Point of Sale Software

POS SOFTWARE

Another tip here.

A client of ours has a significant problem with their car. The insurance covered them.

However, fixing the car will take months because of the shortage of car parts. They need the vehicle for work. So they have to hire a car. The problem is that the insurance does not cover a hired car for months, so they need to pay.

I suggest you check your car insurance.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Nowadays, we cannot do face to face meetings, so online webinars do all our training.

It does have some advantages, such as being convenient to attend, and participants who come can save a lot of time as there is no travelling. 

Anyway, here is the latest one for those that could not make it.

Click here for a webinar on Stock Controling reporting from your point of sale software.
 

 

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Measuring how well a stock item does in your shop is relatively easy. It is hard to determine how well it helps sell other products.

Yet in business, we often sell items, sometimes even for a loss, if they bring in customers that buy other products. So how do we look at these marginal products, to determine whether they are selling other products? Well, you are in luck as in your software you have an excellent report that can tell you this.

Go to Cash Register Reports > Sales Register > Stock Companion Sales by Period. See the green arrow below.

Now put in the stock item. Select the last 12 months, and you will get a detailed report listing profit, numbers, etc. From this, you will be able to make an assessment.

I had a client that provided a delivery point for dry cleaning. It was a lot of work, but not a lot of money. So they used this report. They found that although the dry cleaning service was marginal, the customers it brought in were good, so they kept it going.

This is just another example of how our software provides you with stuff you can use.

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POS SOFTWARE

A problem that is all too common in Google Maps is that the location shown there is wrong. It would be best if you did this to keep your Google Maps integration.

For this exercise, I have called up a supplier of mine, then pressed the green arrow. 

Then your Google Maps integration kicks in and presents you with the following map.

This map is a different place. It is wrong. No one said that Google Maps is infallible, only that it is good.

The problem is that here that the address in this system. See the green arrow above where it is listed as 

Google does NOT validate your address, it does not fix it. It assumes what you give is correct. Here is what it expects. 

The space between 37 and the minus sign is confusing Google. If you change it to 37-49 Browns Road, it will be fine. So if you intend to use the Google Maps integration, I suggest that you change the address in your system where the green arrow is pointing.

We will discuss bulk change of addresses in a later post.

 

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​There are three main types of monitors—Square, widescreen and ultrawide screens on the market now.

You can see the problem often when running your computer you get black bands around the active screen. Some application uses square and some uses widescreen.

Until recently, except in Point of Sale (POS), the market has been moving to wider screens.

The problem in a shop counter space is a premium. A widescreen shows less for the same size, so POS software is generally designed for square.

Now what is happening is that the new monitors for POS are switching from square to widescreen. The main reason for this push from square to widescreen is cost. Monitor manufacturers can save money using the same parts for computer monitors and TVs. Also, widescreens are cheaper to produce for the size.

So if you want a square monitor, you will soon have to pay more.

If you are buying a monitor, I suggest you buy a widescreen because the change is inevitable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One of our competitors has come out of the dark with a recent new attack. Now they claim that we have copied them in Google map integration, and what they did was *innovation* but not us. The last time these guys made such an attack on us was to claim that we were too cheap. 

Unlike the early claim of being too cheap, we have no idea what they are talking about Google Maps. I am not sure when we first implemented Google Map integration into our software, but it was before 2009. We were early on to it, as we knew from our discussions with Google on how the system worked. Then it was all new, and no one knew how to make it work. The earliest mention about us having this integration was in our newsletters dated Tuesday 26th May 2009, showing DOS users how to use it. Yes, it was available in our older DOS versions too. As it was a new development that was long stopped in DOS by then, we did it earlier, but I cannot find when.

And before anyone jumps up and down on me, let me say that I looked at some other competitors. They have Google Maps too. Generally, they use a paid service like Pointy. Since we wrote our own API, there is no charge for our users for Google Maps.  

Before 2009, it was innovative. It is not innovative in 2022, and pretending that it is, I think, is an absurdity.

So summing up, I am sure that now their users are glad that finally, they have some of the benefits, which our users have had for over 13 years. 

Now let us move on and discuss how do we use it?

The easiest way in your software is to look for a box marked "Show Google Map". It is in many places, e.g. see the green arrow in the supplier screen below.

Once you press that box out will pop out in Google Map the location in a map.


 

You then have the full facilities of Google Map, although you can do much more than in this simple example.

The following are some of the significant uses our clients are using their Google Maps integration for:

1) If you are going to go to a place you have never been to before. Who knows how far and what the traffic is like going there. Using Google Maps, they can get an estimated time of arrival and an estimated time of return. This makes it much easier to get organised.

2) The primary use that people use is to send the address to their phone, so they can use it for directions while in the car. This saves time.

3) Failed deliveries due to wrong addresses are costly for retailers. It can be a significant cause of customer dissatisfaction. So using this Google Maps integration, you can check that you have the correct address before going out. You need some intelligence here as sometimes Google does not have a valid address. We have had discussions about this. Currently, there is nothing anyone can do about that, but we are actively looking into it.

4) See my post a few days ago on handling many locations and making a route.

I urge you to experiment with these functions and yes there are more, but we will discuss them later when I cool down.

PS Here is an interesting oddity for you, Google Maps was invented in Australia and is an Australian Product. It is True Blue, we do get around us Aussies.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

A/B testing is a formal system used when you have an idea you want to test. It's simple to understand, easy to implement into any aspect of your business, and free. It is used by both large and small companies alike to make business decisions that increase store sales.

All you need is accurate information from your POS Software and some time.

You pick a period generally a month, like for like. An example of like to like is Jan 2021 to Jan 2022, Feb 2021 to Feb 2022, etc.

For this post, I will consider the example of swapping your books and art supplies.

Now make sure you have the sales information for these departments in the previous period you are adopting. Then that can collect the same information for the coming month.

So do you have the book and art supply sales?

If so, make the change and wait a month.

After the month, go to register reports.

Now select the item marked "Sales Comparison for a Given period".

 

Now select the dates that you wish to compare. You will get pages of detailed information showing how you are performing compared to the previous period. Now see what was more successful.

The reason this system works well as different audiences behaves differently. Something that works for one company may not work for another. You are trying to find the best practice for your business.

It can be used for anything, shop hours, price increases, etc.

This is another example of how powerful our point of sale software is for retail management.

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POS SOFTWARE

This Google Map trick can save you a lot of time at work. I use it a lot, and I was surprised that they did not know this trick when I was talking to a client. So here it is.

We rarely make trips from point A to point B in business. What we tend to do is when we leave work to have a few places to go too.

See the instructions here.

 

Now say I want to go from work to

) Shop in Dandenong

) A shopping centre in Keysborough South

) A shopping centre in Keysborough

and then come back to work

This trip will take me 42 minutes based on current road conditions.

 

Now since I can see the route, I change the stops slightly

Now my trip is 40 minutes

 

Since I think I can do better, I changed it again. Now it is done in 38 minutes.

So I have saved about 10% of my trip time.

When you have like ten destinations, the saving can be considerable.

Give it a go!

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We are updating our recommended computer specifications, so these below are suggestions only. 

But, if you intend to buy some hardware soon, please talk to us first. 

Current situation

Windows 11 and the coming mass introduction of 4k monitors will mean that much of the existing computer equipment out there is going out of date. 

Keeping your computing technology up-to-date ensures that you will run the latest software.  If all you want to do is continue running what you have, make sure you are not renting software. Overall count on no updates soon for much of your existing software.

Here are my recommended computer specifications for what you should consider before making a purchase.

Anything running Windows 8 or early is asking for trouble, you need Windows 10 and 11 now.

As for Windows 11, you need 1 gigahertz (GHz) so if you are being offered anything less than an i7, forget it.   

The added problem is all your computers should run the latest anti-virus software. These to run fast need modern computers and is the main reason older computers run slow. 

We recommend Windows Defender, which is free.

SQL

It would be best if you ran at least SQL 2016

Besides, old versions of SQL are slowing you down now.

Monitors

You spend most of your time interacting with your computer through the monitor. All your monitors now should have a resolution of 1920x1080, although 1280x1024 should work for a while. Anything less needs replacement. 

An added plus is that you and your staff will enjoy the larger monitors. They are great if someone eyesight is starting to fail, plus because the screen is bigger, it gives less strain on the eyes. 

RAM 

Want an instant performance boost? Adding more RAM is the easiest and cheapest way to upgrade your computer. It is affordable. You can do it on almost any computer. 

So, how much RAM do you need?

- 8GB for a register

- For heavier duty computers, e.g. servers, you should look to 16GB for best results.

Make sure you get the right RAM for your computer.

Speed up your computer with an SSD

If your computer still runs with a mechanical hard drive HHD, this SSD offers you high-speed start-up times and fast data transmission. 

So I would not buy a computer without an SSD drive today.

If you have not got an SSD drive on the server, get one. It will speed up everything.

As a bonus, you can keep the HDD for stuff that you need less speed.

Touchscreens 

These are great in business environments, much easier and quicker to use. It will not speed up the computer but speed up your data entry.

A modern graphics card

If you do graphics or play computer games, this will reduce the load on your computer processing, often speeding up your computer. 

Improve your cooling

Although not a speed issue, a noisy fan is painful over time. If you have one of these, consider replacing it. 

The big problem here is that hot computers tend to run slow. Check the vents to make sure that the air is circulating. If not, then clean the computer if required. 

Coolers may be an option as they have gotten much better over the last few years and are cheaper. Plus they will give more life to your computer.

keyboards and mice

These are tough to decide. I have used several of the latest gaming keyboards and mice. I have not noticed any improvement. 

Plus, I find them annoying. 

So I prefer the older ones, yet many do like them. So I leave this to personal taste.

Internet speeds

This is something that everyone complains about, and it is tough to say anything here. For many people, $60/month the internet provided is overkill, and to others, $20,000/month with a direct link to the USA is not good enough. Although it's a bit pricey if you want more speed, many of my clients are delighted with the Starlink offer. Soon I am sure NBN will be obsolete for people that need speed. 

So I leave this to personal need too.

I hope this all helps and let me know what you think.

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Perhaps you are retiring or entering a different venture, so you have sold your business. Now, what happens to your records? One of my clients did not keep them, and now 12 years later, he needed them.

Here are some more examples I have come across over the years.

1) Many such as courts have no holding period. If you do not have the records, their view is often fair enough that you do not have them. But the other side often then will ask the court to assume that it is reasonable to think that these records would have supported their view. Now prove that they would not. 

Here my client had little proof to argue against this view. So they said it was a long time ago. They then admitted that they did not remember that much about it when questioned. Okay, here it is their word against the other side.

2) I have seen the situation occur with the ATO, where you only have to keep the records for seven (7) years. Yet, they can still sue you after this period. No figures. Well, they are happy to do estimates.

3) I have also seen a person who brought the business take the old owner to a small claims tribunal because the carpet was allegedly older than claimed. The old owner claimed they were looking at records of an old carpet they had replaced. But they had no evidence to back this up.

4)I have seen old owners taken to court because they claimed the historical business records supplied were wrong. That one was costly. I do not know how it went.

It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to record-keeping. You never know when old business records can be helpful. It is advisable to keep all business records as long as possible. 

So keep all your business data, especially your POS backup. 

Worried about space, buy a heavy-duty corrugated cardboard box. Store it in a safe place, in a location protected from the weather, fire, flood, theft and other loss. In my garage at home, I have a stack of boxes. 

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Your POS Software has, in many places, the ability to produce graphs. See above.

These graphs are a faster method for examining information. This is because most of us are used to getting most of our information from vision.

So I suggest that you give these graphs a shot.

If we use Ad-hoc reports in our system, there is a much more extensive graphical system built.

 

 

 

 

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Regardless of how experienced you are at overseeing stock, there will be times when goods do not move. Some of your goods are sitting on your racks using up cash that should have been used stock that moves.

This is where in retail the  'Gross Margin Return On Investment - GMROI' is used in retail. It tells you exactly how much gross profit you make on each item in your shop over time. It tells you how successful your goods are in turning into cash.

The formula for calculating GMROI:

GMROI = Annual Sales $ / (Average Inventory at cost) x (Gross Margin %)

Say, for example, an item A sales per annum are $54.00 with a margin of 30%. You have generally about 40 that cost $0.2, so your holding cost is $8.

So the GMROI = ($54 = yearly sales)/($8 holding cost) x (30% Gross margin) = 2.0

So you are getting $2.00 for every $1.00 you invested in this item.

Nice figure, but looking at all the goods in the shop, it is a big job to calculate this for every site.

No, it is not, as your POS System can do it automatically.

What we do is give you the figures. This allows you to see where every dollar invested in your stock inventory be at its greatest productive?

This allows you to look at another item, B which has sales per annum are $78 with a margin of 20%. You generally have about 30 that cost $0.21, so your holding cost is $6.30.

So the GMROI of item B = ($78 = yearly sales)/($6.30 holding cost) x (20% Gross margin) = 2.5

So this retailer is getting $2.50 in back for every $1.00 invested in this item.

The retailer would have done better over the past year in pushing item B even though the gross margin was less.

If you go to Register reports, you will see an item "Sales by return on Investment (GMROI)" marked in red here.

 

Now select an appropriate date range and department to consider. A year is suggested to give the report enough time to provide meaningful figures.

Now I used here five years, to show, in practice use 12 months.

This report can be beneficial.

The green shows the GMROI%.

The red items are the traps, the GMROI is high, but there are few sales.

In Orange, you will see the stock on hand; this is a quick way of verifying that you have enough stock.

The amount it costs you now, the holding costs are displayed in blue.

Altogether, this is an informative report. You will find the summary at the end is loaded with some instrumental figures to examine. Also checkout Diet Coke - High GMROI and low stock holding.

The GMROI recipe is not a magic fix. What it is, is a straightforward computation that assists you with deciding on your stock.

Why are you waiting? Give it a try now?

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Back-to-school is an important shopping occasion. In 2022, the importance of the season is increased by the unique environment we find ourselves in. 

Let us start.

Your POS System has an advanced Back to School system. 

Tip 1: Check it out

It would also be a good idea to check that you have stock for the items that parents are likely to buy for their scholars. 

Tip 2: Have the right products.

Because of the supply chain shortages, most shoppers will be planning early. So now is an excellent time to start getting ready.

Tip 3: Have stock, do not count on being able to get stock at the last minute.

What I am sure of is that this year, retailers that get a good back-to-school market will have a great jump start for the year. 

Don't let this opportunity slide!

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Picking the right bookkeeping programming is important for a business. So we closely monitor what accounting programming, in our yearly review see what programs the vast majority of our customers are using. In our marketspace, these results are most likely the best ones in Australia. What we found interesting is that in some ways the marketplace has gone backwards more are not using anything, this is not good.

In my view, all have their devotees, you will talk to someone, and he loves one. Then he will tell you that it is so much better than the other they have used. Then you meet someone else that uses a different accounting program and hear a similar story.

Reckon big plus is that it is the cheapest but it can be chunky and difficult to use. Support is good. After a while,  you learn what you need to know. 

Xero is more user friendly so making it easy to use. Yet it can be slow, and in use, you will get a lot of downtime/non-responsive clicks, which can become frustrating. I have been told their support has issues. MYOB can undoubtedly do the job. I find it too regimented, but many people like that, including accountants.

They are all exemplary systems. Use whichever one is easier for you. They all have their quirks, and they all will take getting used to whichever system you choose.  They all can do the job. 

I will warn you to make sure that what you use is in your name. If it is in your accountants name your bookkeeping program, well there can be problems if you move accountants as some of our clients have found.

 

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A bad way to analyse your promotions is by guesswork and instincts in business.

What you need is proper KPIs with metrics to compare the sales for each promotion. For example, do a $20 item with $2 off do better than 10% off?

The only way to find out is what we call A/B analysis. You do option(a) for a week, then option (b) for the next week.

 

Then here is a quick way of finding this out.

Go to the stock system.

Select Sales Promotion here

Select reports

Fill in the dates, and now you can investigate.

 

 

 

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Thanks for all your support and your valuable interaction in 2021. We hope for a lot many fruitful interactions in 2022.

See you then.

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Many years ago, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce decided to analyze how good Australia Post was on deliveries. So they asked many of their members to send them a return letter on a particular day. They concluded that the letter probably would get through on time, but you cannot count on it happening on time. If there was a problem then, it is much worse now.  

Due to COVID, we are all facing problems now with deliveries. I think it's made Australia flawed delivery system worse. Years ago, I was told that it was cheaper if you had many items to send to many places in Australia to package it and send it to China. Then have them separate it and send it back to Australia to the many places. That was then and now, I think we have had worse service and higher prices

Today Australia Post uses a measure that states if a parcel is three days late or less, it was delivered on time. With that measure, they are at 90%. Tell me, if you were three days late would you consider yourself on time?

So I was pretty impressed when in Townsville, I was given this analysis of 352 taken over seven months.

 

If you look at it, Australia Post in Townsville is doing well, that shocked me. Tip: If you send a parcel to Townsville, Australia Post looks like a good choice based on this. It is often the easiest too although rarely the cheapest.

Unfortunately, this sort of analysis is only suitable for what we send out. For what we get often, we have no control over who sends it.

Our experience now in Melbourne is pretty mixed, we have not broken it down by couriers, but we often face late deliveries now. One of our engineers was so upset recently. So he jumped into his car and delivered it personally. When I complain, I have noticed that even Australia Post now subcontracts much of the deliveries. Many problems are caused by most freight in and out of Australia going through consolidators. These consolidators wait for a container to be full before they ship it. This causes significant delays.

This is something we are living with now.

 

 

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More than else, what a retail business needs is fast action at the point of sale. There is too much danger of people leaving if your counter is slow.

This Christmas is evident that people do not want to wait. Each second is a demise for retailers. The more it takes to be served, the more your client keeps thinking about whether they genuinely need your things. Plus there is the worry of COVID.

You want a fast checkout.

Here is ours, the quickest one I know.

Newspaper margins April 2015

See the image above and see where it is marked in green. Transactions were being done at a rate of four a minute. 

Using our system, your payment times will accelerate. Therefore, their queues will be considerably reduced.

 

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The time has come to begin planning for 2022. 

The first place to look at is the holidays. The issue here is that many of these holidays dates are based on the lunar calendar, not the solar one that we use. This caused them to move in our calendar. A few years ago, this happened to one of my clients when they ordered cards for Chinese New Year. They thought it was the same as the previous year, so they got their cards too late.

So I suggest you click here. Here there is an impressive list of holidays in Australia. If you need clarification on a holiday, click on it to get a description.

If you have many customers from other countries, you can select that country to see if they have any special holidays!

I am sure you will get some good ideas here.

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