Major Spar wholesaler, James Hall & Co., has reduced engineer call-outs for the repair of critical retail and back office equipment by as much as 80 per cent, using power conditioning systems from POWERVAR, a global provider of power management systems.
One of six UK wholesalers, James Hall & Co. supports around 500 Spar retail stores ranging from corner shops and convenience stores to petrol forecourts and stores on Army bases southward from the Scottish border to North Wales and eastward to Hull and Scunthorpe. With responsibility for supplying and supporting these outlets with everything they need to function efficiently, James Hall & Co is also responsible for managing the back-office systems and relevant hardware for Spar's 127 petrol forecourts, alongside HTec, Spar's petrol forecourts IT systems provider.
After recommending power conditioning systems for all of the forecourt sites to protect Spar's bespoke Spar POS (Point of Sale) and back office systems, HTec insisted on POWERVAR technology. Mike Crompton, Technical Support Manager for Retail IT, responsible for support, maintenance and upgrade of IT systems, noticed an immediate reduction in hard disk corruptions and failures after the power conditioning units were installed: "I was cautious about them at first a few years ago, we actually removed UPSs, which are supposed to protect vital IT equipment in the event of power failures from our premises because they caused so many problems.
"But I was immediately impressed. Problems on the Epos and back office systems are down by as much as 80 per cent compared with non-protected systems, which means fewer callouts and significant cost savings. Plus, any problems are easier to identify and quicker to resolve"
POWERVAR power conditioning units have now been installed across all Spar outlets where equipment was due for renewal. As well as cost savings, the retailer has noticed a 'softer' ROI (return on investment), including improved customer service due to less system downtime.
In June, POWERVAR launched its white paper, The business case analysis for power conditioning: An ROI study of unburdening service costs from the bottom line, which revealed that the financial impact of irregularities noise, spikes, surges and other transient phenomena in the power supply can have a far greater impact on sensitive hi-tech equipment than is generally acknowledged. It showed that power conditioning technology can deliver demonstrable cost savings and measurable return on investment for businesses.
Rob Morris, UK General Manager for POWERVAR, adds: "Retail is one area where serious damage to critical equipment, like Epos and back office systems, can have very serious consequences. Disruption to vital equipment like store tills can cause frustration for both retailers and customers that ultimately results in lost sales. We are seeing a number of retailers moving from the more traditional UPS systems to more reliable power conditioning and power quality technology."
The initial investment of 130,000 in POWERVAR equipment has been recuperated within months of being installed. James Hall & Co. is now looking into further increasing ROI by extending the life of hardware by as much as 20 per cent, which will see Spar benefit from reduced service costs when hardware contracts comes up for renegotiation.