Quality Is Better Than Chocolate

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

Our guest put down his pen beside his folder and began…

Well done to everyone; you really do have a world-class business here.

… and with those words still ringing in my ears, I looked across the table and could see the anxious look lift from each of my managers’ faces; replaced with expressions of joy and genuine pride.

We’d finally done it. After months of hard work, we had just been awarded ISO 9001:2015 status by our independent quality auditor. It was a great day and will remain, forever, a special moment in my career.

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Solution

You see, we have been working towards this goal for a while. It is of huge significance for us, our existing customers and those businesses we may be lucky enough to serve in the future.

As an EPOS company, we occupy an arena that is awash with acronyms and ‘buzz-words’. Words and phrases like ‘disruptive’, ‘cutting-edge’ and ‘bleeding-edge technology’ are too often used to convince businesses that they are getting the latest, greatest, thing and that they are soon to be the proverbial, ‘cool kids on the block’.

The problem is that occasionally these ‘attributes’ have an operational cost for the consumer; and in an effort to be first to market, can sometimes come at the expense of arguably more valuable and practical considerations; things like reliability and usability can fall by the wayside.

Whilst we absolutely celebrate anyone who looks to evolve and improve things for themselves and for the good of their customers; unless that effort is underpinned with high regard for, and attention to, quality and consistency of delivery, then some of you may well be in for a bumpy ride!

Technology Evolution

We ourselves are in a continual state of evolution; setting The EPOS Bureau apart from other EPOS companies by working towards this worldwide quality standard is something we’ve felt very strongly about for some time.

Let’s get real though for a second… Having started this business, some 22 years ago, I also know the harsh reality of having to be all things to all people when you are starting out; salesperson, financial controller, technical expert, marketing guru and the rest!

In reality, it was not at all easy and, in truth, life two decades ago was as much about keeping all the plates spinning as it was about following due process and ticking every single box all of the time.

That said, I have always held quality and process in very high personal regard and, even though things were challenging in the early days, I knew that to scale the business up I needed to make sure that the ‘outputs’ had to meet high standards if we were to gain a reputation for being the ‘go-to’ business for EPOS / till systems.

It turns out that this was easier said than done, though. As people joined the business at the start, I quickly realised that sometimes my personal views on the importance of procedures and processes would not always be shared, to the same extent, by each new recruit.

I vividly recall several early conversations where individuals tried, in vain, to convince me that the software, marketing, or whatever, was ‘good enough’ and there really was no need to follow all those steps and fill out all those forms, all of the time. It made for a few awkward silences back then at times but I confess, I have never been much of a ‘corner-cutter’ even when I was at my busiest at 3 am and desperately craving sleep.

You see, in my 'book', it had to be right, all the time, every time and so back then I decided that I would spend more of my time demonstrating to our people why quality should matter to everyone.

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

William A. Foster

Over the 15 years that followed, our team has grown and evolved and people can now see what a wider, quality-centric vision enables us to achieve.

During that time, we’ve recruited specifically for ‘Quality Systems’ personnel and made a conscious effort to integrate formal procedures and process into the business. At the same time, we’ve taken every opportunity possible to show our team, practically, why having high regard for quality and consistency enables them all to enjoy their jobs so much more.

Innovative EPOS Solutions Farm Shops

In our support department, team members now have more engaging relationships with our customers and colleagues; have uninterrupted time off work during holidays by ensuring work logs and notes are all completed appropriately and ensuring that knowledge is spread across teams rather than being filed in any one person’s head.

We can better see which customers are in need of more support, sooner, and plan for improved internal and external training sessions thanks to rock-solid data telling us which aspects of our offering may warrant more attention.

In our development department, our engineers are enabled to work on new technology, features and functions, keeping our offering relevant and ahead in the market.

Project scheduling is easier as we track effort and our testing processes allow us to release new products smoothly, with increased frequency and to increased public acclaim. Our reputation for invention and reliability has grown significantly over the past 20 years.

Our sales and projects teams are capturing requirements fully on the front end and we continue to work tirelessly to ensure a well-rounded, customer-focused, approach to project requirements and delivery schedules.

In our finance and admin departments, we have appropriate controls to safeguard our customer and our business interests and these have also allowed us to monitor the performance of key supply chains on a regular basis.

You see, unlike your favourite chocolate treat of choice, we were ultimately aiming for something which would last for the long-term whilst bringing benefit and satisfaction to everyone; our goal to achieve and maintain a quality standard has all been much more than just a passing fancy.

Everyone now enjoys security, resilience, reliability and consistency. Quality really is better than chocolate!

Friday 18th January 2019 saw a formal recognition of our work over the past decades become reality amidst smiling faces, hugs and handshakes.

Quality System ISO9001:2015

That night I went home, poured myself a measure from a bottle of single-malt whiskey I was holding back for a special occasion and I reminisced over how far we’ve come on some of those very early ‘it’ll be good enough’ differences of opinion.

It can be over-used as a phrase (in my humble opinion) but I can say, hand-on-heart, achieving this quality standard genuinely has been a terrific ‘team-effort’.

So what next?

Well, this initial audit was just the beginning of our formal ISO 9001:2015 quality standard journey. We now seek to adapt and improve what we’ve established thus far. We are independently audited on a regular basis and must continue to ensure that there is no resting on our laurels!

From a very selfish perspective, I hope that if you are reading this as a customer that you have a positive sense of our commitment to you. I also want to take the opportunity to personally, and sincerely, thank you for your support.

My father once said to me, “Son, always look after the people who look after you…”, so as a customer, it may interest you to read this.

It is something we use in our business, every day, to keep us focused on the people that matter.

The EPOS Bureau: Customer Commitment

In every interaction with our clients, we want them to know that they are working with a real person who genuinely cares about the success of their business. We want them to value our level of commitment to building a relationship and educating them in ways to improve their EPOS systems and reduce stress.

We believe that our clients have a tremendous amount of trust for us as we become an integral part of their operations and we will share in their excitement when they see the results of the services that we provide.

We hope, through providing consistency and high quality in our products and service, that our customers will say, ‘These people are amazing...’ and become advocates of The EPOS Bureau and evangelists of our brand.
Nigel Bogle - Chief Executive - The EPOS Bureau

If you are reading this as someone who is thinking of becoming a customer, then, obviously, we want you to know how much emphasis we place on doing our very best whilst trying to continually surpass our own high, self-set, standards.

Remember, retail is continually evolving and each year businesses, from all over the world, invest thousands of pounds in EPOS solutions to help improve profitability and efficiency.

Buying a solution for the here and now on the basis of things like budget alone whilst setting aside product and service quality is a very risky strategy.

All EPOS companies are not created equally and there is more to a proposal than price alone.

Ultimately, we hope that our certification and attitude to the values expressed in this post will serve as reassurance to anyone working with us now or in the future; that it will give you confidence in making your investment with us; no matter how big or small.

Finally, to anyone reading this who is following a similar path. It may be tough along the road at times, but know this…

You are absolutely doing the right thing by yourself, your customers and your business. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Best of luck on your journey to success.


Nigel Bogle

Nigel Bogle

Chief Executive

Nigel is the founder and current CEO of The EPOS Bureau. He has over 20 years' experience in providing technology solutions to the retail sector and is a practising software architect, course lecturer and public speaker. In 2012 he was awarded a Royal Warrant from H.M. The Queen for services to Windsor Estate.

Great minds think alike.

Let’s put our heads together for a win-win partnership that benefits your business and ours.
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