ECR Software Corp. — Catapult
From the August 2011 Review of Retail Point-of-Sale Systems
Best Fit: Touch-screen technology comes standard with Catapult, and the add-on modules designed for specialty retailers like drug stores, grocery stores, convenience stores and other specialty stores make this a good fit for high-volume retailers that require a high level of customization.
Catapult from ECR Software is a fully customizable product that offers POS functionality for a variety of specialized industries such as drug stores, grocery stores, convenience stores and other specialty stores. Touch-screen technology comes standard with the product, and the add-on modules designed for specialty retailers make this a good fit for high-volume retailers that require a high level of customization.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
Catapult’s main interface contains a drop-down menu at the top of the screen, and the POS button leads directly to the POS interface. Highly customizable, Catapult allows users to create an interface that fits with their business type. The user keypad can be customized by button size, color and entire layout. Keypads can also be customized for each cashier, including right-handed and left-handed options. Touch-screen technology is standard, but for users preferring to use a keyboard Catapult can be customized for that, as well. Products can be quickly scanned by barcode, or users can utilize the custom touch-screen for quick product entry. Customer information can be displayed on-screen, and speed keys can be set up by batching the data so users can create a speed key for anything from frequently purchased items to tender denominations.
Catapult is available in both single-store and multi-store versions so adding additional locations is never a problem. Along with the POS module, Catapult offers Back Office Capability, the Multi-Store option mentioned earlier, Self-Checkout, Fuel Interface, Pharmacy System Integration, Pseudoephedrine Tracking, EDI Supplier Integration, Inventory Management, Warehousing, Membership Management, Video Surveillance, Customer Loyalty, Linux Appliance Server and Scale Management. User security is tight, with all system users provided a unique security profile that determines the features accessible. Catapult offers easy lookup options throughout.
All POS-related functions can be completed from the customized interface, including standard sales, returns and voids, layaways, and gift card processing. Catapult offers the ability to assign multiple price levels to all products, with up to four pricing levels. Users can also make global pricing changes. Automatic discounts can be applied to all items, and alternate pricing can be assigned for loyalty card members for all products in inventory. The Warehousing module tracks all store deliveries and maintains inventory levels at all locations. The Supplier Integration Server automates purchase order processing by maintaining constant contact with vendors, and expediting the ordering and receiving process. An optional e-Commerce module provides true integration between Catapult and various third-party eCommerce systems.
Catapult’s POS module comes with touch-screen technology, but users have the ability to utilize keyboard entry, as well. Catapult easily handles multiple tender types, and users have the ability to customize the tender types used, including credit, debit, FSA, EBT/WIC. Coupons and gift cards are easily accepted, as well. Catapult includes a self-hosted gift card option, reducing third-party processing costs. An easily definable check acceptance policy allows users to set check acceptance parameters, including the number of checks accepted from each customer. Managers can also define approval levels and amount limits.
Retailers can set up item groups and combos, where promotional pricing is attached to the purchase if a specific combination of items is purchased. High-level customer information is tracked within the system, both in the customer history function and through the use of retail loyalty cards, which tracks customer buying habits. The new Catapult Loyalty Points offering allows retailers to implement a points-based system, with corresponding redemption levels provided to customers. The optional Catapult Membership Server provides retailers with the ability to register new members on the fly, track member buying and offer customers varying levels of discounts as defined by the retailer. Catapult contains powerful database technology, making it easy to define and capture the level of detail desired.
Catapult offers over 200 standard reports that are built using Crystal Reports, making the reports extremely customizable. Reports provide retailers with real-time data and are easily accessible through the Report Catalog. Reports are easily viewed on-screen, emailed directly to recipients or saved to the Catapult database. The Sales History report tracks all item sales, while the Item Movement by Supplier allows retailers to pinpoint both fast and slow movers, along with their respective supplier. The Net Quantity Sales by Item provides detail of the movement of each item in inventory. A number of POS-specific reports can also be run, including Cashier Activity, Cashier Comparison and Non-Cash Tenders Detail report. The Customer Listing Detail provides information on all customers recorded in the Catapult database, and customer financial (invoices and statements) reports are available, as well.
Report Optimization capability allows managers to quickly process summarized data that provides a quick picture of hourly or daily data, and can process thousands of transactions in seconds. All system transactions are tracked, providing managers with an excellent audit trail.
Catapult offers a solid core POS system with a variety of industry-specific interfaces. All add-on options integrate with the core product, as does a series of third-party applications that have been designed to work specifically with Catapult. Data can also be exported to a variety of third-party accounting software products such as QuickBooks, Peachtree, MAS 90, MAS 200 and Microsoft Great Plains. Worksheets can be easily exported to a text file format, and the worksheet import function allows users to easily import worksheet data. Catapult is designed to integrate with a high level of hardware products, including POS terminals, hand-held terminals, receipt printers, coin dispensers, DVR cameras, scanners, pin pads and signature capture devices. Catapult also contains basic time clock technology that records log in and log out times for each employee.
Catapult offers an excellent Help function within the product as well as access to the Catapult user manual. Basic and advanced software training is available monthly, and product support is available in two levels: Silver and Gold. Both offer phone support, remote computer support and web-based issue tracking, where users can keep track of their software issues and enter support tickets 24 hours a day. Gold Care also provides overnight hardware replacement, as well as on-site service and installation of Catapult software and related hardware. Emergency product support is available after normal operating hours (8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET) at an additional cost. ECRS also offers consulting services and on-site training and installation. Catapult’s website provides detailed descriptions of the vendor’s POS products and add-ons, and all clients with a support contract are provided with a user name and password to access support, as well as product documentation and related videos.
SUMMARY & PRICING
Catapult pricing starts at $1,500 for a single software license, with most plug-in or add-on features costing extra. Designed specifically for the high-volume transaction retailer, Catapult provides businesses with excellent customization capabilities as well as an easily navigated product that requires limited training time.
2011 Overall Rating: