Posts

When you’re running a business, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. This might go double for charities. Not only do you want to work at your best, you want to earn as much money as you can for your cause. So it’s imperative you have every leg-up you can get. In today’s world, that’s tech – it can improve everything from sales to monitoring the performance of your stores.

One piece of tech you can’t underestimate in your charity is your EPoS system. Like many other services, combining it with the cloud can provide so many benefits. Since technology evolves so fast, it can seem like a constant race to keep up. But by embracing the cloud, you can stay ahead of the curve.

Let’s take a look at three ways a cloud-based EPoS system could improve your charity operations.

Streamline your operation

An amazing aspect of a cloud-based EPoS system is that it’s much simpler to set up and get going.

From here, it’s easy to oversee the performance of all your shops. For example, a cloud-based system could sync all the tills with the server, giving you near real-time sales data. The tills continue to run offline even if the connection drops. So staff can keep making sales until they can connect to the cloud again.

For head-office staff, they can monitor activity no matter where they are. Whether in the office or on the go, the benefit of a cloud-based system is that you can make important decisions for your charity no matter what, driving continual improvement.

Maximise your revenue

That portability is great for volunteers too. Being cloud-based, it can be accessed from any internet-connected device. So if they’re out on the street or at an event, they can still connect to your system, bring in donations, and show you how it’s going.

This works wonders for Gift Aid. This is such a vital source of income for every charity, so you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.

A cloud-based EPoS system will also save you money in the long-run. Since it’s online and remote, you have no expensive costs associated with on-premises hardware. No costly installation or long-term physical security.

Greater security for your data

Unfortunately, no one is safe from a cyber attack. For example, just last year, over 100 charities were targeted in a single ransomware attack. Now, a cloud-based system will not prevent cyber attacks in and of itself, but combined with a cloud-backup service, you can keep yourself that much safer.

So whether you’re a victim of an attack or if your data is corrupted at any point, a cloud backup will be able to get you back up and running. On-premises software might be at risk because it’s attached to the same network. But off-premises it’s separate and much easier to keep safe. It’s a nice extra layer of peace of mind.

Cloud-based EPoS systems are how you can keep up with the changing world. Technology is only going to keep evolving faster and faster. With a solution like this, you can get started quickly and work on making a difference to your beneficiaries. We know these qualities are important to charities, which is why we designed CHARiot Web with all of these amazing benefits in mind.

We’re excited to announce this service will launch at the Charity Retail Association Conference on the 9th of September. For our existing customers, CHARiot Web will have the same PoS design as CHARiot 7, so anyone familiar with that will be right at home. We’re sure you’ll love what we have in store!

Curious to see how CHARiot Web can help your charity? Come by our stand at the CRA conference on the 9th and 10th of September with your questions. Or feel free to reach out to us on 01204 706 000 for more information.

With lockdown restrictions leading to a decrease in cash flow, the coronavirus pandemic has been causing some very real concerns for the charity sector. But with the vaccine rolling out at an impressive rate, a post-lockdown country is on the horizon. So how can the charity sector get back on its feet as we shift back to normalcy?

The solution is right under your nose. Why not make your EPoS system work for you in new, innovative ways? They’re fast, efficient, improve customer service, and can eliminate tedious tasks like stock management. But with more systems out there than ever before, how do you know which to choose? Here are three qualities to look out for when choosing an EPoS system for your charity shop.

Ease of use

Everyone on your team will have their own unique skills and experience. So while they might be brilliant with customers, you can’t guarantee they’re as adept when it comes to technology. Your EPoS solution should be as user friendly as possible.

Since you might cycle through a large number of volunteers, you want your systems to be simple and straightforward – easy to pick up straight away. Some companies even offer training when setting up so you can be sure your staff and volunteers are confident getting started.

Gift Aid software

Gift Aid is a significant and essential stream of revenue for many charities. But it’s a complicated process that leads to many Gift Aid donations going unclaimed. That’s why some EPoS systems integrate it into the usual buying process. 

They streamline HMRC communications and audits. The problem with many EPoS systems is that they are designed for general retail or hospitality use. They don’t take charities into consideration and therefore won’t account for the extra admin associated with Gift Aid. An EPoS system designed with charities in mind will remove that unnecessary admin and maximise how much you claim.

Offline use

Unfortunately, some EPoS systems won’t work when the internet connection is unstable, slow, or just outright refusing to cooperate. These particular EPoS systems are entirely cloud-based and need an internet connection to work. Then there are hybrid EPoS systems which store data partially on the cloud and partially on the hard drive. 

Hybrids can continue to work when the internet goes down, but sometimes with reduced function. Check which of a potential EPoS system’s functions will work offline and whether this is complementary to the daily operations of your business. Certain systems won’t let you log back in, some systems will let you go as far as a payment. It’s important to know how much you can do with no internet connection when considering your options.

With most of the systems out there being created for use in retail, finding the right EPoS solution in the charity sector can be tricky. And with all the various bells and whistles of each, it might feel overwhelming trying to decide which is the best system for you. But always consider what you want in your charity EPoS system, because the right fit is out there for you.

Nisyst’s bespoke EPoS system, CHARiot, is designed specifically for charity retail. Our HMRC-recognised system is affordable, adaptable, and user friendly. For more information, get in touch today on 01204 706 000.

Keech Hospice Care has deployed new EPoS technology across its 33 charity stores to boost revenue through maximising Gift Aid contributions.

“Gift Aid is a huge revenue stream for us as we raise more than £300,000 each year through its capture,” said Angela Burgess, head of retail at Keech Hospice Care. “But with research showing that charities claim less than half of Gift Aid available to them, we wanted to take steps to make sure we’re not missing out. So Keech is thrilled to roll out this new EPoS technology.”

Keech Hospice Care charity store Read more

Borehamwood storeLondon-based charity, All Aboard Shops, has doubled the amount of Gift Aid it collects within just two years after switching its EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) system to CHARiot from Nisyst.

The charity has recently collected in excess of 35 per cent of Gift Aid on donated items across its 18 shops; twice as much as the monthly average of 17 per cent it collected with its previous EPoS system and the highest in the charities 30 year history.

With 17 shops across London and one in Manchester, All Aboard benefits over 60 registered UK charities through the sale of donated clothes and household goods. The company rolled out the CHARiot system to its shops two years ago and uses the system’s Full Scan Mode (FSM) to ensure that gift Gift Aid is processed on eligible items by preventing the transaction from being completed until the barcoded label has been scanned.

Chief executive of All Aboard, Alan Haynes, explains: “Reviewing our EPoS provider was a high priority for me when I joined All Aboard and we opted for the CHARiot system because it is very simple and intuitive, offers us a more efficient way of collecting Gift Aid and is extremely robust in terms of HMRC compliance.

“Two years on, not only have we doubled the Gift Aid collection we were achieving with our old system, but we have also found the system to be 100 per cent reliable with zero errors. What’s more, Nisyst’s helpdesk ensures that any queries from our staff and volunteers are resolved quickly and easily over the phone.”

The positive impact on All Aboard’s revenue since switching to the CHARiot system has prompted the charity to develop plans to implement additional CHARiot functionality.  All Aboard has recently established a warehouse facility and now plans to use CHARiot’s Gift Aid on Rag (GAoR) capabilities to maximise rag items that are not suitable for sale in its shops.  The GAoR functionality enables accurate calculation of Gift Aid based on the current price of rag to ensure full HMRC compliance.

All Aboard is also considering implementing a lottery in future and plans to adopt the CHARiot Lottery function to ensure Gift Aid is collected on ticket sales.

Alan adds: “We know that the CHARiot system can provide us with additional functionality to help us maximise Gift Aid revenues, while providing accurate management information and supporting robust compliance.

“Charities often make procurement decisions based on purchase cost but our experience with CHARiot demonstrates the value of factoring in functionality, compliance and service too.”

Hospice to add a five-figure sum to its annual funds thanks to the introduction of Gift Aid collection system for donations that are sold as ‘rag’.

Sale at St Peters Hospice shopSt Peter’s Hospice is Bristol’s only adult hospice, caring for more than 2,670 patients each year as well as supporting family members. The charity needs to generate enough funds to continue supporting its patients, costing around £19,000 every day.

Specialist charity EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) provider, Nisyst, developed the innovative Gift Aid on Rag (GAoR) functionality as part of its CHARiot EPoS system for charity retailers.

St Peter’s Hospice runs CHARiot software in its 50 stores and has been using the free add-on feature since its introduction in March 2016.

Paul Chivers, head of retail at St Peter’s Hospice said: “Before Nisyst introduced the new feature, we didn’t have a system in place to claim Gift Aid on items marked as rag. CHARiot’s GAoR solutions has been fundamental in maximising our revenue and we’re expecting that within a year of its launch it will have paid for more than a full-day of our operations. This equates to going from zero income to around £25,000.

“I only see this figure growing year-on-year as our staff and volunteers become more familiar with the process.”

The new system is HMRC recognised, ensuring that all Gift Aid captured can be fed into the charity’s revenues. Staff and volunteers can operate the software by using a hand held scanner in the stock room to scan the barcodes specifically for rag bags that are being collected on that day.

Any rag donations that have been Gift Aided by the donor are eligible for the full 25 per cent of the sale price in Gift Aid, but the fluctuating price of rag and the varying levels of rag collected each week make it notoriously difficult capture this revenue.

The rag price for that day is programmed into the EPoS system by the team at the charity’s head office, ensuring that any shop in their network processing rag that day does so at the correct price per kilo, allowing all Gift Aid on rag to be captured in an HMRC-compliant manner.

Dave Chunilal, technical director at Nisyst, added: “St Peter’s Hospice is a testament of our team’s dedication to helping charities across the UK to generate more revenue. We’re constantly investing in product development based on user feedback to ensure that it continues to offer users the most advanced functionality – which is how GAoR was born.”

For more information about Nisyst’s CHARiot system, visit www.charityretailsystems.co.uk and follow Nisyst on Twitter – @NisystEPoS

We’d like to welcome Michael Flemming to the team, who is our new trainer at Nisyst.

Mike Flemming

Michael, from Rochdale, has more than 15 years’ of experience working with EPoS software systems, and will lead our informative training sessions at Nisyst HQ and on-site for charity shop staff and volunteers who will then go on to use our software.

Lee Armstrong is now project manager, leading on new installations and software updates, and Daniel Ruddock has also been promoted to account manager. Daniel’s role will involve being wholly dedicated to our customers with any enquiries or feedback they have.

Collaboration with our customers is at the heart of everything we do and the driving force of our software development. Daniel’s personal and caring approach mirror’s our company ethos as we’re always praised for the attention to detail our support staff take when troubleshooting for our customers.

Sales director at Nisyst, Geoff Evans, said: “We recognise the importance of managing our customers and adding value at every stage, and to achieve this we have now introduced an account management function within our business to act as a single point of contact for business issues and discussions.

“This will mean that there will a resolution or answer to anything that comes up at any stage and will allow Nisyst to meet the customer’s expectations at all times.”

For more information about how our team supports customers, click here

A Welsh charity and two new hospices have opted to use our CHARiot EPoS system in their shops, helping to ensure they capture more Gift Aid than ever before!

We have completed the CHARiot installation in ten stores for the Welsh Air Ambulance charity, 18 installations for palliative care hospice, Woking & Sam Beare, and 47 sites for Bristol-based St Peter’s Hospice.

All charities are now using the Full Scan Mode (FSM) software, utilising the easy-to-use barcoded label function for each Gift Aided item, ensuring sales can only be processed once the Gift Aid has been captured at the point of sale.

Dave Chunilal, technical director at Nisyst said: “These new customers add to a number of charities and hospices that already rely on our CHARiot system, including The Children’s Society and St Luke’s Hospice.

“Regardless of the size of their retail network, our system is designed to maximise charities’ Gift Aid revenues and simplify operation for users. Unlike most providers, Nisyst does not take a percentage of the Gift Aid collected in commission, enabling these three hospices to benefit from the full Gift Aid return of 25% of the sale price for each eligible item.”

Click here for more information about how our system works.

Whilst our new lottery software helps to generate additional revenue for charities, our interactive management dashboard functionality has now been rolled out, free of charge, to all of our customers – with outstanding results.

Updated automatically to existing CHARiot software systems overnight to ensure no disruption, the new dashboard has added management functionality at shop level without altering the navigation for staff and volunteers.

In addition to this, an android and iOS app linked to the dashboard software will be launched before the end of the year, which will enable store and regional managers to access reporting functionality in store using their phones or portable devices.

Dashboard

The additional functionality from the new dashboard includes:

  • See average customer spend and sales figures
  • Trend graphs & information breakdown on Gift Aid, new donor sign-ups & bag drops
  • Refund tracking
  • Budget and target monitoring and amendment
  • Access to reports in store and at head office
  • Information can be viewed by store, region or company

 

Head of retail at St Catherine’s Hospice, Rachael Hewitt, comments: “Working with Nisyst has been so easy and the new dashboard update was completely seamless.

“The real-time visibility of store performance and operational activities means we have the right management information to make informed decisions.”

At Nisyst, we believe that CHARiot is the best charity sector EPoS system on the market and we’re constantly investing in product development based on user feedback to ensure that it continues to offer users the most advanced functionality.

Managing director of Nisyst, Bob Chunilal adds: “The feedback we’ve had from users is that they love the CHARiot system but they’d like more management capabilities at the point of use.

“Our new dashboard provides that, giving customers access to head office reporting at a local level and enabling business decisions to be made.

“CHARiot users will not notice a difference in the day-to-day navigation of the system but, if they do need any assistance, our in-house helpdesk will be there to support them as always.”

The team at Nisyst has been extremely busy in the last few months developing our new lottery function software for customers.

The easy-to-use added functionality to the existing CHARiot Full Scan Mode (FSM) EPoS system will help increase revenue for charities and hospices, as well as providing another way for customers to donate.

Designed with staff and volunteers in mind, the software update is seamlessly integrated into existing systems. In store, a lottery sale is completed with minimal key strokes and links simultaneously with the back office, ensuring easy and quick reporting.

St Peter’s Hospice has the lottery function installed in 47 of its sites, and we’ve received great feedback already.

Ed Smith, corporate fundraiser and lottery manager at St Peter’s Hospice, commented: “The lottery function is fantastic – it’s extremely easy to use and caused no disruption to our current system when it was updated.

“As another source of revenue generation, the return on investment is set to be substantial.”

IMAG0193