Millers Music are “Retailer of the Month”

Millers Music are the current Music Industries Association Retailer of the Month, and our software is music to the ears of Miller’s present Managing Director and owner, Barry Robinson…

Miller’s Music in Cambridge may be the second oldest music retailer in the UK – they date back to 1856 – but they certainly have their fingers on the pulse of technology. In the early years, Miller’s Music were leaders in new technology selling early gramophones and the cylinders for them. They produced the first truly portable gramophones which were sold in their hundreds to the forces for use in the trenches during the First World War. Over one hundred pipe organs were made in Millers’ own factory and many are still giving good service today.

After The Second World War, the company was sold by the Miller family and was bought back only in 1953. By this time, the company was retailing all musical instruments and was a leader in the new field of electronic entertainment. It was also a leader in the new field of electric organs and was also selling a wide range of record players, records, radios and televisions. The link with television went right back to the early days when Millers exhibited the first working television in Cambridge! Today the £3-million turnover company employs the latest state-of-the-art retail software from Cromwell Business Systems to help it run smoothly. And has done for the past 30 years…

In fact Millers were Cromwell’s very first customers before they even registered with Companies House. Miller’s present Managing Director and owner, Barry Robinson – and the great, great grandson of the founder, Albert Tubelcain Miller – was running a Pick system at the time. And it was giving him and all the other users a big headache. Along came an IT expert who offered help and eventually even loaned his son to learn the business. And so Cromwell Business Systems was born. As was Open-Retail, the successor to the previous disastrous Q-Retail Miller’s were running. In those days Millers sold AV equipment and Cromwell went on to become the number one software specialist in that market place. However, Barry continued with the system even when his business went “music’ only in 1996.

Says Barry: “Cromwell has a well tried credit and rental system and the stock control is excellent too and provides all we need”. Millers have ‘several thousand’ rental and hire purchase accounts and says Barry: “I don’t know of any other system which offers credit management.” Open-Retail can set up Direct Debits without the Bank’s involvement which cuts down on paperwork and postage; involves less mistakes – not least on the Bank’s side; releases staff to do other things; provides faster option than Bankers Orders; and provides faster debt information. So while Millers’ origins are in the past, they are very much up to speed on technology to run their business more efficiently. And on a more down to earth note they know exactly where their business is at any given time. Says Barry: “By being able to get management accounts I can find out exactly how we are doing in any given area. And in these difficult times, this is particularly important.”