Compare the Cloud has been interviewing cloud experts and learning about their companies and today the spotlight is on KRCS, a retailer and Apple expert partner. We sat down with Philip Woods, Director at KRCS Group, to find out a bit more about his business.

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Tell us about yourself and your experience in the cloud computing industry?

KRCS has worked with all sizes of business and educational establishments since 1983, but our work in recent years with larger organisations has shown us that a move to cloud based services on mobile technologies has a huge impact on productivity.  At the start of 2015 we identified that smaller businesses can really struggle with the migration to cloud technologies, particularly the early stages of the process that involve transferring from traditional infrastructure products.  It can be daunting for businesses without in house IT knowledge.

Who are KRCS and what is your differentiator in a crowded ERP market?

KRCS is a retailer and an Apple expert partner. Our expertise stretches to cloud based POS solutions like Vend.

We take a long term consultative approach to our business relationships with retailers, and we genuinely feel like we offer a unique perspective on their challenges.  A successful business relationship for KRCS is primarily based upon the success for our customers. We will do everything we can to share the knowledge that we’ve built up over 15 years trading as an Apple retailer to assist in any area of a retailer’s business, not just POS.

What countries have KRCS deployed into?

KRCS has only worked with UK based retailers, and primarily those in and around our home territories, particularly the Midlands and north of England.

What are the development plans for VEND KRCS?

One of our key USPs as a Vend expert is that we’re local to our customers.  A significant development plan for the rest of 2016 is to expand our agenda of retailer ‘meet up’ events in our stores. We are planning to run one per month as a showcase for what’s new in the world of Vend, but also as a general business networking event for like-minded local business owners.

Where did the name KRCS originate from?

KRCS was initially registered as KR Computer Services in 1983.  K and R refer to the christian name initials of our two founders and Directors, Ken Woods and Rod Bishop.

What are the trends your organisation is noticing within the marketplace?

Currently the trend is towards subscription-based cloud solutions that don’t require a huge upfront investment. We are also seeing a genuine desire from retailers to make their solution scalable. All start up retailers have a dream of owning multiple stores one day, and thanks to cloud solutions like Vend they are able to work towards this goal from day one. In this way their operation can scale seamlessly as their business grows.

How do you intend to attract new customers onto your platform?

The answer to this question could be a lengthy one, so I’ll just mention a few key points:

  • We offer a complete range of advanced cloud-based solutions for retailers, including Vend for POS, Deputy for Staff scheduling and Xero for accounts and payroll
  • We specialise in supplying and servicing iPads, the best platform to run these systems on
  • We aim to exceed every single one of our customers’ expectations, and when people receive excellent service, they tend to tell both their friends and their business allies
  • We don’t try and flood the market with pointless marketing messages. We keep it personal!

A question we ask everyone: “What is your definition of cloud computing?”

Cloud computing is a software solution that’s available from anywhere with an internet connection.  The definition then splits into two, because larger organisations may actually host the system in house, while for smaller businesses instead access the software remotely on a securely managed shared server platform to ensure low cost and high reliability.

Tell us what your average day entails?

I’m a Director of an SME, so no day is average.  My day can involve planning for a significant new business venture, like our relationship with Vend, or trying to find an emergency technician to open a failed security shutter.

Who is the team behind the KRCS Group?

KRCS is essentially a family run business.  My father (Ken Woods) is our Managing Director and still actively involved in the business on a daily basis.  My brother (Robert) and I effectively run the operational side of our businesses, but our senior leadership team includes four people without the Woods surname, so we can ensure an independent opinion is heard.

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And finally if you could change one thing within the cloud computing industry what would it be?

I think it would be the vast array of solutions seemingly available to do the same thing.  In time I hope that the market rationalises, but right now it’s a nightmare for owners looking to navigate to the right solution for their business, as independent advice like ours is very hard to come by.

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Philip Woods, Director, KRCS Group
Philip Woods is a Director of KRCS Group, an Apple Solutions Expert company. The KRCS Group works closely with businesses that wish to benefit from cloud based systems and revolutionise their expansion plans. Built for iOS and iPads, KRCS's Vend system enables retailers to accept payments from anywhere, sell in-store and online, manage their inventory, reward customer loyalty, and report on their business in real-time. The company works with 15,000 forward-thinking retailers around the world, from owner-operated businesses to large multi-outlets.
Philip is also a Huffington Post blogger who regularly contributes to current issues involving technology and business.