|William Hill Plc, Britain's biggest bookmakers, have announced today that they are bang on target to achieve their major overhaul of retail operations with a successful roll out of the new Electronic Point Of Sale (EPOS) and ALBOS screen systems by year end. |
Following trials at the start of the year in several outlets, Hills started the EPOS roll-out in April with a target of 50 shops a week to be converted from their estate of 1613 William Hill licensed betting offices, and this week passed the half-way target of 806 shops (50%). The installations are bang on target to be achieved by the end of the year.
The new systems, which allow staff to achieve faster bet capture and payout for the punters, is an enhanced version of systems previously rolled out within the industry. The roll-out is being reinforced by an extensive training programme for Hills staff by 140 strong training team across the country, including in-house tutoring alongside the new shop equipment, open days and video mailshots. Getting the systems in place and functional can take just a couple of hours overnight with no disruption to everyday business and William Hill are delighted with the way things are progressing.
David Hood, Hills Director of Public Relations said ''We took our time to ensure this system was right for our needs before rushing into EPOS. Many earlier systems (used by Hills competitors) have been fraught with systems glitches, but we are confident that our patience in ensuring the product was spot on for our needs prior to the roll out, is now paying dividends by the fact that everything is going very smoothly.
In addition to greatly reducing the workload of manual settling thousands of bets for our staff, EPOS is being installed alongside an upgrade to the IT infrastructure and the introduction of the ALBOS text system in to William Hill's offices. 'The new text system is the best in the UK,' commented Hood 'It allows us tremendous marketing opportunities for current and future sporting events/betting opportunities and with greatly enhanced visual imagery, through the use of .jpegs and .mpegs and other streaming advertisements (demos available upon request but are aprox 25mb), it is already creating a positive return from our customers.'
The planned completion date is 18th December 2005, at a rate of 50 shops a week, and the upgrades are running concurrently in the North and South. Once wholly in place, the system will also be able to provide a full liability management overview as it reads accurate information from all William Hill's LBO's.
In addition to their existing estate, Hills have completed the acquisition of Stanley Leisure's 561 betting shops and as part of the rebranding of the new estate, Hills will undertake to update the present Stanley systems in line with the enhanced software being utilised within William Hill and to ensure consistency with regard to staff training.