The best response I received to Sudipe Lekhi’s plea was from Dawn Prewett, who runs Oakleys Spar in Wiltshire. She wrote: “I would like to recommend MSP Systems of Borehamwood.”

Dawn joined Spar four years ago. However, she adds: “We already had our epos system and did not want to change it as the service we received from MSP was beyond any I had previously received. (We used to be with YP Electronics - I think they were taken over by P&H).

“Their help desk is in India but they will set you up with Skype. Whenever I have had a problem it has been resolved very quickly. If you are new to them, they do everything to help you. The amount of reports are vast so you can have as much or as little information as you wish from this system.

“When I joined Spar, MSP liaised with them to find a solution that enabled me to link up for ordering etc. I rebuilt a second shop nearly three years ago and have taken a second system with them for these premises. I cannot speak highly enough of them.”

She adds a PS. “They also do a workshop at their head office which enables new people to try to make the most from the system.”

Regular correspondent Hitendra Patel, who runs a Costcutter in Harold Hill, North-east London, recommends 3R Telecom, even though he doesn’t use their system himself. He bases this on their top-up machine, which he does use, and the word of mouth from his network of retailers.

I, too, have heard good things about 3R which was launched in 2001 by three ex-independent retailers.

Then there were the not-so-great experiences. Gary Pilsworth got in touch from Great Offley Stores & Post Office in Hertfordshire.

He had trouble with Connolly’s Systems a few years ago. He had a problem after a few months, rang them only to discover that they were no longer in business. He cast around for another supplier, rang them only to find that it was the same company under a different name. It didn’t inspire confidence.

And by the way, Gary is looking for some racking/shelving. Recommendations anyone?