World First Cloud-Based Point of Sale for Gas Alley Services
CHOICE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPS WORLD FIRST CLOUD-BASED POINT OF SALE SOLUTION FOR GASOLINE ALLEY SERVICES
A world ‘first’ in cloud-based point of sale technology has been launched that will transform the way petrol service stations operate across New Zealand - and the world.
Developed for nationwide operator Gasoline Alley Services (GAS) by Kiwi IT specialists Choice Technology (in partnership with project managers Business IQ) the cloud-based solution is a unique point of sale system developed to streamline and unify GAS’s petrol retail business that operates from Bluff to the Far North.
The system was developed following a GAS business transformation project begun in 2012 that identified the urgent need for a single point of sale system for all of its 115 GAS fuel stations located across the country. With the GAS businesses all independently-owned, operating a wide range of systems (some still using cash registers), many of which were over 10 years old, the major issues in this project were to overcome cost, ensure simplicity and minimise disruption to business.
With other fuel retail systems being prohibitively expensive, GAS turned to Choice Technology and Business IQ for help. The result is GAS POS. Based on locally-developed Vend cloud software, GAS POS is a world-first in fuel point of sale (POS), representing the first cloud-based POS solution to be rolled out by a major fuel retailer anywhere in the world.
The rollout of the GAS POS solution began in late 2012. It included GAS station site inspections, installations and follow-up training from Choice Technology. Choice Technology is already looking at enhancements to GAS POS and will soon market it overseas.
GAS POS includes low-cost, touch-screen hardware with corrosive-resistant screens, pump automation, integration with EFTPOS, the latest in ‘tap and go’ payment technology, advanced 24/7 support from the Choice Technology helpdesk and more. It also seamlessly integrates with other New Zealand-developed, cloud-based products such as Xero and Unleashed, and is built on New Zealand-developed Vend POS retail software.
Choice Technology’s managing director Damian Funnell says, “The development of GAS POS has been a very exciting project for Choice. We’ve come up with an affordable, fully local solution for a business that is really heartland New Zealand. It not only supports GAS operators across the country, but also will have an international market. It’s a world-first – a real game changer for GAS and for international fuel companies. It costs one-tenth of alternative solutions.”
“As well, GAS POS provides a range of immeasurable benefits and features that legacy systems just don’t offer. Our hats are off to GAS. GAS had the confidence and vision to proceed with this project despite its trailblazing nature.”
GAS managing director Tim Ellis says the company is thrilled with the outcome “Successfully developing GAS POS was no mean feat. With no two GAS stations the same, and a fairly unsophisticated legacy environment, it was a big ask from us. GAS POS has transformed our technology environment and GAS and its petrol stations are incalculably more robust, agile and ready for the future than we were a year ago.
“Working with Choice has undoubtedly helped us stay true to our vision to keep neighbourhood petrol service stations pumping, and to focus on our communities. Not only have we realised that vision, but also here we are with an internationally marketable system as a result.”
Equipment costs for each GAS site were $3,000-$5,000 depending on whether the site has one or two POS lanes. Choice Technology provided GAS with a fixed price service for the installation of GAS POS, wherever each GAS station was located throughout the country. By comparison, the equipment costs for competing systems are between 3 – 5 times as much.
Vend, which is now used in over 8,000 stores worldwide was thrilled to work with Choice Technology and GAS to demonstrate the suitability of Vend POS in such a challenging environment. Vaughan Rowsell, founder and CEO of Vend says, “Choice Technology and GAS have been great companies to partner with. We’re excited by the innovative solution and application of Vend in a new vertical customer with many locations. It goes to show that cloud software offers significant benefits not just to independent or small retailers, but also to larger businesses operating on multiple, often remote locations. We’re really excited to roll out this world’s first solution into new markets.”
GAS’s Tim Ellis says, “This is a fantastic project outcome. The task was tough and challenged all players. We commend Choice Technology, Vend and the GAS retailers themselves for their determination, commitment and patience.”
Damian Funnell concludes, “This has been an excellent project for Choice Technology. We’re already installing similar solutions for non-fuel retailers in New Zealand. In 2014 the company is marketing the solution overseas, beginning in Australia where smaller independent fuel retailers abound.”