The Highland Group is a family run business founded by Steve Highland over 40 years ago. They currently have 3 fuel and retail sites across Cambridgeshire and plan to add more. We caught up with the Highland team, Tom Highland and Jack Burgin, at their recently redeveloped flagship site BP Childerley Gate.
Tell us about the exciting developments at Childerley Gate
We’ve recently expanded and refitted our site, increasing our convenience offer significantly whilst adding a bakers and butchers – the retail space is now three times the size of the original shop at 4, 500 sq. ft. On the forecourt we now have 12 fuel dispensers with a range of fuels and are HGV enabled. The increase in offer has seen our customer count almost double.
What made you upgrade to evoPOS & evoBackOffice?
One of the main reasons was the ability to connect to evoBackOffice from off site – so from anywhere with internet access. We connect from home on our mobile phones every day to check figures and more. evoBackOffice also allows us to access all our sites from one platform. Not having to drive to stores to manage them is a huge bonus. Our previous system had no off-site connectivity ability, so updating to a cloud-based solution has really bought the company into the 21st century technology wise. We did look at other companies and solutions that offered remote connectivity to the back office, but they weren’t as slick or user friendly, so we went with MADIC UK’s solution.
What are your favourite evoBackOffice functions or features?
Apart from the overall connectivity and user friendliness of evoBackOffice we really like the Dashboard Margin Setting Alerts, for example we can set a 15% margin on a product or category, and if the profit margin falls below that, an ‘alert’ pops up on the dashboard to warn us.
Another useful feature is Product Tags – meaning we can choose items to auto order from ‘tags’ that we have created, rather than have to auto-order whole departments or sub-departments.
We’ve also recently started to use the Voucher Promotion functionality for offers such as 5PPL on a £40 spend, to encourage return custom. Like many service stations we have recently seen a rise in drive offs, so we’ve set some of our outer forecourt pumps to Prepay Mode at certain hours to help prevent them.
We’re also looking forward to the new Dashboard Fuel Price Tiles which will give us easy visibility over fuel prices at other local service stations, allowing us to price competitively. At the moment we drive around to local petrol stations to find out their pricing, so having the information at our fingertips will be a significant efficiency gain.
evoBackOffice connects to lots of third-party apps & services, which of these integrations do you use?
In late 2023 we introduced Electronic Shelf Labels (eSELs) via the evoBackOffice integration with Market Hub and Pulse. This has enabled us to really up our game for pricing promotions, being able to say ‘cheaper than Tesco’ on our labels is powerful. The efficiencies gained in time and resource versus paper labels are obvious and we’re really excited about being able to frequently change prices in real-time using Market Hub’s data insights.
We’ve recently upgraded our hand-held terminals to evoHHT with a SATO reduction printer so we can easily scan, price and print out reduction labels for near use-by date items. To further reduce waste, we’ve recently teamed up with waste app Gander. At the moment, we record approximately £3000 worth of wastage a month and we want to drive this down for economic and environmental reasons. For a small monthly fee, Gander puts our reduced items on their app for local users to see and hopefully visit the store. The process is fully automated through the Gander/evoBackOffice integration so there’s no extra work our end.