MICROS Systems, Inc., a leading provider of information technology solutions for the hospitality and retail industries, is pleased to announce that Punch Taverns, one of the U.K.’s biggest pub companies, is now generating 21 percent of Punch sales through its B2B web portal developed by MICROS e-commerce subsidiary Snow Valley.

The Punch Buying Club online portal, which allows pubs to order beer and other supplies online, is part of a major strategic initiative that allows Punch to deliver greater value to the 5,000 pubs within its estate.

Using the portal, pubs can place scheduled online orders for beer and other supplies, receive targeted promotions based on pub type or location, view and manage an events calendar, share information on how to make their pubs a success, and access invoices and other financial account information.

Using the MICROS Snow Valley solution, several complex challenges were overcome. One of the biggest challenges for Punch was the delivery of online orders.

Each pub receives a scheduled delivery from a specified depot, which means that product availability within that depot, and the scheduled times and the routes that the driver will take, all needed to be taken into consideration during the online order process.

Promotions can also be targeted much more precisely through the online portal. Previously, Punch had to send one-size-fits-all paper bulletins about two-for-one offers and other discounts or rely on telephone calls. Promotions are dynamically served up online according to the pub’s profile, which means that the partners are more likely to take advantage of offers, thus increasing sales.

“Ultimately, what we have created is a B2B website that lets us have a dialogue with our partners,” says Kevin Dalley, head of business change at Punch Taverns. “Before we launched our online portal, ordering of supplies was done by telephone. With our new site, our partners can view online all of the products that are relevant to them, with all of the available promotions, as well as all of their account information, at any time of the day or night. Over 1,600 pubs within our estate are now using the portal and it is expanding every day. In fact, we see around 50 new pubs signing up every week.”

“The Punch online portal is a fantastic example of B2B e-commerce at its best,” says Sarah Lynch, development director at MICROS’s Snow Valley division. “It is generating money for Punch Taverns through increased sales and reduced operational costs, as well as tangibly improving the relationship between Punch and its partners. We are very proud to be contributing to the success of Punch Taverns.”

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