point of sale software

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point of sale software

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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Speed improvement

POS SOFTWARE

Speed improvement

On the newer version of our point of sale software, you will see soon an increase in speed on starting the cash register. We have done a lot of work to make it go faster still. 

This will make it quicker to add another register.

Here are some good tips if you find that your queues are getting too long. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stock Performance Reporting by supplier

POS SOFTWARE

It is said that "The devil is in the detail."

In retail, its the item that sells not the category or the department! 

A supplier rep is coming to see you, no doubt they are a friendly person. They have been briefed, they have an excellent overview of the market for their product, the odds are they know how their stock is moving in your store better then you do and they know your shops potential for their product better than you but they also have an agenda to get you to sell more of their product.

So what you need to be is briefed too and with a point of sale software, you can and should be able to look at this supplier's range in your shop and see exactly to the item level what is selling. How fast their items are selling? Which items are making the money?  So you can determine which of their items are worth investing.

Your stock performance report helps to answer such questions. 

What I will do here is take you through a review on one such report and what you can learn from this report.

Go to register reports>Suppliers>Suppliers sales trend, see the arrow in green

 

Supplier sales trend menu

There are the ad-hoc, excel and OpenOffice import which please ignore for the time being although I do suggest later using it to produce summary reports.

Now the options, I picked are here.

Supplier trend options

I picked an arbitrary supplier FAS. Again ignore the extra options for now and press view report. 

Supplier sales trend report

Here’s how it goes:

Look at the arrow in red, you have 19 of this item now, but you never sell any of these items. It is a worry.

Conversely look at the item in blue, you have none in the shop, and you have sold heaps of these items, what gives here?

Now in green what you will see is that one of the stock items is in negative. This is not a good sign as it shows your stock quantities are not entirely right. 

It all comes down to this

By looking at these items in detail, you can see which items are selling well. You can bring up this with the rep as you now have a clearer idea of what you need and what to order. 

 

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Why Integrate Your eCommerce Website and your Point of Sale Software?

POS SOFTWARE

eCommerce website


The major reason is it is more practical, quicker and easier to use, as you do not need to learn and operate two separate systems. 

It is almost certainly a cheaper solution too as you are only buying one system, not two.

With two separate systems, someone will need to move information from one system to another.

A typical cycle might be something like this. 

  • Stock information has to be taken from your POS software and put into your eCommerce website.
  • Orders from your eCommerce website have to be put into your POS software
  • Stock levels need to be checked on both systems.
  • Then the shipping information and tracking reports have to be put into the eCommerce website from the POS software.

During all of this mistakes happen.

What I have seen is

  • Shipping addresses entered wrong.
  • Stock levels are wrong so there is the problem of no stock due to overselling.
  • There is a lot of stock information required to be put in, so many items are not put on the eCommerce site as it is too much work.  

All these problems are avoided by integration.

If you do not integrate your eCommerce and POS software, it will cost you. 

Check our solution out.

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Verifying an order sent with a photo

POS SOFTWARE

Here is a tip that you can do with our point of sale software that one of our clients is doing.

Sending goods

When you pack a parcel to send off to a customer, lay the goods out and take a picture with your smartphone. Then attach this picture to the invoice in the POS System. That way you will have a photo ID of what was sent.

After being burnt badly, this client is now doing it religiously as he states photos is one piece of evidence that the authorities do accept.

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Comparisons with previous sales figures

POS SOFTWARE

Our point of sale software reporting feature allows you to dive into your sales so you can get a better understanding of your business.

There is a common problem that we face almost every month is that some months have four Saturdays and some five Saturdays. This often makes it hard to budget. It also makes it hard to compare periods for sales analysis. The other problem is that making sales comparisons meaningful between periods is that different periods are different September month is very different than December.

That is why our POS software when it makes comparisons asks you what period do you want to compare to the nominated period you request. If you look at the above example, you can see that I put in some bizarre dates to show what you can decide what works for you. 

Many of the commonly used dates such as Last Fiscal Year, Last Year, Last Quarter, Last Month, etc. are already programmed in for you.

Some that are commonly used are the moving or rolling time frames such as the last 30 days and compare this result to the same period the previous year for 30 days. Another common request available is to examine how the current YTD versus the last year to this point.

For more ideas, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Barcode scanner range

POS SOFTWARE

Scanners are explicitly made for use in mind. Some are long range. Some are short range, middle range, etc. It certainly is not the case that dearer scanner is the best one for you to use in all circumstances.

I have seen scanners that can read a bar code as close as few centimetres away and some that need at least 300 cm to scan the same barcode. 

So when you are ordering a scanner, you need to specify to the seller (like us) exactly how far away a typical barcode will be read. 

What I suggest you do is make a fist with your hand, grasping a long ruler at the 10 cm line and imagine that this 10 cm point is the barcode len. Now with the other hand put some typical items and measure out what to you is a convenient distance to read the barcode. This is what this new scanner will need to scan a barcode. It is not an advantage to have too much range as what you tend to get then is misreading from other barcodes that are nearby. 

If you require some long range scanners, then it is not as simple as a ruler. This video will show you how to measure the distance.

Then tell us the range you require.

Otherwise, there can be problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Heavy items

POS SOFTWARE

In your shop, what is strongly suggested all things being equal that you keep heavy goods on or near the floor! Although there is no limit as such, as a general guide anything over 45 kgs needs to be looked at ASAP.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg

Legally a heavy item depends, on many factors eg if the item is wet or slippery if the items are stored in a cramped area so that people had to assume awkward positions to lift them etc. Here is a guide for retail that explains much of it from a legal point of view.

 

The other issue is forgetting the legal problems, do you really want anyone to get hurt?   Everyone is trying to do the right thing here.

So what can you do about it?

So once you have identified the heavy stock, move them to safe areas.

What I further recommend is that you mark in your software these items so that people will just by looking at the item on the screen know that they are potentially looking at a lifting problem and these items require special handling.

You’d do it like this:

Go to stock maintenance in your point of sale software -> Edit marked them as in the red box.

 

 

Just another example of how our software has useful items that you can use.

 

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Australian retail sales up a bit

POS SOFTWARE

Overall most retailers are pleased with the latest retail figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It shows a moderate increase. The report itself is available here.

 

Now since this is coming out in excel, what you might want to do is merge your figures with an appropriate set of figures from this report to see how you compare with an average appropriate to you.

This you can do as unlike most point of sale software that can only produce standard reports, which works about 80% of the time. Ours has ad-hoc reporting so all you need to do is export your information into a spreadsheet, and put it into the Australian Bureau of Statistics report. 

If you have Microsoft Excel, you can use that, or you can use the free OpenOffice both as very good.

If you are unsure how to the export here is a training video which shows you how to do these exports.

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