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Spares News From FT466

21/02/2020

I will start by confirming that VSL is now temporarily closed in line with our announcement in the last FT.

For the future our overriding objective is to improve our service to the membership and ease the lot of the VSL volunteers. Following discussions between VSL and the VOC Executive it has been decided that VSL will implement an online shop. A suitable application has been identified and demonstrated to us by Tom Roche and the VOC will assist VSL in implementing the new system and with its ongoing support.

The main advantages for VSLís customers will be that ordering online will simplify the process and remove the requirement to register card details and then email order forms to us. Payment options will include PayPal.

Equally, there are advantages to VSL in operating an online shop as a significant part of the work we do on Mail Days would disappear. Currently, we type part numbers and quantities from an order into a computer to produce an invoice which is then printed, and then we type card numbers and other details into our credit card reader in order to take payment. Sometimes there is a problem with the order or payment so we have to attempt to contact the customer in order to resolve it. This is all very time consuming but will be unnecessary with an online system.

Such a system represents a huge change for VSL management and its operations and will require significant initial effort to implement. We will also have to replace most of our ageing computer and network infrastructure and retrain our volunteers. Iím sure you will appreciate that this cannot happen overnight.

In regard to staff, with the help of Bill Greenwood we have had an excellent response to our call for new volunteers. Some have already done a shift or two on Mail Days at Huncote and we are encouraged by how well they have done.

Just about every club member I have spoken to recently wants to know when VSL will reopen for business but unfortunately at the time of writing I am unable to give a definitive answer. There is a great deal to do and much to learn. Having said that, with the help of VOC, we are doing all we can to make it happen and we have already made progress. All I can say now is that we are very aware of the urgency and that we are working hard towards our goal. With VOC help and support we will re-open with an improved service as soon as we possibly can. Watch this space!

Spares News From FT465

06/01/2020

In the light of our current staffing problems and in order to put in place an improved service for club members VSL will be closing temporarily from January 24th. The last Mail Day therefore will be 23rd January and orders must be received by Wednesday 22nd at the latest for processing. Please do not send any mail or e-orders after 22nd January.

We apologise for the loss of service while this work is in progress and hope that your forbearance will be rewarded in due course. Progress will be reported in Fishtail and in the meantime, we will post any significant updates on this website.

The response to our request for new volunteers has been encouraging but we still need additional help. So, if you are local to Huncote and feel able to give some of your spare time then please call Peter Pares (his number is in FT464) to find out more if you would like to help.

We would like to assure you of our continued commitment to VSL and wish you a happy and healthy 2020.


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