Murco Petroluem installs EPoS solution across its forecourt outlets

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Murco Petroleum has installed an integrated EPoS solution into its Costcutter branded forecourt convenience stores utilising industry proven HydraPOS software from HTEC, running on Toshiba ST-71 PoS hardware.

The EPoS system is integrated into Costcutters CPoS back office, providing a common platform across the retail estate with automated links to head office.

Background

Murco Petroleum Limited is the U.K. downstream subsidiary of Murphy Oil Corporation of the U.S.A. The company has over 160 Murco company-owned stations and supplies more than 260 independently owned service stations as well as a growing number of commercial customers.

In 1996 Murco developed the neighbourhood and rural focus of its network through an alliance with Costcutter Supermarkets. To date there are over 100 Murco / Costcutter outlets varying in size from 500 to 2,000 square feet and offering their customers up to 4,000 product lines with an emphasis on fresh and chilled products.

The Challenge

Until 2006, Murcos existing IT comprised a number of different hardware and software systems across its retail estate. The lack of one integrated standard system meant that outlets were operating different hardware for PoS, credit card transactions and pump control, slowing customer service and making it difficult to control and standardise procedures. Centralised management and control was virtually impossible. Extracting management information was time-consuming and prone to human error due to the manual systems used. 

The Solution

In 2006 Murco took the decision to source a common front and back office EPoS solution.

Murco evaluated the market and the front office solution proved an easy one. Murco had acquired several Fuelforce sites, which already operated on HydraPoS software running on Toshiba EPoS hardware. Umar Bajwa, Network Manager at Murco explains, The HTEC / Toshiba solution had quickly proven itself, giving us enormous confidence that this was the front end solution for us going forward.

For the back office solution Murco selected CPoS from Costcutter, enabling Murco to tap into Costcutters retail expertise.  Costcutter invested significant resources into integrating its back office CPoS with the HydraPOS / Toshiba forecourt solution, working directly with HTEC to integrate the system. Umar Bajwa comments, We were very happy with the work Costcutter did and the resources they put into making the system work. We had regular meetings with Costcutter and HTEC, who worked together and adopted a very flexible approach to meet our demanding and often rapidly changing schedules. 

Following a 3 month trial at Murcos Doncaster outlet, the PoS rollout started early 2007. Murco has currently rolled out just under half of its filling stations.

Benefits

The biggest benefit to Murco is that it now has one integrated PoS system to handle all fuel and shop transactions (including car wash and electronic tank gauge). Standardising the system across its forecourt outlets and removing the need for separate hardware for the PoS, credit and pump transaction, has saved money, time and greatly improved the customer experience.

In addition the small footprint of the Toshiba ST-71 tills has freed up valuable counter space, eliminating the problem of unsightly wiring but importantly realising more merchandising area.

The new solution has given Murco a common platform for head office automation for all of its retail stores. Precise up-to-date sales information and automated reporting provide a powerful management tool to analyse performance data and make informed merchandising decisions.

A great benefit of the new system has been the ability to carry out "direct to supplier" online ordering.
This has given Murco visibility of orders, making tracking easy and giving the option to reject/amend substitute products for items out of stock. Downloaded Electronic Delivery Notes further reduce manual errors, increasing margin.

The Murco / Costcutter outlets carry special promotional pricing offers every three weeks.
The new solution automatically downloads the special prices from Costcutter into the system.
Thus saving a huge effort in time and man-power and removing the scope for human error.

Commissioned Operators of the Murco owned service stations pay Murco a fee based on sales. The new system provides Murco with an audit trail on all their sales items, such as confectionary and tobacco, giving Murco complete transparency.

In addition, the system is so easy to use at the point of sale that training time has been greatly reduced. The Toshiba tills with intuitive layouts and the bright touch screen make it easy for staff to navigate. Umar Bajwa comments, The system is really user friendly and staff can be trained very quickly, which is important in an industry with high staff turnover.

The Future

Murco aim to have the Solution in all 160 sites by the end of 2008. Once the roll out is completed, standardisation of the PoS terminals will enable the company to carry out online credit card transactions using its own linked network. The system can also be tailored to include options such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition to log licence plates and video images of the vehicle and its owner, to reduce drive offs.

The new solution has given Murco a very stable platform enabling us to take our business forward, said Jeremy Clarke, Murcos Marketing Director.


 

About TOSHIBA TEC

TOSHIBA TEC Europe has earned a reputation as a leading manufacturer of retail and industrial information systems through product development that aims to anticipate and uncover potential customer needs, resulting in products that provide real value and benefits to the user.

As a total solution provider, TOSHIBA TEC Europe offers a complete package from consulting and system design to system installation, operation and maintenance of point of sale systems, cash registers, scales, barcode printers, peripherals and software information systems.

TOSHIBA TEC Corporation has a global turnover of 355 billion yen. TOSHIBA TEC's majority shareholder is the TOSHIBA Corporation, which provides TOSHIBA TEC with the support of a worldwide organisation with a strong presence in four continents.


About HTEC

HTEC is one of Europes largest providers of payment and loyalty solutions for the petroleum retailing industry.  We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Universe Group PLC founded in 1979.  Since evolution, HTEC have enjoyed significant growth and gained a reputation for superb service and benchmark technologies.

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