Kevin Knudson, owner of daVinci's, the Italian Sidewalk Caffe, in Lincoln, Neb., grew up in the pizza business. His father opened a restaurant in 1978. Together, the Knudson family has grown the business into a successful six-location plus service (call) center operation. Along the way, they've kept close family ties and a commitment to food that "just tastes better!" It's that quality of people and technology that drew daVinci's to FireFly point-of-sale.
"We'd been with RapidFire since 1990, but had been doing our own support for five or six years. Then hardware availability became an issue, so we decided to upgrade. At Pizza Expo, our managers visited all the POS vendors, some with the call-center functionality that we wanted.
"Even though FireFly didn't have one-number ordering at the time, we liked FireFly's POS system the best, so we chose them to develop our call center operation. We also liked the people at FireFly. When looking at POS vendors, it's critical to look at the company's leaders and their performance."
Rapid Development, Quick Installation
"It's a compliment to FireFly that they designed and provided the call center functionality in the short time that they promised. Within three months, all of our stores were installed and using the one-number ordering via our service center."
Knudson and his business partners saw immediate cost savings and efficiency benefits from implementing FireFly POS in daVinci's new service center.
System Cost Savings
"With FireFly's one-number ordering, we don't need a complete system in each store. Less hardware and fewer phone lines are required, which saves money and physical kitchen space. We can use that extra hardware and phone lines to furnish our service center. And since FireFly POS's one-number ordering feature is integrated into the POS software, we don't need to buy special modules."
Reduced Labor Costs
"Labor costs went down and will continue to decrease. In fact, we've shaved 40 to 50 physical hours a week that our stores are open because of the service center. Multiply the savings in overhead, labor, and utilities by 52 weeks, and that's quite a savings.
"We've done this by closing our less busy locations earlier in the evening. With the service center, we can keep consistent delivery hours across the city, and funnel all orders to the open stores. This provides a double benefit: we save money by closing stores early and increase the sales volume in the open locations. For the stores who shut down early, employees can walk out right after the dinner rush as a team. They like that.
"The satellite stores have become more of a production facility. I use less kitchen staff, since someone is not always running to answer the phone. Instead, orders just keep popping off the printer. That has cut labor costs."
Dialing Up Customer Service
"FireFly POS's one-number ordering lets us serve customers in bigger and better ways than before at less cost. Before, we looked at each store individually. Now, we can view the city as a whole and manage our customers as a single entity.
"We have a single set of delivery hours we can advertise everywhere and one easy phone number for our customers to remember. And from day one, there have been skilled order takers at the service center to help our customers."
"With FireFly POS's call-center implementation at our service center, ticket averages are up 12 to 16 percent; the national average is 8 to 10 percent with a call center.
"Long term, the call center will allow us to grow our business here in Lincoln or in other cities more efficiently and cost effectively."
FireFly POS: Information Right Now, Right Here
"FireFly POS's one-number ordering provides unified customer information at one location. The system gives us instant information on any store at any time and reduces our paperwork. I can see if customer complaints are limited to one store, or if it's a citywide problem, and can find an appropriate solution. And the system's remote access feature helps us make good business decisions."
The daVinci's team loved the time and cost savings their service center was providing. Over time, however, they discovered more calls were being placed on hold than they wanted. So, the company reduced the size of the service center and began dispatching some calls to the actual stores. Once again, FireFly POS played a starring role.
"We set up UCD phones in our stores, just like our service center has," says Kevin Knudson. "Essentially, our stores will become extensions of the service center. This will let all calls be answered by a live person. We'll keep the one-number setup we had in place.
"We also were having some downtime with service center employees when business was slower. So now we are cross-training our employees in the stores to answer phones and take orders at the same skill level as our service center employees.
"It's a testament to the flexibility of the FireFly system that we were able to shuffle workstations from our service center to our store locations without problems or additional cost. Whatever configuration our service center and stores have, we can rely on to back us up."