Heath Village Increases Revenue, Productivity and Competitive Edge with an Automated OpenEdge-based POS System from CARDWATCH

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Heath Village sought to improve its ability to track and manage sales in order to support new dining options and services for residents, employees and guests.


The facility chose the CARDWATCH POS point of sales system, based on the Progress OpenEdge platform, to track and manage sales in its formal dining room, café, gift shop and beauty salon and the company will soon extend use of CARDWATCH to three new restaurants.


By automating the point of sales process, Heath Village has increased sales by 25%; significantly improved employee productivity by automating 15,000 transactions a month that were once performed manually - reducing at least one full time employee (FTE); and improved inventory management.

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There are now more Americans age 65 and older than at any other time in U.S. history. In fact, approximately 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, and experts expect the retirement population to soar over the next two decades. This change is transforming the idea of the retirement community. Residents and prospects have high expectations as well as lots of options. Consequently, today’s retirement communities are moving away from traditional services and embracing more exciting and attractive options to draw and retain residents.

Heath Village is an example of a retirement community that is continuously evolving its facility and services to meet the needs and wants of its customers. Located on over 100 acres in Hackettstown, NJ, Heath Village is a non-profit, full service retirement community, offering a choice of lifestyle options, first-rate amenities, numerous social opportunities and the security of comprehensive health care services on-site.

Tony Puccio, Controller at Heath Village, says as with any community, residents’ needs and preferences have changed over time.  “We used to have just one formal dining room where all meals were served. But times have changed. While some residents still like the experience of a more formal environment where they can take their time and be waited on, others wanted a quicker, self-service option. So we decided to split the dining room into two venues – a formal dining room and an informal café.”

It was this move that prompted Heath Village to look at a POS system. Previously, the organization relied on an entirely manual process for tracking meals in the dining room. Because the menu has a fixed price, the host or hostess only needed to keep track of which residents showed up for certain meals. At the end of the month, an employee would manually tally up the numbers and send the raw data down to the business office where the information would be inputted into the accounting system and the resident would be billed.

Aside from the inefficiency of this system, the process also left a large margin for error. “We know mistakes were being made and not every meal was being tracked. I anticipate we were only capturing about 75% of all meals served. That’s a major discrepancy that had a direct impact on our bottom line,” says Puccio.  “A café would add an entirely new level of complexity to the process – à la carte pricing, the ability for employees and guests to use the café, the introduction of swipe debit cards, and more. We needed a far more sophisticated way to track and manage the information.”


Heath Village looked at a number of software options, but found CARDWATCH POS was the best fit for their needs. “There are a lot of retail point of sales solutions out there. But the CARDWATCH system was a POS plus an entire meal plan management system,” says Puccio. “We also visited a facility using CARDWATCH and saw the application in action. It was impressive to see and the customer had great things to say about the software. That experience along with our own research and interaction with CARDWATCH gave us the confidence  we needed to move forward.”

Heath Village has relied on the CARDWATCH POS point of sales solution from Progress Application Partner CARDWATCH for over eight years. Based on Progress®  OpenEdge® , CARDWATCH POS is a Windows-based point of sale solution for Fine Dining, Quick-Serve Cafe, Retail and Services that are “purpose-built” for senior living environments. The system provides multi-company, multi-location, and terminal management in a graphical touch screen user environment to ensure easy, fast, yet comprehensive sales and account control.

Puccio says the on-premise implementation was smooth, taking just six days to get the system up and running  including all admin training. “The CARDWATCH POS, with the underlying Progress OpenEdge platform, is incredibly reliable; we have had zero downtime attributable to the software. The system requires minimal maintenance, so we don’t’ need to employ a database administrator. And the system is incredibly easy to use for our employees and volunteers – even those unfamiliar or uncomfortable with technology.”


Today, Heath Village is using CARDWATCH POS to track and manage all of the sales activity for its café. The café is a cashless system, but it is able to accommodate a variety of diners and payment options. For example, residents can use a key fob to have a meal deducted from their meal plan. If the resident is not on a meal plan, the system will automatically charge the sale to a bill that is paid at the end of the month. Residents, employees and guests can also use a pre-paid debit card at the café. And the system is able to automatically reflect variances, like an employee discount. CARDWATCH POS interfaces directly with Heath Village’s accounting system where billing is taken care of automatically.

The facility is also using CARDWATCH in the formal dining room. The CARDWATCH system automatically tracks meals as residents enter the dining room via their key fobs, recording the information, and automatically tracking it against their meal plan or charging the amount to their bill. And if a resident has exceeded their meal plan limit, the plan also tracks that information and bills the overage to the resident’s account.

“Since implementing CARDWATCH POS from Progress OpenEdge,  we have realized a significant improvement in meal tracking,” says Puccio. “We generate about $600,000 in meal sales each year. We are now capturing approximately 25% more meals than we did with our manual-based process which translates into a $150,000 increase in sales.”

Heath Village has extended the use of CARDWATCH POS beyond its dining facilities, relying on the system to manage sales in its gift shop and beauty salon. Similar to the formal dining facility, residents use the key fob in the salon to charge against their account. However, unlike the other facilities, the gift shop is not cashless. The CARDWATCH system is able to easily accommodate all payment methods, including cash, credit and the residents’ key fobs. “CARDWATCH has also drastically improved our inventory management process which has subsequently improved our sales,” says Puccio.  “We now have complete visibility into what is selling and what people want. So we know what items to stock and in what quantity, and we know what items to take off our shelves.”

The impact on employee productivity using CARDWATCH POS has been significant. With approximately 250 residents conducting on average two transactions per day (e.g. a meal or a purchase in the gift shop), Heath Village now automatically manages 15,000 transactions a month that were previously performed manually. “With CARDWATCH POS, our staff is no longer spending their time manually recording information, crunching numbers or inputting data into systems,” says Puccio. “Rather, all of those processes are managed automatically via the system. I estimate we have saved two full days per month by automating the month-end reporting process and saved at least one full time employee (FTE) due to the collective productivity savings we have realized across all areas of our business.”

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