Smooth sailing for UKSA with ByTable
It was around Christmas last year (2020) when ICRTouch and ICR Systems came together to generously donate £3,500 worth of software and services to aid the charity in these challenging times.
When it came to the pandemic and multiple national lockdowns, UKSA needed a contactless software solution for their adult students.
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One of the things they had to remove from campus was the vending machines, this was somewhere the students would be able to come and have a quick snack before tea time. ICR Systems installed the app (ByTable) along with a brand new till system (TouchPoint) and back-office (TouchOffice Web).
We spoke with Jade Beasley (Fundraising and Events Coordinator at UKSA) and Mark Randerson (Head of Facilities and Services at UKSA) to find out how they have been getting on with their solutions since the install.
Jade says: “The development of The Wellness Cafe was born and Mark asked: what can we do to reduce contact on-site? After a quick Google search ICR Systems, a local business on the Island, came up and we thought that’s great because it’s local. The first contact we had was from Chris at ICR Systems, who mentioned that his kids have come on courses here at UKSA, so there was already a nice connection to start the relationship from.”
Who are the target customers?
The target customer for the app is the adult students, from the education courses, that start from the age 16 and above. When the schools and groups are at UKSA the teachers are able to order a cup of coffee or a brownie whilst the kids are on the water.
Have there been any advantages to this software after using it more regularly?
Jade says: “ByTable has given the business more of a variety which a vending machine or a cafe can’t do – it’s being able to give a little bit more. As the winter season comes, the bar area will be used a lot more, this is when we will see the app working to its full potential.
Having the app gives a better customer feel because customers and staff are more relaxed, there’s no need to queue at the bar, or having to wait to catch the bar person attention. You can just sit, order and it arrives.”
The solution has developed from something that was so simple to quite a big infrastructure, UKSA is now looking at their hotel service system, using it for key cards. Over the past three years, they’ve been raising money with their fundraising to embark on developing the hotel block, which was built back in the 1930s. It needed to be modernised to comply with health and safety regulations. At the moment, behind reception, there are around 200 keys, because each room has its own lock and key. Since they’re building it again from scratch they can put all the digitalisation in at the same time and customise it to how they want.
Has the solution helped staff do their jobs?
Mark Randerson says: “We have managed to run The wellness cafe out of the campus kitchen, which is fantastic because people can order from anywhere and then they just collect from there. So the kitchen staff can do it all, whereas in the past we had a separate team to run the cafe.
The bar app was just for covid but now I think we will keep it because it’s so simple. The staff efficiency and level of service is so much better, when we are busy we can get a member of staff to do table service as well as having the app. The bar person can focus on the orders, the system just works, and I’m really impressed with it.”
How has the solution helped management do their jobs?
Mark Randerson says: “The app has made life easier from a control point of view. It’s so easy for the bar staff now, I don’t really need to manage them at the same level as I used to. The stock control is so good that it manages itself. It’s so much easier.”
Do you have any future plans for the software?
Mark Randerson says: “From next week, we are going to start gym bookings via the app and then if we expand the use of the swimming pool we will implement bookings for that as well. The Wellness side of it will grow. We can adapt it to do promotions and discount codes for staff and to treat students to a drink once they have finished their course. It’s really flexible.”
How have you found working with ICR Systems?
Mark Randerson says: “From our existing support to the support we have had from ICR Systems, is night and day. You can pick up the phone and someone will be there to help you. I was dealing with Lee for the install and he is just fantastic. He comes to the site, he’s on the phone, even if he’s not in the office there is always someone who will help you. It’s been a real highlight.”