Reports

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Reports

How far off are you to last year's sales due to coronavirus?

POS SOFTWARE

What many want to know is what effect is this coronavirus having on your business.

What several of my clients are telling me because many people are at home, they are buying very differently now. This I will discuss in another post. Let us first work out where we are up to now.

The report I recommend that you look at first is in the Reporting Documents > Dissection Family Class Period Sales Comparison.

Put in the following details.

 

There are many more options here but let us keep it simple, you can always experiment later if you want to learn more, so leave it as All Stock lines and do not select for the extra information as yet. You will still 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 also be useful is running the same report comparing the year before last year with the same period this year.

Remember that random chance dictates that about third are up, a third is down and the rest about the same. So you need to study the figures.

At the end of today's trading, you simply need to include date of today to get current figures.

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What are my best selling items?

POS SOFTWARE

Here are some questions to ask yourself.

What are my best selling items?

Which items in my shop are just sitting there?

Here is a rule that that shows in retail often all the time, a small percentage of your stock lines up all the time give you almost all your sales. 

I took a data file from a customer of ours, and in a year, I found that they sold 20,060 different stock lines.

Here are some figures:

Less than 1% did 50% of shop sales.

The top  2 stock items did 15% of the shop sales.

Ten stock lines did about 33% of the shop sales.

Now let us find your top stock lines.

Go to register reports and select the top stock report as marked with the red arrow here

You will get this screen

Now choose your criteria, note there is also a tab called "More Criteria" which has more options plus the traffic (which is people in the shop) option, but we will discuss that later.

I do suggest that you do this by overall shop sales and then research in-depth for each department.

It’s that simple

It can be done in less than a minute.

Check your treasures. 

 

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Comparison reporting

POS SOFTWARE

We suggest that every month you do a sales Comparison report to compare how you did this month to the same month last year.  This is considered as being a very good indication of how you are travelling,

You will find it here:

Main Menu > Cash Register > Register Reports > under the Select Report tab, expand the Stock folder > select the report “Dissection Family Class Period Sales Comparison”.

Then you will see this screen.

 

Now put in the last month of January 2020 and compare it to January 2019.  Then out will pop out a wide range of KPIs, including quantity, cost, sales, profit and GP%. with a breakdown by amount and percentage. I find the GP% to being very useful as that is the actual figure that I am getting not what the suppliers are telling me.


Once you have done that please experiment with the extra options in the More Criteria tab which I marked with a green arrow.
 

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Gross Margin Return on investment

POS SOFTWARE

This is said to be the most important KPI in stock control.

What it measures is how much did you actually make on an item? It is a difficult question to know by gut feel particularly when you have thousands of items that you handle. 

 

This is what the chart looks like in theory.

 

In practice, it is more complex because this chart assumes that you are conscious of what category an item is in. Too often a Low Margin/Low volume item should not be in the shop and is an accident. Also, it is very hard to assess which item is better a High Margin/Low volume item or a Low Margin/High volume item. Also as stock comes and goes, prices and margins change all the time it is very hard to determine by gut feel what is working and what is not.

This is what Gross Margin Return (GMROI) is designed to help you determine. What it does is measure your actual stock items and gives you a financial return figure on your stock? Generally, it is measured in a department or by supplier although I have seen it used for every item in the shop. What it does is tell you where you should look in your shop to get the best return on your orders.

Here is how it is calculated manually which will give you a feel of what it does.

Step #1: Gross Margin in Dollars= Sales x Margin%

So say you sold $1000 last year of an item, your margin was 30%, so your profit is $300.

Step #2: Average stock holding = ((Stock at start of the year) + (Stock at the end of the year))/2

You started the year with $1600 of stock and ended the year with $100 so your Average stock holding = (1600+100)/2 = $850.

Step #3: GMROI = (Gross Margin in Dollars )/(Average stock holding)

GMROI = ($300)/($850) = 0.35

What it tells you is that for every dollar you have invested in stock, you are getting a dollar back to pay all your expenses and buy new stock.

What it tells you is that for every dollar, you invested in that item, you made 35 cents. Of course, no one can maintain a business at that level; I just made a simple example to explain the concept.

If you notice, the calculation itself is almost manually impossible to do for each item. Here are some immediate problem points, items often do not have a steady margin; the 30% is often an ideal that a supplier provides and my stock holding obviously, here varied a lot during the year. Say, for example, my Margin was closer to 25%, so I made $250 and my average stock holding over the year was $100,

My GMROI = ($250)/($100) = 2.5, so I made for every dollar on that item $2.5 


The computer can overcome these problems with GMROI 

Go to register reports

 

 

Select GMROI marked in green

 

 

Now select the date you require. I suggest looking at last year, mainly as it is now the time we are looking back. 


I selected in this shop confectionery.


Out pops a report that looks like this among other items.

 

Now in green, the On-Hand figure is zero; the stock ran out, that would be definitely one to look at what happened there and the one marked in red; it has a negative result; this is almost certainly due to data errors which I will discuss in another post.


As these two items show, to get any use from GMROI you need to export the data into excel or OpenOffice (OpenOffice is free and well worth getting if you do not have excel) where you can edit and remove if necessary bad data.

So on the top left-hand side, click export (where the green arrow is), and click excel where it's marked in purple.

 

 

Now you have a list to review and edit. That is why it must in my view be in excel otherwise you cannot really do GMROI.

High turnover, high GM% and low stock holding are perfect while low turnover, low GM% and high stock holding are terrible.

However high number does not necessarily indicate that all is good, it often means you are under ordering and do not have enough stock, although sometimes it means that the item does really well only very few people come into your shop to get it. So you are not going to sell much more if you bring in more stock. Maybe look at add on sales for that item instead. Low numbers tend to indicate that you are over-ordering.

Only you know the retail dynamics of your shop and it can help and a detailed system of stock control like ours can keep the customer satisfied and you in business.

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Keep in touch with mobile and email

POS SOFTWARE

Some you are now on holiday or thinking about taking some time off, yet you would like to know how the shop is going. Well, we have many reports, eg shop's End of Day that can be emailed to many different email addresses. If you prefer it can be sent by SMS to your mobile.

This is an excellent feature if you are away from the shop.

PS Another use is to allow you to archive these reports into the cloud for storage and later reference.

 

How you travel in 2019?

POS SOFTWARE

Knowing where your business is going is essential. This is afterall 2020 (20/20 vision)

 

Now is an appropriate time to take a quick look find how well you went in 2019 and how you compared to previous years.

Go to register reports.

 

Now select the item marked "Sales Comparison for a Given period".

Note you can do it by a supplier, but that can be done later when you have more time for detailed analysis. What we are doing here is getting a quick idea.

It takes two steps.

1) Put in here the dates 

01/01/2018 to 31/12/2018 AND 01/01/2019 to 31/12/2019 dates

It only takes a few seconds and out will give you pages of detailed information showing how went in 2019 and how you went compared to 2018.

 

Write down some key figures.eg Turnover18, Turnover19

2) Now go back in and run the report with 

01/01/2016 to 31/12/2016 AND 01/01/2017 to 31/12/2017 dates

Write down some key statistics, in this example Turnover16, Turnover17

You now have four years of information to study. This should give you a pretty good idea of how your business is travelling now. I find drawing a graph of sales shows me a clear picture.I hope it went well for you.

Note if you use our Ad Hoc reporting you can automate much of your analysis, but in practice, I find keeping it simple like this seems to be more meaningful. If you want to go into something more scientific, you may find this an excellent place to start.

This is just another example of how powerful our point of sale software is for retail management.

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Quickly find the information on a report

POS SOFTWARE

In your POS System, sometimes finding the pertinent information on a report is tricky.    It can be a lengthy report on screen and say suddenly you want for some reason to find one card titled "Red rose on the heart."  on a sales report to see what you sold it for and you do not want to hunt for it.

As you can see here marked with a red arrow, this report they printed was 13,533 pages long. Trying to find one item can be tricky as with so many pages.

Well, you do not have to search, you get our software search engine to search for you. So I press the search marked with a brown arrow.

Up pops a box shown with a blue arrow. You would typically put in here "Red rose on the heart" ,but for the sake of showing you the power of this search box, I pressed in "heart",  and pressed a few times "Find next" till I find the one I was seeking.

 

Of course, if you know the exact title, this will make searching faster, and hide results that are not relevant to you now.

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My customers can inspire me

POS SOFTWARE

Sometimes, I get inspired when I talk to my clients about what they do in their shop.

Frequently, I hear from newsagents that their traditional markets are down and how it is affecting their businesses. Well, Nextra Sunbury is a newsagency, one of many nextra shops.

Ten years ago if you had gone into it, you would think that it is big but other then that, nothing extraordinary different to other newsagencies out there.  Like many newsagencies, it has experienced dramatic declines in its newspaper and magazine trade, but unlike many others today, its profitability is way up.

Why?

Because it has changed its product mix, they made the changes away from the products that were declined and switched to products that sell well and had high margins. They now sell gifts, clothing, jewellery and stunned me, shoes. They now trade between one and two million dollars annually of products with excellent margins. These products are growing now in their shop by about 28% a year.  

What is the secret?

If you talk to them, they will tell you that the secret is to use our software profitability reports. That way, they keep track of all stock movements, including sales so that they can easily rank their products by best sellers, location, revenue, profitability, margins, seasonal sales, and much more. Then they use the information.

Taking your reporting to the next level works. 

Here are some points to consider 

  • Identify your slow-moving stock, then make an action plan, eg reduce your reliance on these products, move to a different location or maybe get rid of it.

  • Identify your fast-moving stock, then make an action plan, eg increase your reliance on these products and/or move to a better location and look to leverage it with companion stock.

  • Find your best areas in the shop. You may be surprised. 

  • Work your VIP club, Sunbury Newsagency now has a huge VIP club. This is an excellent source of repeat business.

  • Use free services like Facebook and email marketing to inform customers of new products. Check out their facebook page here you will see that they are writing many posts and putting up pictures every day on Facebook.

  • Help structure your seasonal inventory through analysing past years’ sales.

  • Examine your stock levels and costs. You may be stunned, I heard of a small shop that depending on the greeting card companies to look after their cards, finding out that they had way over what they required in cards. The owner told me afterwards that he was shocked as they had way over what they needed, and the card company was suggesting that they buy more.

Take Advantage of Your Retail POS System

There are many other ways once you get into it that you can analyse retail sales trends in a meaningful way. You have, though posbrowser the most powerful POS system, I know. Play around with the software yourself, and learn the retail reporting and data analysis that it has to offer. Then use it. At least once a month, set up a formal review of your shop.

 

 

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KPI boards

POS SOFTWARE

This is a tip. What I have noticed in many companies, that what you will see in the back is a KPI board. This is filled out regularly and shows relevant details for the people that work there that management is particularly interested in everyone following. In a factory, I saw a board listing is the number of accidents. In a collect house, I saw one listing the amount of money collected this month.

For people into it, you can buy KPI boards special for doing this.

I saw one in a retail shop that showed top-selling items, the top-selling department, queue sizes, and the growth of loyalty program sign-ups. What the owner did was every Tuesday afternoon update from the computer, the latest figures from last week. I thought it was a good idea to get everyone on the same wavelength.  He said it worked. 

I saw another one in use in a fast food place being used as a marketing tool. They have a special burger. They put a sign up as to how many they sold last month compared to the same month the previous year and the year to date figure compared to the year to date figure for the previous year. The number of burgers they sold was quite impressive. When I enquired about it, the girl serving said this is the burger we are famous for so I decided to buy one to test it out. 

Give it a a go and see how it goes for you.

 The information is there in the computer, and it is not doing much good there if its not being used.

 

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The power of Ad Hoc reporting

POS SOFTWARE

The Techopedia explains here, Ad Hoc reporting as "reports that are put together creatively by users in real-time, rather than pre-designed according to a template." and for "one-time reports that are done in a customised way, to provide results for one specific question or objective." 

What it is that as the demands on businesses are incredibly varied, all the time, the business is being asked answers to specific questions which are hard to get from standard reports. 

For example, a stationery supplier, might be asked by a customer can you get the  BIC Australia pens that are about $6? Yes you could probably print a 20 report on BIC Australia and look through it, it can be done, but it is going to take time. Plus if the customer wants the purple one, it is going to take more time. 

As a rough approximation, I would say 80% to 90% of your reporting needs are of this type. A person has to find a specific piece of information, an invoice on a date, which item had the $2.30 discount, who served a person who brought this item, etc.   

Now if you ring your point of sale software provider, they might be prepared to add some options to do this, but it will take time by then the customer is long gone.  Generally, Ad Hoc reports are needed now, and for single use only so it is not worth the time and effort to do it.  In fairness to the developer of your POS System, there is a limit to the number of business questions that can be anticipated and programmed in advance. So the solution is that you spend some time, probably over a telephone call to your software expert and sweat it out.

This is what Ad hoc reporting helps as it allows almost unlimited flexibility enabling the information to be easily found instantly.

Let us do an example to show you the power of our software.

Above was a simple example; that I want the code of a stationery product that is about $6 for BIC Australia.

So what I could do is go to the register reports and select a full listing.

 

I now ask for BIC but note it does not have a question cost price, with ad-hoc reporting you do not need to worry as it is not required.

 

I then get this excel listing.

I go over the column labelled Wholesale price.

Press on the top Sort & Filter

Then press select turn off all the costs.

Then I click on all the costs that are about $6.

In this case, there is only one, and it is listed immediately here.

 

The code I wanted was 41330, pretty nifty. It took me about a minute.

Ad hoc reporting reaches beyond your static pre-defined software that traditional software provides, allowing you an enhanced interactive end-user experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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