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University of Sheffield much smarter

University Of Sheffield Much Smarter

MCR Systems has delivered a fully integrated EPOS, Loyalty and Cashless Payment system to the University of Sheffield.

The Commercial Services department is responsible for the operation of a wide range of catering and hospitality facilities across the University including bars, restaurants, coffee shops, private function rooms and traditional dining rooms.  Services provided include prepaid student dining, restaurant dining, delivered catering and conference and function service.

At present the Commercial Services Department operates catering facilities at around sixteen locations, serving over 26,000 students and 7,000 staff.

The Commercial Services department operates throughout the year. Term time activity consists of department, staff, student & day conference business and during vacation periods this turns towards more residential conferences and function business.

After winning the contract at Sheffield, MCR had only six weeks to implement 34 networked SymPOS touchscreen EPOS terminals, deliver a bespoke web portal to load funds for cashless payments and integrate the portal with their existing web-payment solution, delivered by WPM.

In addition, over 30 integrated Verifone Vx820 Chip & PIN terminals were installed providing contactless payment capability.

Cashless payment using MCR's integrated SymPAY solution covers catered students, conference delegates and general student and staff use, and has been widely accepted nd well received by students and Staff.

Later in the relationship MCR, in conjunction with Kinetics Solutions, supplied an interface to provide automated conference and hospitality charges streamlining the administration process and automating client invoicing.

Over the last 18 months the Catering and Hospitality team have gone live with the MCR Stock Manager application, which allows them the ability to place predictive orders based on historical sales, calculate stock holding in multiple locations, manage their deliveries and invoices along with recipe and menu control.

Summer 2014 saw the full implementation of SymPAY combining EPOS Loyalty and cashless payments, the aim was to provide a better service and experience to students and staff with a goal to increase trade and net profit. The implementation of loyalty with digital vouchers and mobile phones allowed for a wide variety of different offers trialling 26 different offers in the first few months.

Mark Cawkwell-Blunn IT and Business Systems Manager commented,

"We tried hard to focus on targeted marketing, getting the right vouchers to the right people. The MCR SymPAY software gave us the ability to be much smarter in our communication with students and staff. The administration was easy ensuring that we could create offers in a proactive fashion stimulating high volumes of impulse purchases."

In the first year of use, the introduction of loyalty attributed to a net 4.8% increase in sales.

Services provided:

  •  MCR provided all Project Management, consultancy, implementation and training services, integration to SAP Finance and Kinetics.
  •  MCR provide seven day a week Support & Maintenance including a local on-site engineer and quarterly system upgrades.
  •  Account Management

The Sheffield Management team contribute to regular user workshops and attend the annual User conference.