When Megan Scaddan and Wade Smith opened Nottingham's first independent doughnut shop it was an instant success, with more than 1,000 sweet treats sold in only their third week of trading. But with customers queuing out of the door, and doughnuts rapidly disappearing off the shelves, they found running out of stock and having to close early was losing them valuable trade and customer loyalty.
KRCS worked closely with Megan and Wade to find the perfect solution that would not only help to track their sales and inform them when stock was running low, but would also enable them to swap the cumbersome, second-hand cash register they had hastily bought, for something that would blend in seamlessly with the contemporary design of their small shop.
The company is now going from strength, with a growing base of loyal customers who regularly comment on the "cute" point of sale system. Planning for stock/sales levels is easier and accounting is far less time-consuming. The level of support Megan and Wade have received from KRCS has given them the confidence to grow their business and they are now looking to expand by opening stores in Derby and Leicester.
It all started with £10 and a wok
In February 2015, with a holiday looming and no way of paying for it, Megan Scaddan and Wade Smith decided to start making and selling doughnuts. With just £10 and a wok to hand, they set about making and selling their tasty creations to friends and family. The doughnuts were so popular that, six months later, they opened up their own micro-bakery, supplying cafes and bars around Nottingham and attending local food fairs and markets to grow their customer base.
Thoughts soon turned to opening their own retail outlet and, after carrying out some market research through their social media channels, they took out a nine-month sub-let on a small basement shop in the heart of Nottingham's city centre. "It all happened quite quickly." explains Megan. "We knew Nottingham didn't yet have an independent doughnut shop and the research we carried out gave some very positive feedback about the need for one. So, when the chance of the sub-let came up, we jumped at it."
On a limited budget, Megan and Wade purchased a cheap, second-hand cash register. "It was ugly and basic." says Megan. "It took up far too much room on the counter and had limited functionality so we couldn't track what we'd sold, or work out when our busiest times were, unless we wrote it down. Stock would regularly run out and we'd have to close the shop early which was often met with disappointment from our customers. The other problem was our card payment system was connected to my personal iPhone so, if I wasn't in the store, staff couldn't take card payments."
Steven Pickersgill, business development manager at KRCS, came across Megan and Wade during a street marketing campaign and spoke to them about their existing POS set up. They were already Apple users, and were comfortable the interface, so were keen to explore its solutions for their business.
"Steve invited us to an open evening and we were hooked." says Megan. "Not only did the products look great, but the knowledge of Steve and the team and the way they listened to our requirements gave us complete confidence that the solution they suggested was right for us."
It had to be iPad
KRCS supplied an iPad Air 2 incorporating Vend software; a PayPal Here payment unit and a Star printer and cash drawer. Staff also received in-store training on the system. Megan and Wade are delighted with the whole solution. "It looks really smart." says Megan. We get so many comments from customers and questions about what it is and how it works. They seem impressed we're using iPad. We also get a lot of start-up businesses asking about it and it's great to be able to give them advice on how it could work for them."
The Vend software enables Megan and Wade to see exactly what products are selling and when. Armed with this information, they can report across to the bakery to ensure stocks don't run out and waste is kept to a minimum. "It's made such a difference." explains Megan. "We can make sure we stay open and not disappoint our customers and, when it comes to accounting, everything is virtually already done. I can just send documents straight from Vend onto my accountant, which is less time-consuming for both of us."
The company also has a wholesale side supplying large orders for weddings, parties and for corporate events. Megan and Wade are also keen to open more retail outlets and are currently exploring opportunities in Derby and Leicester.
"Steve and KRCS have been a great support to us in our first year." says Megan. "We were very young to be starting a business and really didn't have a clue about what we needed. It's so comforting to know that someone is always there if we need them. With their support, our confidence has grown and we are very excited expanding the company and working with KRCS to help us do just that."