About Harlech Leisure
Harlech Leisure in Gwynedd, Wales faced closure in December 2010. Then the community stepped in and came together to purchase the swimming pool for just £1 from the local council.
The property was in a state of disrepair, but funding from grants and the national lottery meant a complete refurbishment and resurrection for the local community and the grand re-opening in 2011.
Today, the leisure centre is run as a not for profit social enterprise by local village volunteers – it offers not only the pool and classes, but kayaking, a climbing wall, and a new refectory facility.
Dylan Hughes, a local volunteer, said: “Our mission was to keep Harlech Leisure alive – an initiative ‘run by the community for the community’. We have worked hard as a team over the past eight years, and are proud of what has been achieved.”
Working with Lolly (LollySmart)
Dylan, who previously worked in IT for 30+ years, knew that the leisure centre needed a till system where the data could be interrogated to monitor sales and activity levels.
The centre had previously used a Windows XP system in the reception, and an old fashioned till system in the café, which Dylan Hughes comments: “They were not fit for purpose, and didn’t provide the centre with the all-important data needed.”
Harlech Leisure had been renting a separate card reader from Lolly, which was working well. Dylan comments: “Lolly was easy to work with and hugely responsive, so when our tills came to the end of their contract it made complete sense to move across to Lolly for upgrades in both the reception and café areas. At the end of the day, we needed a system that could tell us what was selling well.”
Downloadable EPoS – https://www.itslolly.com/downloadable-epos/
Dylan had also done his homework on Lolly – putting its downloadable EPoS on to his home laptop to gauge how the technology works, and how it could be put to best use at Harlech Leisure.
“The system was excellent,” he adds, “I imported all the previous till data onto the Lolly platform, and was able to do lots of testing before it went live in March 2018. Being able to try before you buy gives real reassurance that you are making the right decisions.”
Today, the centre operates one LollySmart till in the reception, and a second till in the café.
The high speed processor in the touchscreen is perfect for a busy fast-serve environment. Installed with the EPoS software, it is matched with a range of add-ons such as portable card machine, bar code scanner, cash drawer, additional printer, a card scanner and cloud back office.
Dylan Hughes comments: “Paying for the system on a lease agreement every three months is very helpful to us. And if anything happens to either of the tills, we have reassurance that it will be immediately replaced.
“We’re now beginning to make more use of the range of reporting capabilities, the ability to also export the data into other formats, such as excel, is also very useful. We have not fully utilised the stock control and ordering part of the system, but are looking to introduce this in time especially on the café till.
“We find that it’s great to be working with just one company for our complete EPOS system (card terminals and tills) to ensure continuity and high levels of customer support – Lolly has gone above and beyond.”
Peter Moore, CEO at Lolly, adds: “Swimming pools are expensive to run. It is therefore imperative that as much as possible is done to keep costs under control. It’s excellent to hear that the Lolly hardware and software is helping Harlech Leisure to focus on areas to reduce costs and increase its income. Working in this way will help the leisure centre to serve the community as best as it can for years to come.”