When the decision was taken for BBC Worldwide's 'Doctor Who Experience' to relocate in real time from London to Cardiff, the Event Retail and Merchandise team, led by Andrew Walker, decided to review the point-of-sale equipment in use at the event.
As with many other retail businesses, the management at the BBC Worldwide's Doctor Who Experience was concerned by the announcement from Microsoft of their intention to drop support for Windows XP which their current system ran on, potentially leaving the 'Doctor Who Experience' with an unsupported system in place for managing sales.
There is no doubt that the 'Doctor Who Experience' merchandise is futuristic and compelling: it was felt that it was time to replace till systems that harked back to the beginning of the 21st-century on Planet Earth and acquire a more powerful and flexible sales and stock control solution. At the top of their must-have list was a robust and reliable Windows based EPoS solution, able to deliver advanced back office functionality including, real time sales reporting, profit and loss accounting and up to date stock holding information.
The event management team in charge of the Doctor Who Experience located in London's Kensington Olympia, introduced solutions Providers New Horizon Systems to the BBC Worldwide Live Events management. After detailed discussions, a number of new Windows-based EPoS systems were acquired complete with Consolis Systems CES Touch Solution just prior to the relocation. The show closed for relocation then reopened in Cardiff in new premises, better suited to showing off the wonders of the TARDIS, the Time Lord and his foes.
New Horizon Systems worked with the Doctor Who Experience team to support, reconnect and re-commission the new CES EPoS system and back office application to ensure everything ran smoothly. With enemies everywhere in the shape of Cybermen and Daleks, the last thing the 'Doctor Who Experience' needed was monsters in the new point of sale solution.
In June 2014, New Horizon Systems demonstrated the new Cloud-based back office Software as a Service solution from Consolis Systems. Called 'Inno on Demand', for 'Information on Demand' the new system greatly expanded and enhanced the touch application the Doctor Who Experience had been using.
Boasting a range of real time sales, stock control and product management facilities, Inno on Demand offered the Doctor Who Experience management the ability to stay in control of their business remotely.
Andrew Walker, Event Retail & Merchandise Manager commented, 'We have found that being able to log onto the system remotely (if needed with more than one user at a time on different machines) allows us to be free from the constraints traditional EPOS systems with back office functionality endure'.
For the first time, the management team had access to real time sales and stock control information, 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world and via any device capable of running an Internet browser. In summary, this Cloud-based head office solution allowed the Doctor Who Experience to stay in control of its business wherever they were in space and time. Prior to installing the solution, one of the tills had to be taken out of service to get reports on the sales performance. Nowadays, with the new Cloud-based solution this is no longer necessary.
There were some initial challenges with the solution as Walker reports. However, in his words, the 'team stuck with it' and enjoyed close support from both New Horizon Systems and Consolis. As a result of their working closely with the suppliers, the team at Doctor Who Experience reckons it is pretty self-sufficient in terms of tweaking and managing the Cloud-based solution to perform and deliver precisely the requirements needed.
In addition, when the Doctor Who Experience receives a new stock delivery, stock levels may be updated interactively simply by using a laptop at the goods-in location and recording the new stock that has been received there and then. Andrew Walker again: We have found that the flexibility and ease of the 'Inno On Demand' user interface means we can significantly speed up the time taken reviewing sales and booking in stock. This also has the added benefit of getting product onto the shop floor for our customers quicker whilst maintaining a high level of accuracy in the booking in/stock control process as well as reacting in real time to sales data'.
Finally, even the finance team benefits from the reporting available as year-end reporting, stockholding and costs associated are all easily and readily available.
Peter Moore, CEO of Consolis Systems commented, 'We are delighted with the success of 'Inno on Demand' which combines strong functionality, ease-of-use and ultimate flexibility with the Software as a Service approach that Consolis has delivered'. Manisha Nagpal, MD of New Horizon Systems added, 'our solutions have proved to be a success in this unique and fascinating environment. We are doubly pleased that the team at the Doctor Who Experience was able to overcome initial teething problems and enhance and expand their knowledge of the systems as a result of working closely with our after sales support teams.'
Housed in a specially constructed facility in Cardiff's Porth Teigr - a stone's throw from the BBC Wales studio where Doctor Who is filmed - the Doctor Who Experience offers a unique, exciting and sometimes scary journey into fifty years of adventures in space and time.
Take part in your own adventure with the Twelfth Doctor through space and time. Beginning in the Gallifrey Museum, embark on a journey to the heart of the TARDIS and help the Doctor grapple with a threat that could destroy the universe forever...Then step behind the scenes and experience the single largest collection of Doctor Who costumes, sets and props from the TV show's iconic past.