BLOGS AND ARTICLES FROM THE POS SOLUTIONS TEAM

Point of Sale Software

Changes in trading

POS SOFTWARE

Overall now, I estimate from our client base that general retail is down about 30%, much less in essential retail shops but there is another effect of this virus in that people are changing their spending patterns.

This is where your experience tends to work against you. What you are used too often does not apply in times of crisis like this one. 

Here is a report that can help you, 


Go to Register reports

 

 

Now select "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period"

 

 

Now select yesterday

Out will comes a report with the top sellers for yesterday and it will look like this.

 

 

 

Now, these need to be checked that you have enough stock now as this is now what is selling.

Give it a shot and see how you go.

It is a good idea every morning now to run this report.

PS If you haven’t already, consider setting up new buying options for your customers such as home delivery and click & collect.

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Bauer Media what is happening???

POS SOFTWARE

 

As many of you know Bauer Media has been doing some intense cost-cutting including closing its entire New Zealand arm.

Now it looks like it is trying to amend the agreement for Seven’s magazine assets, however what is worrying is if you read this article about it here.

Mumbrella understands some parties are concerned that should Bauer Media choose to exit Australia, or be unable to

continue business here.

For magazine sellers this could be very serious as Bauer Media is the publisher of the Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day and Gourmet Traveller, among many other titles.

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Amazon employees tested for Body Temperature

POS SOFTWARE

From Sunday, March 29, Amazon began temperature tests on its employees and support staff are healthy when they arrive at work.

Anyone over the CDC-recommended 38 degrees was asked to return home and to come back to work after they’ve gone three days without a fever.

They are now rolling it out to all their employees.

 

It is a good idea if it works. One problem is that many people can read over 38 degrees and not have the virus but in the absence of any proper tests, it may be better than nothing.

I know many people are testing their temperature regularly now so it may work.

If this experiment works out, then we may be looking at introducing it in Australia.

What would be required for a business would be a contactless one like this one. The cheapest one I saw on eBay was about $50 with a month delivery time. 

One idea is that currently, most chemists provide free blood pressure tests maybe they could provide free body temperature measurements too as a service. 

 

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Researching Your Business Online

POS SOFTWARE

Right now, when people go to a shop, consumers know what they want, they plan their trip carefully. Shopping is not a social activity now. If they browse, it is online. They know what they want, and they go straight in for it. They do not look right and they do not look left. 

If you want them to come to your shop you have to make sure that people online can find you and they are clear about what you have.

We call this type of online activity - The local Web. I think it is worthwhile studying this diagram because this is where you need to be now.

 

 

Here is what I suggest you do, imagine you are a consumer and you are looking for a product or service that you are in, do an online search for the product and try and find yourself?  Make sure you look up google, bing and yahoo.

Why not ask your customers if you were looking for XYZ product how they would look? 

 

Do you have a google business page? Google is by far the biggest search engine in Australia if you do not have a Google Business Page you are in trouble. Why not get it as it is free? Click here.

 

Google will be pushing people to these businesses.

Do you have a Facebook page? If no, why not again it is free?  Facebook has an estimated 16,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users. If you think about it, there are 25 million Australians, so we are talking 60% of all Australians. The percentage is higher with shoppers.

While you are at it, why not check out your competitors online on social media platforms. Look for their Facebook page, what are they doing?

There are many more social media sites to review; here is a March 2020 list rated by importance to Australians.

PS All retailers that are doing well have websites; please do no longer consider it an optional extra. Its is not that hard to start, use your top-selling reports to put in your top-selling items, you do not need that many to start as a rule the ten stock lines do about 33% of the shop sales. The key things for each product should be readily available, and off you go.

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Lowering labour requirements

POS SOFTWARE

 

Our POS System is great for lowering labour costs, but now in our current crisis, it has proven brilliant in reducing labour requirements.

Here are some points people have told me.

- Try working from home as much as possible, we do have a remote model that most of our users can switch too.

- I would really suggest that now you use its automatic ordering. One point that cannot be stressed too much, in a crisis situation gut feel and experience can actually work against you.

- Switch if possible to cashless model as besides avoiding the problems with handling cash now, it is faster and less labour intensive. There are other benefits too

 

- Integrate your accounting system into your point of sale software. It uses less labour. 

- Run your POS reports in particular stock, debtors and creditors on a timely basis.

 

 

 

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Covid 19 Guard for Retail

POS SOFTWARE

We were offered about a week ago to promote and market these screens that allegedly help to stop the spread of the coronavirus

I know that some of our competitors have been actively promoting these type of screens and some of our clients asked whether we have such screens too.  Strictly speaking, we do have them but we are not promoting them for the simple reason that we cannot see how they can work.

There is much that we do not know about this virus, what we believe is that it spreads in the air like other flu and colds. If so then what it would look like is this.

When an infected person coughs, sneezes or otherwise exhales what they are doing is creating a gaseous cloud that carries droplets of all sizes, some of these drops may be infected which you may breathe.

Anyway, our view is that before we promote such screens we would like to see evidence that the coronavirus would hit a screen, stop there and leave the person behind the screen safe. We did contact the Australian Health department on Coronavirus website and asked about it. When we get an answer we will let you know.

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What sells now?

POS SOFTWARE

With Coronavirus, it is clear that there is a major change in what retailers are seeing selling. 

The question raised now was do I have the right stock NOW in my shop. Another important question is do you actually have the stock you think you do? It is so easy to forget what you have when selling is so abnormal, here is a report that can help you.


And it is easy in our point-of-sale system to find out what is selling.

Go to Register reports

 

 

Now select "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period"

 

 

Let put in the dates since the lockdown took effect.

 

Now, the top items here need to be checked that you have enough stock.

Give it a shot and see how you go.

I expect that some items would be selling well some are bombing because everything is changing due to Coronavirus. This is one report, that I suggest you run regularly until this crisis settles down, gut feel and experience can work against you.

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New CRM software release

POS SOFTWARE

Large companies for years have been integrating their CRM (Customer relationship management) into their point of sale software. Today with coronavirus its more important than ever, so we are pleased to announce that we have added and extended our CRM facility in our software.

You will find this new CRM section in our reporting menu here.  

 

I urge you to go through this section. You can find some details on it here to start you off

Consider the genuine benefits for CRM your business, enjoy!

 

 

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Disinfecting your keyboard

POS SOFTWARE

Now with this virus running around it is very important that any equipment eg keyboard used by several people is cleaned regularly. (Industry standard now vary from hourly to once a day). I suppose it depends on high you feel the risk of contamination is likely to be but the front counter of a shop, I am sure rates a very high risk.

As we are not talking here of cleaning but disinfecting, we have a problem as keyboard certainly does not like moisture of any type and yet to disinfect you need liquid.

You need a disinfectant. Antibacterial is not enough. You need something that kills viruses.

Do not use bleach as this causes discolouration.

So do need a non-abrasive cleaning cloth, do not use toilet paper, kitchen wipes might be okay although proper wipes are the best.

In my supermarket, I could not get any antiviral clothes as they sold out, so I went online and found a recipe. I took a small jar and filled it with 3/4 methylated spirits and the rest dishwashing solution. I then found this made a terrific cleaning solution better than the one we were using. Then put in on a cleaning cloth, so it became damp but not dripping and any excess moisture I squeezed from the fabric.

{ Note I am not a doctor so take this advice in this spirit}

Unplug the keyboard. 

Now hold the keyboard upside down if possible and wipe it using some elbow grease carefully. 

Above all, do not get any liquid inside the keyboard.

Now leave the keyboard upside down, as they say, it needs a minute to kill the coronavirus. 

Now dry the keyboard with a kitchen wipe, and then you can use it.

 

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Marketing now

POS SOFTWARE

Rethink your marketing

Whatever debates people have had in the past about marketing, e.g. social media, discount vouchers vs loyalty programs. The reality is now that the only form of marketing now is online, and the only growing market is online.  The debate is over for the next six months may be longer.

People are stuck at home. They are bored. They use online to buy. Whatever else is happening, sales online is holding up.

Do you have a digital strategy?

Do you have a Facebook page for your business, if so you need to use it now? If you do not have one, then I suggest you start now. Note we do offer a free Facebook advice line to our clients if you need some help there.

Do you have a loyalty club with email addresses, if so you need to start a regular email newsletter to your clients as we have been suggesting to our clients for years to do, well use it?

Do you have a website, now you need one. 

If you have a website, I hope you have a click and collect or delivery service options.

My advice is to revamp your online now.

 

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Working from home

POS SOFTWARE

 

With our point of sale, there is a range of solutions for remote working. There are many advantages to doing so for one thing it saves time. You do not have to travel to work to get the information you require, and you can work whenever. The other now is that it increases social distance.

Also, it may be very useful now to set up cloud computing or VPN because if you have staff that can work from home, I am sure that they will appreciate it too.

 

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Uncertainty over Bauer, on its Pacific Magazines acquisition

POS SOFTWARE

It appears that the Bauer may be reconsidering its proposed purchase of Pacific Magazines deal despite getting ACCC approval.

Everyone is sure it has to do with the uncertainly of coronavirus.

If I was Blauer,  I would be wondering about coronavirus firstly what it will do to circulation. Some think that with more people at home, reading magazine will grow in popularity.

Still, that is not the big revenue issue but the fact that that the outlook for advertising spending is down, the prime problem here is the postponement of significant events such as the Olympics.

If it does not go ahead, I think that it is unfortunate for many magazine resellers, as the commercial reality today means the acquisition it is necessary to produce cost cuts required by the industry.

Having said that despite what has been said the circulation declines in the last few years, I expect more magazine titles closing. What is important is that this acquisition may reduce this trend.

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Video conferencing software review

POS SOFTWARE

 

 

Most suppliers will have their own favourites, here is a list of ones that I think if you have not got anything to look at that can handle 4+ people and are free to use. For family and friends, you may need it too

Google hangouts, as most people now have a Gmail account, they are already signed up. We use this one for our video conferencing. We find it very good for chatting. What I like is that it can run on a very wide variety of platforms. It is fairly easy to use once you get used to it.  It also being actively updated.

The problems we have is that it does require a decent internet connection if you have a bad quality internet which happens a lot in Australia when the NBN goes haywire, you can be cut out.   

Here are some others 

Discord 

Google duo 

Uberconference
To ease disruption from COVID-19, UberConference Free now allows longer call duration and up to 50 participants.

Whatsapp

Many of the Australian schools are using it now, so many people already have it. What is really good about it is the security.

Zoom you may this one as it is now taking off because the schools are switching to it. From what we have been told its close to breaking point with now over 25 million users.

Jitsi

Houseparty

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eCommerce websites

POS SOFTWARE

One point about the current lockdown is that eCommerce is continuing unaffected, I am sure that it is going up. People are not afraid to shop via apps and websites. Many now have nothing to do but research and buy online products that they need.

What I have noticed is that in our clients' websites, the product mix is changing rapidly as one great advantage with online shops is that the range of products can be quickly changed as you do not have to have the product to sell it. 

 

 

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How far off are you to last year's sales due to coronavirus?

POS SOFTWARE

What many want to know is what effect is this coronavirus having on your business.

What several of my clients are telling me because many people are at home, they are buying very differently now. This I will discuss in another post. Let us first work out where we are up to now.

The report I recommend that you look at first is in the Reporting Documents > Dissection Family Class Period Sales Comparison.

Put in the following details.

 

There are many more options here but let us keep it simple, you can always experiment later if you want to learn more, so leave it as All Stock lines and do not select for the extra information as yet. You will still get a very detailed comparison by department and class. 

 

It will make I am sure fascinating reading, in my view, the two most important metrics here are Qty which are the number of sales for each department and the $ Profit made by each department. 

What can also be useful is running the same report comparing the year before last year with the same period this year.

Remember that random chance dictates that about third are up, a third is down and the rest about the same. So you need to study the figures.

At the end of today's trading, you simply need to include date of today to get current figures.

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Coronavirus

POS SOFTWARE

Ain't this the truth, how we are all feeling now

 

The coronavirus has created a lot of upheaval and uncertainty in all of our lives. However, despite these worrying times, I want to reassure you that we are here for you and will continue to service your computer and software needs.

We are now implementing several changes to ensure so we can continue to provide service across all our operations. We're ready to help you and are committed to delivering the excellent service that we always do.

If you need to make contact with us the usual methods continue; mail, online chat, email and telephone. 

Just please stay safe, and we encourage you to monitor the Australian Government's COVID-19 health alerts here.

We hope in these turbulent times, you, your staff and your loved ones stay safe.

Kind regards,

Bernard Zimmermann

POS Solution director

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Webcam

POS SOFTWARE

 

We all this virus running around, I think many of you are going to find that many schools, suppliers and others are going to be using video conferencing rather than sending people out. Besides being more time effective and cheaper, it also means less social contact.

For most of them, your smartphone is fine, most laptops have an inbuilt camera and microphones already set up. I prefer the laptop as its a bigger picture.

If you wish to use a computer you need to purchase a Webcam and Mic which will clip onto your computer and allows you to see on video and chat face-to-face over the Internet in real-time. 

* Although I suggest that you make sure its resolution on standard is at least 640 pixels by 480 pixels nowadays for very little more you can get a high definition (HD) video, with 1,600 pixels by 1,200 pixels so I would say an HD.  

* The higher the megapixels the better. 

* Look at the frames per second (fps),  lower fps rates will create problems including jumpy videos with out-of-sync audio. I would recommend looking at nothing less than 30 but more is better. Over 60 fps its overkill.

* I find built-in microphones better than headsets. It is less restrictive.

* Low-light sensitivity can be very useful as often we tend on my computer to work in low light so the light is often not the best

* You need a decent internet connection speed but most of us have that now anyway. 

 

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Coronavirus

POS SOFTWARE

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Debt controlling

POS SOFTWARE

Debt is everywhere, it affects almost every human organisation, in my lifetime, I have seen the greatest empire in the world, the USSR and most important people like the Shah of Iran collapse from it. 

They did not have money to pay for people, and because of the debt no-one would lend them more money, soon their worlds collapsed.

Debt is part of modern life. If you sit back and wait, the worst might just happen. Here is a quick way of determining just how much debt your business is owed.

So go to main menu.

Register reports


Now usually, I would recommend using Trial Balance(excel), but for this example, I just wish it to be simple, so I selected Trial Balance.

 

 

Now select today's date, although just to show you the power of our system, I picked a random date many years ago.

I also selected by order by Surname as I think it makes it easier to find, and I ignored the "More Criteria" because I do want to keep it simple, but I urge you to experiment later with these options.

 

 

Now out pops among other details a page like this one below Although for security reasons, I blanked out the names, you can see all the relevant information is here.

 

A total will be printed at the end.

This gives you a quick look to understand your situation.

 

What interesting exercise is to go back in and select today's date last year and see how your debt situation is shaping up. If it is dramatically going up, I would suggest that you take action rather then praying for the best.

 

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Coronavirus a rant

POS SOFTWARE

 

The NBN in a client site was supposed to be installed on the 28/02/20. It got delayed till the 19/02/20, then was cancelled but in the last few hours, NBN got someone else, so the NBN installation was done, but from the internet company's app, it is clear that they have not got the word that it is installed.

Yesterday they rang the internet company, asked for accounts said their details to the automatic service and got cut off with an automatic message that the installation was cancelled but that the internet company would contact them when a new install was scheduled. So they rang for support and put in their details and it again they get an automated message to say that the installation is cancelled but that the internet company would contact them when a new install was scheduled. 

So they ring support again. This time they do not say the details requested. They wait almost an hour on the phone till they get through to support, the Philippines is in lockdown because of the virus, and they have been transferred to India which is on partial lockdown (people working but at home). The support guy who is flat out said that he could not help them, but told them that they need to write an email to the internet company at this address with their details explaining the problem. This they did.

Yesterday the app is still showing that they are no installed by the NBN. So they ring the complaint department and cannot get through, they can see an email address to complain if they want.

No internet and no ETA!

I wonder what the total bill for economic disruption will be for this virus. 

 

 

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