Ahead of the Curve

Quickservice Technologies

The last time you grabbed a quick bite to eat on the go, chances are Quickservice Technologies helped make that meal possible. The Ontario based business supplies Point of Sale (POS) equipment and management solutions to a roster of A-list fast food chains, including Tim Hortons, Dairy Queen, Arby’s, McDonalds, Wendy’s, A&W, William’s Coffee Pub, and Cinnabon. Tim Hortons is Quickservice’s largest customer, with over 2,700 of its restaurant locations currently serviced and supported by the company.

Quickservice Technologies supplies everything from cash registers, drive thru systems and security systems to software and support – virtually anything that a quick serve or fast casual restaurant needs to make a sale. “We have become the one stop shop for customers in that segment,” says President and CEO Philip Turner.

Quickservice Technologies was founded back in 1960 as Alliance Cash Register and has gone through a number of name changes over the decades. The latest rebranding took place in 2004, after Mr. Turner bought the business and merged two organizations together to form Quickservice Technologies.

The name wasn’t the only thing Mr. Turner changed about the company. “When I bought the company in 2003, we were a pure hardware distributor,” he recalls. Over the next ten years, the team expanded the business’ focus to include software and services. The shift was in response to a change in the way that companies are purchasing their equipment. “One of the things that is happening within our industry today is that customers are starting to move toward buying hardware directly,” Mr. Turner explains.

But, as the adage goes, where one door shuts, another one opens. “In the past year or two, [many] customers have come to us and said that they would like to buy the hardware directly, but that they would like us to service and support the equipment. That is a different business model, but it is one that we’ve adapted our business to because I think that’s going to be the model that most, if not all customers, will be following over the next five years.”

Quickservice Technologies still offers an exhaustive list of hardware, but the team is prepared to phase out that aspect of the business in order to stay ahead of a rapidly evolving industry. “We’ve had to adapt certain parts of our business to be successful,” Mr. Turner points out. “And if we weren’t adaptable, I think that our business would not be successful four or five years from now. Things are changing and you have to adapt to that or you are not going to be successful.”

The company purchased a software company in 2006, when the team first saw the writing on the wall. The software firm specialized in software design for cash register systems and was on the leading edge of the switchover from traditional systems to touch screen systems. “We bought this company to give us a strategic advantage with our existing accounts, to enable us to customize the solutions that we were selling as much as we could,” Mr. Turner explains. “And we have been very successful with that.”

Quickservice Technologies’ new software focus is paying off; the company already boasts several proprietary products that are sure to become must-haves for the industry. IQTouch is one of the newest. The flagship POS product required years of development and testing and represents a major step forward in POS technology for quick serve and fast casual restaurants. The software is specially designed to be fully scalable so it can accommodate businesses of any size and scope. “It is very, very flexible,” Mr. Turner shares. “It adapts to any fast food environment. Companies that have very different menus can still use this product because it enables you to build different screens from customer to customer.”

IQTouch is also user friendly. Meeting customer needs in a fast paced environment is demanding enough without having to deal with complicated technology. Therefore, the software has been carefully designed to be easy to use – even for the tech-challenged. “No more hours of training for staff or managers before being able to use the registers and no need for hefty manuals to reference simple functions like price changes, menu additions or time-clock edits!” says the company.

IQStealth is another innovative Quickservice Technologies product. The software shares important information with the team, allowing them to provide superior service. “It is designed to pass data back to us on what is happening with the system,” Mr. Turner explains. “The point of the application is to enable us to be much more proactive on the service side.” Oftentimes, IQStealth will catch a problem before the customer even notices it. “The customer won’t even be aware because we are getting real time alerts. We can fix the problem without them even getting involved.” For instance, IQStealth monitors the cash register’s temperature to determine if it is at risk of shutting down. “A cash register typically runs between 40 to 50 degrees Celsius,” Mr. Turner explains. “If it is running at 70 degrees Celsius… it is an indicator that the temperature’s rising and at some point that cash register will fail.”

By constantly monitoring the system, Quickservice Technologies can catch – and resolve – a problem before it affects the customer’s business. “We want to be as proactive as we can [to] keep the customer up and running,” Mr. Turner explains. “You don’t want the system to be down, because every minute that goes by with the system down, the customer is potentially losing revenue. You want to prevent that as much as you can.” In fact, Quickservice Technologies keeps this goal in mind when developing all of its software. “We try to develop as many solutions around being proactive as we can,” Mr. Turner remarks. “It’s all about the customer and what they need.”

Quickservice Technologies is also turning its attention toward security systems. “We are going to have a big focus on security over the next two to three years,” Mr. Turner predicts. The company already supplies security systems, but the team sees huge potential for increasing sales in the near future. In response, Quickservice Technologies has recently purchased a security reporting company. “We are integrating that reporting solution into the hardware that we sell,” Mr. Turner reports. As a result, Quickservice Technologies is able to add more value to its standard security solutions.

The company’s security solutions are designed to prevent theft, of course, but they also provide some very important additional support. For example, a Quickservice Technologies security solution can report customer wait times or monitor staff to ensure that they are following operational procedures. “The things that we are bringing to the table on the security side go beyond what most people think of when they think of security,” Mr. Turner points out. Ensuring that staff are following procedure, or that customer wait time is reduced, can have a positive effect on an operation’s bottom line. “It is not just a case of preventing loss, but actually creating situations where they can improve their business,” Mr. Turner insists.

The team makes it a point to provide service themselves, rather than outsourcing it. Quickservice Technologies has built an extensive infrastructure across Canada and the U.S., giving the company the ability to use its own technicians at thousands of locations. “We have technicians across the country, and into the U.S., that are directly supporting the restaurants that we service. Of all the restaurants that we support today, in excess of 95 percent are direct served by Quickservice Technologies employees. We are on the ground at the restaurants, and I think that has been one of the reasons that we have been so successful over the years. We find that there is much more control if we have our own employees doing the work.”

The quick serve and fast casual restaurant industry has experienced some key changes in recent years, from cash register and security technology to the way that hardware is purchased. The Quickservice Technologies team has had to stay on their toes to remain ahead. By anticipating the direction that the industry is headed – and acting on it – the company has become a market leader throughout North America. And this is only the beginning; the team is ready to continue adapting to the marketplace in order to develop even more of the industry’s most relevant solutions.

Fore more information about Quickservice Technologies, please visit http://www.quickservice.com/

March 20, 2018, 9:40 AM EDT

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