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POS Software

  • What Is your Retail Shrinkage?

    What is your stock shrinkage? How much are you losing in your shop by causes? Many cannot answer this simple question. And if you do not know what to do if how do you know what to do fix it? I very much believe in the value of using data to help improve the management within your organization and this question is one of the most important ones in retail. The good news is with our point of sale software; it would be an easy calculation to find out.

    Briefly, stock shrinkage is the difference between what you should have and what you actually do have.

    Some major reasons would be if you have decent pos software.

    1) Customer theft - The five finger discount

    2) Damage - We had one furniture shop that was recording huge numbers of damaged goods somewhere between receiving and customer delivery.

    3) Supplier fraud - Which is all too often, for example, a typical example is that a supplier bills you for goods shipped, but for some reason, you did not get all these goods.

    4) Staff theft - In my experience this is nearly zero or nearly 100% of the problem.

    After you do a stocktake which you should do next month and do your financial returns collect these three figures.

    a) The value of the stock you SHOULD HAVE at the end of this financial year. If your point of sale is up to date, print out a stock valuation before starting the stocktake, if it is not, then your accountant will be able to give you an estimate of the (Ending Stock Value).

    B) What is the value of your stock you ACTUALLY HAD at the end of this financial year. Your point of sale software will have this figure once you enter in the stocktake figure in the stock valuation report. (Physically Counted Inventory Value)

    C) What is your total sales ex non stock items such as agency like lotto, as here we are interested in stock sales only (Sales of stock products)

    Please do the following calculation.


    Shrinkage% = ((Ending Stock Value)-(Physically Counted Inventory Value))/(Sales) x 100%

    As a punt, I would say that it will be about 1.4%, but it does vary a lot. One client of ours reported after doing this calculation that it was less than 0.1%, which is the best figure I have ever seen. Conversely I have seen a shop which a receiver told me he recorded 6%.

    Damaged goods (2) above you should be able to estimate and put that part aside. Goods that suffer a major damage problem should be moved to a safer place. I know a gift shop that after calculating the damage rate stopped handling glass products.

    For the others as a first guesstimate, assume that (1), (3) and (4) above are equal and calculate them.


    Now act!!!

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  • Speed at point of sale

    People tend to be upset waiting in queues. Generally in retail the standard danger point occurs if the size of the queue if over 6 or more and/or the time taken is over 5 minutes. The problem with standards is no business is standard. If I go to a barber, I would wait 5 minutes. If I go to a shop and want a pack of cigarettes, I am not waiting 5 minutes, and I am walking out if I see six people waiting.

    And retailers know this; this is why they want fast point of sale software and computers. Doing reports and data entry it's nice to have faster processing, but at the cash register, having people wait is retail death.

    Ours is the fastest point of sale software that I know, as you can see where it is marked in green. The operators here were regularly doing transactions at a rate of four a minute in 2014 before the new Intel's Core i7 and AMD’s Ryzen computers came out and the new SQL was released. So I am sure we will now get faster speeds once we finish our new benchmarking results.

    Although I said it is nice to have faster processing speed, it is mentally frustrating on the mind for people to work slow computers. People are extremely fast in detecting speeds. A typical person can detect changes visually at .013 of a second and react in .25 second, if you want to know your reaction time click here.

    If you are waiting 20 seconds while your computer is thinking, you are reacting potentially physically 80 times. That is why time seems to go so slowly when you press on a computer Y instead of N. Your mind internally is going No, No, No, ... 80 times.

    Computer and software speed does matter.

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  • Free Webinar: Stocktake

    Well, stocktake time is coming again, so time to get ready for the big count.

    The documents in help section of point of sale software have been upgraded and should now automatically be in your pos system so press F1 and check them out as they list several methods of doing a stocktake.

    I do strongly recommend that you whatever method you decide to run your stocktaking try it in training first to get familiar with the process. Better to know the process ahead of time instead of having trouble when trying to run the real thing, also consider attending a free webinar that will be done on 1/June/2017 at 2:00pm EST.

    We hope to see you there.

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  • Point of sale Reporting and Analytics

    As a market-leading point of sale software provider, we deliver on our promise of creating a huge number of business reports that transforms our users into wizards by giving them accurate, on-demand, and highly interactive information that they can act upon.

    We offer 100s of pre-written reports and if that is not enough, we give you ad-hoc reporting too where you can write your own reports.

    Go to the reporting section and you get this.

    Click on an item here and even more will pop out

    RRunning through these reports in no particular order, you can see crucial sales metrics such as:

    Profit

    The number of items sold.

    Breakdown of sales
    Employee performance
    Departmental performance.
    Price performance
    Sales
    Inventory
    Payments
    Register breakdowns
    Gift card sales
    Gift card usage
    Total sales
    Hourly sales
    Total transactions
    Average transaction amount
    Order history
    Payment summaries
    etc
    etc
    etc

    All these give you massive insights that help you to better understand your shop. You see stock is over/under performing, what is selling, who is buying what, when they are buying, how they are paying for it buying it and which employee is selling it to them.

    This is how you can gain the detailed insights you need to make informed decisions about your shop.

    Note unlike so many other pos software systems you do not need to buy extras to access this data. Want to compare systems, demand to see the reports, count them quickly, I have not seen a system with more reports then us, demand to see them run with full data not play data as unlike us, many do not use proper SQL so the run like a dog.

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  • Here are some tips for stocktaking

    Several retail experts, I have spoken to recommend that a shop should count all stock four times a year, as well as doing monthly stock takes for various high-risk departments such as tobacco much more. Personally, I have never known a stocktake, not to find something of interest. It is the only way to determine much about your actual stock. However, whatever in theory it is coming to the end of the financial year, and all stock should be counted soon.

    A typical client of ours, tend to take about four working days to count the stock, so its not a minor investment.

    Here are some tips.

    Prepare - Set an actual date for the stocktake take.

    Estimate what you are going to do when. Try if possible to pick a quiet period to avoid distractions. You can either do a rolling stock take which allows it to be done in stages, which is what we suggest or do it all in one hit, which is what many of our clients prefer.

    Make sure that on this day, your point-of-sale system is up to date with the stock receiving and sales.

    Go over the shop and make some order so all the stock is tidy and together.


    Make policy in advance

    How you will handle damaged stock?

    How you will count? For an English speaker, the convention is to go from top to bottom, left to right. Set the convention to be systematic. This avoids counting duplications.

    Learn

    You may have known how to do it last year but the odds are you need a refresher course. So do one or two small sections first as a test run to get a feel of what is involved before the big day? Learn the correct computer procedures, I do not suggest you try a learn when you have extra staff counting. It is going to cost you time and money while you get organised.

    Stocktake day

    Do a backup at the start just in case,


    Make sure that you have enough staff when the stocktake is required.

    Have a place markers for each staff member so it is clearly marked where they start and where they are up too.

    Make sure that the supervisor of the area is available if required.

    If possible count everything although be aware that sometimes you will need to estimate.

    Do a backup at the end just in case, I have seen people enter everything in and someone not knowing exactly what to do has gone into some section and wrecked all the figures. The stocktake had to be redone.

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  • Speed extra tills and security

    I am sure you will agree that having many tills on one computer does speed up customer processing, but it has other advantages too such as employee theft.

    One point that really annoys me, mainly because I have a financial background is what I see in many point of sale software solutions that are poorly implemented and badly understood by the owner and operators who have received marginal training.


    In such a situation an employee with knowledge of the system is sometimes able to bypass the internal checks with disarsterous results to the business. Say if two or three people are working one till and money has disappeared then no-one is responsible. If on the other hand everyone has their own till, then every till has someone responsible. This is another big advantage of having many tills on one computer because this is what you can do, give everyone their individual till.

    As a retailer, dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s must be at the top of your priority list.

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  • Point-of-Sale Security Still a Big Problem

    Recent major retail breaches and my own experience highlights that point of sale system security is still a big problem plus the current large-scale cyber attack that is underway now using the WannaCry worm, which is I am sure is only beginning. As there are too many aged computers, which are running old not updated running operating systems, which are wide open to attack to WannaCry.



    So what are these hacker's prime targets in retail, well it will not be ransonware but EFTPOS. A Ransomware attack gets them say $500 US (hackers always work in US dollars) but here is a guesstimate of what a small shop will bring in for the hacker in EFTPOS.

    A small shop doing say half a million a year in EFTpos, with say $50 an average transaction, say the hack lasts two months, and you could say 50% are repeats customers.

    = $500,000 / $50 x 2 x 50%

    = 10,000 accounts , now that estimate is probably a bit high.

    But if say half of these credit cards are hit for $200 US each, which is very conservative that is $A2.7 million dollars which I think is a bit low overall.

    Many retailers mistakenly believe that because MasterCard and Visa take responsibly for the debt, so they are okay for this sum. This however is not true. What happens in these situations is that banks, Visa, American Express, Mastercard and more will look into recovering their monies from the retailer unless the retailer has a very good excuse, and they will be asking for as well fines and legal costs. These costs are not trivial and in the US according to a study by Experian, although they do not say the cause, I am sure that much of the 60% of retailers that they reported closed down within six months after a data breach are for this reason.

    As a result, we do look into our clients EFTPOS security and ask you to do so too.

    Our recommended system is tyro. here are some function that we see, and we like.

    Tyro was the first and only Australian EFTPOS provider who is successfully validated against the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).


    The main unit used by them is a Yomani which we inspected a short time ago.

    Now if you notice they are curved everywhere part on the reason for this is to prevent skimming hardware from being attached on top of this unit. Plus note that for the security of a cardholder’s PIN entered, and these PIN pads are protected with a unique key entry shield to increase privacy.

    Plus tyro terminals are PCI-PTS compliant.

    All cardholder data is encrypted on the Tyro terminal, and the hacker would need to have a lot of technical knowledge to get the data, as the EFTPOS data in this terminal never goes into your Point of Sale software from the EFTPOS unit, plus they have a system of tamper resistance built-in. In the event the unit detects any hardware tampering; they will refuse to perform any transactions. More likely depending upon the type of attack, the terminals if it picks it up will display one of the several messages, but generally give you something like this.

    If this happens, the unit will no longer work and will need to be replaced.

    Plus even if the retailer could get the data it is decrypted.

    All of this is of course very good, but I still urge everyone to make sure their security is up to date.

    Your windows should be current, at least now Windows 7. Your antivirus software should be up to date, note the free Microsoft product windows defender is quite good, if you want more there are several excellent antivirus software packages around, plus of course be careful.


    If you want to know more, please let me know.

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  • Having extra tills

    You have a long line of customers queuing up at the till. Would it not be great to have a second till?



    As a shopper, I can assure you that it is very annoying to wait a long time in a queue. Sometimes there is not enough room at the counter to add another register, often its not worth it to buy another cash register, etc. So one point that our system handles very well is that you can have several tills on one computer.

    This can help to reduce traffic pressure and prevent customer dissatisfaction It might even save some sales as less people give up waiting and leave.

    Plus the speed in which transactions are done on how POS system is really something.

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  • Retail Express

    As POS Solutions is a major cloud based Point of Sale supplier, Retail Express which is a competitor to us has released some what we consider dubious advertisements. They like us, they can handle central ordering and receiving with head-office buying. Where I think, we are stronger is where stores within the chain also do their own wholesale ordering and receiving, where they have large numbers of stock items, large number of sales and/or numerous suppliers.


    If you put into the search bar of google "POS Solutions Australia"

    Sometimes you will get something that looks like this.


    Now look at the top entry where the green arrow is pointing, its states that it is "POS Solutions Australia" but it's not us; it actually is an advertisement from Retail Express offering to give you a quote. If a person is looking for us and is not careful what they will find is Retail Express. They need to make doubly sure as we are there, a bit further down see the red arrow.


    Similarly if you put into the search bar of Yahoo "POS Solutions Australia", you get the same result.

    Please click here for google. Now click on POS Solutions Australia on the top and see where you go.


    This one is even more interesting so click here for Yahoo. Now click on POS Solutions Australia on the top and see where you go?

    Interesting huh??? Note sometimes it does not come up, so check the images above for what comes up sometimes. How would you like it if it was your company, and this was happening to? Actually, I personally would never do anything like this

    Now what do you think about that?

    I
    am actually unfortunately quite experienced in this matter as I had a similar experience with another company who tried to steal our name. I won but I still remember the lawyers bills for that case.

    So I contacted Retail Express and was totally ignored. Finally, I got a response that I felt was not adequate, so I am now upset.

    So then I contacted google. It was not easy, but I found an online form and lodged a complaint with google. I have a case number, but they are not going to contact me. They are not even talking to me.

    Then I contacted Yahoo. This time I demanded to talk to someone. Now this part is funny. I called a person at Yahoo and explained the situation. Once I finished explaining, the guy just hung up on me in mid sentence. He did not even say boo. Wow, I thought this is the way to run a business? So I rang back and got another support staff and explained the story again. This guy gave me a special Yahoo phone number to call. When I called the special number, the automatic response on the number stated what is my verification number? I was not given one so it asked me to get a verification number from the number in Yahoo, I had just called. It also gave me a Yahoo email to write too. So I wrote an email and sent that. So I have a case number from Yahoo and an assurance that they will get back to me in 24 hours but no-one to talk to. So I called back the original number in Yahoo because I did want to talk to someone. The guy refused to give me a verification number, why give me a phone number earlier without a verification number; I asked? He did not answer my question. He kept referred me to help at Yahoo page. When I pointed out to him that there was nothing on that page, for my problem, I was told I would have to search. I told him, I had done that but really why should I search? Just give me the web address. He refused to give me the page. He then when I requested it, refused to do a search for my problem on the help page either. At that point I demanded to speak to someone else. She was considerably better and her English was much better too, but she could not help me. Her solution was that I should write Yahoo a letter. Yahoo is asking me to write a letter, won't the post office be happy to hear that? Mind you, I think Australia Post service is better then this, actually I think almost any companies service is better then this.

    It is too late now so I will give them 24 hours before I can do something as I need to give Retail Express, Google and Yahoo a chance to react. I just hope it ends amicably before it escalates.

    To be continued!!!

    Update 23/5/17:

    I got an email from Yahoo today saying that "Due to the implications of legal action, all of your future correspondence will need to be sent in writing to our Legal Department:"

    Update: 29/5/2017

    I have heard nothing from Retail Express, Yahoo or Google, although the more blatant advertisements have been withdrawn.

    Update 12/06/2017

    A letter was sent to Retail Express, Yahoo and Google on 8/June/2017 as that the advertisments had been changed and now clearly show that they are from Retail Express not POS Solutions, we were withdrawing our claim in VCAT. No response was received back however its too early to say

    However when I did a search with google and yahoo I can see that the advertisements have stopped entirely.


    Perhaps Retail Express have stopped this type of promotion, if so why? Maybe commercial as many of the clicks would be readers here and myself, which would have costed them, or maybe they stopped because of something that we did. Anyway for now, we are happy they have stopped this form of advertising which we think is very dubious.

    Update 14/06/2017

    Well no response came from our letters sent on the 8/June/2017 but it appears that Retail Express have restarted the advertisements but now they are clearly marked as coming from them and not us.

    You know somehow I expected better service from Google and Yahoo on this issue.

    But I do wonder why would Retail Express go to such lengths just to use our company's name in their advertising. We have never used their name for our advertising.

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  • Our Delivery Point of Sale System

    Delivery, the latest study by Paypal here stated that 63% of Australians would be enticed by next-day delivery; however, the figure dropped to 28% for a shop that offered 4-7 days. 46% of Australian businesses had plans for a 24-hour delivery, plus I can guarantee you quick delivery will be a key part of Amazon's marketing strategy in Australia. So if you have not already, its time to start thinking about 24-hour delivery and thinking about same day is even better.

    One point about our point of sale software, is that it has a very powerful delivery system built into it, which was designed in it from day one.

    It is currently being used by many businesses that do deliveries and require a point of sale software that in fast paced in a high volume ordering environment. Our POS software can quickly and easily processes customer orders to meet the unique needs of delivery based companies. It allows entry of customer's name, phone number and address. Operators can input additional notes for the deliveries such as driving directions and delivery instructions. They can also add any applicable delivery charge fees.

    Want to know more, please click here.

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