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London Tech Week: Preoday debate in review

London Tech Week: Preoday debate in review

London Tech Week: Preoday debate in review

For a complete write up of our London Tech Week event, download the event whitepaper here.

During London Tech Week tens if not hundreds of events took place with visitors travelling across the country and across waters to attend. We should know; our own panel discussion attracted guests from as far away as Australia and Lithuania!

The panel represented a spectrum of digital ordering technology suppliers: our CEO, Nick Hucker was joined by Tom Bell, CEO of cloud EPOS provider, Centegra, and Andy Wray, vice President – Marketing & Growth, YoYo Wallet. Balancing the technology providers was Dan Houghton, Co-Founder & Burrito Mathematician at Chilango, a Mexican restaurant chain billed as one of the best in London.

Having enjoyed a fantastic discussion on the integrations and innovations necessary for ordering success, we would like to share a few salient points with you.

Are integrations necessary for ordering success?
Kicking off with the question of whether integrations are necessary for success, everyone agreed that, for a number of reasons, they are. There is no ‘jack of all trades’ company yet able to offer the range of services and technology that can’t better be sourced by handpicking ‘best in industry’ companies to work together.

The consumer is spoilt by thousands of apps and access to technology, so if a company works with just one supplier, it risks presenting the customer with a less-than-perfect product, and that’s no good. When an operator is trying to offer customers the best food, their technology efforts must match.

As Nick pointed out, the challenge comes in knowing who the best in breed companies are within each technology space. A lot of suppliers have gone to the wall in recent years. You don’t want to invest in a partner and then suddenly find you’ve got to do it all over again.

How should integrations be managed?
The panel was asked how best to manage large integration projects, and Centegra’s Tom Bell pointed out that the toughest part is finding the right set of partners to work with. While it can be very difficult to work with some companies due to the setup of their APIs, it can be very easy to work with others. The difference, he claimed, is massive and can easily impact project budget. The best technology partners understand the boundaries of what each is trying to achieve and understands their role within the larger plan.

What makes an ordering integration a success?
And what exactly is it that makes an ordering integration a success? Two points came to the fore. The first being when operations are effectively adapted. Staff need to know exactly what’s available to customers and how their operations need to evolve. What no-one wants is for a customer to order a coffee, walk in-store and watch person after person go past and get served first.

The second point focused on marketing. Nick argued that, unless you push an app and market it, month-on-month, the technology won’t work. Operators have been known to launch an app with a bang and then leave it, expecting it to continue generating volume. It’s not that simple, marketing must continue and be an ongoing process.

YoYo’s Andy Wray furthered this by saying that companies have a tendency towards vanity marketing, but he believes the critical element is to market the service through the cashier. They are your operational cornerstone, your marketing cornerstone and your customer engagement cornerstone. While it’s great to have TV commercials and billboards, that’s not something you can make use of in-store at little-to-no cost.

Of course this represents just a snippet of the London Tech Week debate that took place. Click here for a full write-up and, if you have an opinion on the subjects discussed, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your views.

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