to count many of Ireland’s largest forecourt retailers, across all the major symbols groups as its customers.

Padraig Nolan, business development manager with Retail Solutions stated that: “The forecourt sector is a very important part of our business and we have in fact managed to grow it recently by securing contracts with BP Express in Australia. We will have completed an initial rollout for 200 sites with this prestigious international forecourt brand by the end of March 2017.”

This significant export growth Nolan said “is testimony to the exceptional capability of our team at Retail Solutions and represents the strongest possible endorsement of our EPOS products.”

The Retail Solutions offering to the forecourt retailers is a comprehensive one that incorporates

  • Credit/Fuel card integration
  • Mobile top up & bill pay at the POS
  • Pump integration with POS.
  • Wet stock management with reporting suites
  • Electronic tank gauge integration
  • Security cameras with automated drive off reports
  • Customer loyalty modules
  • Enterprise back office
  • Multi wholesaler product file linkup
  • Margin control with drill down analysis
  • Electronic purchase ordering.

Retail Solutions has now delivered further enhancements to its portfolio of products and services offered to forecourt retailers with the launch of the revolutionary SMARTtill Cash Drawer and its Online Client Helpdesk Portal.

SMARTtill cash drawers Retail Solutions believes SMARTtill is the most innovative EPOS product to come on the market for a considerable time and Retail Solutions’ customers will be the first to take advantage of its many benefits. SMARTtill cash drawers combine cutting edge weighing scales technology within a cash drawer to enable the real time tracking of all cash movements and transactions.

SMARTtill provides immediate discrepancy alerts, cash visibility across all points of sale and a complete audit trail of all cash handling activities especially when a particular discrepancy warrants further investigation. Forecourts retailers who install SMARTtill cash drawers can achieve a reduction in cash shrinkage in their stores of 75%.

Online Client Helpdesk Portal

To deliver on its strategy of providing the very best customer service and to efficiently manage our ever-growing customer base Retail Solutions has launched an online client portal that can accept and process support calls from our customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

All customers who avail of this unique service are provided with their own individual login and password to gain access to the Retail Solutions Client Portal. This enables them to log the details of the service required using interactive drop down menus that make the whole process very easy and user friendly.

An electronic ticket is then raised with the most appropriate member of the team based on the nature of the issue. The real benefit for customers is that they have complete visibility of how, when and who dealt with their call and the time scale from raising the matter to closure. For more information, visit the Retail Solutions website at www.retailsolutions.ie or contact Padraig Nolan on 087 917 0571.



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