With a specially tailored NCR solution, STL’s technology professionals have helped Sim Local upgrade and seamlessly integrate the operations of its Heathrow outlets.

Sim Local calls on STL’s POS expertise

Part of the Travelwin Group, Sim Local provides local mobile network bundles to international travellers, eliminating expensive roaming charges. It operates four retail outlets at Heathrow’s arrivals terminals, selling local SIM cards with a choice of minute, text and data bundles. Its stores also cater for other communication needs such as new handsets, accessories and chargers.

The retailer had been using separate Point of Sale, Reporting and ERP systems, running on ageing hardware, which hindered both its efficiency and decision-marking. Further, its card payment terminals were standalone, which resulted in keying errors and till discrepancies.

It wanted a single, modern solution to unify all of its processes, simplify data capture and improve efficiency. However, Sim Local uses proprietary software – SIMulator – to assign and activate data/voice/text packages onto a SIM card in approximately six seconds compared to the industry standard of up to eight minutes, and most ePoS providers couldn’t effectively accommodate its unique business model and tracking requirements.

STL solved its problem with a customised NCR solution. NCR Smart Retail is a single system which allows full single-source software to control the Point of Sale, store and Head Office reporting functions and a centralised retail ERP solution for stock control. STL’s tech team tailored it by integrating SIMulator.

Now, to set up a new customer, Sim Local’s sales staff simply scan a blank SIM card and select the chosen package from a menu. This is seamlessly activated once the transaction is finalised – all from the POS.

STL has also integrated the Optomany card payment system into the solution. This allows fast and reliable payments across all major card brands, including contactless, Apple Pay and Android Pay. By the end of the year, Union Pay and Alipay will also be supported, which will appeal to Sim Local’s Asian travellers.

Further, STL created custom reports and dashboards to match Sim Local’s requirement for more detail. Now managers can, for example, see a full breakdown of items sold, the value and call level of cards, activation costs and services provided.

The NCR terminals have 10” touch screens which, when not being used for direct customer interaction, can display sale information, videos and images. They also incorporate the fastest receipt printers available, a metal cash drawer and 2D counter-top barcode scanners. The sleek design and common power source freed up a lot of undercounter space for Sim Local.

Importantly, the solution has inbuilt flexibility that will make it easy for Sim Local to evolve with its market, such as providing eSIMs at the point of sale.

In addition, STL is providing a helpdesk service 7am to 10pm, 7 days per week, which is available to store staff via phone, online chat or remote login directly to the terminals.

Parveen Khanna, Head of Operations at Sim Local said, ‘STL’s team was great. They really understood our business and challenges and provided the perfect, peace-of-mind solution. We now have a system that is easy to use, both in-store and at Head Office, the support we need to minimise downtime, and the flexibility to adapt as our market changes.’