Catapult from ECR Software Corp. is a customized point-of-sale product that offers a series of specialized solutions geared toward specific retail business entities. Several add-on options are also available, the system a good fit for high-volume transaction processing businesses such as convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS
The main user interface contains a drop-down menu with system functions at the top of the screen. The POS screen is accessed from the respective button at the top. It’s important to note that each POS user interface is highly customizable so users are not at the mercy of standard features; rather, they can create the interface that best suits their needs and their business type. Clerks can easily scan products or utilize the default touch-screen interface that is included. Various functions like price overrides can also be managed. Customer information can be easily accessed from the POS screen, which displays basic customer data with an area to enter notes specific to each customer. A Speed Key Generator allows managers to set up default keys in just about any category, including tender types, search items, price levels, overrides, and any other options they may want to add. Catapult offers both single-store and multi-store capability, with retailers able to easily upgrade to the multi-store option if needed.
A series of powerful databases manage and maintain Inventory, Suppliers, Customers, Employees, Departments, Promotional Combos and Stores. Each database manages all of the relevant data entered into the system, and all databases integrate. Managers and owners can easily control who has access to system functions. Each user is assigned a unique security profile that determines exactly what features and functions can be accessed.
Catapult contains exceptional customization capability. While users can easily utilize the system “out of the box,” an extensive selection of customization choices include fully configurable user interface menus with options to choose even the font type and size. Register Emulation imitates the keyboard from the cash register interface currently being used. Lookup option fields are unlimited in the POS interface, as well as in the other database data-entry screens.
Catapult currently offers a Multistore/HQ add-on, which provides complete multi-store functionality. Users can set up POS configurations directly from the main site, ensuring uniformity across the board. The multi-store option also offers other features such as zone pricing and the ability to quickly check inventory levels at other locations. Multiple transaction types can be processed through the POS interface, and multiple pricing levels are available, with the ability to make global pricing changes by group, current pricing or other criteria.
The system provides good warehouse management with warehouse inventory worksheets that detail product movement in each warehouse. Handheld terminals are also available for both remote sales entry and inventory management. 5
Touch-screen capability is standard issue, and all touch screens are fully customizable so the interface can be set up as desired. Also included on the touch screen are present item keys that are directly related to the specific business type. Managers can enter and maintain an unlimited number of tender types, and clerks can accept multiple tender types for each transaction.
Customer information can be easily tracked by utilizing the optional frequent shopper card program. This allows managers to track everything from general customer data to detailed customer purchasing history. With the ability to set up unlimited tender types, Catapult can easily process coupons, gift certificates, food stamps, and any other tender types as defined by management. The optional frequent buyer card program offers excellent marketing capability for targeting customers with sales specific to their buying patterns. 3.75
Catapult offers an excellent selection of reports, utilizing the Crystal Reports print engine. Along with sales and inventory reports, the system offers a series of graph reporting options. The Report Optimization feature quickly and accurately produces system reports. All reports can be emailed, saved directly to file, viewed or printed. Users can also opt to utilize Crystal Reports for further report customization. All reports display real-time data, as the system data is refreshed after each transaction.
All inventory movement can be easily tracked by store and specified data range. Managers can easily track sales data and pinpoint both best and worst selling products. Customer demographics are maintained with the frequent purchase cards, and customer transaction history can be monitored, with reports reflecting both date and customer filters.
The Report Optimization feature produces reports in record time, providing management with a quick glance at bottom line business status. For peace of mind, all system transactions leave an easily accessed audit trail. 4.75
Catapult is a completely integrated system with numerous add-on features, including the GL interface, which allows Catapult to integrate with QuickBooks, Peachtree and Great Plains. Gift Card Accounts allows retailers to offer specialty gift card functionality. A Label Printing option is available, as is the Membership Server, which tracks membership dues and information. Catapult worksheets can be exported to data text files, and files can be imported using the Worksheet Import profile.
offers easily integrates with hundreds of POS terminals of all types, along with all the necessary hardware peripherals such as barcode scanners, receipt printers, signature capture and pin pads. 4
Catapult offers an excellent Help function within the product, providing detailed information about system features and functions. Basic Training is also provided at ECR Software headquarters. A variety of support plans at varying levels are available, and emergency technical support is also available for an additional cost. 4
SUMMARY & PRICING
Catapult pricing starts at around $1,500 for a single-user POS system; additional features cost extra. This is an excellent product, designed specifically for high-transaction processing and specialty retailers, such as convenience stores and supermarkets. Attention to detail, a large number of add-on functions that increase productivity, and scalability make Catapult a terrific fit for retailers looking for high production levels and an easy-to-use product.
2010 Overall Rating 4.25
See inside September 2010
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