Growing with Coletta & Tyson

Coletta & Tyson are a modern success story with strong roots that started over 70 years ago in the allotments and grocery shops of Hull.

A true family business developed in the early 1920’s with John Coletta growing tomatoes, chrysanths, bedding plants and other items, to sell in their six grocers’ shops.

Meanwhile, Brian Tyson was also growing up in Hull, playing rugby league for Hull Kingston Rovers and Great Britain during the 1960’s. In 1962 he married John Coletta’s daughter Barbara and started helping in the family business at the allotments.

By 1964 they had 40 allotments and the opportunity came up to buy the Market Garden in Hull. They jumped at the chance and the Coletta & Tyson Garden Centre was born.

Today, Brian and Barbara’s sons John and Paul run the business. They have over 400 acres of wholesale nurseries and the garden centre in Hull. Most of the plants for sale in the Garden Centre are grown in their own nurseries.

They are always striving to be the best they possibly can for their customers. Constantly looking to make improvements to their service levels. To help maintain their standards they are members of both the Garden Centre Association (GCA) and the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA).

They have a huge passion for what they do and have already grown their business to 10 times its original size. Also having added garden furniture, gifts, an award-winning pet shop and a café to their offering.

In 2004, they started working with Fidelity Systems to make the change from manual processes and cash tills, to a complete electronic point of sale (EPoS) system that could grow with their business.

Over those 15 years, Coletta & Tyson have benefitted from all the latest developments in EPoS across their retail and hospitality operations, to support them in becoming the business they are today.

Paul Tyson says “Since Coletta & Tyson’s first day, Fidelity Systems has supported our successful growth and development with an adaptable system which continues to evolve in line with our needs.”

Having a well-established technology partner has enabled Coletta & Tyson to make huge strides in customer service and process improvement.

Using the real-time sales and stock data they have at their fingertips, they can quickly tailor promotions and product placement. They have also streamlined their processes, taking lots of manual tasks out of day to day roles. This has all meant an increase in profitability and customer experience.

By ringfencing the different operations within the garden centre, they have been able to customise the EPoS terminals in each department. This has improved usability and reduced queuing times. They can also report by department, allowing managers to access their own data and have trackable targets.

With the vast amount of product ranges in the garden centre, product and price labelling was a very labour-intensive process. With the Fidelity EPoS system, they have been able to use the integrated barcode label and shelf edge label printing function.

With the success of this feature, Coletta & Tyson are now exploring the new electronic shelf labelling options to improve and automate this process even further.

With the family values of the business, customer loyalty has always been taken very seriously. They started this process with a text messaging service to let people know when they were giving away free, end of season plants. This has now developed into a full loyalty scheme using the EPoS system.

The data generated by the integrated loyalty feature gives Coletta & Tyson valuable category insight to base promotions, stock and staffing requirements on. The scheme uses branded cards to award points to customers at the point of checkout – across the whole garden centre. They have been able to define exactly how they wanted their scheme to run and use a set of intelligent filters to get truly valuable data to drive business growth.

The launch of The Old Glasshouse to replace the Oasis Café in 2018, saw the introduction of some more great steps forward in customer service. The old café set up had a standard ‘order and pre-pay at the till’ set up. This was fine from a business process point of view but wasn’t delivering for the customer with long queuing times at peak hours and disgruntled visitors.

When the Old Glasshouse was in development, Coletta & Tyson consulted Fidelity Systems to get the best possible solution for improved customer experience and business performance. Their new offering now has table ordering and payment service, giving the customers a more restaurant and less cafeteria feel.

They are using a full Kitchen Management Solution to great effect. Once an order is placed at a customer’s table on a tablet, the order is split into ‘kitchen’ and ‘barista station’. The drinks order instantly goes to the barista station to be prepared. Whilst the food order appears immediately on the order screen in the kitchen.

This has improved order processing times and has vastly decreased customer waiting times. It has also reduced the number of visits to each table because the tablet ordering system flags up prompts like allergens and number of dishes left. And can capture notes for the kitchen like ‘no onions’, ‘ice cream not cream’ or what condiments they would like.

Using this system also gives for full reporting on order processing times, items ordered, trends, promotions and stock levels. This has proved to be really powerful data to help the continuous improvement of The Old Glasshouse service levels.

The Old Glasshouse has gone from strength to strength, seeing an increase in turnover and vast improvements in customer experience.

To explore how Fidelity could support your business, get in touch here.

Posted in Garden Centres on Sep 16, 2019

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