Point of Sale Software

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What happens is that someone follows a delivery vehicle, e.g. Australia Post, so they see when delivery is done. If the item is not collected immediately, they wait a few minutes. Then do a quick scan of the area to see if anyone is watching, grab the package and run.

What makes it easier is that with COVID, delivery drivers often no longer get signatures. They like to throw away the package. Then leave as soon as possible without contact with the people at the delivery point. As such, this is a simple endeavour. For whatever reason, a large percentage of these people are women, which is surprising.

This is called parcel theft.

Some common sense is required if you deliver. Let's face it, you are the one who has to prove that the item was delivered.

At the very least, try to avoid leaving items at the door. Put them in a secure spot, not in open view. Then take a photo of the item delivered.

You can then attach the photo to the invoice later in your POS software for your records.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Today touchscreens are now pretty much everywhere.

They help us interact with our computer more naturally with our fingers making them easier to use. After all, it is more natural to press the highlighted buttons on the computer. They also speed up tasks. You don't have to take their eyes off the screen and keyboard. This makes it faster to use.

I find the new models have one point: that it is no longer necessary to find vendor software to calibrate them. Today they now tend to use the native Windows utility; this was always a real headache. We had to keep a library of vendor disks in our software library in case some user had lost their driver disks and needed their monitors calibrated.

As Android moves more into Windows, we can expect to see the integration of touch screens into your computer increase.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Sometimes what happens is that for a short time, your POS System stops and starts up again.

Several things can cause this, but a common cause is often a cable being loose or deteriorated.

Loose

Here it is not out as such but only slightly loose. When something knocks it, it goes out for an instant. This is because retail shops are busy places. People are in a hurry and often over time move cables often as they add more cables.

Check that your cables are firmly into your POS devices and electrical plugs if this is happening to you.

Deteriorated

Many factors can cause a cable to deteriorate. 

Age can do it, but it is more likely to be something like moisture, people moving the cable, heat or rats. I have seen them all. Over time, the insulator that protects the wire then the wire becomes damaged. Once this happens, problems show. Then this can be very dangerous.

I find a helpful check here is a visual inspection of the cable and area. Rats leave black spots. Also, check for an offensive odour. 

If you think something is wrong here, you should replace the cable immediately.

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POS SOFTWARE

Since October 1, the federal government declared that it would increase its recovery loan plan for businesses. This scheme is to enable lenders to give more business owners financing. 

What the government will guarantee 80% of the loan up to $5 million with a limited or flexible interest rate. This is for a maximum term of 10 years. I know most of us want longer, but that is what they are giving.

Since then, we have been thinking of refinancing as interest rates are expected to go up, so it would be great if we could get it fixed. Plus like many of us, we have our pet projects to expand our businesses as the restrictions are being lifted. For example, I am keen to expand our cheap hardware sale with some large purchases. We are known for being cheap in hardware, and I would like to build on that with some large purchases. Let me know if you are interested in a group buy.

The other problem is the current supply chain interruptions because of this we all need more buffer stock. This will result in more inflation. Those of you that can remember the 70s will know how worrying inflation can be. 

Since it looks like a good offer by the government, I decided to tell my readers here. 

There are some conditions which I doubt would be a problem with many of our readers. 

-Have an annual turnover of fewer than 250 million dollars
-Have received payments from JobKeeper between January 4 and March 28, 2021, or been financially affected by COVID-19

Be warned with the banks, it's always the same story. The loan officer wants to get your business but on top of that character is someone whose task is to ensure no loan goes ahead. Currently, the difficulty with the banks is not security, but you have to show your capacity to repay the money. How do you do that with our last few years with COVID? If your business is up, the bank said it's because of COVID, and they expect it to come down. If it has gone down, well, these are figures they use. 

For more information, including how to apply, visit the Australian Government website here. 

 

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Let us start with this:

Move your router.

Often this is the quickest and easiest.

It should be high up and in a place where you can directly see your router. There should be nothing blocking the signal, e.g. metal, glass, concrete etc.

Electrical equipment can also interfere. Keep the router from industrial equipment, lifts, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc. A sign that this is the trouble is when the Wi-Fi works, fails and then works.

Move the router to a spot and test again till you find a good place where it is not an eyesore.

If your Wi-Fi in the shop is still slow, here are some more tips to try first, but we are getting technical.

Now find out what channel you use for Wi-Fi. Typically it is 2.4 GHz, but some technicians, as I do, often set it to 5 GHz. There is no right or wrong here, sometimes 2.4 is better, and sometimes 5 is the way to go.

Once you have this, get an app Wi-Fi Analyzer here.

Now select the appropriate option 2.4 or 5 in the Wi-Fi Channels

Now check the strength of the signal in the places where you use the Wi-Fi. Wait and look, you need a signal better than -80 dBm. Aim for at least -60 dBm. Anything less than that is considered unreliable.

If you can try to reposition the router to a better spot.

Still need more ideas.

Now on the Wi-Fi Channel check whether your neighbours’ Wi-Fi Networks are many. They may be interfering. This is why in shopping centres, people often have trouble. If you see many networks, try seeing the situation on 2.4 or 5.

If that is better, consider switching channels.

Still, need more speed?

Upgrade the firmware of the router.

It’s always a good idea to check for the latest firmware anyway. Talk to whoever you got the router first about how to do this. While you are at it, check your security settings. On some cheap routers, technicians often reduce the security settings to speed it up. Today a router should always be at strong security. If your router needs a reduction in security to get a decent speed, I suggest getting a new router.

Let me know if you need to know more.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

 

 

Unfortunately, Windows updates are two steps forward and one step backwards. They do come with good features and improved security, but every now, they break things.

As we have seen in the latest Windows update, some of our clients reported that their printing has stopped working. It turned out that the newest window updated caused problems with the network. After research, we found the fix was uninstalling fix KB5006670. Once done, our client could now print.

Now, if you are like me, you prefer others to test the latest Windows updates. This gives time for the bugs to be squashed and tweaks set correctly, so what you do is delay those updates.

How to pause Windows Updates:

To do this, open the Windows Settings app and select

Update & Security > Windows Update.

There you will find a "Pause updates for 7 days" button. (See above the option highlighted with a green arrow.)

Activate that!!

Also, another tip, try to do Window updates only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning. This means that if something goes wrong, you can contact your computer technicians.

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POS SOFTWARE

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Many suppliers are starting to issue new price lists. It can be a lot of work to see if your inventory matches the latest price list.

 

So this is a simple way to do this:

Go to the report

Click Quantity on Hand and Price Check.

Exclude items that are out of stock in this exercise. If you do not have accurate inventory control, you should use the following rule, inventory activity from the selected date.

Then select the appropriate supplier.

You will see a report with items, costs, available quantities, and sales prices. Match it off.

Another example of how our POS Software saves you time.

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POS SOFTWARE

If you look at major suppliers, you will see that they inevitably look at their sales over a few years by month. As such, they will compare sales last year with this year. So what you will get is monthly sales comparisons with this and the previous year. This is partly as most accountancy is monthly and yearly. But also because this gets over much of the problem of seasonal fluxations. In a typical year, it is expected that March last year, for example, sales, should be comparable to March this year.

What people in business generally know is what is happening now. What they are principally interested in is what will happen. So they will ask why last year in March, you sold X, and this year in March, you sold less. Any idea what is to find what is happening, because they want to know what has changed.

One common problem here is that your supplier generally knows what you ordered but not what you sold. So must have the sales figures if you wish to discuss on equal terms with the suppliers. Maybe you ordered more in March, not because of sales in March but because you sold out in February. With your POS Software, you can do this instantly.

How to do this:

Go to reports>Sales - Stock - "Stock Sales Details 24 Month Trend."

And avoid for now many of the extra details here. Let us keep it simple for this exercise.

Exclude inactive stock

Now I find it easier to work by department, so I usually select this, but you often need a supplier.

Now out pops the report above.

Now, look at the green arrows. You can see that the stock does sell about two a month and does not seem affected by the seasons. Its greatest sales are four a month, but can it justify the stock holding of 6 in red? It is about a two month supply. If the product can be ordered weekly, it is too much.

If that one is a bit tough to determine, look at the stock item, marked with a blue arrow. It sells like one every two months, but there are sixteen in stock, so we are looking at a three year supply.

What you will find, is that now having access to this information allows you to gain a clearer picture of inventory trends and seasonal patterns.

This gives you more insights into your stock sales.

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POS SOFTWARE

Here is yesterday's graph of the NBN internet reliability, today I bet it will not look much prettier. Not good if you consider that an internet connection is essential today. Yet, the reality today is that despite so many internet claims, outages are a regular occurrence.

Facing this unlike so many other POS systems, we do offer a local mode.

- This means that you can accept EFTPOS payments while the internet is down.

- You can operate your POS system almost as usual until the internet is back up.

What happens is that your data will be stored locally, then it will be automatically synced when the internet is back on without any user interaction.

So with our POS System, unlike so many others, you don't have to worry about losing your internet connection.

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POS SOFTWARE

This scam is bothering many people now, so I thought I better warn you. 

A scammer knew an employee's email account details. He monitored the account. Then using this email account, a hefty invoice was sent out to a client. The scammer then sent the invoice out again with an altered bank account. 

In this case, $400,000 went missing.

There was also a failed attempt at $350,000 here. It was lucky that immediately before the transfer to a supplier nominated bank account, a staff member looked at their deleted email file. Then they saw the real client invoice with different bank account details and started to ask questions.

Currently, I have been told that in Australia, there is no case law on liability here. One of the big problems here is that neither side has benefited from the fraud. None has the money. Both sides are seen as negligent. The seller for not having enough security on their email account and the buyer for not checking the bank details. This means that the chances of returning the funds could be limited.

Yet, it does show that you need to track security on your email accounts and check bank details thoroughly before sending money.

If you want to know more, checkout scam watch here.

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For Halloween, retailers need to be exact in their ordering. This is because this type of stock is often tough to get rid of after Halloween. This is one of those holidays that interest by the public is brief, about a week, that is all we get.

 

If you want to know the sort of stuff the public is interested in now for Halloween, you should look at costumes, witches hats, Halloween makeup, masks like Frankenstein and ghosts are popular nowadays, and as always, Harry Potter stuff. One of the pluses with Harry Potter stuff is that it sells well after Halloween.

If you want to know a quick and instant way of finding out what stock did sell in your shop in previous years on Halloween.

Go to Register reports.

Now pick "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period."

 

 

In the form, put in the following dates 25/10/20 to 31/10/20. A report will come out with what sold over that week. As last year is unusual, I recommend rerunning the report. So put in now the dates 25/10/19 to 31/10/19.

Now compare these two reports.

Of course, if possible, try buying stock items that can sell after Halloween.

As time is running out, do it now!

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Halloween was once considered American here, even though it's Irish. Over the years, as you can see, interest in it has been growing in Australia.

 

Today, it has become an annual event here too.

It is expected that Australians will spend big on this Halloween this year. What the public will be looking for are costumes, candies, decorations and greeting cards. Consider that many of the public with the conditions the way they are now will have trouble getting these products. Why not do something for Halloween?

I am sure that Australians will spend scary amounts this Halloween.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

 

These are some photos of shop windows I saw the other day.

The front window is now more critical in many shops than ever before because today, no one is just browsing.

Your shop needs now

1) A website with Click and Collect, something that your POS Software has inbuilt. 

My recommendation is to advertise your Click and Collect as immediately available. Click and Collect takes several days to complete for most majors. For those who require it immediately, this is not a suitable option.

What you are saying “This item is in stock here, and you can get it now.” 

2) A Facebook page

It can do Message and Collect

3) A Call and Collect service. Make sure that people can see an ID number from the shop window so if they like it and want to order it, they can order it over the phone.

 

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This is a step by step discussion on how to investigate your stock for dead and slow-moving stock lines.

What often happens

If a department has many inventory rules, it is expected that 20% will be flagship products, 60% on average, and the rest slow to dead. Without action, 20% ​​of the flagship products get sold. These are often replaced by average products. Soon the department has fewer sellable products. The inventory fills with unsellable products. They take up the space, take up your capital, and, more do not attract customers.

 

Inventory Planning

This is where inventory planning comes in because you need the products that sell.

Now let's work on the greeting card. This is because there are so many products that cannot be controlled by gut and feel. As a result, consultants can demand thousands of dollars to do what your POS System can do for free using this method.

By the way, this is an actual example of what we did in a client's store.

We decided a baseline for a slow inventory line was one sale every four months. I agree if you think this is too low, but it was the initial decision because the problem was much bigger than expected.

So, go to Reports> Stock> Slow Stocklines. See above.

I would suggest as a first rule use two years, to give you a long-term perspective. So we put in less than six sales, and we had stock. 

We got a 16-page report which you will find interesting.

 

As you can see in the green, the total value of these items in stock at this store was almost $ 20,000. That $20,000 is useless for the business.

Let's take a look at the details.

See the red arrows. One item had one sale in two years. Twenty-four are still on the shelves now. The total value tied up here is $43.20. How long do you think it will take to sell these items at this rate? After two years, is it still marketable? Worth investigating, I think.

This is an example of how such inventory analysis can provide information to improve decision making. It can help reduce costs and improve sales.

 

Try it.

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POS SOFTWARE

The Australian government ruled out a "no jab, no job" policy, so leaving the decision to employers on whether they required employees to get vaccinated. Few employees were keen to get into this mess.

Now the Victorian government stepped in. Melbourne, Victoria, has earned a dubious distinction of being the most locked-down city under COVID in the world. Compared to the rest of Australia, we have low vaccination rates (49.9% vs 53.8% Australia-wide) and low testing rates with many blaming bad public policy choices e.g. a history of mucked up quarantines, weather or bad luck.

That motivated the Victorian Government in a surprise move. It announced mandatory vaccination for workers who are not working from home with few exceptions. They must have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday, 15 October. From 26 November 2021, this will increase to having the two doses or a medical exception. Currently, all Victorian businesses will need the employees to show proof of vaccinations by these dates.

Putting aside the legality of this, which will be decided here in the Supreme Court, I really don't know how everyone will be completely vaccinated by the 26 November target, even for those who want to get vaccinated. We are doing 70% more vaccinations than NSW now so the vaccination hubs often need a month before people can get their spot. Between the shots, many will want the recommended six-week gap between shots.

So how can the Victorian government make its deadline? 

Where does it leave us when the deadline comes up? 

I would make plans now, even if I was *NOT* in Victoria!

The big problem is that many are refusing to get vaccinated. What happens if they demand to come to work? Few employees want to be involved in a test case. There are plenty of demonstrations about this in Victoria. Although they all claim they will be non-violent demonstrations at the start, they all get violent. 

So it should be an exciting couple of months on how this goes down, this will keep us busy during the boredom of lock-down here.

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POS SOFTWARE

Since this pandemic hit us, we all have been using video conferencing with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc., for work, study, and social interaction.

Some of these meetings are pretty important to us, so often we want a record of the meeting. I often want a copy just to review some details.

Now, most video conferencing systems allow the organisers to take a recording. Often but not always do the organisers notify everyone that such a recording is taking place.

I have noticed that large organisations, lawyers, etc. do this all the time to cover themselves just in case even if they do not tell you they are doing this.

It can also be convenient to record. For example, I had a heated discussion with a supplier on Zoom. I pressed record. She then demanded no recording. In the end, though we decided to record the final conclusion that we had both agreed to a settlement term and what the resolution that was agreed.

Now the problem is that you, the participant, often cannot make a recording only the organiser. 

Now what I am going to show you is how to make a recording.  

If you do this secretly without telling everyone in the meeting, review your legal situation over these recordings. I cannot answer that as I am not a lawyer. So use common sense!

Several free software programs do this, but they all essentially work similarly.

  1. You run the screen recorder on your computer,
  2. Join or start a Zoom meeting.
  3. Then click on the "Record Screen" and "Microphone" buttons to adjust the recording area and audio sources.
  4. Once done, click end and review your Video.

 

For most people the quickest method is already inbuilt into your Windows (if you use Win 10 or Win 11). Use the Game Bar, built-in Windows 10, here is a video explaining it.

A better way to do it or if you do not have Win10 on that computer is to use OBS Studio.

Note if you are going to do this, please do a few practice runs first. Like many things, it is not hard after you get used to it.

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I often hear people mixing up the terms markup and margin. 

It is mainly due to suppliers trying to confuse merchants as a 33% markup sounds better than a 25% margin. 

It is crucial that you fully understand the difference as it will help you price your goods correctly. 

Firstly here is the calculation. Note all calculations are done here EX GST.

You sell an item for $20. 
This item costs you $15. 

So gross profit is $20-$15=$5

Markup

A markup is what extra you put on an item cost for your profit, which is $5.

It is generally quoted as a percentage, so it is calculated as
(Gross Profit)/(Cost)x100% 
=$5/$15 x 100%
=33%

Margin
A margin is what you keep after making the sale.
The gross profit is the same here of $5

Margin is also generally quoted as a percentage, so it is calculated as  
(Gross Profit)/(Retail price)x100% 
=$5/$20 x 100%
=25%

I recommend that you only use margin so you will be consistent throughout the shop.

To change Markup to Margin use the following formula.
Margin = (Markup / (1+ Markup)) X 100
= 33%/133%x100%
=25%

See the table above I constructed for you to get the margin from a quoted markup quickly.

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POS SOFTWARE

Today, Amazon held its annual display for its coming new products. A few items excited me.

One item I thought would start a revolution in shop security.

It is a robot that, among other things, can do security work and perform automated security patrols of the shop.

- My first thought was how many times did I have to go to the shop after hours because Mum or my sister suddenly became nervous that they had forgotten to lock the shop up? With its periscope camera, it can go high enough to allow you to check the door's lock remotely.

- How often do alarms go off for no reason? Usually, there is a reason, but there is no way of knowing the reason after a few minutes. The raccoon in the video below is a case in point.

- Most thieves today at night are smashing and grabbing. They know from when the alarm goes that they have so many minutes before the police arrive. If such a robot were present, they would know that the storekeeper could get instant monitoring.

- Often, the security guard is a risk. Unfortunately, this happened to one of my clients in a shopping centre where people could reach given time into the shop's front window with a stretch where stock is on display. Stuff went missing overnight, and no one knows who took it. Since there is only security guards present in that period.....

Here is a video of what it can do!

Having a robot that can run up and down the shop carrying something would be handy too. 

I would love to get one to try out!

 

 

 

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Some people do not switch off their POS System computers. They run them 24/7.

In my opinion, this is not a good practice.

We recommend that you turn off your computer at least once a week.

In this way, windows can clean up open files, remove temporary files, and update itself. It will also get rid of many problems, For example, a memory leak or unused active network connection.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

This is one of the most critical reports in a business. As a rule, it should be run at least once every month. What it does is print an outstanding balance for all your debtors.

This determines how your business is handling its debt collection. This is why this report is commonly requested by banks and financial institutions.

Looking at the image above, I think you will find it great is that you can select any date (I chose four years ago) and display numbers for this date. This feature is handy.

This report is located in Registry Report> Client Trial Balance.

Among the other options, you also get the date range you want the breakup. In general, most people use months, but some prefer weeks. Others use a 4-week cycle because it gives an extra month in a year. It's up to you to decide. If you need more options, click the More Criteria tab.


In the standard report, you will get something like

 

The name is drawn here, but if you look at it, you'll initially see that almost everything is within 90 days. If it's real data, not four-year data, it would be a red flag.

What I find very useful is to look at it twice a month.

 

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