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Case Study

'Best UK Install' at the UK's Oldest Theme Park

Having scooped the ‘Best UK Install’ iTouchies Award for 2022, we thought it was only fair to share some additional insight into ICR Systems’ implementation at Vectis Ventures.

Owners and operators of two of the Isle of Wight’s biggest tourist attractions; Robin Hill and Blackgang Chine, which is the UK’s oldest theme park, Vectis Ventures see significant footfall throughout the year, with a vast array of ever-changing events and ticket variants.

Following the install and development which has been a work in progress for the past 4 years, we caught up with Chris Lawrence, ICR Systems’ Managing Director to get the inside scoop on how ICRTouch software solutions are solving problems for customers in the attractions industry.

2 attraction sites | 42 EPoS terminals | Front of House, Hospitality & Retail | Bespoke Ticketing | Digital Signage | CollectionPoint

The History

“ICR Systems’ relationship with Vectis Ventures dates way back to 1975 when Andy Phipps, then working for Gross Cash Registers, supplied Blackgang Chine with the Gross Ambassador registers. 5 years later, Andy founded Island Cash Registers, now ICR Systems, and has since then, continued to supply both Vectis Ventures’ tourist attraction sites.”

With such a large list of development requests, we split the implementation into two stages.

THE CHALLENGE - PART 1
  • Unify all hardware to achieve improved customer and staff experience
  • Provide hardware to support hospitality, front of house and retail environments
  • Voucher sales & management
  • Migrate integrated payment provider
  • Improve stock reporting & management
  • Support in-house digital ticketing system

EPoS
“In 2018, Vectis Ventures instructed us to build a proposal to unify their EPoS hardware across both sites and provide software solutions to support their business growth. With the above goals in mind, we created a full solution designed to future proof their requirements. With the varied needs of retail, front of house and hospitality, we settled on Sam4S Titan S260 units with an improved specification. We’d been supplying lots of these across many businesses and were confident in their performance and reliability; particularly for high-footfall busy periods.

Supporting their existing ticket system which was custom-built in-house, we upgraded the memory of the units to 8GB and assisted with the configuration of the system running in the background of TouchPoint. The final hardware solution comprised:

  • 9.7” LCD Customer Display Screens, using a Google Slides HTML module
  • Magnetic Card Readers
  • 8GB Memory Upgrade
  • Thermal Receipt Printer Epson TMT88
  • Cash Drawers”
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Vouchers & Stock Management
“Utilising the TouchOffice Web voucher functionality, we worked with Vectis Ventures to configure a system that allowed them to issue vouchers both online and in-park at the tills. These vouchers could then be redeemed efficiently in-park with full traceability and reporting, simplifying their existing system dramatically.

Considering simplification, Vectis Ventures were working with complicated stock management across both sites and over 35 varied outlets ranging hospitality and retail. Resulting in a difficult and time consuming process, we worked with them to trial TouchStock and very soon realised the benefits of this product. From performing digital stock takes to reconciling deliveries and transferring stock from outlet to outlet, it saved the team valuable time and made their stock management processes much more accurate.”

Payment Provider Transfer
“After the existing Verifone solution was coming to the end of its life, we worked closely with the client to migrate them across to Paymentsense. Offering them a financially better contract and with us favouring the technical functionality, the migration project was quickly put into motion. We deployed 42 IWL252s with full integration and the sites reported quicker transaction processing and more reliable hardware - a complete success!”

Kitchen Management
“Discussion with the Catering Managers at both sites identified various outlets that were in need of some assistance. With a combination of traditional kitchen printer processes, improved customer communication and simplification of order handling, TouchKitchen and CollectionPoint were quickly identified as the perfect solution.

TouchKitchen was implemented and an initial 42” TV was set up to run CollectionPoint via a ChromeStick. When rolled out across additional outlets, CollectionPoint was also integrated with the park tannoy systems to further improve customer communication.”


THE CHALLENGE - PART 2
  • Replace in-house ticket system to provide online & in-app sales
  • Full integration with existing ICRTouch software
  • TouchOffice Web integration with Sage
  • Customer account & wallet functionality with stored tickets
  • Ticket booking calendar controlled by event/capacity/timing/date
  • School trip bookings & improved reporting
  • Season pass sales & functionality with clear ticket upgrade paths

Ticketing
“In 2021, Vectis Ventures approached us with a request to assist in sourcing a new third party ticketing system to replace their in-house built solution which they were outgrowing. Although ICRTouch’s Ticketing development had been pushed back due to the pandemic, we worked closely with the team to scope out a project that identified Vectis Ventures’ needs, which was no small project!

With an agreed 12 month timeline for implementation, by October we had a fully functioning demo for the client which, after testing and a few tweaks, was able to be put into live deployment in time for their Christmas event, POLAR. The new system, based on the TouchTakeaway/ByTable framework handled Vectis Ventures’ sales, management and reporting requirements with ease, processing a high volume of traffic over just a 2 month period.

The ICRTouch Ticketing solution provided Vectis Ventures with a branded e-ticket which is easily scanned via TouchPoint and tracked live in TouchOffice Web+. Bespoke reports were written so they could clearly see sales data in one place, allowing intelligent marketing and communication decisions to be made.”

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Following the success of the initial Ticketing deployment, ICR Systems are continuing to work with Vectis Ventures to provide a complete Ticketing solution to handle their on-going sales. This includes not only standard park tickets, but also season passes, event-specific tickets and varied tariffs based on the annual calendar and advanced purchasing.

We look forward to catching up with Chris again to hear more about how the final rollout of ICR Systems and our solutions have transformed the way the attractions operate.