2013 Review of ECR Software Corp. - Catapult 5.1.1

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Best Fit: CATAPULT comes with standard touch screen technology, and with its extensive customization capability, fits perfectly with the high-transaction retailers described above.

CATAPULT Point of Sale Software from ECRS offers complete retail enterprise automation, including both front and back office management. Completely customizable, CATAPULT is designed for high-transaction retailers such as convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies, beverage, grocery, co-ops, and vending retailers. CATAPULT is also a good fit for gift shops and vending environments.

Strengths

  • Product is fully customized for each market to reflect their needs
  • Quick implementation and limited training needed
  • Excellent reporting and dashboard reporting capability
  • Scalable, with multiple options available and easily added
  • Excellent customer loyalty capability

Potential Limitations

  • Shipping integration not available
  • Not suitable for retailers with high volume of mail orders

BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS: 4.9 Stars

CATAPULT is completely customizable, with users able to design the menu interface to suit their needs. This customization can be based on any criteria, including business need, department need, or even user preference. One of the great things about CATAPULT is that navigation is truly driven by the user. Using CATAPULT, users typically determine all navigational aspects of the system from button size to the user interface design. Even keypads are custom designed for each system user, with designs available for both left-handed and right-handed cashiers.

For retailers that do not want to utilize a touchscreen interface, users can choose to use a keyboard interface to use during a sale. For high-volume retailers, interface buttons can be customized to allow one-touch processing. For retailers that track customer data, that data can be easily accessed during the sales process. Touch screen buttons can also be customized to quickly process payment types, and frequently purchased items or groups of items can have a custom button assigned to them as well. CATAPULT is a scalable product, available in both single and multi-store versions, making it easy to scale up as additional locations are added.

CATAPULT also offers an extensive list of add-on modules that integrate with the POS system, including Back Office, Multistore, Warehousing, EDI Supplier Integration, Vending ID Cards, Digital Customer Billboard, Signature Capture, Customer Loyalty, Fuel Interface, Self-Checkout, Executive BI Dashboard, Membership Management, and Mobile Inventory Solutions. New add-on products available this year include Scale Aware, Mobile Receipt Printer, CATAPULT HHT, and LoyaltyBot and BuzzBot; which enhance the current loyalty system offered by CATAPULT. System security is multi-level, with all system users assigned a security profile that specifies the system features and the level that the user can access. Lookup fields are found throughout the system, and cashiers can quickly add products and customer information on the fly.

The Multi-Store add-on allows retail managers to program system functions for all locations from a single location, and the sync function lets users easily share data including inventory levels at each location. System users can easily process a variety of transaction types which include standard sales, discounts, returns, voids, layaways, and gift card and loyalty card processing. The inventory module easily handles multiple price levels, and regional managers can set global or regional pricing as needed. The Warehousing module easily handles multi-warehouse inventory management, while tracking all orders in process. Membership stores and Co-op’s can use the Membership Management module, which tracks all levels of membership, and can assign pricing levels based on membership. CATPULT can also integrate with ecommerce systems, and the Mobile POS add-on allows users to process sales from anywhere.

SPECIALIZED FEATURES/SERVICES: 4.56 Stars

Touch screen technology is standard with CATAPULT, but users have the option to utilize a keyboard if desired. CATAPULT allows users to set up and accept all tender types, including coupons, gift cards, EBT/WIC, and loyalty cards. CATAPULT offers one of the most flexible, comprehensive customer tracking functions I’ve seen. CATAPULT’S Self-Hosted Gift Card allows retailers add and redeem cards at any location, with retailers able to determine card limits and pre-define card limits.

The new LoyaltyBot and BuzzBot are designed to work with the Catapult Points existing loyalty program, allowing retailers to better target customers by providing automatic coupons, while also allowing customers to accrue points based on purchases that can be redeemed at a later date. BuzzBot allows retailers to provide additional rewards to recipients who share newsletters and special offers via social networking sites. All of this allows retailers to easily manage high levels of customer detail including buying habits and purchase history. Retailers can also choose to offer in house credit cards in order to compete with higher fee cards. Card recipients can also be set up to receive special offers and unique pricing. Because of the high customization capability to CATAPULT, retailers can easily create loyalty and rewards programs that truly fit their needs, and customer desire.

TRACKING/REPORTING: 5 Stars

All CATAPULT reports use Crystal Reports technology, which provides retailers with the ability to customize reports. CATAPULT comes with over 200 standard reports that users can easily access and edit as needed. All reports are in real time. CATAPULT offers excellent inventory and sales reports including Item Movement report, which details products are selling. The Cashier comparison report details sales by cashier, where management can monitor sales performance along with employee performance levels. The Performance report shows inventory action over a defined period of time. Customer demographics are easily tracked using the Customer Listing report, which provides a detailed list of current customers, including purchasing and payment history.

Users can also pull customer loyalty reports in order to generate emails based on targeted sales totals. CATAPULT also offers excellent POS reports that provide retailers with detail on current sales trends, employee sales performance and payment type history. All CATAPULT reports can be viewed on screen, printed, and exported to Microsoft Word, Excel, ASCII, and HTML. Users can also easily email reports to recipients directly from the print screen. The Business Intelligence Dashboard (CATAPULT Dash) provides managers with real time data that can be accessed anywhere. Featuring intuitive graphics, along with graphs and charts, pertinent data can be gathered from stores, departments, or inventory, with specific filtered data available. CATAPULT also contains excellent audit trail functionality, with a record available for all transactions completed from any workstation.

INTEGRATION/IMPORT/EXPORT: 4.29 Stars

CATAPULT offers retailers a completely integrated system, with a long list of system add-ons available that are designed to work within the retail industry. CATAPULT can easily integrate with third party accounting software products such as QuickBooks, Sage 50 (formerly Peachtree), MAS 900, MAS 200, and Microsoft Great Plains. CATAPULT also works with a long list of point of sale products including touchscreen monitors, Pin Pads, Signature Capture Devices, Receipt Printers, the ECRS Price Checker, and the Customer Interface Device, which displays advertising while doubling as a checkout device. The ECRS Gateway provides integration with the POS system and inventory suppliers. Employee time is easily tracked, with employees logging in and out using CATAPULT’s Basic Time Clock technology.

HELP/SUPPORT: 4.93 Stars

CATAPULT offers can easily access the on-line system manual, and the program contains excellent help functionality throughout. Gold Care and Silver Care level support plans are available, and users can also submit support requests via email, phone, or through its online support portal with easy issue tracking. As immediate support is important to retailers, who need to have functioning equipment at all times, Gold Care members can also get overnight equipment replacement if necessary. CATAPULT’s support website also offers users access to ticket creation, ticket tracking, system updates, demos, and videos, all available to current customers with an assigned password.  

SUMMARY & PRICING

CATPULT starts at $1,500 for a single user system, with add-on modules purchased separately. Designed with the needs of specific vertical retail markets, CATAPULT provides retailers with the customization, flexibility, and transaction processing speed that is necessary for these high volume business owners.

2013 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars

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