BLOGS AND ARTICLES FROM THE POS SOLUTIONS TEAM

Point of Sale Software

See our country's latest economic snapshot, it is not bad

POS SOFTWARE

These figures are up to 10 June 2020

Before I looked at this, I would say we were worse than we are now. Going by these figures Australia’s economy and labour market are not bad. We have economic growth and our unemployment is better than compatible countries overseas.

If you want you can get more figures and do comparisons click here.

Unfortunately, it does not go by state but if it did I am sure you will see NSW and WA doing a lot better then Victoria.

 

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Well consider how to do things differently

POS SOFTWARE

Now you are collecting information for your business for the end of the financial year. In the business world, the clock has been reset so many will talk to you, for example, your suppliers, accountant, bank and insurance broker etc.

It is time to consider what happened this year, see what has gone well and what has not gone well. More importantly, it is time to start planning for the new year.

 

What works for me is you do a SWOT analysis of your business? I am sure to you that it will be useful and rewarding to sitting down, hopefully with someone, reviewing your business in a formal method.

 

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Here are some of your last minute ATO requirements

POS SOFTWARE

Review your debts and write off the bad debts in your computer system. What most people do is write them off in the official books. Then put them into a voodoo account in case they do actually by some miracle get paid for them.

Write off any trading stock that is damaged or obsolete.

Revalue your damaged stock to the current value of the stock.

Keep in mind what your accountant will want is your stock valuation by

*Cost prices 
*The Market selling value 
*Replacement value 

If your books are set up on a CASH system, you need to pay off outstanding debts to get the credit for them in this financial year.

To help you we will be doing webinars on financial and management reports very soon.

 

 

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You do a stocktake, look for discrepancies and now what?

POS SOFTWARE

Many of you have now done a stocktake, so you have your figure for your accountant.

You have the information, now what you need to do is look for the stock discrepancies. 

What went wrong in this year!

What you need to know is your stock shrinkage? 

Can you answer this simple question? Some of the largest retailers in Australia cannot. But if you do not know what it, how do you fix it?

The good news is with our point of sale software; it would be easy to find out now.

*Go to your stocktake section

*There you will find reports show the discrepancies (variances) in the stocktake.

*Highlight the discrepancies that have occurred.

These discrepancies will be due to many reasons. Shoplifting, both internal and external, will be a significant cause. So it is worth checking what is missing.

Examine the stock discrepancies by suppliers. Supplier errors are a big problem with my clients. Some have told me the total cost of their point of sale system paid for itself by this saving alone.

But keep looking at these figures. I would suggest looking by department and then item. 

Try to identify areas that have high-security concerns. Now consider what to do, e.g. more cameras, a new arrangement in your shop, and better stock controls. As a bonus rearranging your store will also give your shop a fresh look.

This analysis can save you a lot of money, saving on 1% of every million dollars is $10,000, not bad for a few hours work.

 

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This is your last chance to join the stocktaking meeting

POS SOFTWARE

Last call for your stocktaking webinar which will be held Facebook Live, on Friday 26th June, at 10 am!

 

What we will cover will be 

-Various Stocktaking methods

There are several stocktaking methods that our user's typical use. We will be running over the options and how to proceed with each one in term. This will enable you to plan your approach.

-How to Stock Take whilst your shop is trading

We will run through what you should do so the shop can still trade which you are doing a stocktake. 

-Understanding Stocktake reports

You need a final figure, we will show you how to get that. Yet you can get so much more from your stocktake then that. We will run through many useful items that are available to you. Then you will need to consider and reviewed what you want from these points.

-Checking for variances, shrinkage and / or theft

This is almost as important as the stocktake valuation. We will be showing you how to determine how much of a problem you have here. We will also show you how to identify where it is happening.

-General Discussion

Got anything you wish to add or comment, go for it here.

To join, go to https://www.facebook.com/POSSOLUTIONSAU/Live  at 10 am!

Hope to see you then.

While you are there, why not go to the POS Solutions Facebook Page and like us? That way you will be informed on future webinars too.

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You need to plan before the stocktake

POS SOFTWARE

Counting your stock is a major task, but there is no alternative. It is the only way to determine what exactly you have in the shop and your stock shrinkage. That’s why you must count your merchandise.

So it is now time to start planning for the stocktake

 

-Make sure that your required staff are informed well in advance and they bare briefed as to what is going to happen.

-Familiarise yourself with the computer procedures, in your training system do a stocktake on some items.

-Make sure all the computers, PDTs and scanners are in place and working. Now is a good time to test them, do a few tests. Make sure that portable units are charged. Familiarise yourself with how your equipment works.

-Clean up the shop before the stocktake starts. In my experience, a well prepared and tidy shop will speed up your stocktake and make it much easier to do. Make sure the shelf labels are correct, that your stock is in the correct area (especially look at the spots under counters just in case something is hiding there), accessible and review any problem items eg damaged goods now.

-Put any laybys together.

-If you have items on consignment, mark them.

-Make holding areas where problem items discovered during the stocktake can be temporarily stored, move the problem items into it now,  any items waiting for dispatch there, items waiting to be picked up and items not entered into your point of sale software.  

-What works best is to divide your shop departments into discrete measurable counting areas. What you want is each area to be a few hours work for two or three people. You need people to do the count and the running around and then another person to enter the info into a computer. A PDT is really great as it can be moved around and probably save you one person in the team.

-I suggest giving each counting area a label and writing down on a piece of paper every area, then as each area is counted, marking it off. That way you do not miss areas.

-I think it saves time if you get out of your computer a listing of the expected stock in each area. That way while the person counting they know what to expect. "You sure mate, it is only four? According to the computer, there is another one there."

Any more than a few hours as anyone that has been through a stocktake knows how draining they can be. A few hours ensures that your counters get regular breaks. It also means that it is easy to do the stocktake over a few days. As it is at any one time only a small part of the shop affected you do not need to shut down the shop and so turn away customers.

To help you we will be running a webinar tomorrow on stocktakes.

 

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You need to decide on the Instant tax write off now

POS SOFTWARE

The Instant tax write-off allows you to write-off something for the business immediately. The obvious benefit is that it generally reduces the cost of the items that you need to buy for your business. Due to COVID-19 the terms are particular generous now, and I doubt that you will get as good a deal as this next year.

So if you are planning to upgrade your point of sale system, you need to move now as the cutoff date for the instant asset write-off ends in a week. 

As a minimum, consider getting a new server with the latest windows software so it will speed up your operation and save you a lot of time.

Or if you sell product by weight what about a scale?

Scale integration to point of sale software

Anyway I would suggest that you speak to your accountant about it ASAP because you need to move now.


 

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Should you Allow Multiple discounts in your retail shop?

POS SOFTWARE

 

 

Multiple discounts often called stackable or cumulative discounts is a common problem in retail. 

A typical example is that a person comes into a shop with a discount voucher that you have issued say to a nursing home nearby for 5% off (which by the way is a very effective form of advertising in local retailing). Now he comes and to buy an item on discount in the shop at 20% off. A typical response among retailers is to say we will give you the best discount, which is 20%. Then tell the customer this is a much better deal than the 5% on the voucher. 

But is it the best approach? Maybe? It saves 5%. However, I attended a webinar. There the speaker told us that you need to remember the 5% discount is what brought the customer to the shop. He then went on to say that adding many discounts was more effective than providing one discount. Then what he quoted was a rather exciting research. That in the above example, the discounts of 5% and 20%, which equal 25% were more effective than one voucher for 30% off. This is despite the fact the one discount is more. Have a chew about it. 

From the comments and discussions here are some thoughts people had about it.

People react better if the discounts are in order of lowest to highest. This is because here a 5% off does not look much after a 20% discount. It looks much better to say 5% off and then 20%. 


There can be problems if one discount is an amount and the other a rate. For example, if the nursing home discount is 5% off, and the item is $20 with $5 off. 

If the nursing home discount is first: 
The price is $20 less 5% discount less $5 = $14.
We now have $20 less $5 less 5% discount = $14.25 ( This is how our POS software works. )

Please let me know your thoughts.

 

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What your required for your end of year reporting

POS SOFTWARE

The end of the financial year is coming so we all need to finalise our tax paperwork and accounting. 

Here are some steps that you will need to do from your point of sale software. 

* Review your bad debts and determine what you are going to do about them. 

* Remember you are going to have extra bills like insurance appearing, so you need to budget early for July so look at the creditors listing to mark what is not going to be paid soon.

* Review your stock. Consider writing off old stock. Why not start an EOY sale now?

* Take an end of year backup of your information and file it away somewhere. Remember you will need to keep this for seven years at least after you lodge your return. Please do not use any EL Cheapo USB sticks

* Contact your accountant and to get a list of documents that they need. I would suggest as a least they will require you to prepare the following documents for them.

Sales reports
Stock Valuation 
Customers Outstanding 
Creditors Outstanding 
Subagents Outstanding

I usually say that this it is an excellent time to review the past year, to see what’s worked and what hasn’t, then to plan for next year. But, 2020 has been such a challenging time, starting with the drought, bushfires and COVID-19 who knows what to expect now but so far it looks good since we have opened up, 
 

 

 

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It's time to think of stocktaking

POS SOFTWARE

Before anyone asks me, this question that comes up every year, "Do I have to do a stocktake?" because we all know it is a big unprofitable job that few want to do. 

The answer is almost certainly yes, click here for the ATO requirements. 

Besides the ATO requirements, Stocktaking is a necessary method of stock control. It is the only way of determining what stock has gone. 

As a first step, check the documents in your help documentation. There are four documents there; for you to look at:

Stocktake = Standard stock take doc using Posbrowser on its own to run the stocktake.

Stocktake with a PTD = Stocktaking with the help of a PDT

Stocktake with the stock management system = Stocktaking using the mobile PDA browser program.

3rd Party Stocktake guide = A guide on how to upload stocktake data to and from another program.

Now please review the stocktake procedures in advance, even if you have done it a few times. The odds are you need a refresher course.

Now here are some tips to help you plan the stocktake.

) Do a test run to get a feel of what is involved before the day? If you do not then on the stocktake day, you could have extra staff all waiting while you work it out. 

) Try and reduce the count. Why have the added cost of counting? Can you get rid of stock? For example, try to return as much of your stock that is unsellable to your suppliers if you can. Then you do not need to count it on the stocktake. Make an EOFY sale. Everyone else does why not you? With the opening up after COVID-19, plenty of retailers are doing this now.

) Make sure that your point-of-sale software is up to date with the stock listing. The last thing you want to do during the stocktake is correcting stock info.

) Plan an actual date for the stocktake. 

) You may want to break the stocktake in stages to reduce on any one day the workload so make logical divisions for each section of the shop. 

) Go over the shop and put it in some logical order, so all the stock is organised and in place. Make sure everything is in its proper place. You should also check the shelves and labels are correct too. 

) Make a policy on how you will be handling damaged stock? You will find them on stocktake day. Now, what are you going to do with it then? 

) Make a convention on how the count will be done. Usually, it is bottom to top and left to right. 

) While counting, remember that you can clean too. 

 

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You now have a free ePay integration and its live now

POS SOFTWARE

For those of you that plan to market Telco and gift cards. You can now with our ePay integration.

This is both easier and cheaper, then the ePay terminal solution on offer now.

What you first will need to do is set up an account, to set up an account click here.

Also for those intending to use ePay, I suggest that you get an appropriate free poster.

 

 

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ePay how to get it and what to do

POS SOFTWARE

We did a webinar on our next coming release of the latest integration of ePay, which almost 150 attended. The webinar is here.

 

The emphasis was not so much ePay itself but on how it integrates into our software.

The big pluses of integration are that it is

*Cheaper
*Quicker to use
*Easier to use
*Does not involve any extra devices on the front counter
*Can be done on any cash register

Also discussed was how to get ePay now, if your interested you need to sign up here to get the products and services that it has now.

Here are some companies that I thought were particularly notable.

Amazon
NetFlix
Optus
Telstra
Vodafone

As they have are some of the largest moving products in the world, they do get people into the shop.

Although not stated at the webinar, I should add that the big bonus and improvement with ePay over Touch is that Vodafone will now be available. Touch does not have this alone is a big step forward.

Also what you need to do is order so ePay posters, as there is no point in having the product if you do not appropriately advertise it. ePay does have wide selections of point of sale posters for you.

 

 

does it do Linkt and eastlink passes integrated

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Marketing your end of financial year sale

POS SOFTWARE

The end of the financial year (EOFY) sales typically works well so why not make one?

Consider that 

* Those tax refunds are coming. 
*  Many people's accountants are telling people to buy now. 
* Today many have benefited from the government payouts. 
* Plus now with COVID-19 shutdown, many customers have much that they need to buy that they put off. 

Well here is your mission, to think about your EOFY sale. 

Here are some ways to start:

* Now have because of the COVID-19 shutdown, many of you will have stock that needs to be moved. Look at this excess inventory, much of this, if not moved soon, will be a disaster. These might make good loss leaders.

* Ask your suppliers, they will have some ideas. Now they are helping too, I notice and they have excess stock also. 

* Check what shop like you are doing.

 

 

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What is your unique value proposition

POS SOFTWARE

Now I have noticed that people are starting to think of their shop of what it is and what they want to do with it.

You need a vision of why your target market should buy from you and not from your competitors.

This question is called your unique value proposition?

It does not have to be much.

It does not have to be great.

It does not have to be brilliant.

But it must be there.

Without it, you cannot even advertise.

 

 

 

It should contain all the following:

What you propose to do for your customers.

The relevance of your offer to your customers

Why your customers should take this offer from you instead of your competitors.

A very good place to start on this is to ask your top customers, why they buy off you.

As it needs to be clear, what I find good is to explain it to is an 8-year-old kid. somehow kids seem to be able to get to the heart of the matter better than adults with our preconceptions.

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Last chance to join our free webinar on the epay integration

POS SOFTWARE

 

Today at 10 am on our Facebook page here we will be hosting another free online discussion. This one is for people looking at ePay. The emphasis will be on the different ePay products and how it works through their point of sale system.

Also coming will be the Head of Account Management at ePay to answer any questions that you have on the product.

So if you have any questions, you will get the answers from the top.

To join click here at 10 am

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More Problems people have with moto payments

POS SOFTWARE

MOTO payments are EFTPOS transactions where the payment card used is not present. It is often used for payments made over the phone.

 

 

For many of my clients, this is a major source of income.

Besides having higher fees than regular credit card transactions, they can also be trouble as yesterday one of my clients found out. As the card was not there when the transaction occurred when the customer complained, it was my client's responsibility to prove that the actual cardholder authorised this transaction, This was impossible to do. A chargeback was done. The transaction cancelled. The goods sent are lost.

The problem is that for many of my clients there is no alternation but to accept MOTO payments

If so here are some tips that the bank sent, that might help by giving you some warning signs, so I thought I would share them here:

  1. If the delivery address does not look right
  2. Overseas orders
  3. Orders from people claiming that they cannot be contacted
  4. If a transaction is big or has orders for large quantities of the same item that do not seem to fit.
  5. If the same person starts giving you in a short time many orders
  6. If the orders are required urgently

What can I say but be careful? Accepting MOTO payments is a business decision.

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You need to assess how your business is going

POS SOFTWARE

 

To move and improve your business, you need measurable facts. Experience and feel now will not cut it as we are not living in normal times.

So in your point of sale software let us get some information.

Go to reports and the click on sales

 

Point of sale menu selection for compare

What we are going to do here is to check how each department in your shop is doing in comparison to previous periods.

Select customer and put in May 2020 and compare it to May 2019.

Now out comes a report with the simplified options here

 

Comparison reports

 

Now there are lots of details for you to look. If you want to look at one department click on the left.

Now with all the detail, we put in you may want more. Say I wanted to know my average basket price in a department compared to last year to check if the public now is buying cheaper priced items. This is not in the report.

So on the top left-hand side is a little export button.

 

Export to excel

Now click to export to excel or OpenOffice (which we support and is free here). Once in a spreadsheet divide the qty into the sales to get the average basket value. Most people are reporting to me that the average basket values are up.

And that was the beginning of what you can do here.

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Frightening but think about your Business insurance

POS SOFTWARE

What if there is a riot?

What if your shop gets smashed?

Are you covered?

Imagine this is your shop. What are you thinking?

For many of us now as its, the financial end of the year and are insurance is now due, it might be a very good time to find out. Only about 50% of retail insurance packages cover such damage.

I was reading here of a shop keeper in the US, who had damage of almost a million dollars. Then they discovered that the insurance will not cover any of it as their policy does not include losses from civil disturbances. A million dollars is a lot of money to a small business like this that earns about $150,000 a year from the business.

An American a few months ago, told me when he was 18, that he stood in a neighbourhood vigilante squad armed with sticks and guns when riots took place there. Those riots devastated his town. Now I can now appreciate what he was talking about as now gun sales in the US are skyrocketing.

Well, 2020, has been eventful, we started with bushfires, a pandemic and now what is planned to top this.

Anyway, I am going to ask my insurance broker shortly about what exactly is covered and I suggest that you do so too.

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How to Ensure Your Facebook Page Complies With the law

POS SOFTWARE

You may be responsible for libellous comments that people make on your shop Facebook page.  You can be in trouble as it is on your page, the Supreme Court New South Wales has decided here.

Actionable tips

Set up Blocking Words

When people include a word you've blocked in a post or comment on your Page, it won't appear on your Page.

a) To block words:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page.
  2. From General, click Page Moderation.
  3. Type the words you want to block, separated by commas. You'll need to add both the singular and plural forms of the word you want to block.

You use what I do this list here and import it as a CSV. 

Now Save Changes.

 

b) Profanity Filter

You can block different degrees of profanity from appearing on your Page. Facebook will then block the many reported offensive words and phrases by its community.

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page.

  2. From General, click Profanity Filter.

  3. Select Strong.

Now Save Changes.

c) Now if such comments still come on your Facebook, then go into your Facebook page ASAP and delete them. According to the Supreme Court New South Wales, it must be done ASAP.

 

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High Performance small Point of Sale computers

POS SOFTWARE

One of our clients did not have any place on his front counter, so we had to order for them a small computer.

It is a functional register, with a network interface, a powerful processer and a hard drive.

We nailed it in, on the wood under the table so it took no space. 

Pretty cool!

 

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