2012 Review of ECR Software Corp. Catapult 5.1.1

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ECR Software Corp. — Catapult 5.1.1
800-211-1172
www.ecrs.com

From the Aug. 2012 Review of Point-of-Sale Systems.

Best Fit: Catapult is truly designed for a specific part of the retail industry, and with touch screen technology standard on all of its systems, it truly works with high-volume specialty retailers of any size.

Strengths

  • Touch screen monitor is standard
  • Product contains unlimited customization capability
  • Little training necessary for new users
  • Offers a long list of industry specific POS solutions
  • Affordable, even for smaller businesses

Potential Limitations

  • Limited e-commerce interface
  • Not suitable for mail order/web-based businesses
  • No integrated shipping options currently available.

Catapult POS Software from ECRS Retail Automation Solutions is a completely customizable POS software product specifically designed for specialized retail industries such as convenience stores and gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, and health system industries including gift shops and kiosks.

BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS: 5 Stars

Highly customizable and easy to navigate, Catapult POS interface screens can be customized to suit the needs of a particular business type, department need, or even cashier preference, Catapult is truly designed by the people that are using it. While we generally talk about how easy it is to navigate through a particular system, with Catapult, the user determines everything about the interface including button size, screen layout, even colors. Keypads are easily customized for each cashier, including right and left handed users, which I find both extremely smart, and very useful.

For those wishing to utilize a keyboard rather than a touch screen, Catapult can be customized for that option as well. To process a quick sale, simply scan the item, or managers can choose to customize the interface with quick-touch buttons for even quicker sales processing. Customer information can be accessed on screen for those tracking customer data, and with customization available in every aspect of the product, users can create a series of speed keys for frequently purchased items, tender types and denominations.

Catapult is available in both single and multi-store versions, so smaller retailers can start out with a single location, and add others if needed. Catapult also offers a long list of add-on modules designed to make the product a front/back office financial solution. Modules available include the POS module, Back Office Capability, Self-Checkout, Fuel Interface, Warehousing, Scale Management, Customer Loyalty, Membership Management, and the Multi-Store option.

User security is ample, with all users assigned a security profile that will determine what features can be accessed, and at what level. Look up fields are found throughout Catapult, and customer and product data can be easily added on the fly without interrupting a sales transaction. The Multi-Store option allows regional managers to program store functions from a central location and multi-store synchronization allows data sharing across multiple locations, including inventory levels, and solid audit trail functionality.

Cashiers can easily process multiple transaction types from the POS interface, including regular sales, product returns, discounts, transaction voids, item layaway, and gift/loyalty card processing. Multiple pricing levels can be assigned to all products in inventory, and global pricing changes can be done by store, by region, or across the network, as needed. Users can assign discounts to specific items, and both gift and loyalty cards can be utilized, offering special pricing for members. The Warehousing module can manage inventory in multiple locations, manage P.O’s and shipping requests, and track in-transit items.

The Membership Management module provides membership-based stores and cooperatives a way to track membership fees, assign price levels, and customized per customer as needed. The Catapult integration host provides retailers with seamless integration between Catapult POS and the My Web Grocer ecommerce system for online order management for grocery stores.

SPECIALIZED FEATURES/SERVICES: 4.75 Stars

Touch screen technology comes standard with Catapult, but users can choose to utilize a keyboard with Catapult if desired. The Catapult Integration Host provides an interface between the POS module and the My Web Grocer system. Tender types are user defined, with customers able to set up and utilize the tender types necessary, including standard tender types as well as coupon acceptance, EBT/WIC, and gift cards.

Customer data is tracked in Catapult in a variety of ways, particularly when using customer loyalty cards, where customer buying habits are managed, discounts and special pricing levels assigned, along with personal buying habits. Retailers also have the option to offer customers in-house credit cards, providing benefits and bonuses to those to sign up and maintain an active account. Special purchases such as layaways, gift cards, and customer discounts can be processed and applied from any POS screen, and users can easily customize the POS interface to accept gift cards, assign and offer various products promos and giveaways.

TRACKING/REPORTING: 5 Stars

Catapult reports are all built using Crystal Reports technology, providing excellent customization capability. There are over 200 standard reports available in Catapult, with all reports reflecting real time data. The Item Movement report provides management with detail on what products are selling and how quickly. The Zero Movement report shows management what is not selling, and the Performance Report provides sales/inventory for a period of months.

The Customer Listing Detail provides a look at current customers, demographic information, and buying history. And retailers are able to pinpoint strong customer activity through the Customer Margin Ranking report. POS reports are excellent and include the Cashier Comparison report, that allows management to compare cashier performance, and the Non-Cash Tenders offers detail on all non-cash sales for each shift.

All Catapult reports can be viewed on screen, emailed to recipients, or printed. All reports can be customized with business logos or graphics for a professional appearance. The addition of Catapult Dash provides a new level of management reporting available to executives from just about any location, and is extremely customizable. Audit trail functionality is strong, with all system transactions processed from each workstation tracked and recorded.

INTEGRATION/IMPORT/EXPORT: 4.5 Stars

Catapult is a completely integrated system, offering a variety of purchase options that are aimed specifically at certain core retail industries. A long list of add-ons and system enhancements completes the product, providing front-back office technology. A solid GL interface allows data to be transferred from Catapult directly into third-party accounting products including MAS 90, Peachtree, QuickBooks, and Microsoft Great Plains.

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. Catapult is designed to integrate with state of the art POS hardware including POS touch screen terminals, Pin Pads, Signature Capture devices, Coin Dispensers, Receipt Printers, and Hand-Held terminals. Employees can log into Catapult and out of Catapult, with all work time recorded. Basic Time Clock technology captures log in and log out times for each employee.

HELP/SUPPORT: 5 Stars

Catapult offers an on-line help manual, as well as solid help functionality throughout the program. Software support plans are available in two levels; Gold and Silver, along with web-based tracking and remote computer dial in assistance. Gold Care subscribers also receive extended benefits such as overnight replacement of faulty hardware as well as on-site service and installation. Emergency support is available as well. Catapult’s website provides in-depth information about products available and all current customers can access product demonstrations, videos and support areas by simply logging into the system with an assigned user name and password

SUMMARY & PRICING

Currently, Catapult starts at $1500 for a single-user system, with additional add-ons extra. Designed for specific vertical markets, Catapult provides high-volume retailers with unlimited customization capabilities as well as an easily navigated product that requires little training time.

2012 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars

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