Customer: Court Farm Shop, Cheltenham
Avery Berkel Dealer: SNP Food Machinery
A thriving farm shop, located on the outskirts of Cheltenham
Originally opening in September 2016, Lisa and Simon had little idea Court Farm Shop would quickly become the massive success it has turned out to be.
Built on the site of a working farm that specialises in beef, lamb, pork and free-range eggs, Court Farm Shop was conceived as an idea to diversify the farm and to develop upon the customer-base that was already purchasing eggs. “We had some 250 customers that bought eggs from us each week. Our original projections were to have around 350 customers visit our farm shop each week upon opening – we’re currently averaging around 1,000 customers a week and the numbers continue to grow.”
Taking pride of place in the store is a seven day butchery featuring meat sourced right from the farm, led by a master butcher with several decades of experience. Also available on-site is a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery items and other local goods. There are plans to explore the possibility of a deli along with a café serving food with ingredients available directly from the farm shop itself.
Asked about why Court Farm Shop has become such a success story, Lisa believed it was down to the team behind the store. “Simon is a fourth generation farmer, with his family originally establishing Court Farm in 1936. He’s passionate about what he does and knows what’s required from a working farm for it to be successful. I’m from a business background with experience in PR, publishing and data analysis. We’ve put people with the right skills in the right place.”
Lisa is incredibly optimistic about the future. “Despite the prime location, many people from the area still don’t know we’re here. We’ll shortly begin some marketing and complementary local partnerships to increase exposure. Everything we’ve achieved so far has been almost entirely from word of mouth, with only some online promotion via our website (www.courtfarmshop.co.uk) and social media (Twitter: @CourtFarmShop; Facebook: facebook.com/courtfarmshop).”
The Avery Berkel Solution at Court Farm Shop
- MXBusiness scale management software
- Velocity scale management software
Court Farm Shop knew early on during the initial planning stages that they would require a weighing system with back-office functionality. They wanted a solution that had the ability to maintain itself and assist with stock management, rather than relying on manual data entry that was not only time consuming, but also introduced the potential for error.
The solution presented consisted of 2x XT400 retail weighing scales and 2x XM400 retail weighing scales. The scales were paired with scale management software packages, MXBusiness and Velocity.
The XT400 scales are utilised as checkout tills and are paired with cash drawers and barcode scanners; fully integrated EFT/chip & pin card readers also cut down on the potential for operator input error. Large 10 inch customer-facing displays present rolling promotions and information about the store when idle. Customer transactions are quick and efficient with minimal delay, thanks to the XT scale’s easy to use operator touchscreen interface and fast receipt printer.
The XM400 scales are deployed in the butchery department. Like XT scales, XM also features easy to use operator touchscreen input and full colour customer-facing displays to efficiently serve visitors to the butchery counter. Court Farm Shop uses the XM scales to print labels for their products, display product information such as pricing and dates; crucially, ingredients and allergens are also catered for as per recent changes in labelling legislation. XM features one of the fastest printers in the industry, so no time is wasted waiting for pre-pack label runs to complete.
Court Farm Shop’s network of scales are all connected and managed via MXBusiness – Avery Berkel’s own scale management software package. With MXBusiness, Court Farm Shop was able to centrally deploy updates such as new product additions, pricing updates and promotional offers to each and every scale on the network. MXBusiness also allows for the management of display advertising, such as those seen by customers as they wait to be served at the butchery department or when checking out.
Complementing the solution is the Velocity software package. Velocity provides Court Farm Shop with the sought after back-office functionality with a particular focus on inventory and invoice management to help streamline their operation.
The feedback about the Avery Berkel solution at Court Farm Shop has been incredibly positive.
Lisa and the team are impressed with the XT and XM scales, especially the connectivity that’s possible with the MXBusiness scale software accompanying the solution. Lisa said, “MXBusiness and Velocity work in the background, leaving us to get on with the day to day duties and needs of the shop.”
With the store’s ever-increasing clientele count, the speed and efficiency of the XT scales as POS checkout terminals has meant processing customer transactions has been welcome during busy peak trading hours. “We had a fantastic Christmas and the scales helped us through that period. We were expecting things to die down afterwards, but it never did and the scales have continued to help us through this time.”
Critically, the network of XT and XM machines is scalable in size, which will be of use especially as Court Farm Shop is exploring expansion ideas and new additions for the near future.