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Is this the future of home delivery?

POS SOFTWARE

Robots doing home delivery

Check out what a robot home delivery could look like one day.  The first of these robots are expected to go on sale early next year in 2020.  It would be great to see one in action. 

Check the video out here.

 

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Weight and scale integration

POS SOFTWARE

Scale integration to point of sale software

For many businesses, many products can be sold by weight. If so, what we provide is a fast, simple to use and accurate integrated point of sale software and weight scale together that will instantly boost your efficiency, speed of processing and customer service. 

As it is integrated, it can help decrease shrinkage.

Also what we can do is use scales create a weight-embedded bar that can be read by the barcode at the point of sale as well so increasing checkout speed and improving your efficiency.

 

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Barcode scanning

POS SOFTWARE

Here are seven tips to improve your barcode scanning rates at the point of sale.

Experiment with your scanner what height it reads best the barcodes that you use. This will vary depending on what barcodes you use and your barcode reader. Take a few items, try and scan them and see what works best.

Try if possible to avoid scanning the barcodes in places with bright lights eg outside on a sunny day and clients of mine in a bar have reported problems with the lights flashing in the bar. What you want is a low steady continuous light.

Make a convention in your shop where you are going to stick the barcode, front, top, back, etc and try to stick with it and if possible this will save people having to hunt for the barcode.

Try an put the barcode straight, as well as making it less of an eyesore, sometimes not having the barcode straight can cause problems to a scanner to read the barcode.

Try and avoid putting barcodes on shiny objects, for example, a product like this when scanned as the light will reflect back into the scanner can cause problems. 

Cleaning your barcode scanner and printer can help a lot. A rag and some cleaning material can often do wonders.

Remember dirty or wet barcodes or barcodes with staples are not good for scanning. 

 

Note: A better printer and barcode scanner can help too. 

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i5 vs i7 computers

POS SOFTWARE

Now as it is coming close to the End Of Financial Year when people often decide to upgrade their POS computer systems, many people are wondering whether to buy a cheaper i5 or the faster i7 computer or whether to splurge on the i9. Now there are several technical advantages that the i7 and i9 has over the i5, eg  Hyper-Threading which will give a significant performance boost in point of sale software processing.

The first point to remember is that the difference in price is not that great between the i5 and the i7, but there is quite a lot of difference in price between these two and the i9. Also that there are many points that go into buying a computer and the speed of the processor is just one of several factors, eg a faster hard drive.  But for this article, I will concentrate solely on the speed of the computer.

On this site, I ran some results from the large number of speed tests done.

i9 vs i7

Now as far as speed is concerned we are not looking at gaming, in point of sale software, most of the work is done primarily on the workstation. 

The i9 gave 124% on the workstation compared to the i7 at 96%, effectively 29% higher which is quite a considerable speed increase. 

Similarly, on the same system configuration, I decided to test an i7 to an i5.

 

i5 vs i7

The i7 gave 96% on the workstation compared to the i7 at 76%, effectively almost 26% higher which is quite a considerable speed increase. 

Interestingly the speed increase of going up from an i5 to an i7 is about the same as going from an i7 to an i9.

That sort of speed increase you will notice. When we did some tests internally here we found that this speed increase resulted in about a 10% speed increase, mainly because as I said there are many other factors like the hard drive that come into play here.

Still for an hour task on an i5 you would be looking at about 54 minutes on an i7 and about 48 minutes on an i9.

Since a point of sale software tend to run continuously over an 8 to 24 hour day, this time saving would quickly add up.

Ultimately it is a choice many of you will need to make, I would say for the slight difference in price not to look at the i5 but make a decision between the i7 and i9. As over the lifetime of the computer, you would more than get your money back just on time saved 

 

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Dual touch screens

POS SOFTWARE

 

Dual screen touch

What most people like about them is they are ideal for places where space is at a premium. What people like is that they can quickly be adjusted to provide an optimal viewing angle for the people serving and the customer.

For Point of Sale software, one problem in retail is that computers are designed with airconditioned offices in mind where people tend to be gentle with them. Shops are dirty, often they are not airconditioned and often people are not gentle with them. I have clients that have tire shops, their hands are covered with grease and they use the computers all the time with a bang, bang and bang.

So we recommend these Dual Touch Screen Terminal. The cases are much tougher  then normal computer cases, since they do not have vents, they have no dust problem and so can take grease and  liquid spills too.

Check them out.

 

 

 

 

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Low cost way to speed up your computers

POS SOFTWARE

Computer RAM

 

Point of sale computers needs to run fast particularly at the front counter. If you’re thinking about a cheap way of speeding up your computers, then almost certainly adding more RAM to your computer will do more to speed up your computer than any other upgrade you can make. 

 

 

 

 

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Next month Windows 7 End-of-Life

POS SOFTWARE

Windows 7 end of life popup

Next month, Windows 7 users will start getting pop up reminders from Microsoft that Windows 7 will no longer be supported after January 2020 and that its life is up after ten years.  

If you want to know more then, I found this excellent article which discusses in depth the details. 

Windows 7 Users of End of Support Date

We recommend that if you are still running Windows 7, that you update to Windows 10 as most computers that can run Windows 7 can run Windows 10. It does not involve for most of you a change in the computer.

So our server runs Windows 7 professional - will this no longer be supported as well??

Thanks for showing your interest in updates...it's a very important to update in windows.Thanks to sharing this information with us.

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Ripped receipts

POS SOFTWARE

Receipt_message.png

One problem I have noticed is that sometimes people ripping a receipt or if two purchases come in quick succession, they give one customer two receipts. So if you are thinking of updating your point of sale receipt printer, one option I recommend is that you look at one with an automatic paper cutter. It makes it much easier to use as receipts come out pre-separated. In the past, the cutter used to be sometimes a big problem but the modern printers have solved most of the problems and now mostly guaranteed for over a million-plus cuts

 

 

 

 

 

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Anti virus and old versions of windows

POS SOFTWARE

Microsoft antivirus no longer supports XP, AVG anti-virus no longer supports XP, AVAST no longer supports XP,  etc. Most no longer support Windows 7 either. 

As such some of our clients, of our point of sale software are running into a problem that old versions of windows are no longer supported and now it appears that most of the antivirus companies are not supporting XP either.  This leaves them open to most viruses and ransomware. 

For these users, I am recommending

 

360 total security

 

Details here

 

It is a free product for commercial use, it has no licenses, no expiration and no hidden fees. It is also a first-class product which runs on just about any computer and is fast. 

 

 

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Ransomware

POS SOFTWARE


 

Currently, I estimate that every month we have at least one point of sale client having issues regarding Ransomware and unfortunately many of our customers are falling victim to Ransomware attacks. We have had three (3) such attacks this week.

Our support manager Phil has put together step by step notes for you.

 

What it does

This form of attack encrypts all of your data and prevents you from using your computer unless you pay a fee. If this happens to be your server then this means your shop will not be able to trade.

What to do

Your only other option is to reformat your server and restore from a backup.

However, in many cases, we are finding that despite our best efforts there are no backups available as they too have been encrypted.

 

What can you do about it?

 

Your choice of Operating System

Firstly you should think about the version of Windows you use in your store. Windows 10 has a lot of features built in that make it much harder for Ransomware to take hold of your system.

 

If you are not running Windows 10 in your store, especially on your server and the computers you use to connect to the internet, then you should consider upgrading these as soon as possible.

 

While not as good, if you must or insist on running Windows 7, you should at least ensure that all Windows Updates have been installed. Windows Update includes many security patches, some of which may stop Ransomware from taking hold of your system.

 

In Windows 7, Click the Start button and in the run (or search box) type “windows update” and then press enter.

Click on the Check for updates and install updates button.

Windows Update may want you to restart your computer at some point and you should do so.

Remember that if this is your server then your shop will not be able to trade while your server is restarting.

When you have restarted, repeat the above process until there are no more updates to install.

 

If you are running Windows XP, then you are leaving yourself wide open to attacks from Ransomware. Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in April 2014, so for five years there has not been any security updates for this operating system.  There is little you can do apart from replacing the computer with one that has Windows 10 as its operating system.

Make sure you have a backup

 

Ransomware attacks are happening, and as much as you may try to prevent them, it may happen to you. If it does, you either have to pay up and encourage these criminals to continue their actions or have someone reformat and reinstall your computer system.

 

Reformatting and in reinstalling the operating system is the easy part. What nobody can replace is the data. Your customers, stock, sales history etc.

 

To protect yourself and ensure you will be able to replace this, you should be taking a regular backup copy of your data and remove it from your network so that Ransomware cannot access it.

 

I will deal with Posbrowser, but you should also find out how to do the same with your other important data such as your accounting and payroll data and any documents you may store on your local hard drive.

 

Posbrowser uses SQL server. One of the features of SQL server is that you can take online backups.

This means that you can take a backup without having to bring the system offline and stop trading.

 

So find a time during the day, a regular time. 

Also, find a USB stick. Now go to your server and plug in the USB stick.

 

Open Posbrowser and from the main menu select System Maintenance / Backup and Restore.

In the “Backup to a location” section click the three dots and navigate to the USB drive you just plugged in and click OK.

Note that if the three dots are greyed out, you are NOT on your server!

 

 

Then click the Backup button and the backup will start.

Wait until you see a message telling you the Backup was complete.

 

 

 

If you see any other message, you should contact POS Solutions Support for advice.

 

When it finishes,

DO NOT JUST TAKE OUT THE USB STICK – REMEMBER TO EJECT IT SAFELY.

This is the only way you can ensure that the backup has been written to the USB stick correctly.

 

If you want to be double sure, after you have removed the USB stick, you can insert it again and restore the backup to your training system via the “Restore to Training” tab in the Backup and Restore document.

 

When you have removed the USB drive, place it in a safe place, and DO NOT put it into a computer again until you are ready to do another backup of your system.  Don’t let Ransomware have a chance to get access to it.

Even if this backup is a couple of days old, because you are not in on the weekend, it is a lot better than having nothing at all.

You should take the time and make an effort to protect the most valuable part of your business – your data.

 

 

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