The Parliamentary Review is an indispensable guide to industry best practice, which demonstrates how sector leaders have responded to challenges in the political and economic environment. See below written by TISSL Founder Kevin Coetzee which has been featured in The Parliamentary Review
Best Practice Representative 2018 – TISSL
At the turn of the century, Information Technology (IT) suppliers had made a lot of money upgrading computer systems off the back of Y2K fearmongering. This led to widespread mistrust, especially within the hospitality industry who believed they had been forced into costly and unnecessary upgrades
In 2003, I started TISSL Limited after having worked for 16 years in an IT company supplying EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) solutions to pubs, clubs and restaurants. I realised that the industry needed to modernise and get its act together, to provide solutions suitable for the environments in which they are being used and to make available outstanding customer service.
IT had become an essential part of everyday life and yet the hospitality industry lagged behind other sectors, finding it hard to embrace the benefits that tech can yield. Even today, EPoS is seen as a necessary evil. It is perceived to be expensive, unreliable, slow and the vendors, providing poor after-sales support.
Yet these same restaurateurs love the latest gadget and accept that, occasionally, they may have poor signal during calls or that the internet is not reliable when sitting down in a coffee shop. EPoS solutions are essential to hospitality and cannot fail in this manner. It is the engine that powers the most successful businesses. It also needs to withstand the harsh hospitality environment which involves liquid spillage, alcohol and the excessive heat of a busy kitchen.
So why is it so essential to have the perfect, most reliable EPoS solution for your establishment? Because it is the tool that will help improve your efficiency and your customer journey. It ensures orders are captured correctly, delivered to the kitchens immediately and presented to the customer in an aesthetically pleasing, prepared and concise manner. Then, when the meal is over, the customer can pay quickly and easily before moving on, content with their restaurant experience.
But it shouldn’t just stop there. By capturing customer details, you can check if they enjoyed their experience at the restaurant. They can be made VIPs by inviting them back with promotions and rewarding their loyalty.
With the emergence of cloud hosting, it was only natural that EPoS began to utilise this powerful tool. Business Intelligence (BI) data, powered by their EPoS engines is thrown up into the cloud, meaning that valuable data insights on products, locations and staff can be accessed from anywhere at any time.
Dining Experience and EPoS
The upcoming generation of diners like to photograph every aspect of their lives and share these images across social media – dining is no exception, as the emergence of Instagram pages dedicated to restaurant criticism and de rigueur images of food on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook would suggest. They need to be in control of their experience and welcome the opportunity to know more about the source ingredients and other small details such as recommendations on beverages, etc. Ideally, they would access all this information from their smart phones.
Today, smart EPoS solutions can satisfy most restaurateur’s and their diners’ needs. However, the perfect solution will need to be continually evolving. EPoS solutions must help engage diners before they even get to the restaurant, involve them in how and when they will want to dine. The perfect EPoS solution will make every diner a VIP and grow the brand of a restaurant and the loyalty of its customer base.
I have watched over the years as the humble mobile phone – which started its existence as a clunky, expensive device – transformed into a sophisticated handheld computer, powerful enough to allow countless other primary tasks and still be used as a mobile phone.
This transformation has been embraced by the new generation of users, who demand that they are able to utilise their smart phone or tablet within hospitality. TISSL has been developing our next generation of software taking into account this shift in consumer demand. We understand that our solution must engage with not only the restaurant clientele but its employees, making for a harmonious customer journey.
In order for TISSL to stay competitive, I have had to change my own beliefs on what a company of this nature should feel and sound like. We have restructured the company from a service-led environment to sales-led. I have had to reshuffle the senior positions to strengthen the management team.
It’s important that we continue to innovate to prevent the stagnation previously seen in the industry.
In order to keep up with changes in technology and consumer-led IT products, I have had to contend with the drop in our sales margins. Employment costs have increased with new members of staff joining us and changes to pensions. The cost of hardware and software development has also increased, while selling prices have dropped.
We reach out to our potential customers online, engaging them at every turn. We don’t just tell them that TISSL is the best EPoS solution, but we inform them of the industry, the pros and cons of choosing a solution; a fundamental move in being a thought leader. By the time it comes to decide who to go with, clients are informed and empowered to make the right choice for them. Given the hospitality industry’s slow uptake on new technology, we cannot deny the power of a traditional sales team. Combining traditional and modern approaches has been the cornerstone of our success.
Our software has to be user friendly, intuitive, reliable and simple, but comprehensive and, above all, competitively priced. Our software is not hardware-dependent and will operate across various platforms.
Looking towards the future, I know that TISSL must take our own advice and also innovate. The development of new features and modules continues to grow, and we are now ready to move forward with ground-breaking new solutions and services.
2018 is an exciting year for us with the relaunch of a new, intuitive, forward-thinking company and culture. We cannot hold our rightful place as an industry voice without setting the example. With our new outlook, diverse team and catalogue of new modern products, the margin of our successes will continue to develop on a company-wide scale hitherto unimaginable.
Click on the link below to see the article on the Parliamentary Review