BLOGS AND ARTICLES FROM THE POS SOLUTIONS TEAM

Point of Sale Software

Counterfeiters are printing fewer notes but they are better quality

POS SOFTWARE

Australian counterfeit found per state

I found this article very interesting about the state of counterfeiting in Australian dollars. 

I tend to agree with the writer that small business with small profit margins is most at risk, how much for example does a lotto dealer have to do to make up of accepting one counterfeit $100 dollar. 

The problem is now getting worse as the counterfeiter have now solved the problem of duplicating the polymer note. What did surprise me is that the problem is so high in Western Australia! 

The main problem that SMB retailers face is if one of their staff has access to counterfeit dollars, and say they can buy it at 70% of face value. They then can replace say six $50  in the till every day with the counterfeit stuff. It is almost impossible to find out as no retailer checks what goes out only what comes in. 

Anyway, have a read here, and I would love to hear your comments.

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Omnichannel vs. multichannel retailing

POS SOFTWARE

Omni-channel retailing is now all the buzz in retail, a recent example I spoke about here was from Tabcorp which in their  Retailer_Information_Pack_Tatts in their future marketing plans show this diagram to show how much extra business they get from a retail customer if they can get him to go online too.Digital comparsion

Figures although not as large as this is being quoted for Omnichannel retailing from other sources. Our clients through their websites are showing significant increases too although again not as big as this. Still, it is a decent increase, and so we are seeing a steady movement with our clients moving online.

What we are moving into the older multichannel retailing which many of my competitors still sell, where you keep using their point of sale software for the shop and something else for an online shop to the newer Omnichannel marketing where you have one software system, and it handles both.

The advantage of this from the retailers perspective is that your information in this omnichannel approach is in one spot, not two or three different systems, eg you do not have one customer three times in each system, you do not have a stock order three times, you do not have to do your pricing three times, etc.  Plus you do not have to do a lot of work to match up information in two or three different systems which is quite difficult as different systems behave differently.

This is why a truly unified commerce system like ours which has the POS software and the website in one system is much better. Using it you can track financials along with stock, sales, customer, etc. all the pieces of retail all in one system.  It’s the next step in retail technology.

Contact here our experts to discover how our unified commerce retail platform, can help you deliver the customer experience of tomorrow.

 

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Warning on your laybys

POS SOFTWARE

Lay-by sign

Our point of sale software has an extremely powerful layby system, which many of our clients use. It does everything in laybys.

One problem that came up a few days ago was a customer took a layby from one of our clients. They then paid a deposit, over the next two weeks they came and paid off a bit more. A few days ago they came to make a final payment and to pick up their product.

The problem started when they looked at the item and then claimed that this was not the item they had agreed to purchase. What they wanted was a different model which was much dearer. An argument started. As it a good customer and retailer did not want any trouble, in the end, they refunded the total amount paid and left it at that. Not that I think they had much choice, in fact, they may have been lucky as the customer could have claimed that the retailer changed the terms and demanded the newer model.

My tip If you are going to offer your clients layby, which I am not sure is a good idea now when products like Zip are available to make sure the product’s is packed in front of the customer preferably in a sealed bag with our label stuck on to the bag. This will reduce the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Examine your real-time profit position

POS SOFTWARE

You can know how you are doing financially with daily figures from your point of sale software.

This will show you some of the most crucial retail KPIs to give you a detailed insight into your shop. These insights provide you with better business decisions and let you know exactly how you are doing.

Go to cash register reports

Select in sales

Dissection Sales /Profitability for a given period

Now run this report for the day

Quantity some call it a customers vote. What it shows is what people are coming into your shop to buy. As a rule, the higher, the better. Some people consider this KPI to be the most important stock one as it is it what brings people into your shop.

Gross profit is why the shop exists.

What is also important here is to check that your margins are right, as if they are lower or higher then expected then there is something wrong.

Lastly, I highlighted the last row. This shows you the problems with your scanning. 

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Speed of Mobile wallet vs contactless Cards

POS SOFTWARE

Many smaller businesses are now using tap-and-go terminals for financial reasons as customers are much more likely to do small transactions, e.g. $2 using contactless more convenient and quicker as they do not need to enter in any PINs.

For this reason, I think mobile wallets will work even better in SMB businesses as people tend to be reluctant to go to their wallet to take the card out and since most people have their mobile handy, it will be extremely convenient for them to use the mobile instead like here.

Now here is it being used in practice these mobile wallets and look at the speed of the new mobile wallet over the contactless in speed for EFTPOS and Credit card transactions!

 

 

 This is 4x faster than contactless!!!!

<

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AUSTRALIAN PAYMENT CARD FRAUD 2018

POS SOFTWARE

AUSTRALIAN PAYMENT CARD FRAUD 2018

This report now available makes quite interesting reading.

The most common type of credit card fraud occurs is called *Card-not-present fraud* and makes up about 87.5% of all payment card frauds. Sometimes the card company will not reimburse you for this type of fraud, so it is worth being aware of the problem.

Here are two examples but there are many more.

1) Someone buys and then quotes a valid card detail either online, by telephone or mail order and then later the owner of the card, calls and says "Hey what is this about?" I would suggest that if you take over the phone credit card details, you do so only with customers you have dealt with before,

2) I have heard of a merchant that got burnt when a person used a card in the shop that for some reason did not when he did a swipe work. The merchant then manually entered in the card details. Only later did the merchant discover that the card was counterfeit. In this case, I would suggest that you have a policy in the shop that if a card does not work, ask the customer for a different payment method or card but do not enter the card number manually.

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Safety Stock

POS SOFTWARE

Safety stock is an additional quantity of an item held in the inventory to reduce the risk that the item will be out of stock. It acts as a buffer stock in case sales are greater than planned and/or the supplier is unable to deliver the additional units at the expected time.

Safety stock

According to Wikipedia, safety stock is:

Generally, it is a small, surplus stock that you maintain on hand, to protect from variability in market demand and your supplier lead time. You carry it because you do not want to run out of stock which might both severely impact your bottom line and also do untold damage to your customers’ view on you.

The theoretical formula used to calculate safety stock:

Safety Stock = (Max Daily Sales x Max Lead Time in Days) – (Average Daily Sales x Average Lead Time in Days) 

You can calculate this using our software, click here.

The other point I recommend is running this report which will give you a feel of what the actual problem you are facing here.

Go to reports > stock > Sold Out or Selling Out Stock Lines

In theory, this report only shows items that are selling well in the nominated period, but that you are running out of, so you need to check on them ASAP. This can help you make sure you have adequate stock.

However, it does much more, what it also alerts you is whether items are not properly entered into your system as the stock on hand figure is negative as you can see by the example below.

 

 

I would recommend running this report regularly as it will alert you to both out of stock situations and errors in invoicing.

 

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Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp all down

POS SOFTWARE

facebook down

I am trying to figure out what to do with my life since Instagram & Facebook are STILL down

 

I am not addicted of facebook

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Tabcorp commissions to its agents?

POS SOFTWARE

the lotto

The Lott is changing their commission structures, the following organisations

Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA)
Lotteries Retailers Associations (LRA)
The Victorian Associations for Newsagents (VANA)

are now busy explaining to their members what is happening.

The best one explanation, I thought was the one done by tatts and distributed by VANA

Retailer_Information_Pack_Tatts

I would suggest if you want to know what is happening, have a look at this one. This is the one I am going to quote here by pages.

Here are some more documents that have been released

Explaining-the-new-retailer-model-for-ALNA-members_FINAL.pdf

New-model-for-lottery-retailers_12-March-2019.pdf

New_model_for_the_Lott_12_March_2019_FINAL.03.pdf


So here are my thoughts, on the first reading, it is clear that lotto sees a tremendous future online 

Here is there retail only customer vs a retail and digital customer chart.

Digital comparsion

 

That is a big increase alright.

The new commission structure is to help this movement by rewarding the agent for helping this move.

What is not explained is what is the effect on the retail agent shop sales as the Retail Registered account becomes a Registered & Digital Account?  Does it based on current figures goes up or down? It is not stated. This would be my first question! It is an important question as almost all of the commission increase is in shop sales and the figures supplied assumed in the Tatts and ALNA documents that it is as in 2018, something I am not sure it will not be.

Now it clearly does have some immediate positives, e.g. the DigiPOS fee will be removed, and for those that have brought it, that money will be refunded, but it does have some negatives, e.g. the player card commission is gone.  Overall it did appear to give the agent more in fees. According to the ALNA figures, an agent doing $22,000 a week in sales can look forward to $220/week extra profit based on the financial year 2018 figures. 

Reading further however it that it works on cycles which are about 17 weeks. What an agent needs to do is every cycle is to carry out a lot of new conditions to get the increase in commissions. This increase is not automatic. Most of these new conditions are reasonable and I think fair and I do not see them being a problem. I would agree that it is the responsibility of a Lotto agent to keep up to date with what is happening and to inform Tatts of what is happening.

Some, however, seem harsh, for example, if accidentally in your nominated account one time it does not quite have enough money for settlement which can happen, then you have blown your increase in commissions this cycle.  Better luck next cycle.

Another condition is very puzzling listed on page 8 and which I have no idea of how hard or easy it is to do, here it is and I will let you decide.

 

Extra conditions

Now 1% in a stable established market is not easy to get.  Worse if you are an agency in a tourist or sporting area, where you have almost no control over your players so I would not be surprised if some agents go up and down on this figure every cycle. Maybe an agency should make a rule only registered players can buy in this agency.

Lastly, on page 14, I would like to see the calculation sheets on how these were derived. I cannot get all these figures, so I am not sure what they are telling me. 

You have my thoughts overall, I will say that I am not against it, but I do have concerns. 

 

 

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How long does a lifetime software license last?

POS SOFTWARE

Just a quick question?

Say you brought some software with a lifetime licence, how long would you expect that this software will work for you? 

This question has been puzzling us since a client of ours brought it to our attention yesterday. They purchased some software over the net, subject to the laws of the "State of New York, USA" and paid extra for a lifetime warranty.  After six (6) years it has stopped working. 

When they argued with their supplier that they had a lifetime warranty and so it should still work, they were informed yes they purchased the item with a lifetime warranty and that the "End-User License Agreement" clearly stated

End-User License Agreement

so apparently their lifetime warranty on this software is six years. 

I have verified that this was the "End-User License Agreement" when they did buy it.

I decided to do some investigating on their behalf and discovered that the term *lifetime* in "lifetime warranty" has several different meaning 

It may mean

a) Forever

b) No matter how long the original purchaser owns the product.

c)  For how long that product can be reasonably expected to perform based on the way the buyer uses it.

d) The lifetime of the manufacturer

e) Three years

f) But this was the kicker; however, the seller defines it as long as he conspicuously discloses what ‘lifetime’ means. 

In some states in the US, I saw that could be something like as long as we sell that version of the software. For example, if they sell version (2) and now version (3) comes out, so they drop version (2), well version (2) lifetime is over and so is your warranty.

Note in Australia, under ACCC guidelines action can only be taken ten years maximum after purchase, which I suppose puts its own limit on the goods warranty.

I suppose like always remember the saying "Let the buyer beware."

 

 

 

 

 

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Minimum requirements on a receipts

POS SOFTWARE

 

 

Some queries on yesterday post, it is mandatory for a business to issue a receipt if requested by the client.

It is an ACCC requirement that all receipts must include the following

    * Your business name and either the ABN/ACN number
    * The date of supply of the goods
    * Information on the product or service supplied
    * The price of the item provided

These do not have to be issued by the shop POS system but generally, are, and it looks much more professional if you do issue them through your system. Today many people prefer emailed receipts which our system can be programmed to email directly to your clients. We suggest if you have a customer's email that you automatically email them a receipt. This speeds up the processing and saves paper use. It can also be a very good marketing tool, here is an idea.

 

 

 

 

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Ripped receipts

POS SOFTWARE

Receipt_message.png

One problem I have noticed is that sometimes people ripping a receipt or if two purchases come in quick succession, they give one customer two receipts. So if you are thinking of updating your point of sale receipt printer, one option I recommend is that you look at one with an automatic paper cutter. It makes it much easier to use as receipts come out pre-separated. In the past, the cutter used to be sometimes a big problem but the modern printers have solved most of the problems and now mostly guaranteed for over a million-plus cuts

 

 

 

 

 

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How to avoid Point of Sale EFTPOS fraud?

POS SOFTWARE

Two people are required to make EFTPOS fraud. This is a particular problem with those people that do not have an integrated EFTPOS. It does happen accidentally too.

To make it work, the thief needs a person who pays goods and then signifies that it was paid with an EFTPOS. They then enter in nothing in the EFTPOS unit.  If you do not reconcile your EFTPOS amounts, you will never know that it happened.

Here is a report that can help you.

You will find it here marked in red.

 

Once there you can get a report like his that can reconcile.

 

Its in excel format so you can edit as required.

Some EFTPOS providers like Tyro EFTPOS have some incredibly detailed reports that you can reconcile. 

This will tell you when it happened!

What about a potential solution?

Knowing that it happened is only half the answer what you need to know is who is doing it. Once you find out when it happened, you can use our integrated computer/camera system, where you can press a button, and check one by one the transaction on the screen.

If you do not have an integrated computer/camera system, what you need to do is write down the times and do a search in your camera system. 

We have had a client recently that discovered about $8,000 in his small supermarket about five months was taken from him using this method.
 

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WINERY POINT OF SALE: Gracebrook Stables

POS SOFTWARE

Gracebrook vinyard Whitfield in North East Victoria is the Gracebrook Vineyards a lovely winery, it rates 5 out 5 on trip advisor.

 

It has quite a reputation and packed out every weekend, you need a booking just to get a place. So we were very pleased after they went looking at many winery, restaurant and cafe software systems they picked our POS system. These guys wanted the best. As their restaurant is often absolutely packed and they needed something that could handle efficiently the volume.

Here are some photos and if you intend to go past, I do recommend a visit.

It has an outdoor restaurant 

 

Gracebrook vinyard outdoors

An indoor restaurant  

Gracebrook vinyard indoors

A wine bar

Gracebrook vinyard wine bar

Another outside restaurant 

Gracebrook vinyard outdoor restaurant

Wine tasting

Gracebrook vinyard wine tasting

So what they needed was a POS company that has a firm understanding of the hospitality and restaurant industry. So they came to us as they wanted our winery point of sale software that gives vineyard owners the functionality and flexibility they need. Our software can do it all and provides the tools and features they need to provide superior service.

POS Solutions is one of the few POS software that can provide the technology to conduct all your winery including the tasting room operations from a single platform.

 

I have been to this Winery around 3 weeks ago on a sunday. Yes, it packed. Luckily the guys had made a booking.
Lovely menu, great service...Would recommend a visit and would definitely go back.
Great work guys, keep it up.
Rob!!!

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Do you have a Chinese policy?

POS SOFTWARE

One point that surprised me when I went to the New Retail ’19 conference which is considered  Australia’s largest retail gathering was directed I think at the medium to large retailers was the importance that these people saw in the Chinese market. 

What became apparent is that almost every Australian retailers there is looking at this market, now are you?

Currently, Chinese students, tourists and residents are responsible for up to two-thirds of luxury retail sales in Sydney and Melbourne in some places like Far North Queensland even more.

Here are some more figures:

There are about 165,000 students of Chinese descent coming to Australia a year (31%), 17% of them have family investments in Australia and their total economic contribution in Australia is over $7 billion dollars. 

There are about 28,000 migrants of Chinese descent coming to Australia a year (16%)

Australians of Chinese descent make up about 5.6% of the population. 

And here is the big one, there are 1,425,800 Chinese tourists every year in Australia (15.5%), and they are big buyers almost twice as big as the average. Today Chinese tourists in Australia spend 26.5% of the tourist trade. In the retail sector, they spend about $2,500 each.

I think every retailer should have a China strategy?

Here is something you can do immediately, put up a welcome sign in Chinese like this one in your shop.

Welcome sign in Chinese

Then why not walk around your area and see what retailers are marketing to this market.

 

 

 

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Free Westpac EFTPOS offer

POS SOFTWARE

WestPac six month free EFTPOS offer

Westpac has offered our clients, particularly if they are with Westpac, some exciting news. For the next few weeks, they are offering six months of free EFTPOS fees.  For a grade A, integrated EFTPOS system its an extremely good offer.

As this promotion is only running for a few weeks - if you are interested, I suggest you get onto it ASAP. 

Click here for details.

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Fingerprint security

POS SOFTWARE

Many of the management functions in your point of sale software such as voiding a transaction, changing prices and stock quantities should only be accessed by senior management. 

To protect these functions, the best, the quickest and easiest method now available are fingerprint scanners.


Here are more advantages of fingerprint scanners.

1) They are the only identification system in use now in retail that can verify with near certainty the identity of an individual. Security on passwords can be dubious as people who work with you may know your passwords, but they certainly do not have your fingerprints. Unlike ID cards and passwords, people cannot steal them to gain access to areas of your software where they should not go.

2) It is often much more convenient, people walk around with their fingers, they often do not walk around with their employee ID cards.

3) Saves money and time as you no longer have to issue ID cards, which often tend to get forgotten, lost or stolen. In fact, you can stop producing such ID cards.

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Afterpay T2 Platform Shut Down

POS SOFTWARE

 

Afterpay touch

The old Afterpay T2 platform was turned off today. If you are intending to use Afterpay Touch, you need to ensure that you are now on the new system.

 

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Enjoy a lovely free cup of coffee while training in our training room

POS SOFTWARE

Customer training

Our point of sale software is a living, breathing entity. It is continually being improved. We are extending its functionality all the time, even if you know it today soon you will have questions, and it does matter how good our point of sale software is and ours is very good if you do not know how to use it? To reach its full potential you need proper training. 

So we run free training in our training offices. In it, we teach you and your staff what they need to know and give them pointers on what the system can do to maximise their productivity.

Our training is both comprehensive and focused. Plus as I stated you could get a free cup of coffee or tea while you learn.

What it does mean is that our clients get not only a better product but also better use of our products than others.

 

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Anti virus and old versions of windows

POS SOFTWARE

Microsoft antivirus no longer supports XP, AVG anti-virus no longer supports XP, AVAST no longer supports XP,  etc. Most no longer support Windows 7 either. 

As such some of our clients, of our point of sale software are running into a problem that old versions of windows are no longer supported and now it appears that most of the antivirus companies are not supporting XP either.  This leaves them open to most viruses and ransomware. 

For these users, I am recommending

 

360 total security

Qihoo 360 Total Security

It is a free product for commercial use, it has no licenses, no expiration and no hidden fees. It is also a first-class product which runs on just about any computer and is fast. 

 

 

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