About four days ago I joined a big family meal at a local restaurant. The meal was to celebrate my sister’s wedding the following day, and both families were present making up about 17 of us in total. The meal was lovely: sorting the bill was chaos. Some people wanted to pay by card, some had cash, and others were still disputing who owed what by the end. I thought to myself ‘one day there will be a much better system for this’, and it turns out it’s already on our doorstep.
For those of you who are unaware of EPoS systems, you can read a very helpful FAQ guide here from Computer Weekly. Scroll down to ‘What are the latest advances…’ and you will see the solution to this fairly typical problem. Mobile EPoS software is now becoming more widely integrated in the retail world according to this post by SearchITChannel. Imagine: Each meal ordered individually on a person’s iPhone/pad or Android phone, and then paid for with the touch of a screen. No more fussing about with small change! Employees of restaurants may also be glad to see EPoS tablet software becoming more widely available too, according to Alfarichi here.
EPoS systems have already been a powerful weapon in the retail world for the last decade; and with mobile networking on the rise, what kind of future can we expect from EPoS developers? Reputable companies like Nisyst who develop both EPoS hardware and software may start to see more of a demand for wireless transactions. You can see the Nisyst systems by clicking here, including extras like advertising screens and handheld terminals.
Mobile and fixed EPoS system correlation is already being used by companies like Aurora Fashions. You can see the system in action by clicking here which will take you to the BT Expedite & Fresca page on mobile and tablet EPoS technology. The possibilities for businesses to rapidly expand have shot up in the last couple of years, and all it requires is that you ditch the till and upgrade to EPoS.
As this article from Big Hospitality notes, we might soon be living in a cashless society where everything is paid for by mobile. Customer trends and preferences will be more easily monitored, more of the right stock can be ordered from stores, and suppliers can concentrate on what makes their target audience happy. The future is mobile, and it’s already started moving quickly!
Figures released today have revealed that the state of the UKs economy is in worse condition than analysts had previously believed. National output within the construction industry has shrunk by 4.8% in the first quarter of the year according to the Office for National Statistics, which will lead to a number of problems for analysts and investors who had previously believed figures to be much better than projected today.
The importance of growth within the construction industry for the economy at large has been proclaimed by economists and politicians for a number of years now, and this news today comes as yet another blow to the UKs already gloomy financial outlook.
All sides of the industry are being affected by this lack of production. Paul Robinson, who owns a timber merchants in Liverpool said; “We’ve definitely seen a decline in sales in our area. The whole industry needs more investment to get it moving again. People still need homes – more so in fact today than ever. It’s a frustrating business to be in at the moment.”
As a result of this lack of output, analysts believe that more quantative easing is looking increasingly inevitable, and IMF chief Christine Lagarde has suggested cutting the Bank of England’s base rate from 0.5% to 0 in order to help the UK to climb out of the recession.
These problems have no doubt been bolstered by the increasing crisis in the Eurozone. In a statement, the ONS said, “Over the past eighteen months, the economy has experienced a mild contraction in ouput. This reflects global economic headwinds as well as domestic economic conditions such as the continuing high rates of inflation in the UK”
The current economic climate has led to an increase in the number of companies outsourcing cost management to expense reduction analysts, reports suggest. As businesses find it more and more difficult to weather the economic storm, they are turning to external companies to help them manage their overheads and make savings without having to take the drastic measure of mass redundancies or total dissolution.
This comes at a time when recent forecasts have predicted that although Britain will be fortunate enough to avoid the double-dip recession that was feared, the economy will remain fairly stagnant until 2013 with growth of just 0.8% forecast for the coming financial year.
The market has already seen some well-known high street names enter administration over the last few years and has resulted in many businesses frantically searching for new ways to reduce their overheads in order to survive the financial crisis. Michael Patton, a representative for a leading cost management company said yesterday:
“Small businesses struggle the most, particularly those that are run by people with no financial experience. It can be really difficult for them to understand where costs can be cut and it can cause a lot of stress for them which is where we come in. We have the relevant experience that can make the difference between the survival or death of the business, I think a lot of people are starting to realize that now.”
Although some areas of industry seem to be fairly robust at the moment and the export market looks surprisingly healthy, the country’s economic prospects for the next year still seem fairly bleak. Patton continued;
“There is so much uncertainty at the moment that people are finding increasing necessity to operate at maximum cost-efficiency. Unemployment is at its highest rate in years and no-one wants to lay people off. I think that’s why we have seen a huge increase in business.”
It is no surprise that with the current economic climate, car manufacturers have faced a looming crisis over the last few years. Widespread laying off of staff and plant closures across the country have been common in the news and things have been looking increasingly grim – that is, until recently. Recent figures reveal that emerging economies have actually enhanced the demand for certain British manufactured vehicles, with Jaguar Land Rover at the forefront of this now burgeoning trade.
In March this year, Jaguar Land Rover signed an historical deal with China’s Chery Automobile, renewing hope for improved sales of cars and Land Rover spares in these now budding markets, and with the announcement of the creation of a further 1,500 jobs in their West Midlands plant, JLR’s miraculous recovery following near state bailout in the first throes of the economic crisis seems to have been confirmed. The key to this turnaround has undoubtedly been the push into emerging markets in China and Russia, as the new elite seek the luxury of these iconic, British born vehicles.
After the UK and the USA China represents the biggest export market for JLR, purchasing one out of six cars manufactured last year. The market has increased at a staggering rate, rising 60% in 2011 with sales figures of 42,000, and representing 17.2% of Jaguar Land Rover’s exports in the third quarter of last year. This joint venture, if approved by regulatory bodies, will be key to further development in the market and give a much needed confidence boost to the manufacturing industry.
Jaguar Land Rover have stated that if the move goes to plan, they will first begin the production of Land Rover SUV’s with Jaguars to follow. It is hoped that with new joint owned facilities, they will be able to establish new research and development facilities, and build on the strength of knowledge each one can provide. This in turn, is hoped to have a positive knock on effect for the UK’s luxury car manufacturing industry.