Case Study
Sun Communities


The history

Sun Communities has a range of communities and sites that total 170 parks in 141 cities across the USA and Canada.

These are made up of Retirement Homes, RV Parks and Holiday Parks.
Each park can have a broad range of facilities that can include Bars, Dine in Restaurants, Quick Service Restaurants, Pool Bars and Grills as well as mobile stations.

A range of EPOS systems can be operated in each park, the bulk of which are all the NCR Silver POS systems, but there are others that have been inherited from park acquisitions. As not all individual parks are run by Sun Communities themselves but by subcontractors to local providers they can bring their own POS system to a site.

Originally Sun Communities used another provider for their NCR Silver EPOS, but when that provider discontinued their relationship with Sun Communities, NCR who we have an established partnership with, gave the contract to Centegra.

In total we work with 163 outlets, which can be a bar, restaurant or similar.

The Process

During the process of transition, we encountered several issues:
1. All parks were set up as single sites
To change the price of an item a user would have to login to each park’s system, change the price and manually make additions and corrections.
A huge knock on effect for this was NCR having to provide a special login for Sun Communities that allowed them easy access to multiple parks, something that was a pain for NCR and a pain for Sun Communities and becoming a frustration for all.

Since local park staff had access to the system they could add and change items reducing overall company control over the systems.

There was also a lack of consistency between each park’s products. For example, in Park A, a product could be named with a unique ID and in Park B the same product would be named slightly differently and have a different unique ID.
2. They had a complicated system to manage the reporting from each park
They used a third party system to get the reporting they needed from the parks into their accounting package - this was hard to setup, difficult to maintain as each park was making changes to products etc and the technical support was poor.
3. They wanted to offer click and collect
Not usually seen as a challenge, but an opportunity, the desire to offer click and collect to enable each guest to order items from anywhere on the park and collect from the nearest outlet presented problems for Sun Communities. NCR couldn’t support this and so they were stuck wanting to find a solution they needed to facilitate.
4. Kitchen Production and Central Kitchens
Sun Communities wanted to produce items with a kitchen automation system, but the NCR off the shelf product didn’t meet their needs. The company also wanted to produce food in a central kitchen and deliver straight to the guest’s location, but NCR couldn’t accommodate this.
5. Levels of Service
Their existing provider was not an expert in NCR Silver and didn’t give them good levels of support, meaning when there was an issue, it quickly became business impacting.
6. Tip Management
The USA has a tipping culture, but these tips were poorly manged by NCR and were inflexible to requirements. As tips are paid in cash this created a problem with tips paid out being more than the cash coming in as customers frequently use cards. At this time, Sun Communities couldn’t facilitate tips being paid in cash.

The Result 

We worked to resolve these issues and overcame the challenges that Sun Communities was facing.

We implemented ONE system for all Parks, with one login and one shared product list. This gave us one product name with one unique ID irrespective of what park it was sold in. We also implemented a ‘cookie cutter’ approach to setting up the stores, so one store could be copied from one to another and then local changes applied. This gave them complete control over the setup. They now have one login where they can see all parks and stores. This solved the problem of needing a special login access from NCR, reducing the work on NCR’s side too. We control the setup from the one login so that as the parks don’t need to have access to the product setup, consistency and control are established as a result.

We installed our cloud-based hospitality tech solution Centegra Plus. This allows the staff in store to see all the data and reports they need and therefore don’t need access to the NCR Silver Back-office system. This not only gives the staff what they need but it also gives HQ a single place to report on all parks and stores. It also enabled each Park to be a Site and each Store to be a Location within that site. Now they can report by park and/or by location. We also created a file for their accounts department, making the presentation of numbers to the accounts consistent, removing the complicated setup and allowing them to fix their own issues if a new product was added.

We introduced them to three potential click and collect partners and they chose QikServe. This was ideal because Centegra Plus has a live and fully functioning integration with QikServe, so this has been up and running quickly.

We implemented the Centegra KMS Kitchen Management Solution, allowing them to implement central production units and to direct production from the QikServe ordering and the tills into one consolidated kitchen production unit.

We offer high levels of service and since we’re experts in NCR Silver we are able to plan, consult and advise on the setup, assist with the deployment and configuration and integrate help desk systems. With our operational support we’re always on hand to ensure the system is continuing to adapt and grow as the requirements change.

We provided Sun Communities with a few options on a solution which was either the cash management module or being able to pay tips with the payroll. They opted to pay for tips via payroll. We also wrote specific codes for them to enable this and to export a list of the clerks and staff and their tips on a daily basis. This could be consumed by their accounts department and solved this issue for them.

What Sun Communities Says

Dave Willner – National Director of Food and Beverage
Sun Communities Inc
“Since we implemented Centegra Plus we’ve been able to consolidate NCR Silver POS and Click and Collect into our automated kitchens, giving us complete control and reportability across all our parks.

Working with the team at Centegra has transformed our operations and enabled us to continually improve the entire guest experience. More importantly it has enabled complete enterprise control and reporting and reduced the internally work required to manage a disparate and complex network of venues.”