Bernard Zimmermann's blog

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Upgrade under way

 

Right now we are upgrading our site, so there may be some issues until we bed it down.

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Proactive monitoring

POS SOFTWARE

What is happening under the table in your shop. Well, one point of a functional point of sale system is that the numbers never lie. That is why you must regularly check your information and scrutinise your figure to highlight any inconsistencies.

So I suggest that you regularly check your Retail Protective Key Performance Indicators, to see what people are entering into the system.

These indicators give you a detailed breakdown for each operator on no sale, voids, count, totals, refunds, negative items and discounts. One figure I suggest you look at in particular is the voids. 

To see them, go to cash register reports. (see orange arrow)



Now select Staff and click on "Sales security indicators" (see blue arrow)

 


Select the required period, I recommend doing it monthly, quarterly and yearly.

The most successful internal thieves in my experience have these characteristics

1) They have patience 

2) They take only a little at a time.

3) Keep a low profile

4) They do not tell or share with others when they do it can be an absolute disaster for the business. 

Generally what happens is that develop a method which works for them, and they tend to use it methodically. Approximately $80 a day assuming they work 250 days a year gives then $20,000 tax-free.

This creates an item that is way above average on some item. This is what you with this KPI check is looking for is some item way off the scale eg $20,000 of voids a year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last check on your stock levels

POS SOFTWARE

Now is your last chance to get your stock levels right.

Fortunately, with our point of sale software, you have both real-time reporting and low-stock alerts to warn you when the stock is running low. This is to keep your stock levels at your ideal level.

However, running out of stock now can severely impact your bottom line and do untold damage to your customers’ view on you.

 

Good news:

We have a unique report which gives you an immediate way of checking your current situation.

In Cash register report, call up the GMROI (see the selection highlighted) in your point of sale software in the reports here.

You can select the list of options you want, and I suggest you go over these options later.

I recommend doing this by departments for a first run.

Then you will get a report like this.

As you can see the items are all listed.

Let’s look at it in detail:

What we are looking for is items with low stock on hand figures, decent sales, and reasonable ROI% figures, ROI% is the return on investment, it is one of the best ways to determine how valuable your stock items are to your business. It is calculated by the (unit sold) x (Profit)/ (Average stock cost) and you need about 3.2 in industry, but as you can see here, there are many items above and below it.

Now it is up to you

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Clunky monitors on the front counter

POS SOFTWARE

 People go to a lot of trouble and expense to make their shop and front counter. Sometimes what you see on the front counter an old computer screen like this one.

Old monitor for the tip


It is firstly taking up a lot of room on the most valuable and best spot in your shop, that space should and could be used far better. A monitor can often, for example, be raised on a stand, so take up no room on the front counter and be better positioned for the cashier too

More importantly, it is making a wrong impression to your customers on your business. With such an ancient monitor what are they thinking of your software and technology? 

I would suggest getting a monitor that is modern, stylish and sleek. This will enhance your shop and move the old one to the back where no-one sees it.

Here is an idea get a monitor in colour, now that makes a bold statement about your shop, matches your shop colours and a cool talking point.

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Next lot of Automatic updates coming out

POS SOFTWARE

The following updates in relation to newspapers and publications are going out now.

[2018-12-21]: The Christmas edition of the Financial Review will be on sale from Saturday 22nd of December to Thursday 27th of December inclusive

[2018-12-27]: The Christmas edition of the Financial Review will be on sale from Friday 28th of December to Tuesday 1st of January inclusive

[2019-01-25]: The Christmas edition of the Financial Review will be on sale from Saturday 26th of January to Monday 28th of January inclusive

[2018-12-24]: The Christmas edition of the Age will not be published on Tuesday 25th of December

[2018-12-24]: The Christmas edition of the AgeSub will not be published on Tuesday 25th of December

[2018-12-24]: The Christmas edition of the Sydney Morning Herald will not be published on Tuesday 25th of December

If it takes you 3 minutes to do manually each one of these then that is 18 minutes you have just saved using our system.

If you want to review the automatic changes to your system that are coming up or if you want to see what exactly has been changed. It's easy to do.

Follow this how to do it.

Go to the Cash register reports

 

 

In register reports, select Automatic Update Notes History (see the arrow marked in green)

 

Now enter in the dates, generally, I suggest the past month.

 

Now the detailed notes appear on what was changed like this.

 

 

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EFTPOS warning

POS SOFTWARE

One of my clients had the following happen to them.

 

They got a query from the credit card that one of their customers is claiming that a transaction was rung up twice and so they have charged the customer twice for the same thing.

When they investigated in their POS systems what they discovered was that they had done two purchases on the same day for different items but the value was the same as the amount claimed. 

Now what they had to do was show clearly that both these transactions were for something different and that they were different transactions.  The security footage was very useful here.

What it does show is how important it is to include enough detail to show that even though the transactions are for the same amount, that they are a different purchase.

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Speed of cash registers

POS SOFTWARE

In modern retail, most of the time taken to process a transaction is independent of the point of sale software.

If you think about it, every customer when being processed today should be greeted with a friendly smile, hellos exchanged, they are processed, the cash or EFTPOS is handled, goodbyes are said, and they go. The industry standard to do this is about 40 seconds a transaction plus about three seconds for each item to scanned and rung up.  So if they want to buy four things, the time taken is expected to be about 40 seconds plus four items in their basket at 3 seconds each so its about 52 seconds. 

Very little of this time is actually due to the POS software slowing down the transaction.

Of course, the trouble that retailers have is if the queues start to get big, then people walk out. What annoys retailers is when they see people dumping their proposed purchases and leave.  What is even worse people then often avoid shops that they know has long queues and do not come back.  So they hellos and goodbyes get a bit quicker, the processing gets rushed. 

To see what is happening now with our system, I took about 20,000 cash register transactions from a client with actually a slow machine but in a busy shop and measured their results.  

The average speed of a transaction was about 36 seconds a sale which is what I expected as our clients tend to have low numbers in their baskets and they are almost all in high volume pressure environments.

Here is what the graph looks like 

 

Cash register transaction speeds

As you can see in a pinch, our clients are doing transactions much less than 36 seconds as you can see here in seconds.

Transaction speed raw data

So it is not the computer, but on an average, I think our clients should budget about 36 seconds plus or minus. 

One idea that does work well in practice is to introduce a single queue, and have many cash register serving that queue. Although there are still waiting, people do prefer it.  If you have access to Mythbusters shows checkout S16E05 which has an experiment on this, the conclusion was even if this method is slower, people prefer it as it appears fairer. For a discussion on the subject click here,

 

 

 

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Cashless retailers penalise the poor

POS SOFTWARE

Although this issue has not hit Australia yet, overseas with so many retailers going cashless that politicians are concerned that very poor people with problems of electronic banking are having problems shopping.

Some shops now in the US will accept cash but do not give change.

What is happening is that overseas retailers are going cashless. This is partly as its faster as its just a swipe, its cheaper as the cost of cash as handling costs of cash is estimated at a few percent which is more than the fees for electronic cash and more secure as cash is always a security problem. 

China is now nearly all cashless, while the US is in retail about 70% electronic, and Australia is 63%.

At the current trend, cash will vanish in Australia in 2026. I expect long before that almost all our clients will stop accepting cash.

 

While they don't have a screen and they are not much more than a fit bit just now, smart rings are the new buzz. Watches can be annoying to wear, especially if you have to do  a lot of typing to do. It won't be long now before all you will need to do to pay for things is flash your pinkie like a wonder twin.  These rings without a screen being more a simple deice than a watch will be cheaper and probably will be an alternative for a cheaper option. 

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