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Breakthrough Case Study
Lucas Systems, Inc. is a multi-generational family-owned business that has been providing quick service and fast casual restaurants with comprehensive point-of-sale solutions since 1992. In addition to selling POS hardware and software, Lucas Systems offers its clients professional services such as network wiring, installation, end-user training, help desk and technical support and custom software development. The company maintains a state-of-the-art repair lab and handles all break-fix, exchange and repair services on hardware it represents. In addition, the company offers an array of security services designed to help the restauranteur in areas of security and compliance as it relates to payment card security standards.
Brad Lucas, the president of Lucas Systems, reached out to Kopis for help developing a new real-time reporting solution for their existing and future end-user base. While Lucas has always offered reporting solutions, they recognized their current reporting system relied heavily on legacy reporting applications to view, print and send reports on a daily basis. The process works very well, but the team saw the need and took the opportunity to overhaul the user experience.
“We wanted to enhance our offering and provide our long-standing customers with cloud-based solutions so they could remain competitive and view data in real-time via mobile devices, tablets or from anywhere they can access the Internet. Our goal was not only to catch but also surpass our competitors in the marketplace,” explained Brad.
Initially, Brad and his team looked into developing their new product internally, but soon decided to outsource the project due to a host of other custom development projects already underway.
“We looked at a couple different options, but when we met with Kopis, we hit it off with Andy and his team right out of the gate,” Brad said. “We didn’t have the development resources available at the time and did not want to take our team away from what they do best, which is taking care of the customer. I wanted to partner with a professional company—people who do this kind of thing every day and really know the industry. I immediately had a lot of confidence in Kopis because of their historical knowledge of the POS space. Their body of work, their deep experience with distributed applications, including their own software, Vigilix, was a major deciding factor for us.”
Brad wanted a solution that they could control and build on in the future. Lucas Systems partnered with Kopis to create a real-time reporting solution called Pivot, which today is hosted in a cloud-based environment and now a part of their total POS solution.
“Kopis brought our vision to life,” said Brad. “Since they’ve created similar systems before, the Kopis team was able to give us design advice about agent technology, what the portal could look like, which features we would need and which may be less important. They were able to take the project from a fairly basic idea to a fully thought out, user-friendly application.”
In addition to the customer-facing portal where the reporting data is now presented, Kopis also created an agent technology (appropriately named “Burst” by Lucas) that sits at the end user level and is responsible for pushing data to the portal as well as monitoring the health of the system. Burst sweeps for data every few seconds and populates Pivot with the most up-to-date information.
“Our team was impressed with how quickly and accurately Kopis was able to merge our current processes and historical data into our new solution,” Brad said. “And, with the addition of the agent technology—it’s a proactive, predictive technology that we have wanted to offer our customers, and we are excited to see how it will help them better control and manage their businesses in real-time.”
“The vision for Pivot goes beyond enhancing the Lucas POS solution with a real-time reporting interface for our users to enjoy. The possibilities for this solution are not limited to the restaurant industry as the technology can be used by any business that desires real-time analytics from their core systems,” Brad said. “We want to make this available to others, regardless of the POS solution they currently use. If Pivot helps create an introduction to discuss their future POS needs, then I know we can help them in that area too.”
In late 2016 Lucas decided to soft launch the Pivot solution to about 100 select locations so they could solicit feedback from users and perform the final tweaks before taking the product system wide. So far, they are receiving strongly positive feedback from restaurant owners. The solution was officially released in early 2017.
“Our customers are already seeing how this new product will help them grow their business,” Brad said. “The project with Kopis has been an iterative process where we met milestones, gave feedback, made revisions. At this point, we’re in a phase of getting real-time feedback from end-users and fine tuning the product. Restaurant owners and operators are matter-of-fact and have little time to spare, so I know we’re hearing the truth and what’s needed the most.”
The Lucas Systems team is not only pleased with the feedback they’re receiving from their customers, but also with what the software launch means for their business and for their corporate culture.
“At the beginning of this project, our leadership team decided we wanted two things to happen: We wanted our software offering to surpass the industry standard, and we wanted to find a complementary company that we could partner with to bring new ideas to market,” Brad said. “I believe both of these objectives have been met. Most of our competitors provide reporting at 24-hour intervals, while we now provide real-time reporting and a game-changing agent technology that prevents downtime in an always-on industry. We also found a software company that helped us grow as an organization. This project taught us how we can operate and outsource going forward, and I see it as the beginning of a long-term, meaningful, and prosperous, relationship.”