BLOGS AND ARTICLES FROM THE POS SOLUTIONS TEAM

Point of Sale Software

Best wishes for a wonderful 2019 New Year!  

POS SOFTWARE

2018 to 2019

It is hard to believe that 2018 is now almost behind us.  

While in my current role of director today, I spend more time behind the scenes then I used too, I can assure you that my dedication and drive to deliver the highest value product for our clients has continued and I would like to take a quick moment to share my thanks and gratitude to everyone I have had the honour and privilege to meet, work with, and interact with this year.

In 2018, we did over 220 major upgrades to our system, it is faster and more powerful then it is ever been. If you have not seen it recently you probably will not recognise it. Here are some of the notable changes we have done this year.

Software upgrades in 2018

We did over 17,000 support calls seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We never stopped working.

A customer satisfaction score (NPS) has continued to improve. Obviously what we are doing our clients like.

Personally, it has been a great pleasure to work with you.

On behalf of myself and from all of us at POS Solutions we extend our best wishes for the coming New Year and it is our sincere hope that 2019 will bring you joy and prosperity for you, your friends, family, and loved ones everywhere.

 

Bernard Zimmermann

Director POS Solutions

 

“In the New Year, you carry all the experiences of the past years and that is the greatest power of every New Year! This year again, you are less student and more master!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

 

I am going to say that I really like to read stuff like this. I decided that I will read about this more after coming back from my coach tours from vancouver

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Put on your receipt a quote

POS SOFTWARE

Here is a marketing tip on your point of sale receipt

Put in an inspiring quote. It will undoubtedly bring a smile and comment from many of your clients as they read it.

Need some inspiration? Check this site for quotes, you can use. 

 

 

 

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Accounting software in retailers

POS SOFTWARE

Every year we survey our clients to see what they think of our performance

Accounting systems in retail shops

While we do this, we ask a few questions about what our clients are doing and what they want to do with the software.  So we asked them about what accounting systems they use? 

The first point to notice is that about 95% of retailers here are running some accounting program, which is effectively everyone. Interestingly although there are many accounting software packages, most retailers in our market space use one of four systems.

In my experience, as Australian standards in accounting software has not changed much in 30 years, all these programs can do the same job. All are good, and the difference tends to be, I think user preference, requirements and ease of use.

Running through them in turn.

MYOB historically and now is by the far the most popular system by retailers. Recently as they introduced their cloud version, you can see its popularity has continued to grow in our chart. I find it too rigid in use for my taste but many would consider this a positive advantage. 

Quickbooks and Reckon, a few years ago had a terrific deal going, over half price so we told our clients and many of my clients jumped on this deal, obviously, Quickbooks has lost much market share as the deal died out but as their cloud version comes out they are slowly building up their market share. This one is my personal favourite but I do accept that this flexibility comes at a price that a user does require more training than other software packages.   

Cashflow manager is an extremely solid and popular accounting program, I am not surprised there is a growing interest in the product. Its simplicity is I am sure part of its appeal.

Xero is expensive but very good. Now it is clearly facing pressure from other vendors now that can now do cloud as well so my clients are moving away from it. 

Finally, interest in what is many other smaller accounting software packages are dropping off. I think that this might be the effect of the growing interest in cloud computing. The other problem is that if you adopt a system with few users, it can be hard to get help if you require help. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cloud backup

POS SOFTWARE

A client's point of sale server went down yesterday night. Everything as such stopped. No technician was available. Today a technician came along and stated it would be a few days before it can be fixed.

However, to fix the immediate problem, we do not need their computers to work. As they were doing cloud backup, we were able to get their information from a cloud backup. Then we installed a point of sale system on a temporary computer, that we have here. Put their information on and we will be able to send them in a few hours a working system.

This is a dramatic example of how useful a free cloud backup can be.

Here are some more reasons to look at a cloud backup 

1. Automatic once set up it requires minimal human intervention.

2. Storing your information offsite is always the best, what if the shop burnt down tomorrow?

Disadvantages

1. Cost, they are dearer then USB sticks. Internet costs can be high. Electricity costs can mount up.

2. Security, when you use the cloud what you are doing is using someone else's computer who knows what happens to your data in these locations.

Note: Unless you get an expensive plan on your cloud backup, generally cloud will not protect you from Ransomware attacks whereas USB backups will protect you from ransomware.

 

 

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Shoppers today were eager taking on Boxing Day

POS SOFTWARE

It is expected today that retailers will bring in about $2.3 billion sales today and about $18 billion in the following three weeks.

 

I spoke to a few of my clients and generally, they were happy with the trade this season although many told me that this season started off slow but built up. This slower but longer pattern appears to be a long-term trend. 

Some of my clients will be doing half their yearly trade in this and next month. One of them told me, he was doing an actual speed test of just how fast our system can be under pressure. 

From what I could see, people were queueing up, it is not often that you see shops with barriers in the front and a guard managing a queue to restrict public access to a shop. I took some shots at the DFO Moorabbin, they are actually bigger then they look as people were lining up in a snake queue

 

DFO Moorabbin Boxing Day queue

 

DFO Moorabbin Boxing Day queue
 

DFO Moorabbin Boxing Day queue

 

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Seasonal greetings to you!

POS SOFTWARE

From my family to yours I wish you, I wish you all a great season. 

It has been a pleasure getting to know you all and sharing your experiences.

Thank you all for your readership to this blog.

I know that every time, I come here I have learned something new and I have thoroughly enjoyed being with you as we share our love of technology.

 

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Accept cash, EFTPOS, direct debit and more fast

POS SOFTWARE

EFTPOS,Our point of sale software is designed to handle all types of payment fast. You can set up fully customised buttons to accept a wide variety of different payment methods, eg cash, EFTPOS, cheques, bank deposit, etc.

You can even accept split payments, where some go with one payment type and the rest with other types all simply and securely.

We also allow you to accept Part Payment, Advance payments and Overpayments.

One point that some people have asked is can they refuse to accept in some payment methods in some circumstances. The answer appears to be YES as long as it is specified before the debt is incurred. For example, if you have a sign that we accept EFTPOS and I go to pay to pay with EFTPOS you must receive it unless you explicitly state the conditions that you will not allow it e.g. for Lotto payments. The sole exception is cash. You must clearly say in advance if you do not want to accept cash.

But this is a legal problem, not a software issue. 

These payment types are set up with rules in the Dissection maintenance, where you can set up exactly as you require it for single touch transactions including surcharges.

 

 

 

 

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Tortoise vs Hare

POS SOFTWARE

There is a famous story of the race between the Tortoise vs Hare, where the arrogant and over-confidence hare is is beaten by the steady tortoise.

Well, check what happens in real life when they race.

It is not actually an accident as this race been done a few times with 

The tortoise wins not because he was slow and steady as many say but because the hare stops while the tortoise won because it was focused and maintained consistency.

Like the tortoise we need to focus on the things will control, not get distracted and stay focused on the goal.

 

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Afterpay and Zip are now 10% of all shoppers

POS SOFTWARE

 

Have a read of analysis here of Afterpay and Zip on the Australian retail market by UBS.

According to this analysis, which I think is right.

Afterpay now has about 2.5 million customers while Zip has 1.5 million local customers overall that is about 10% of the population. Although the article does not say it, most people with one have the other one as well.

Afterpay has estimated that about 23 per cent of its customers would not have made purchases if not for their service. I am sure that Zip will make the same claim as they are both pushing their clients through marketing campaigns to use their product in their selected shops. These marketing campaigns are huge eg Zip told me that they send out about a million emails a campaign.

Afterpay and Zip now generated about $2.7 billion of gross transaction value (mostly retail sales) in 2018, up from $770 million in 2017, this is equivalent to about 60 per cent of the growth in non-food or discretionary spending in 2018. 

Although the article did not mention it, I think these points are valid too.

Laybys are way down as few will layby when they can use these services and get the goods now?

I notice that one of our competitors is now offering Zip only in beta release to a few. This is too late for their clients this Christmas. Our clients have had most of this year to get organised and many have already put it in. 

The big problem for many of our clients in 2019, will be to get their share of this market as it is now too big and successful to ignore.

 

 

 

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Inline 4 Cafe

POS SOFTWARE

Busy restaurant

I rarely do an article on one of our clients using our Point of Sale software unless it is exceptional, the Inline 4 Cafe is such a place. It has become a mecca of motorcycle riders and many other people. 

Plenty of bikes

It is partly owned by Carl Cox probably the most famous British record producer and DJ today and possibly in the world too. 

Carl Cox having a beer

So we were so pleased after they went looking at many restaurant and cafe software systems they picked our POS system. These guys wanted the best. This restaurant is often absolutely packed and they needed something that could handle efficiently the volume.

Here is some photos, if you are going past, I do recommend a visit. 

Our bar software

Cafe shop

 

Bar administration software

Cafe and shop software

 

Bike on display

 

Customer restaurant software screen

 

Restaurant software

 

Restaurant Cake stand

 

 

Front cafe cake software

Motor cycle racing team

Bar software

Bar areaBar area

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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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Measure how your shop is doing?

POS SOFTWARE

To improve your business, you need measurable facts. You need to assess how you are going.

So in your point of sale software let us get some.

Go to reports and the click on sales

Point of sale menu selection for compare

What this report will allow you to do is check how each department in your shop is doing in comparison to previous periods.

Options to compare periods

Now select the dates that you are interested in here. I am ignoring for this example all the extra options that you can examine here, but I do suggest after you work your way through this example that you study this screen in more detail.

You do not need to have formal dates as this shows, you can pick any dates. For example, today is the 06 Dec 2018, so I might select a month period from 06 Nov 2018 to 05 Dec 2018. What I suggest you do is pick a date in previous periods similar to what you are interested in so you may need to look at your diary.

Now a report with the simplified options here

Comparison reports

 

Now there are lots of details for you to look. If you want to just look at one department click on the left.

Now with all the detail, we put in you may want more, say I wanted to know my average sale price in a department now compared to before as I might be curious if the public is buying cheaper priced items now. This is not in the report explicitly. 

So on the top left-hand side is a little export button.

 

Export to excel

Now click to export to excel or OpenOffice (which is free here) and then once it is in excel divide the qty into the sales to get my average sale price.

 And that was just the beginning of what you can learn here.

As I stated as you work through the options, you will get lots more information out of this report.

 

 

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Delivery schedules from Australia Post

POS SOFTWARE

Australia Post

If you intend to use Australia Post as a delivery agent if you require your goods to arrive by Christmas. These would be the latest you could send it.

If you're sending in Australia by Express Post network, you need to send your items before 1 pm Friday 21 December 2018. If you’re sending the items overseas this year, you need to send them today if you want to use their standard delivery, and by Monday 17 December 2018 for Express delivery. 

Of course, delivery schedules and actual arrivals do not always agree.


 

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All I want for Christmas...

POS SOFTWARE

Currently, 2018 Christmas retails sales are expected to grow 2.9% this year. According to the well-known comparison site, finder.com.au Australians are expecting to spend $1325 each on average on Christmas. “people expect to spend on average $464 each on presents, $444 on travel, $131 on alcohol, $122 on food and $61 on decorations,”

Are you part of it?

Do you have the right stock NOW in your shop? Another important question is do you actually have the stock you think you do? It is easy to forget what you have.

What I do suggest is you look at your mirror marketing reports.

Go to Register Reports marked in green.

 

 

Now select in stock, "Stock Sold During Period(a) Not Sold in Period(b)"

What the report will tell you is what was sold in a previous period last year but has not been sold in this period. What you are trying to do is mirror your success last year.

 

Now in brown, you will see that there is a lot of flexibility for your reports there is also an integrated traffic analysis available too but let's keep it simple for the time being.

Now you will get a report with what you sold over the period, but you are not selling in your current period. What you find is I am sure worth investigating.

After that please redo this report for other years besides last year.

If you find goods missing, you need to hurry as we have less then 20 days left.

 

 

Dear Bernie
I am in Perth and I am trying to find an app that will convert anything into an ddo or dd2 file did you have any success. or are you beating your head on the wall like me. [email protected]

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