The British Red Cross, one of the UK’s most successful charity shop retailers, and Cybertill, one of the UK’s leading EPoS providers, have been shortlisted for a Retail Systems Award 2010 in the ‘EPoS Innovation of the Year 2010’ category.

The nomination demonstrates the business benefits that the British Red Cross has achieved following the implementation of Cybertill’s managed EPoS system, particularly its new communication solution, delivered as part the programme, which has radically improved the flow of information between its 315 charity shops, and Head Office. The Cybertill EPoS solution also automates re-claiming gift aid on donated goods. The Retail System judges were impressed by the benefits that have accrued at a commercial level as well as the powerful effects the solution had on communication within the organisation and its ability to streamline fundraising operations.

Mike Picken, EPoS Manager at British Red Cross, said, “We had a number of objectives when deploying the Cybertill EPoS solution.  We needed to be able to make informed decisions to aid stock and distribution management, and since installing Cybertill, we are now able to respond to trends in sales versus stock availability much quicker than ever before. The second objective was greater communication and workforce empowerment. As Cybertill is delivered over a broadband connection it comes with messaging tools and alerts, so head office could communicate with all staff and give them access to a resource rich intranet that gives employees updates on appeals and so forth. In addition to this we needed a solution that would grow with our needs and meet future challenges, such as the ability to reclaim gift aid. We also wanted to raise more funds, something that Cybertill has enabled British Red Cross to do. When the British Red Cross responded to the recent disaster in Haiti, information on the emergency appeal was communicated to all shops within hours of launch via Cybertill. Previously this would have taken a considerable time to launch and set up and, potentially lost time could have meant media coverage of the disaster would have subsided, along with awareness. Instant communication via Cybertill helped the Red Cross maximise fundraising for the Haiti earthquake appeal and some £250,000 was raised directly through Red Cross shops, much of which was donated in the first few days of launch.”

 Founder and current Chairman of Cybertill, Ian Tomlinson, said, “ On today’s high streets nationwide, charity shops actively compete with mainstream independent and multiple retailers for a share of the consumer’s wallet. This is not without its challenges, especially as charity retailers invariably operate on much tighter budgets than their peers.  We’re delighted that our solution has helped the British Red Cross improve the efficiency of its business and helped raise even more money.”

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