Bernard Zimmermann's blog

Amazon prime day sale

POS SOFTWARE

 

It is Amazon Prime Day today in Australia, which is an annual shopping event on Amazon exclusive to Amazon members. It is their big push for sales today, so its a good time to review their Australian operations. Now if you want to see if Amazon affects you today is the day.

Worldwide, Amazon is a vast global online retailer with close to 232 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 net sales. So big that when Amazon decided to physically come to Australia, as Amazon already had a firm hold on the Australian market and with a physical presence in Australia, many Australian retailers were terrified. So many of them spent fortunes on developing a competitive online product. 

Well, Amazon came here, and the results seem to be mixed.

They have achieved a lot of growth in Australia. Current figures were at 1500% in 2018 but it is only about A$300 million which although is a lot of money is only a small fraction of the Australian online shopping which last year was estimated then at A$28.6 billion and brick and mortar stores do about ten times more than that so as a result few currently pay much attention to Amazon here. 

Many here, including myself want Amazon Australia to close down as it restricts us from buying much directly from Amazon US. However, I doubt that it will not close down even though Amazon now report that it is losing money in Australia soon as large companies like that are quite prepared to run at a loss for an extended time to make a viable product. So we are all going to have to learn to live with it.

Australian retailers must see that in the online space the competition is up, and the two immediate issues are they need to look at their e-commerce and their delivery options. This is where Amazon is powerful.

Where we are unique in our market space is that our point of sale software is a unified commerce solution which brings together both of these issues into one platform in your POS system. Pieced together systems, that our competitors offer cost more money and lead to problems as different systems both in use, training and the need to talk to each other. Plus there is no long-term as who knows what the individual and separate parts are going.

Our unified system gives you long-term as well as a day-to-day business solution. Click here for more details

PS If you want using our system you can sell through Amazon too.

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Yesterday EFTPOS outage

POS SOFTWARE

Signs like this went up yesterday, as ATMs and EFTPOS machines on Thursday afternoon, went down. Our call centre like so many others took a hammering. There was little we could do. It appears that the big problem was in the debit card transactions if it had been credit, it would not have been that bad as almost everyone with credit has a debit account too. The only workaround that sometimes worked was to use the card manually.

Today a Telstra spokesperson said all services had been fully restored and apologised for the incident. In the process, it is estimated that the cost of this blackout by the National Retail Association, will be over 100 million dollars. The bigger retailers will be less affected then the SMB as they have websites where people could that evening buy later, many SMB do not have such a website. Anyway I am sure this is a gross underestimation what about non-retailers like us with our extra costs? 

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Staff passwords

POS SOFTWARE

Too often we see the passwords in our client's shops ignored and treated like a joke. It does not have to be and let me point out that many of you can be held responsible for misuse of the system. If you treat the matter lightly then so will your staff.

What you need to do is give your staff the resources to do their jobs, which means giving them access to your point of sale software. However you do not have to give them access to all the system. What out system allows you to do is select exactly what they can have access too.

Please go to

Main menu> staff > staff maintenance

Then click the Security Level tab on the top

 

Now you will see the user levels with our suggested functions for each level. Change them at will to suit your own particular needs.

 

Now click Staff Maintenance

This screen appears

 

 

Now set your staff with a suitable security level that they need to do their position making sure that you give them the functions and information they will need without compromising sensitive and dangerous functions and information.

This is not only a matter of protecting yourself but if your customers see that you treat the information they give you lightly they will remember that. What may be interesting to you is to read the Woolworths privacy statement here. It might give you some ideas

 

 

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You need to be rebooted your computers at least weekly

POS SOFTWARE

 

Many of you never switch off your main computer. If so this post is for you.

This is not good practice. What happens is that many of the updates and patches, the computer requires a reboot to complete. If this reboot does not occur weird things happen.

The other problem is memory leaks. What is happening here is that you are building up useless data, chunks, software, etc. in memory. This will slow down the computer and in the worse case can cause parts of the computer to fail e.g. one of your printers no-longer work.

As such it is recommended that all computers, get a restart once a week. 

 

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Graph your sales results

POS SOFTWARE

The Russian writer Ivan Turgenev wrote: "The drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pages in a book" 

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Often it is much easier to see trends in your business by looking at graphs of your sales by over time. Doing this, you can quickly see how you are travelling. You’ll know where you are going went up and down. You can determine what effect the measures you took helped you meet your goals.

And it is effortless to do, and you can do it in seconds!

Go to your reports> Sales> Dissection Monthly Sales Trend (Graph)

 

Now there are many options here, but I am going to keep it quick and straightforward, and you can build up from there.

Put in a very long time; in this case, I will pick seven years because I am looking at a long term trend.

I decided to look at giftware products, so I picked selected and highlighted giftware.

 

 

Now out popped this graph. 

 

I can certainly see a long-term pattern up. The last few years which I highlighted in yellow are up, notice that the Christmas peaks are higher too. Overall this department has gone from a 20K to 50K a month to a 30K to 80K, making it a very pleasing department. We can see that something here is working. 

I am sure you will agree that it is much easier to see that, then a report with lots of numbers.

 

Have a go and let me know how it went.

 

 

 

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Shop profit and sales this year to last year

POS SOFTWARE

The $64,000 question many of you will be asking now is how well did I do this year in my shop compared to last year. Just how am I travelling? 

 

Now is a good time to find out and it is very easy to do.

 

Go to Reporting Documents > Dissection Family Class Period Sales Comparison.

 

 

Now put in the financial year dates, in this case, I put down that I want a report on all products. 

Note there are many more options here but let us keep it simple, you can always experiment later if you want to learn more.

 

Now on the basic version, you 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 be also useful is running the same report comparing last year with the year before that, this will give you a two-year trend analysis.

 

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Get your stock turns now!

POS SOFTWARE

Stock turns ( often called the Inventory Turnover) is one of the most commonly used measures used in stock control. What it measures is how many times you turn over your stock.

Now that you have done a stocktake, it is the perfect time to do a full review of your stock turns.

Traditionally it is calculated as 

Stockturn = (Cost of Goods Sold) / (Average Inventory cost)

So say you keep a constant stock of 10 items which is your average inventory, and you sold 50 over the year. You would have a stock turn score of 5.

A score that many retailers often look at here is twelve because they tend to pay monthly, if they sell out monthly then effectively they are not paying for the stock anything under twelve they are paying to keep.  

As a general rule, the higher the score of your stock turns the better. This, however, is not always true, too high a stock turn often shows that you are understocked. Say for example you have an item you could sell one a day, but you order one a week. So every week, you have sold one, so at the end of the year you have a score of 50, which is a great score but you have lost 250 sales that you could have had because you could have sold one a day and all you have sold is one a week.  

How to get your stock turn scores.

Main Menu > Cash Register > Register Reports > expand Stock > select/double click the report “Show Stock Turn by Dissection and Item

 

Now here is the sample I produced that shows the stock turns by department.

What to do now

Take time to analyse what these scores are telling you. This will help you to identify the actions required to improve profitability and return on investment.

Now you need to analyse your stock, check each department see what is working and what is not. A score signals bad sales and that you are more stock than you realistically need at any given time. Maybe you have a pricing or quality issue. What you may have in that department a lot of obsolete stock. If so move the obsolete stock to a different department as it is not going to give you fair figures here.

A high score indicates greater profitability and good return on investment, although as I stated, it may also mean that you are not ordering enough.

Remember every figure has a story.

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Slow-moving stock

POS SOFTWARE

Stock planning in retail is tricky. What you do not want is a shop full of slow-moving stock, you need stuff that sells! Besides the problem that this stock is taking up space and capital, it is also not bringing in customers.

There are several ways to identify what is your slow-moving stock, but as a rule, a stock item that sells under $100/year is slow-moving. The first point before you can do something is to identify all these items.

So go to Register reports > Stock > Slow moving Stock lines

Now I put in a year of sales, and I say anything that I have stock in and have sales of less than $100. 

 

I find it best to work by department separately, so in this shop, I was looking at the stationery department.

Now we got a report of 81 pages of detailed information of all the items that we considered slow-moving. It totalled almost $80,000 worth of worthless stock. 

So we have someplace to start.

Such stock analysis can provide you with insights to improve your decision making that can help you reduce costs and improve sales.

Give it a try.

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