Tasked by the board of The Children’s Society to source and roll out the charity’s first ePoS system across 67 retail outlets and then scale it up to 106 shops, Paul Tate, New Business Manager, knew he needed a software provider who could meet a set of unique demands. The Children’ Society is a national charity that supports this country’s most vulnerable children – this year they worked directly with over 11,000 children and young people and helped 500,000 more through their campaigning. Their retail shops play a crucial role in supporting their work, so Paul pulls no punches when he says that Nisyst’s collaborative approach to product development has made for a strong long-term working relationship that has lasted the past 7 years.
An investment on this scale is not one taken lightly by any charity. With, at that time, 67 shops to support, an investment in hardware and software was no small undertaking. Return on capital employed was a serious concern for Paul.
“When you are a charity you are incredibly protective of your funds so any operational spend has to make a difference and quickly. Nisyst’s CHARiot was rolled out flawlessly across all 67 of our stores and brought with it the ability for us to reclaim Gift Aid. Within 18 months the system had paid for itself in claims alone and it continues to be an important income stream for us as a charity. Add to that the system takes all of the administrative burden out of the Gift Aid claim process meaning we enjoy an operational efficiency that is doubly advantageous.”
Key for Paul is Nisyst’s collaborative company culture which he says is uniquely focused on enhancing and developing the product to suit the changing needs of the charity retail sector.
“Nisyst are always developing an already excellent product, and they do this at no cost to their clients. So, unlike other companies who readily apply a charge to their customers for development, Nisyst don’t adopt that approach, which is invaluable as a customer. Nisyst listen to what we need and then they go away, think about it and, if they can improve what’s already there, they’ll do it. More than that, they’ll do it more thoughtfully and laterally then we had considered. They simply want to be the best at what they do and that’s evidenced by their obsession with customer satisfaction.”
This obsessive approach to customer satisfaction has stood the company well with no less than two wins under their belt as the Charity Retail Association’s Supplier of the Year. Paul commented:
“Nisyst are incredibly humble. They have a really good product and, as a company, they really care. They care about their client’s businesses, they care about the product experience, they care about customer support. That matters. It’s not just about technology, it’s about people and we know that the team at Nisyst will be there for us. It’s personal for them.”
It may feel personal, however Nisyst’s CHARiot has helped make a considerable contribution to The Children’s Society’s bottom line. Last year, retail Gift Aid claims for the charity exceeded £600,000 against a retail income of £10.3million – contributing an increase in income of 5.7% to The Children’s Society’s activities in that part of the business. Most importantly, the Gift Aid reclaims last year delivered 5.82% of the charity’s retail income for the year. Much needed funds that can now go to helping some of society’s most vulnerable children.
Paul commented: “Making a difference. That’s how I’d put it. Nisyst’s ethos really fits with the charity sector – they are there to make a difference and they really do. They do what they say they’ll do, and they’ll do it even better than you expected. You can’t ask for more than that.”