We've used Cunninghams for a few years now, and it works well enough.
A possible benefit is that they use a 3rd party's (BioStore) software for the BioMetric database, and BioStore will integrate with just about any system going if you ask them nicely. I saw them at Bett 2010, and they had a AD Password Reset unit on the wall; stick your finger on, it resets your network password and prints a little ticket valid for <x> minutes. Fantastic idea!
We use LCR systems, avoid them like the plague.
They also do things like door entry so if you have keycode doors they can be convirted to fingerprint to that the pesky little kids will never get in through them if they are not meant to. They also do fingerprint registration (although does not link to sims yet as we found out after they installed!)
one thing that is important is to consider the future, do you want to have door access and copy/print release to be using the same card/biometric reader?
its no good if a few months down the line you picked a very closed system and staff have to carry around a card for printing a fob for door access and use a finger print for food :)
I have seen this happy a lot and its always the company/system that is put in last that has the most work to do.
My advice would be find a system that is based on MIFARE or if it has to be biometrics go have a chat with the companies you plan to use to see if the systems they sell can be used with biometrics (biometrics does seem to be expensive and often getting a good read from a finger is hard work)
Just been looking around for opinions on cashless, we have been looking at LCR seriously for a while now. Can I ask which school are you from (are you local) and why not to go with them? I have the feeling the decision is trongly with them at present
Thanks in advance
Strange we've used them for 5 years I have found them to be nothing but excellent in support ands service levels
We use Vericool. Can't say I would recommend it. Getting support is like pulling teeth as is getting an admission there might be an issue with the software!
V. Good company - excellent solutions to cashless catering needs - have worked alongside them at various Schools around the UK and never heard a negative comment as I have with other companies. They provide as spec and very professional - links to SIMS including registration plus some .... Worth a phone call! (I rarely recommend companies!)
We are having cunninghams put in when we get back.. hmmm, should be fun and games
AMI do a good system called Easy Trace, which can be used for Cashless catering, and also much more, i.e allow students to register from class rooms via touch pads, access control to doors (find staff mainly use this), printing control. lockers etc, and they also now offer Biometric access rather than key card.
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Just thought id update this... we have had the cunninghams system in for 2 weeks now and things seem to be ok with it.. The first few days, we had a problem with it but we managed to iron these problems out. The only problem we did have though, was that groupcall updater was get to run once every day, so that meant if a student was to start on the monday they wouldnt appear in the impact/biostore system until Monday night, their suggestion was to either give the admin girls Remote acces to the server or they phone me up to force the task.. so i created an MMC which pointed to group call on the server and now the admin girls can run the task themselves.
The overall install took about a week and they managed to go through all our school i a day, when they had allocated 2 days.
We have one of those reval units and i prefer to use this rather than using parent pay, at least i know im dealing with hard cash.. but maybe thats just me. The reval unit kinda reminds me of the parking meter in Wallace and Gromits Grand day out... to be fair.. it looks like a parking meter but does the job.