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How do you do....it? Thread, Cashless catering in Technical; Hello all! We have an existing cashless catering solution here, but to cut a long story short they want a ...
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    maniac's Avatar
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    Cashless catering

    Hello all!

    We have an existing cashless catering solution here, but to cut a long story short they want a silly amount of money to 'upgrade' the system to work on windows 7 and on top of a very expensive support contract and questionable reliability we think it might be time to tender for a replacement system.

    As part of this we're also thinking of moving away from biometrics which has never worked properly for us (and in my opinion cases more problems than it solves) and going for proximity cards instead - pros and cons of this?

    So any recomendations on good cashless solutions to look at? I'm aware nationwide retail and cunninghams, any others that are worth approaching?

    Cheers!

    Mike.

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    Gladstone Education were impressive for us, although we didn't go with them in the end. I'd say one con immediately of cards is the kids lose them.

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    That will be your biggest problem with the proximity cards, students will always loose them, you might also find that they will be using each others cards not just from lending them to friends but physically taking other cards from other students and spending their money. We recently had a system put in and we keep it simple, your thumb from your right hand for everybody. We have the option on our system that if your thumb doesn't work you can configure a 4 digit pin to use instead, this also works if we have any visitors in school who want to grab lunch.

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    We have EasyTrace with proximity cards [Governors vetoed biometrics]

    The data migration from the earlier version of EasyTrace was a pain [most of the issues were related to the need to clean the database up: It had been poorly maintained for many years] After that getting the system up and running and ironing out some major bugs took a while [we were 4 weeks into the Autumn term before the system was usable] However we now have a system that I rarely get support requests for [The old version had me visiting the Canteen two or three times a day: What a drag!]

    HTH.

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    I can highly recommend Nationwide Retail (NRS) they were very competitively priced for us when I tendered for Cashless and support was very good and the product range is constantly evolving and taking in feedback from schools which is excellent The new kit was very nice at BETT

    Gladstone is interesting you mentioned them @Edu-IT as the firm behind them (Corporate) bought out CBR systems Jonas Software Acquires CRB Solutions - CRB Solutions So I'd expect very interesting times ahead with those products in the future as surely long term, despite the PR's, they will not continue to develop 2 completely separate systems as that won't be financially viable long term?

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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    I can highly recommend Nationwide Retail (NRS) they were very competitively priced for us when I tendered for Cashless and support was very good and the product range is constantly evolving and taking in feedback from schools which is excellent The new kit was very nice at BETT

    Gladstone is interesting you mentioned them @Edu-IT as the firm behind them (Corporate) bought out CBR systems Jonas Software Acquires CRB Solutions - CRB Solutions So I'd expect very interesting times ahead with those products in the future as surely long term, despite the PR's, they will not continue to develop 2 completely separate systems as that won't be financially viable long term?
    New kit? Do tell. Gladstone is completely web based from what I recall rather than a program to install.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Another vote for Nationwide, we launched with them in July 2013 and it's been a great system, and their support is superb. They can work with ID cards if required, though their biometrics system has worked well for us (and as @jonnykewell1 says, anyone with a bad fingerprint/opted out gets a 4 digit pin)

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    Build your own!

    Get coding!

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    rad
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    Nrs here too with Parentpay, it works, parents top up, kids spend it. Cycle,continues.
    I offer thumb rescanning each time the school closes early, that I think is key to ensuring it works well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Hello all!

    We have an existing cashless catering solution here, but to cut a long story short they want a silly amount of money to 'upgrade' the system to work on windows 7 and on top of a very expensive support contract and questionable reliability we think it might be time to tender for a replacement system.

    As part of this we're also thinking of moving away from biometrics which has never worked properly for us (and in my opinion cases more problems than it solves) and going for proximity cards instead - pros and cons of this?

    So any recomendations on good cashless solutions to look at? I'm aware nationwide retail and cunninghams, any others that are worth approaching?

    Cheers!

    Mike.
    Who are you using at the moment out of interest? We're looking for a cashless catering system here so it'd be nice to know who to avoid.

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    We are currently with Cunninghams, we do have problems with having to reset the reval machine all the time and the bio-metrics are always playing up (partly because the canteen only scans them once in year 7...) Also our canteen staff are a bit heavy handed with the touchscreens. Apart from that its not too bad. Although if the canteen got a chance I think they would happily go back to dealing with cash.

    Also we have been quoted just under 600 to upgrade our system from xp to 7.

    Adam

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinkZ View Post
    Who are you using at the moment out of interest? We're looking for a cashless catering system here so it'd be nice to know who to avoid.
    I'm not naming and shaming in public, I'll PM you.

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    With the demise of XP shouldn't the companies involved upgrade to win7 as part of ongoing support contracts? If the tills were supplied within the last few years when Win7 was out surely they chose to put an old OS on the tills so should really be responsible to bring it up to date?

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiza View Post
    With the demise of XP shouldn't the companies involved upgrade to win7 as part of ongoing support contracts? If the tills were supplied within the last few years when Win7 was out surely they chose to put an old OS on the tills so should really be responsible to bring it up to date?
    You would like to think so, yes and that's my arguement too. The tills however are about 5 years old now, however the spec is good enough to run windows 7 with an increase in RAM, it's not doing anything terribly complex afterall. I have a meeting coming up with the supplier to discuss this and other issues surrounding their product now they know we are investigating changing, so we'll see what they have to say.

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