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Spectacular SSE Hydro Glasgow in tune with Symphony

04 May 2015

The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) is Scotland's premier national venue for public events, concerts and conferences

 Levy Restaurants are the onsite catering partners to the SECC (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre) and the new SSE Hydro Arena. Part of the Compass Group they have been working with the SECC since it opened in 1985 and are part of a joint venture with the venue providing world class catering services for the diverse range of conferences, concerts, exhibitions and events taking place at the SECC and The SSE Hydro Arena.

The New SSE Hydro

Completed in September 2013, The SSE Hydro is a 12,000 seat venue purpose built for national and international stars. It opened with a sell-out Rod Stewart concert and 15 months on from the opening date is now the world's second busiest live entertainment venue, according to the latest industry rankings. Playing host to around 140 events attracting audiences of over 1 million people each year, the SSE Hydro is truly a world-class events venue with a world-class reputation.

A world class venue requires a first class EPOS system and Levy had no hesitation in turning to MCR Systems, having worked with them at the SECC for a number of years. The new web based Symphony system, provides the tools to manage all till functionality such as products, prices and screen layouts across all trading outlets and delivers real-time reporting throughout the trading session. Some 87 SymPOS Touch Screen tills have been installed throughout all the bars, food outlets, kiosks and lounges all with integrated Chip & PIN/Contactless Payment functionality. Symphony Stock Manager is also being used to manage stock movements such as orders, deliveries, transfers and stock- takes across the outlets and to control wastage, optimising stock levels and reducing shrinkage.

Bill McMeekin is the Director of Catering Operations and commented “The Symphony system enables us to manage our offer across all outlets providing live sales and stock reporting, reducing losses and helping the management team to make informed decisions and increase sales".

A key requirement for the SSE Hydro is speed at the point of sale, the ability to be able to serve customers quickly during the busy period before an event and during the interval.  SymPOS ticks the box here with user configurable screens allowing different button styles and sizes and simple to navigate menus to lead the operator through the transaction, with prompts for up-selling opportunities, improving efficiency, increasing customer spend and improving customer service.  SymPOS uses a Windows embedded Operating System designed for POS terminals, and a Solid State Drive (SSD), ensuring the system is quick, robust and reliable with no moving parts.

“Customer Service is our priority” continues McMeekin. “With the SymPOS Tills deployed across our many busy outlets, we are able to serve customers quickly and efficiently, which helps to drive footfall”

Chip & PIN authorisation is within seconds and the facility for customers to be able to use their Contactless debit card speeds the sale up even more.

As each sale is finalised on the tills, the transaction data is fed into the Symphony Reporting software delivering real-time sales information to management. The digital dashboard is also used to provide a snapshot of business activity and efficiency in the form of key performance indicators at any time during a session. Thanks to the web based nature of the reports; information can be accessed by any authorised user at any time and from any location, even off site. The stock system is also real-time, reporting up to the minute stock levels at each outlet with predictive ordering levels used to replenish stock.

McMeekin goes on to say “We have been delighted with Symphony from day one, it’s easy to use, and having the ability log on to view the reports from anywhere is a real benefit”. 

Implementation

A detailed project plan was agreed between MCR and Levy and although there were difficulties with access with this being a new build, MCR were flexible enough to work with the client even though it meant some long days for the MCR installation team, as McMeekin describes. “The Implementation team were very professional and a credit to MCR Systems, working very calmly under pressure, they really did pull out all the stops to ensure a smooth opening night with the new EPOS system”.

Everything was up and running in good time and ready for the arrival of 12,000 people for the opening night, which certainly saw the till system put to the test , and one it passed with flying colours.

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