EPOS Advice & Guides

20
Sep

How EPOS systems can improve employee management

Keeping on top of your employee reviews, training, incentives and day-to-day communications can be hard work, particularly when you have so many other tasks to juggle.

It can also cost you extensively in time and money. Yet, these processes are essential to the efficient running of your business and cannot be overlooked or ignored.

No one said running a business would be easy, but there are ways to simplify your working day. An EPOS system, for instance, is designed to help manage your team more efficiently, while also giving your staff the provisions and information they require to help make healthy business decisions day after day.

In order to say goodbye to poor staff management, it’s important to first realise the most common challenges suffered by business. Four extremely common management problems are experienced by companies of all shapes and sizes, from restaurants to retail outlets, and we’ve touched on these in more detail below.

Common employee management challenges

Now many of you may be a little confused, after all, doesn’t EPOS stand for Electronic Point of Sale, and isn’t it essentially an electronic way of letting people pay for goods or services? This is a common misconception, as yes, it is an electronic point of sale, but it can also help to improve your employee management significantly…the question is, how?

Challenge 1: accountability

The challenge here is that without close monitoring, it;s difficult to determine who is accountable for what. This can be troublesome should a problem occur, for example, if a payment has been processed incorrectly, you wouldn’t know which specific staff member to query the transaction with.

Solution: With the help of an EPOS system, each transaction is assigned to the employee who completed the checkout. Knowing that store transactions are closely monitored can deter both mishandling and also internal theft practices.

Challenge 2: setting an expectation

Poor transparency among your team can mean your colleagues are somewhat blind to the level of expectation you’ve set, or at least, they’re in need of a reminder. Lack of monitoring can result in standards slipping. Also, too often than not, employee objectives are set on insufficient or inaccurate information, which can result in businesses creating both unreasonable and uninspiring targets with little business value.

Solution: With each of your staff members working under the same EPOS system, you will be able to motivate staff by setting relevant goals. Such level of monitoring will encourage staff to thrive in their performance, resulting in higher levels of productivity amongst your workforce.

Challenge 3: career development

It’s not always easy to identify and reward your top performers, especially if you’re unsure of who they are. Without the use of up-to-date reporting, you’re likely to lose sight of who is generating large amounts of sales or who is falling behind in meeting his or her monthly quota.

Solution: With an EPOS system, you’ll be able to run sales performance reports which can help you to recognise your most reliable team members. You’ll be able to pinpoint who your highest performing employees are. Such statistics will enable you to determine who deserves recognition and praise for their ongoing hard work.

Challenge 4: staff training

There will always be that star pupil among your workforce who naturally performs to a higher standard than the others. But for those who are struggling and are in need of a helping hand, it’s important to implement the right level of training.

Solution: Now that your EPOS reports have helped you to identify your high performers, you can dig deeper into what makes these employees perform better, as this data can really enable you to get into the nitty gritty of your employee performance. As a result, you can adjust your staff training to help under-performers perform better.

How an EPOS can help aid employee management

Well, in the cases listed above i.e. accountability, setting expectations etc., an EPOS system can work wonders for your workplace. This is because it arms you with the essential facts and figures you need to gain better insight and set meaningful employee objectives that are both clear and measurable, all via valuable reporting tools.

It also provides the opportunity for you and your staff to gain better transparency of exactly what activity has taken place on a day-to-day basis. The record performance and results of such activities can help to indicate opportunities for career development and staff training, boosting morale amongst your team.

Monpellier can ensure that you have the sales and stock analysis you need to gain comprehensive management reports and information. This gives you greater control over your business and better insight into employee productivity and performance.

For more information on how EPOS can benefit your business, contact our friendly team at Monpellier today, by either dropping us a message here, or calling 0191 500 8150 to speak to a Business Software Consultant.

11
Sep

How to tell you’ve outgrown your EPOS

As an entrepreneur at this stage of the game, you’re starting to see a pivotal role an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system plays in your small business.

You’ve finally reached the tipping point. All the tell-tale signs are there – signs you’ve outgrown your EPOS. Business is booming, and all those funny little quirks and workarounds for day-to-day operational procedures aren’t so funny anymore.

What worked when you first opened your doors can’t keep up with the current demands of your business, and you’re contemplating a fresh start. However, it’s not uncommon for business owners to put off updating their EPOS systems because of the perceived hassle of the whole process. And this perception often overshadows the actual benefits of an electronic point of sale upgrade. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.

Here’s a list of 10 signs you’ve outgrown your EPOS and it’s time for an upgrade:

Operational performance is suffering

This is numero uno and one that’s most likely been slipping for some time. Is business increasing but from an operational standpoint you continue to fall further and further behind? Take a long, hard look at your business processes and identify areas where you can increase efficiency.

Is the checkout process taking longer than it should? Are customers able to pay with their preferred payment methods like credit cards, debit cards and Apple Pay? How many hours does it take to conduct an inventory audit? Is your current system always on the fritz or do you have to perform some funny ritual to get it to work right?

When your operational performance suffers, you’ll also see a downward trend in customer satisfaction. That’s when all of these seemingly small things can have a significant effect on the performance of company operations and ultimately your bottom line.

Managing inventory is a nightmare

Speaking of bottom line, inventory management is a huge influence on your bottom dollar. Too much inventory can shrink your cash flow and not enough inventory can hurt your potential sales revenue. It’s a fine line all retailers walk. It’s an even finer line for restaurant owners because their inventory is perishable. At least retailers can sell end-of-season fashion on the discount rack to try and profit from unsold inventory; restaurateurs can’t offer expired food at a discount.

Do you spend too much time trying to track inventory on spreadsheets and not selling? Are you part of the 46% of SMEs that use a manual tracking method, or gasp, don’t track inventory at all?

Here are some key inventory management features your EPOS should have:

  • The ability to organise products by department, category and supplier.
  • Functionality to set reorder triggers along with the recommended ordering amount.
  • Bulk inventory management so you can make product changes en masse.
  • The ability to attach raw goods to items so you can track the components that make up your basic inventory items.

The raw goods component of inventory management is a feature that’s mostly used in the restaurant industry to track the ingredients that make up a menu item. For example, if a burger is the menu item, the raw goods would be the lettuce and tomato that comes with every burger sold. This helps to more accurately track food cost and inventory.

If your EPOS doesn’t have the right inventory management features, you’re missing out on priceless amounts of data that can help you drive your business to the next level.

Reporting is inadequate

To truly understand how your business is performing, you need to have a powerful, real-time reporting suite for business intelligence.

Sales reports will show you the departments and categories that are making you the most money. What items are your best sellers and what ones sit on the shelf for months? If you’re looking to expand or optimise your business, this information will help provide guidance and focus.

Here are some critical reports your EPOS solution should have:

  • Sales by item, modifier and variant
  • Sales by department, category and supplier
  • Sales by employees and customers
  • Sales by tender type (credit card, debit card, or gift card)
  • Register reports such as a shift summary and pay-ins and pay-outs
  • Inventory value report
  • Inventory adjustment report

Lack of integration with other business management tools

Because your electronic point of sale system holds so much data and information on your inventory, your customers, and your financials, it’s essential that is also connects to some of your other business management solutions to help streamline the flow of data, so you can get more done in less time.

Let’s take a closer look at a few core integrations:

An accounting software package

Considering all the money that exchanges hands at the point of purchase, it only makes sense that your EPOS system should integrate with your accounting software. Small business accounting is a big administrative task that can quickly consume a significant amount of your time. Save hours by automatically sending register sales to your accounting program every night.

An ecommerce platform

Is your brick-and-mortar store doing so well that you want to launch a web store? Well, don’t even think about it if your EPOS isn’t integrated with your online store. Unless, of course, you want to live the retail nightmare we discussed in number two.

An email marketing platform

A big part of customer loyalty is an email marketing platform. Email marketing has an average ROI of £38 for every £1 spent. So if you’re not regularly engaging with your customers through email, you’re missing out on some serious money.

A customer loyalty program

Customer loyalty programs are quickly becoming table stakes for businesses of any size. After all, it’s six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer with onlg 5-20% probability of closing the sale; with existing customers, there’s a 60-70% selling probability. Rewarding customers with discounts or promotional products for their continued loyalty to your brand is a small price to pay to achieve your long-term goals.

Gift card support

It’s no secret that gift cards are a great marketing tool for any business. 72% of customers spend more than the value of their gift card and 93% of consumers will buy or receive a gift card. If your business doesn’t support gift cards, you’re missing out on some serious value.

Insufficient payment methods

Along the lines of gift card payments are other types of payment methods your business needs to accept. While almost all businesses accept cash by default, not all businesses accept electronic or digital transactions and those are quickly becoming the norm.

Here are a few others to include:

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Apply Pay
  • Android Pay

If your EPOS doesn’t support the above payment methods, it’s time to seriously consider an upgrade. Otherwise, you risk alienating shoppers and losing business.

No employee management features

Unless you’re a solopreneur, chances are you have a few employees working for you. And if you do, you’ll need an EPOS solution that will give you a way to manage them. If you find yourself collecting pieces of scrap paper from staff with their weekly hours scribbled on it, or tracking payroll by hours scheduled and not hours worked, your current EPOS isn’t doing it’s job.

A respectable electronic point of sale will provide you with the following:

  • A way for employees to clock in and out of the system
  • Be able to track employee labour up to the exact minute
  • Assign levels of access by staff member
  • In-depth shift reports so you can identify your top performers

It doesn’t support multi-store

Have you reached the point in your business where you finally have the resources to open a second, third or even 15th location? Are you ready to transcend from a small business and join the ranks of mid-sized companies? If you are, you’ll need an EPOS system that can support multiple stores so you can easily manage all of your locations.

Some features you’ll need are:

  • A centralised back office management for all locations
  • The ability to copy items and customers from one store to the next
  • A way to report on each store individually as well as a whole company

Customer support is non-existent or poor at best

The more stores you operate, the likelihood you’ll need to reach out to your EPOS provider’s customers support team is higher. There are more moving parts and people in the mix so the chances of an error occurring increases and you need someone you can depend on to get you through any issues that may arise.

An EPOS company that only offers online support isn’t going to cut it. You need:

  • Phone support for general queries
  • Phone support when you have more complex issues that you need to talk through
  • Email support when you’re in a more passive mode
  • Online documentation for the DIY’ers

A lack of mobility and flexibility

Just as you want flexible customer service options, you also want your EPOS system to be flexible and mobile. These days, it’s all about flexibility and mobility. Business owners want options, and they want them to go. With a mobile point of sale, you can sell anywhere from pop up shops to street fairs without compromising functionality. You can also use it in your store as a line-buster to move customers through the checkout process quicker.

It’s contributing to a negative work-life balance

Lastly, we hope your small business is a labour of love. A passion that has inspired you to get to this point in your career. But what we don’t want is for your small business to take over your personal life and relationships.

46% of small business owners who say that work-life interferes with home life blame administrative tasks as the number one roadblock for achieving work-life balance. As you’ve learned from the previous nine tips, the right EPOS system can help you automate more than just your point of purchase process. It can streamline many of your core business processes and administrative tasks – giving you more time to spend with loved ones.

So, there you have it. 10 signs you’ve outgrown your EPOS system. If any of them strike a chord with you, don’t ignore the warning signs. It’s time to upgrade your point of sale solution to one that will better serve your growing business.

If you’re interested in seeing what business solutions there are out there that could help you streamline your business, get in contact with us here, or call us on 0191 500 8150 to speak to a Business Software Consultant.

30
Aug

The importance of integrating your most important IT systems

Growth: it’s every retailers goal.

Whether it’s a small shop opening a second location across town or a big-box chain with stores numbering in the thousands, retailers of all stripes and sizes want their businesses to grow. When it comes to expanding operations, EPOS solutions do much of the heavy lifting. But not all EPOS systems are created equal.

There are key features and functionalities that particularly equip some EPOS systems to aid retailers on their path to growth and expansion – and an important feature is the ability for your EPOS system to integrate with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

When ERP meets EPOS

When your business integrates its ERP program with an EPOS system, then you’re dealing with a horse of a different colour. Today’s customers want options in everything. From ecommerce stores to brick and mortar stores and even shopping opportunities on social media, the consumer is a mobile animal.

Your business software must be able to keep up with the demands of your customers. It may be time to integrate EPOS capabilities with ERP functionalities. Even in traditional brick and mortar stores, an integrated EPOS/ERP system can keep them competitive by improving efficiency and providing them with a mobile presence to meet consumers’ changing demands.

EPOS software completes your transactions on the spot. It isn’t dependent on a computer console but is fully functional on a tablet or phone and offers the ease of a touch-screen. It can calculate a sale, including tax and delivery charges, and adjust inventory. This makes your sales staff more efficient, improve sales (and possibly their commissions) and tracks inventory levels in real time.

Integrating with the ERP means your front-office processes and your back-office operations can coordinate and play nicely together.

Good news…

With an integrated retail system in use, your business combines the front-end EPOS, inventory and stock management in the middle of the process, and accounting in the back-end. There may even be links with your supply chain partners. This means a streamlined process across all departments.

Specific advantages to integrating ERP and EPOS may include the following:

  • Information at fingertips: An integrated mobile EPOS system provides sales staff with immediate access to information they need to effectively close the deal. Customer information and purchase history helps t hem make better recommendations, improving cross-sells and upsells.
  • Options: By integrating a mobile EPOS system with your ERP platform, you give your customers the same experience online as they get in your store. You can offer such features as order online and pick up in store.
  • Improved sales numbers: Integrating your mobile EPOS and ERP lets you close sales wherever you may be without the need for increased overhead associated with syncing customer information.
  • Customer satisfaction: Your customers will appreciate the more personal service they get when your sales representatives have the information they need to help build deeper customer relationships.
  • Inventory management: The back-office inventory control can let your front-office sales person know when an item is available in another store so you never miss a sale. You can also get alerts of potential problems, such as a product going out of stock.

… and not so good news

As with everything in life, there is usually a downside. The most glaring argument against incorporating ERP/EPOS into your business platform is cost. These systems can be expensive to implement.

The counter argument is the old adage: you have to spend money to make money. Incorporating an integrated ERP/EPOS system can help take your business to the next level. With the many positives outweighing the cost outlay, smart business owners are getting on board with ERP/EPOS systems of their own.

Open for business

Open-platform EPOS systems offer many benefits and advantages for growing retailers, but one of the biggest is that an open API allows developers to integrate your EPOS and your ERP systems. ERP-agnostic EPOS systems enable data exchanged automatically among all store systems and applications, including accounting, inventory, ecommerce, promotions and CRM. This integration eliminates having to re-enter data, which is time-consuming and error prone.

With integrated EPOS and ERP at the core of retail IT, your store systems can integrate easily with third-party solutions. After all, no retailer wants to be left behind when competitors are getting ahead by adopting new tech as people-counting software that offers critical data on store traffic or digital signage that engages shoppers with bright displays on product information, promotions, videos and other content. And you want to be prepared for advances in technology that are around the corner such as augmented reality and virtual reality applications for brand immersion experiences.

In essence, an EPOS platform with an open API ensures your system is future-proof and can accommodate new directions your business may take. An EPOS system that is truly scalable is designed for whatever your business needs will be tomorrow.

Extensibility

Is your EPOS solution rigid or flexible? How often do you find yourself saying “I wish my EPOS could…?” Unfortunately, some EPOS platforms were built with a ‘walled garden’ approach. Truly scalable EPOS, however, lets retailers get their hands on the code and tweak it to their specifications when needed. Every retailer is different and as much as off-the-shelf EPOS software tries to accommodate all, many businesses demand a certain level of customisation in order to truly manage the nuances of their specific vertical, whether that’s the optical industry or the restaurant world. Truly scalable EPOS doesn’t hold you back from what you want it to do.

Going mobile

When you purchased your EPOS software, it’s entirely possible that mobile EPOS wasn’t a staple yet in retail. But now that handheld devices are downright commonplace among frontline retail store staff, you’re probably considering adding mobile EPOS to your operations. As retail continues to move towards a customer-centric approach, it’s increasingly important for sales-floor staff to have EPOS functionality at their fingertips.

The question is, however, does your entire IT system support mobility? Truly scalable EPOS, which integrates with your ERP system, can accommodate new modules and functionality, such as putting the software onto small form-factor devices and enabling sales associates to access customer data, update inventory from mobile EPOS, and conduct payment transactions that are automatically shared with the accounting program.

Whatever lies ahead

Maybe the next step for your business is as simple as incorporating additional EPOS terminals or onboarding new users. Or perhaps you have big plans to expand into new areas or even grow internationally. Working with a scalable EPOS system made possible by integrated EPOS and ERP makes all of this a straightforward, painless process. No matter how big or small your plans are, a purpose-built platform can scale along with you.

When considering an investment in new technology, be sure that the software meets your needs today – and is feature-rich to exceed your demands tomorrow. Insist on an ERP-agnostic, scalable EPOS system that will enable you to build a unified, powerful retail management system, positioning your business for growth and competitiveness in a fast-changing environment.

For any help and advice regarding either EPOS or ERP systems, we at Monpellier are here to help, so either contact us here, or give us a call on 0191 500 8150 and speak to a Business Software Consultant.

28
Aug

Could EPOS systems help you cut your costs?

Achieving a balance of revenue and operational costs is crucial to the positive growth of any business.

Right now, this is particularly challenging with a recent survey of SMEs revealing that operating costs now stand at over 50% of turnover. However, thanks to the insights and efficiencies of modern technology, investing in the right EPOS system could provide the tools to help bring the balance of costs back under control.

EPOS systems deliver crucial insights

It’s these insights that enable a business to make changes that have a tangible impact on cost reduction. If you’re not currently using an EPOS system then there by many gaps in your knowledge when it comes to the factors within your business that could be pushing costs up, such as:

  • How much stock is being thrown out and how much this costs the business on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Whether you’re getting customer complaints, for example about slow service, and whether this is resulting in dissatisfaction with the bill or loss of a customer.
  • When your peak times are and whether peak times are also the most profitable times for your business.
  • Which goods/services are the best sellers and which choices are less popular.
  • The ratio of staff costs to the number of customers you’re serving per day.
  • Which suppliers are giving your business the best deals.

A good EPOS system will not only help you find answers to these key questions, but also to work out what the cause of any spiralling costs might be.

How an EPOS system could help you cut costs

The capture of real time data about the way that your business is functioning can reveal where your systems and choices could be more efficient. For example, you’ll be able to see what products/services are best sellers and whether your stock ordering choices make sense in light of that.

An EPOS system provides service improvement opportunities that can help to reduce the costs associated with complaints about slow or poor service. For example, a system with tableside ordering and payment taking means staff don’t have to travel to facilitate customer orders or payments. A system that links up to kitchen automation means that orders can be prepared as soon as they are taken.

Integration with other business processes and systems can save time and money. For example, an EPOS system that integrates with your accounting software will enable more accurate financial analysis and oversight.

An EPOS system provides more transparency, as every transaction is tracked. This makes it much easier to identify issues such as behaviours that could be costing the business substantially in fraudulent losses.

The use of devices, such as tablets or smart phones, to take orders can make the process more efficient and streamline the technology used across a group to avoid costly inconsistencies.

The element of data capture in using an EPOS system provides the means to create more targeted marketing campaigns that deliver more return on investment cost.

Investment in technology can be problematic when you’re working with a tight budget.

Whether your business is a start-up or just running on a very lean infrastructure, you may struggle with the idea of allocating any of that hard earned income to an investment like a new EPOS. However, the reality is that you may be missing out if you don’t. The right EPOS system could not only make life easier but make your business more efficient and more successful. How do you if it’s time to consider this investment? There are eight clear signs:

Software is slow, buggy and complicated

The first – and most obvious – sign you need new EPOS software is that your current system is just, well, old!

If customers have to question whether their transaction is even going through, or if you’re working with an ancient system held together with dirt and scotch tape, it’s time for an upgrade. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I constantly battling with a platform that freezes or blinks out every time I issue a gift receipt?
  • How many times a week do I have to restart and reboot?
  • Is training new employees a hassle because of how convoluted each task is?

User friendliness has become an industry standard among even the most feature heavy systems. There are tons of ultra-simple, ultra-slick platforms out there; you shouldn’t continue pulling your hair out over old software. Customers will inevitably take note, so your system should instill confidence in your patrons and demonstrate the pride you take in your business.

Out of date hardware

Think of how often you replace technology in your personal life. Most people wait no longer than two years before they start itching for the latest smartphone. While you may not want to replace your EPOS hardware quite that often, the average setup is going to be outmoded after four to seven years.

Most new software isn’t compatible with older hardware anyway, and that’s not just because EPOS vendors want you to spend more money (though I’m sure that’s a part of it). The other reason is that older terminals, receipt printers, cash drawers, etc just can’t accommodate the level of functionality available these days.

For instance, many of the newer EPOS systems operate on sleek tablets that have better operating systems than their much bulkier, much more expensive predecessors. New hardware is visually appealing, space-saving and convenient, allowing you to free up counter space even while giving your store or restaurant a little more style.

Outdated features

Yes, at one point tracking your inventory digitally was cutting edge, but now it has become pretty standard. Depending on the level of functionality you’re working with, it may be time for you to step into the 21st century. For instance, think of how much time your average consumer spends on the internet. If you aren’t finding a way to connect with your customers online, a huge source of revenue is going untapped.

Here are some of the features you won’t find in older software:

  • E-commerce features (online stores, online ordering)
  • Social media integrations
  • Digital receipts and kitchen order screens
  • Mobile, real-time reporting
  • Customer loyalty programmes
  • Email marketing campaigns

When it really comes down to it, if you aren’t offering these features, your competition will be. Think about that the next time you pass up on an upgrade.

Limited integration capabilities

Do you spend time exporting valuable business information as CSV files that then have to be imported into third-party programs? Constantly jumping back and forth between multiple programs just to finish your daily paperwork isn’t doing you any favours. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take care of all your back office business within a single program? Well you can!

Depending on your needs, there are EPOS systems out there with all the in-house features necessary to completely manage your business. Even if you need something outside the standard capabilities, most modern platforms offer integrations designed to supplement any areas your EPOS might not cover. Why work harder when you can reduce transferring errors and get all your work done in one place with a new system?

Outdated payment processing

If you haven’t jumped on the contactless bandwagon, it’s high time to do so. Not only is it a good idea to upgrade your payment processor to protect yourself from fraud liability, but the way we pay for things is also diversifying. More people are expecting to be able to use ApplePay or Android Pay when they shop, and if your system doesn’t support NFC payments you will lose their business.

Another element of payment processing to consider is integrating your credit card reader. External credit card processors can slow transaction times and add extra steps to your reporting process. Most EPOS vendors have made it a point to integrate with a selection of merchant services providers, and some even offer in-house payment processing, making it easier than ever to nail down a competitive rate.

Still not cloud-based?

Most recently, cloud-based technology has become increasingly entrenched in the business sector. By the year 2020, a study estimates that more than 80% of businesses will be using cloud-based systems, which makes sense considering how the cloud has already invaded the consumer tech realm.

There are a swath of benefits to using a cloud-based system, but if you’re not totally convinced, some EPOS systems offer hybrid technology, which incorporates the best of both locally-installed and cloud-based platforms.

Too expensive

One of the perks of the technological jump is the increased affordability of EPOS systems. Not only is the software generally cheaper and offered at a month-to-month rate but you’re also not having to invest in costly hardware. And when I say ‘costly’, I don’t just mean in terms of the monetary sacrifice you make when purchasing huge terminals, servers, and backup servers. I’m also referring to the time, energy and frustration that older, high-maintenance systems demand.

This is where cloud-based technology can really come in handy and keep more money in your wallet. Technical support is significantly less expensive, updates are automatic, and trained professionals are monitoring and maintaining the servers housing your data so you don’t have to.

You’re contributing to global warming

Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement, but let’s face it, the ‘going green’ buzz words are all around us. Customers want to feel like they are leaving a smaller carbon footprint, and if your business offers them ways to do that they are more likely to return.

Find software that emails electronic receipts, invest in a mobile EPOS that you can take tableside or onto the sales floor, send orders wirelessly to a kitchen display instead of printing tickets. Take it a step further by going paperless and digitising your books with online inventory management, marketing campaigns, payroll management and accounting.

Not only will these measures help out the planet, they’ll also keep more money in your wallet and more hair on your head,

Final thoughts

If you found yourself nodding along to any of the points above it’s probably time to consider an upgrade to your EPOS system. Whether you need new hardware, new software, or both, the system around which your entire business revolves is no place to skimp.

Give us a call on 0191 500 8150 to speak to a Business Software Consultant, or drop us a message here, and we’ll get back to you.

23
Aug

Why EPOS is so essential for businesses

Every good retailer should use an EPOS system, as it is an indispensable tool for businesses.

Simply put, an EPOS system processes sales transactions electronically and are the technology of choice for retailers, both large and small. They process sales transactions electronically by itemising and summarising sales and accurately receiving and recording payments. But an EPOS system doesn’t just ring up sales, they give real-time assessment of your inventory and customer information too.

Sales and inventory management are essential to the success of every retail business. The execution of both, good or bad, will make or break a business. Luckily today, EPOS technology has revolutionised the process.

Why EPOS is great for business

Cash registers are great for most small businesses, unless you have thousands of items for sale. And tracking inventory is one of the most time-consuming tasks for retailers.

That is where EPOS systems come in. By helping retailers of all sizes reduce the amount of time they need to spend calculating inventory and by helping to transition their brick and mortar shop to the online world.

The digital age poses a challenge for retailers who look to improve the customer experience while increasing profits due to increase pressure to offer a most holistic experience within a real-time retail model.

Technology has completely changed the way businesses operate. Due to the immediate nature of the internet, today’s customers expect more out of their shopping experience leaving retailers with the responsibility of figuring out how.

Don’t let the thought of employing new technology overwhelm you. EPOS systems were designed to be very user-friendly. Its sole purpose is to make doing business easier.

How does an EPOS system work?

An EPOS system is like a cash register that is linked to a computer. Within it, it can process sales, maintain inventory, and in some of the more sophisticated systems, can be linked to the backend databases of supplier distribution warehouses.

The function of EPOS systems

Basically, the EPOS system reads barcodes on products and charges the appropriate amount. Unlike traditional till registers, EPOS systems automatically calculate and track changes to product prices while updating inventory at the same time.

This is a huge boom for retailers. Because of the abilities of an EPOS, retailers will spend less time having to count inventory and make restocking requests. With its easy to read nature for retailers, it can reduce the length of time something is ever out of stock and make reordering products a breeze.

Choosing the right EPOS system

Your choice in an EPOS system should be specific to the needs of your business. Like most computer-based systems, there’s a variety of EPOS software options to choose from.

The investment you make in an EPOS system will depend on the size of your business and customer base. For example, smaller retailers may want to steer clear of investing in complex programs.

Be sure that whatever system you choose, it does the following:

  • Handles payments quickly
  • Updates inventory lists
  • Provides instant stock information
  • Instant real-time information on stock levels
  • Demand prediction
  • Does instant accounting
  • Supports knowledge management to stock product lines in the right place at the right time

These are just a few examples. Keep in mind that software specialists and consultants can customise EPOS solutions to meet your business needs, like integrating the EPOS system with existing software, hardware or website.

More than an electronic cash register

EPOS systems are not just electric cash registers. Yes, at its most basic level it is designed to replicate the functions of a manual cash register, but it does so much more.

The ability to link your EPOS system to your computer and other databases is why EPOS has the clear advantage over traditional manual cash registers. Even if your business is small, you need to implement an EPOS.

EPOS vs traditional cash registers

Let’s take a quick comparison of EPOS systems and traditional cash registers.

  • Cash registers are machines that record sales transactions, gives change and holds money. EPOS does this and so much more. They automatically update inventory as it goes out.
  • EPOS systems are much faster and accurate.
  • What you see is what you get with traditional cash registers (manual and electric) while EPOS systems can be customised to fit a company’s needs.
  • EPOS systems can collect data on everything from sales transactions to how effective (or in some cases, ineffective) they are, unlike traditional cash registers that lack capability.

Mistakes to avoid when choosing EPOS systems

It’s best to be an educated consumer when deciding what EPOS system best meets the needs of your business. The costs of EPOS systems vary on need and the size of your company. Avoiding the nine most common mistakes when choosing a system will ensure that you choose the system is best for you.

You don’t understand what you need

It’s hard to choose the right EPOS system if you don’t have a clear understanding of what you need. Every business process that you have can be automated through the system. But you need to take the time to really assess what it is that will work best for your business. Work through every process in your EPOS system (purchasing, transfer and receiving, for example). The provider should be the best resource on the automation of each process, have extensive knowledge of the industry, and be able to make the appropriate recommendations.

You don’t get references on products

A good rule of thumb is to get at least three product references before you buy. Contact those references and try to get local references. Local references will allow you to visit the store and see the EPOS in action. Additional tips on getting local product references include making sure the reference uses the same version of the software that you are looking for and ask a lot of questions. What do they like about the product? What don’t they like about it? What is the implementation process like? Does the provider offer ongoing support? Vet the product thoroughly before you buy.

You don’t do your due diligence

Not only do you need to vet the product, but also the company providing your new EPOS system. There is a difference between a company that sells the system and a company that sells and supports the system. Vast knowledge and expertise usually comes from companies that have dedicated decades to that market. Because of the ongoing support needed after purchase, you need to do your due diligence and find out all that you can about the company you intend to buy from.

Here are some recommended questions to ask:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • How large is the company?
  • Is the company publicly trading?

You don’t invest in training

This is not an area where you want to skimp. If you buy an EPOS system, but don’t invest in training on that system, then you will severely decrease your return on investment. Don’t let your system become a glorified cash register. Get the most out of it. Here are some tips on how to implement system training:

  • Get at least one day of classroom training on the overview of your EPOS system pre-installation.
  • Get at least a day and a half of installation training. Learn what you need to run your business day to day.
  • Post-installation is a great way to address problems or ask questions after having used the system for a short while. This training can usually be done remotely, or at your business.
  • Take out some time to learn advanced features after you learn your way around the software. Doing this can give your business a strategic advantage.

You cheap out

It is easy to make decisions on what software to buy based solely on price. After all, you need to save money where you can. But don’t let price alone be the determining factor when selecting an EPOS system. An established company that knows what you don’t know about the ins and outs of operating an EPOS system might cost you a little more in the beginning, but you will save money and headaches in the future.

Believing that a one size fits all systems

There are a variety of EPOS systems from which to choose. They do not necessarily all do the same things so they will not be the right fit for your company. Don’t assume that they are interchangeable. There are different markets within the retail industry. What works for one retailer may not work for another. An EPOS system is not something you should ever consider buying ‘off the shelf’, it should be tailored to fit your needs.

You customise your system’s software

EPOS systems come with many features and about 95% of the features you need, your system will have. However, systems can become obsolete. You don’t want to freeze yourself into the version that you purchased.

You overlook the need for backups

In today’s world, there is no excuse for not backing up your system. Whether you use a portable hard drive or an internet-based service, backing up your system is much easier than it use to be. Backups are not only beneficial in the case of a computer crash; it can be crucial in the case of computer theft, floods or fires.

You choose the wrong partner

One risk of choosing an EPOS system company to buy from is choosing the wrong one. What if the company goes bust? What do you do then when you need support? You need to ensure that you buy from a reputable company. If you do, the risk of choosing wrong can be decreased greatly with just a few questions. For example:

  • Is the EPOS the company’s primary business?
  • Do they provide ongoing support? If so, what type of support?
  • Do they offer onsite technical assistance?
  • Do they offer training?

Retailers, and many other businesses can ensure success by avoiding these common mistakes. Make a checklist using these tips and be a more informed customer when choosing the right EPOS system for your business.

Want to discuss implementing a new EPOS system into your business? Get in contact with us by either calling 0191 500 8150 or contacting us here, and we’ll give you a call.

21
Aug

What is the point of a point of sale system?

Ask any retailer, “what is a point of sale system?” and they’ll tell you – it’s the central component of their business; the hub where everything merges.

The electronic point of sales (EPOS) system is the place where your customer executes the payment for goods or services bought from your company.

An EPOS system is a combination of software and hardware that allows merchants to take transactions and simplify key day-to-day business operations.

This blog post examines that hardware and software components of EPOS systems. We’ll examine the key capabilities and the benefits they bring and highlight critical considerations for selecting a new EPOS system.

Software and hardware components of EPOS systems

As we look at the components of EPOS systems, it’s first important to understand the software options available and what each requires.

Software components

There are two common software deployment methods:

On-premise: a traditional software model. Purchase one or more licenses upfront for the software and install it on your computer system or servers. You’re in charge of updating and maintaining the software, which may require dedicated IT personnel for larger organisations.

Cloud-based: also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) EPOS solutions. You can access and support the system via the internet. Don’t worry – if your internet goes down, most systems track sales and sync them once you’re back online.

Flexibility is key. Ensure your EPOS vendor works with the payment processor/gateway of your choice, so that you can control cost.

SMEs should verify that their EPOS integrates with any existing business applications to ensure no tech interruptions.

Hardware components

Regardless of your chosen software deployment method, the hardware is the same. The following hardware components are crucial for supporting EPOS software:

Register screen: standard monitor that displays the product database. Enables other functions such as employee clock-in and viewing sales reports. Tablets are popular for replacing bulkier monitors.

Barcode scanner: automates the checkout process. Scanning barcodes pulls product information and adds it to the checkout total. Barcodes, when scanned, may also integrate with inventory management systems to automatically adjust stock levels.

Credit card reader: secure and compliant credit card readers are extremely important for retailers and non-compliant retailers face potentially huge losses on account of fraud liability.

Cash drawer: it may fade away in the years to come, but cash is still king. And as long as it is, you need a secure place to store cash for transactions. Additionally, there are no credit card fees tied to accepting cash.

Retailers benefit greatly from the automation and organisation EPOS hardware and software systems provide. However, it is also important to understand how these components work together to help you overcome certain pain points.

Benefits and must-have capabilities of EPOS systems

EPOS systems simplify crucial business operations. Modern EPOS systems do more than just offer flexibility when processing daily transactions. They improve a merchant’s chances of success by providing them with tools to streamline business processes.

Many of these vital processes would be overly tedious and resource exhaustive to complete without the support of a modern EPOS system. But exactly what features should you be looking for?

An analysis with EPOS software buyers identified several must-have capabilities buyers seek in new EPOS systems. These include:

Sales reporting: record and analyse sales data to make informed business decisions.

Customer management: log purchases and keep in touch with customers through marketing tools.

Inventory management: manage quantity of stock to determine when and how often to reorder products.

Employee management: provide clock-in/clock-out tools and manage scheduling and payroll.

Even with all the benefits, the analysis found that 64% of single store retailers aren’t using an EPOS system. These merchants are using a combination of manual methods, cash registers and Excel or simple accounting software for bookkeeping.

Some retailers are hesitant to adopt new EPOS systems. Implementing new technology can be scary and overwhelming. As the EPOS is the central nervous system of a business, it might be intimidating to think about replacing it. That’s why so many retailers have not made the switch yet.

Retailers run the risk of slowing down their operations and missing critical data that could help them grow their business faster. Having key insight about their customers, their inventory level and when they should order more supplies are examples of information an EPOS provides.

Choosing the best EPOS system for your business

Now that you know everything you need to know about EPOS systems, what’s your next step? If you’re choosing an EPOS system for the first time, we encourage you to prepare meaningful questions that force vendors to give you definitive answers.

It’s important to consider the ease of use, flexibility in pricing, what actionable insights the system provides, data security, hardware durability and quality of customer service.

We recommend asking:

  • Does the functionality of the system suit your specific business needs?
  • How much does the software really cost?
  • Is your only option to sign a contract?
  • Are there any hidden fees?
  • Is any hardware proprietary?

Make a list of ‘must-haves’ and then talk to business owners who operate in a similar space about their experiences. Then start looking at solutions and make sure vendors cover the key points important to your business while also offering a secure, easy-to-use, easy to maintain and modern solution.

An important characteristic of today’s economic climate and business is directly linked to the need for increased efficiency and growth in net profits. A brand new EPOS system could be the perfect tool to purchase.

EPOS systems are cost effective

Technology is quickly evolving and more hardware and software systems are being developed to create competitive advantages, enable cost reducing procedures, improve point-of-sale efficiency and increase customer flow.

An EPOS system is:

  • Adaptable: it is easy to configure so it can successfully fulfil the requirements of different fields and industries.
  • User friendly: it doesn’t require special training for employees over a longer period of time and it is relatively simple to use.
  • A trusted analytical tool: it collects relevant statistical data which can be used in further processes to achieve a higher level of economic growth.
  • Customer oriented: if it is linked to the company’s online store it can display in real-time the availability of a certain product or service, improving customer satisfaction.
  • A time-saving device: it will save considerable amounts of time, which is usually tied up in stocktaking and stock movements between stores.

EPOS system: a must-have in all industries

Many retailers rely entirely on EPOS as a technology, as it helps to build customer loyalty and ensure excellent customer service. EPOS systems are affordable as they are built on specific needs and are highly adaptable. Additionally the return on investment from EPOS technology is very lucrative.

Would you like to find out more about how EPOS can help your business? Get in touch with us today by calling 0191 500 8150 to speak to a Business Software Consultant, or fill in this form and we’ll get in touch with you.

 

16
Aug

How to buy the EPOS that’s right for your business

Selecting a full EPOS system is no easy task.

There are basically many reasons to hesitate as there are elements in an EPOS system, and different combinations of these elements. And at the end of it all, the bill for acquiring or using the whole system will always be a rather heavy one. Businesses that are considering to buy an EPOS for the first time should also be concerned about the time and resources they’ll need to spend in order to put together all the product and client data so they can use the EPOS software. They will then have to spend time learning how to use the software and operate the EPOS. This is why choosing an EPOS system represents a significant investment, and the decisions related to this investment should not be taken lightly.

Two major families of aspects should be reviewed: product-related aspects such as features and pricing, and provider-related aspects such as references and support.

How to buy an EPOS based on featured and pricing

Features and pricing are, naturally, the first elements which come to mind when considering to buy an EPOS.

Buy an EPOS with the right features for your business…

Businesses should be aware of the features they’ll need. More specifically, interested businesses should decide whether they’ll need the following options or not:

  • ecommerce integration
  • number of users
  • number of terminals
  • number of printers
  • mobile EPOS solution
  • industry-specific EPOS software
  • touchscreen displays

… at the right price

EPOS systems can be very expensive, depending on the hardware and software setup selected and the number of add-ons.

Make sure you have made a list of all the items that you will need, including the price of updates, consumables and support before you buy the EPOS.

Also, bear in mind that you can not only buy the EPOS, but you can also use EPOS rental or EPOS leasing options, with weekly or monthly payments and sometimes a setup fee.

References and support plans

An Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) is a vital part of your business. After you have installed it, you can simply not allow it to break down and remain unusable. It is therefore essential that you investigate the reputation of your EPOS system and enquire about support plans before you buy your EPOS.

References

There are two smart things you can to before committing to buy an EPOS system:

First, you should enquire about the reputation of your system. Ask the EPOS provider for references: past and active customers which you can call or contact directly to know how their system is doing, what difficulties they have ran into, and how efficient the support team has been in case of trouble.

Ask for a demonstration of the system. You need to know whether you or your staff will be able to understand how the system works, and operate it effortlessly. You also need to know whether the integration with your existing databases and other business systems will be seamless. It is very common for EPOS providers to offer complete demonstrations; they sometimes even can lend you some hardware and software for trial purposes.

Support: a crucial aspect

Businesses really must enquire about support plans and support policies before they choose an EPOS.

What level of support is provided? How reactive is the support team? How can they be reached? By email only? Over the phone? At what time? Do they do the support themselves, do they rely on a third party, or do they liaise directly with the support teams of the manufacturers? What kind of breakdowns and failures are actually covered by the support plan?

These are some of the questions businesses can ask when considering to buy an EPOS system.

Still not sure whether you are ready to take on the task of researching and investing in an EPOS solution?

EPOS is not just about processing transactions.

It should underpin your customer experience and should help you to acquire, retain and grow sales. That is why we have created a handy list of ten factors to consider if you are thinking of changing your EPOS.

Easy to use

Any EPOS should be easy and intuitive for all levels of staff to use. This reduces training costs and will reduce mistakes and ensure the customer experience is positive through speedy, straight forward transactions.

Customer experience

EPOS systems should have a positive impact on your overall customer experience, through speed of service, queue busting and engagement at the point of sale. We tackle this through our EPOS hardware, software and add on modules.

Grow as you grow

Ambitious growth plans? You need to make sure your EPOS provider shares your vision and understands your needs. You need to ensure scalability so you do not outgrow your EPOS solution too quickly and end up repeating this process!

Integrated payments

Integrated payments (with all the latest payment methods) are a must in this day and age. They reduce the costs associated with manual keying errors and ensure the payment process is quick and easy.

Loyalty

EPOS can give you the tools you need to get personal with customers, bring them back, and maximise their spend through personalised loyalty and actionable insights all through your own unique branded app.

Mobile

Mobile EPOS devices are a great way to enhance your EPOS solution, through the addition of what is essentially a portable till. This allows you to service customers on the shop floor, at the table or in areas which may be some distance away from the POS.

Reports and analytics

Reporting, analytics and data metrics is a big part of our cloud based back office which allows you to drill down to the detail you require on sales; stock and staff – providing you with the tools to make more informed management decisions.

Stock control

With EPOS you can control stock and manage inventory ensuring you have what you need in stock, when your customers need it.

Support

In-house support (not farmed out to contractors) is an essential aspect of selecting any EPOS provider – and making sure you can reach them when you need them most!

And finally… choose the right EPOS partner

The EPOS market is highly competitive and congested. Selecting the right partner can be tough but this single decision could have a direct impact on your revenue for years to come!

To speak to one of our EPOS experts about how we can help you, call 0191 500 8150 or contact us here.

14
Aug

How a professionally installed EPOS can help you get more

You’d be hard pressed to find a business these days without a dedicated EPOS system.

They’ve almost completely replaced traditional tills, but many businesses still don’t know how to make the most of them, or which EPOS system is the right fit for them and their customers.

When choosing a new EPOS system or upgrading from an older one, it’s important to look at what different systems are available and explore the many different ways they can be configured. A professionally installed EPOS system should make your business run smoother than ever before, helping with things like stock control, bookkeeping and the quality and efficiency of your service.

In fact, one of the most overlooked advantages of having a professionally configured EPOS system in place is how much it can benefit your workforce.

Keeping mistakes to a minimum

Whether you run a bar, restaurant or retail store, on of the trickiest things to deal with is human error. It happens to all of us from time to time, especially during long, busy shifts. While EPOS systems can’t actively stop somebody from making a mistake, they can dramatically reduce the chances of a mistake occurring.

A well configured EPOS system will have products laid out logically and neatly in categories and folders, with quick and easy access to items that normally go together – like gin and tonic or a burger with a side of fries. As well as products being easier to find, discounts and complicated offers can also be implemented across all terminals at the same time, so your staff can apply them quickly and easily without any confusion or risk of overcharging the customer.

Giving more ownership and responsibility to staff

With a professionally installed EPOS system, each staff member will have their own log-in for each terminal. This might be accessed through a magnetised key chain or a quick swipe with a card, or even a code they can use to manually log in each time. Such a system can let them start an order on one terminal and pick it up on another, and if something isn’t cashed off leaving you scratching your head at the end of a long shift – you know who to ask.

Increasing productivity

A good EPOS system will help your staff to avoid making mistakes and help you keep better control of stock and orders, but a great EPOS system will actively help your business to be more profitable by enhancing your productivity. For example, you could easily track individual staff members and see how many orders they’re putting through in a given one hour shift.

This might help you better prioritise their placement or organise shift patterns. What’s more, because staff are better able to find and process orders on the fly, their average service time should decrease – good news for your customers who won’t have to wait quite so long to enjoy their purchase.

However, we all know that it isn’t just about making your workforce happy, it is also about saving your business money in the short and long term.

As the way consumers pay constantly evolves, you need an EPOS system than can evolve with them. While a do-it-yourself approach might get you part of the way there, you leave yourself vulnerable to crashes, errors and downtime that can cost your business money. That’s where a professionally installed and maintained EPOS solution can pay dividends…

As technology advances and workplaces become more and more connected, the ways in which businesses handle their EPOS systems is evolving. We’re living in an increasingly cashless society, with card payments overtaking cash payments for the first time last year. From bars and restaurants to high street stores and takeaway, consumers want choice when it comes to parting with their hard earned money, and old POS systems simply won’t cut it.

Why getting the right EPOS system is essential

In 2018, you need to make sure your business is equipped with an EPOS system that cannot just handle card payments, but also contactless NFC features for things like Apple Pay, Android Pay and contactless card transactions. This goes doubly so for businesses who sell at low cost and high volume, like cafes and bars. More EPOS capability means faster transactions and more sales, rapidly increasing the productivity of your staff.

We’ve already touched upon the point that having an up-to-date EPOS system is important if you intend to grow your physical business, but for start-ups or existing businesses looking to modernise, it can be difficult to know where to get started.

The technology available today has made do-it-yourself EPOS systems perfectly viable, and many businesses have seen success using this method through trial and error. But how many startups have the resources to get such a complex system running, and how many have the bounceback ability to recover when something inevitably goes wrong? That’s where getting a professionally installed EPOS system really starts to make sense.

Why you should get your EPOS system professionally installed

A professionally installed EPOS system can be tailored to your individual business needs, whether you’re running a charity shop on the high street or you’re a landlord at the local pub. An initial set up would usually include all the products, pricing, promos and staff profiles you need, allowing you to concentrate on running your business.

They’re often cloud-cased with extensive back up capabilities so you’re always covered if anything goes wrong – particularly if you go with a local EPOS supplier who offer ongoing service and support like Monpellier. If there’s’a power outage or our system stops working for any reason, support will be no more than a quick phone call away.

Remember, an EPOS system should be an asset to your business rather than a burden; less downtime means more productivity and profitability for your business.

Getting a system professionally installed will also make it easier for you and your staff on shift. For example, at Monpellier we learn all we can about our customers before we implement the right point of sale solution for them, so you can be rest assured that your team will have everything you need to record sales and issue bills right from the get go. We’ll even show you how to update and programme the system yourself so you can easily add and remove products as well as change prices on the fly.

When all is said and done, an EPOS system is there to make your business run smoothly and make it easier to manage, both on a day-to-day basis and when managing the bigger picture. If you want to make the most out of your workforce, there’s no better way than getting an EPOS system professionally tailored to the individual needs of your business.

When it comes to choosing the right EPOS ssytem the choice is ultimately yours, but in order to stay ahead of the curve and keep your business running smoothly without interruption, a managed professional installation is definitely the way to go.

Want to get in touch with Monpellier? Whether you’re looking for a completely new EPOS system or just some help and advice on your current EPOS solution, we’re here to help. Call 0191 500 8150 or leave us a message today.

9
Aug

When is the best time to invest in EPOS? Now!

We’re in the midst of one of the warmest summers on record, yet for business owners, it’s already time to start planning ahead for the festive season.

Christmas spending topped £78 billion in the UK last year, up to 1.4% on 2016. It was a similar story in the US, where spends rose 2.1% to $658 billion. 2018 looks set to be even bigger still, and the most successful retail and hospitality businesses will be those that take the right steps to prepare.

Events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday mean consumers are starting their Christmas shopping earlier than ever, so it’s vital to think about upgrading your point of sale system in plenty of time. Here are just a few reasons it’s worth investing in EPOS ahead of the Christmas rush.

Train seasonal staff

Longer opening hours and increased footfall see many businesses hiring extra in the run up to Christmas. While they may be temporary, it’s pivotal that every employee is able to deliver the very best customer experience. Our EPOS system boasts a remarkably simple interface, with employee training taking no time at all. Innovative features further streamline the process which gives staff access to key product details at the touch of a button.

Our systems also allow you to set up individual staff permissions to prevent unauthorised refunds or discounts. Limit the features that are available to certain staff members while ensuring long-standing employees maintain access to the full system.

Speed up transactions

Long queues are a bugbear for consumers at any time of the year but can be a particularly big problem during the Christmas rush. EPOS technology is just one way to speed up transactions and reduce the amount of time it takes to serve each customer.

Not only will staff be able to generate more revenue in a short space of time, but you’ll satisfy 89% of UK consumers who have previously turned away from a purchase as a result of excessive queueing.

Keep track of stock

More customers means you’ll be needing more stock, so maintaining a clear view of your inventory is crucial. Routinely conducting manual stocktakes isn’t always feasible for busy business owners however, particularly those that operate in multiple locations or have an ecommerce store.

Our system facilitates automatic stock tracking in real-time, so you’ll always have an accurate view of what you have and which products need reordering. Integrate your system with your existing ecommerce store and stock levels will be synced across both channels, benefiting customers instore and online.

Encourage customer loyalty

Getting customers through the door is one thing, but the end goal is to keep them coming back once the festive season is over. Digital loyalty chemes are rapidly gaining popularity within the UK and can be integrated directly with your EPOS system, giving SMEs access to customisable loyalty programs at an affordable price.

74% of UK consumers regularly collect loyalty points, so there’s real value in being able to implement something like this in your own business. Unlike traditional loyalty schemes, going digital also opens the door to a whole host of additional features, such as the potential to send customers push notifications and email alerts around promotional offers.

Generate reports

Understanding what is and isn’t working for your business is the first step towards making changes that boost your bottom line. Our system boasts a range of advanced reporting features, the likes of which allow you to track sales and accurately forecast footfall.

There’s also the ability to generate reports based on employee performance. This can really help to incentivise staff during busy sales periods, especially if you take the time to reward employees that deliver exceptional service.

Christmas may feel like a lifetime away, but it’s vital businesses are prepared for a potential surge in footfall and ready to convert new visitors into loyal customers. Now is the time to set the wheels in motion if you hope to get your new point of sale system up and running in time for the festive rush.

Still feel like you need more persuasion to invest in a new EPOS?

EPOS systems are designed to enhance customer experience and streamline your sales transactions. Although EPOS systems are considerably more expensive than your traditional cash register it is this very reason that justifies investing in one.

Below are five reasons why EPOS systems are worth the investment regardless of the nature of your retail or hospitality business.

Inventory Management

Tracking your inventory is essential to optimising sales and monitoring theft. Unlike traditional cash register systems that require you to manually adjust your stock levels, EPOS software provides a real-time representation from the sale of a product to its adjustment in your inventory system. Furthermore, EPOS solutions allow you to accurately monitor any theft and removes the element of human error.

Employee Performance

The manual labour associated with traditional cash registers only allows you to analyse which employees are top performers once this lengthy process is completed. Real-time sales management allows you to analyse a specific employees performance. EPOS software allows you to monitor all aspects of your staff with easy access to employee records which include attendance, sales stats and more.

Tracking KPIs

Advanced EPOS business reports give you the power to analyse your KPIs and other business data in real-time. These systems provide you with 24/7 access to your reports which are accessible via a web browser, tablet or mobile phone. In addition to sales reports, EPOS systems give you detailed reports of all business operations including finances, inventory, HR, security and marketing reports.

Understanding customers

Traditional cash register systems limit businesses in their ability to understand client behaviour due to the lag produced by manual stock take and human error. EPOS systems have an intuitive customer relationship manager built into them. This allows you to capture vital customer information and behaviour in real-time. These systems can store contact details, personas, delivery addresses, accounts, preferences and purchase history.

Cloud-based Optimisation

The future of EPOS software provides a unique advantage that traditional cash registers do not – the cloud. Cloud-based technology allows businesses to effectively manage sales, inventory and customers across multiple platforms and channels. EPOS systems can be updated as consumer behaviour changes thanks to the nature of the cloud. This technology allows retailers to access all information about the business at any time independent of location.

Many small retailers think that upgrading their EPOS mechanism is unnecessary and still utilise the most rudimentary forms of these devices. However, every business owner has one objective in mind and that is growth. To effectively grow you need a system to keep up with your rate of growth.

Although investing in EPOS software may seem too expensive to justify in the beginning,it will benefit your business in the long-run and will allow you to optimise your operations to grow faster. The aforementioned reasons should be enough to convince you to bite the bullet for a tactical business stance in the very beginning.

At Monpellier we work very hard to identify the needs and obstacles our customers face in the day-to-day running of their business. We provide mission critical solutions by listening to our customers requirements, observing their operations and drawing on our technical know-how. Our unique consultation process ensures your investment in technology is an extension of your business rather than just another tool.

To find out more about how we can help you, contact us here, or speak to one of our friendly Business Software Consultants by calling 0191 500 8150.

7
Aug

Top 5 benefits of installing EPOS

Businesses are increasingly using technology to streamline their business operations and improve the customer experience.

Electronic point of sale (EPOS) technology is affording small businesses across the globe the tools they need to compete against the corporate competition that dominates our high streets. We’ve come a long way from the clunky, glorified calculators of the past. Today’s EPOS has the potential to revolutionise the way your business runs, offering plenty more benefits than simply somewhere to stash the cash!

How will EPOS benefit my business?

Insight

One of the key benefits of EPOS is its capacity to measure and manage business activity in a way that allows you to make insight-driven changes. By building up a clear and accurate view of your business performance, you can set about improving it.

  • Visibility: there are hundreds of reports available that can be tailored to measure a vast array of information from margins, inventory and sales.
  • Spot trends: these analytic reports will allow you to spot trends hourly, monthly, or seasonally. This will allow you to dedicate the resource you need when you need them, such as having more staff on shift between 6pm and 8pm, or knowing you need to stock extra sun cream in June.
  • Know what your customers want: knowing your most popular stock items allow you to discontinue unpopular items, or push surplus stock. You can also see what certain customers are buying and target push promotions to their email or mobile device.

Time

Many business owners testify to never having enough time in the day to do everything required for the betterment of their business. Many admin tasks associated with running a business, such as inventory management, accounting and staffing are mandatory, mundane and time-consuming. EPOS systems have the capacity to automate features, reducing the time spent faffing in spreadsheets and more time running your business.

  • Queue management: EPOS systems have the capacity to reduce the average transaction time. This cuts queues, reduces wait times and improves customer satisfaction.
  • Staff training: EPOS software interfaces vary from different providers. Systems offering a clean uncluttered interface with intuitive, user-friendly functions are best suited to fast-paced industries such as hospitality and retail. Your staff are your front-line users so they have to be happy with the functionality of the system in order to remain engaged and immersed in your selling process. A simple system ensures your staff can be operational, serving customers and taking payments in a matter of minutes.
  • Better use of time: employees who would usually be stuck in the back with a clipboard, or counting cash in the office are freed up for a better use of their time, serving your customers. More people to serve means fewer frustrated walkouts, more time building rapport and an improved customer experience.

Money

The additional insight afforded by an innovative EPOS system will allow you to manage your finances with ease. With a clear view of incoming revenue and outgoing costs, spotting opportunities for savings is easy.

  • Inventory management: inventory management is the bedrock of good business. Poor stock management impedes cash flow, risks wastage, shrinkage and can easily be taken advantage of by unscrupulous staff. Running out of stock is also a huge blow to customer satisfaction, making you look ill-prepared and unprofessional. EPOS not only eliminates the need for time-consuming stock takes, it also eliminates the human error involved with them. When stock is running low, the system can order more, ensuring you never run out. Anomalous data can also flag up employee theft, which costs the retail and hospitality sector millions in revenue each year.
  • Marketing: no longer restricted to the realm of print and radio, marketing can be a cost-effective way of gaining new customers, retaining old ones and raising brand awareness. By integrating your EPOS with marketing software you can send out direct email campaigns to your customer base alerting them to events and offers, with a view to boosting revenue. This can be done via email newsletters, push promotions via text or by developing your own integrated app.
  • Staffing: staffing costs are some of a business’ biggest expenses. By accurately tracking footfall you can forecast when your busiest times of day are, allowing you to rota on staff accordingly. This ensures you are only paying for the employees you need, when you need them, cutting costs associated by an inflated staff bill.

Customer retention

The age of internet shopping has seen consumers become increasingly disloyal. EPOS systems facilitate a number of ways in which to promote buying behaviours, keep customers coming back and reward loyalty, much in the same way large corporations do.

  • Loyalty programmes: by offering your customers branded loyalty cards or the opportunity to earn points and promotions via an app on their phone, you incentivise repeat business. This is also a prime opportunity to collect customer data for marketing purposes, meaning you can tailor offers and promotions to specific individuals.
  • Improved customer experience: better inventory management systems empower staff to answer customer queries in a matter of moments, not to mention the queue cutting capabilities. This helps ensure customers never abandon a purchase.
  • Connect your on and offline stores: by linking your ecommerce store with your physical operations and you can ensure you never run out of stock, risking complaints, and reputational damage.

Employee engagements

Your employees are your first point of contact and your brand ambassadors. Giving them the best tools for their job, facilitating great customer service and incentivising your staff to perform, boosts profitability.

  • Incentivise top performers: the sales metrics allow you to decipher who sold what, when, and how often. By identifying top performers you can reward and celebrate staff who exceed targets. By championing this behaviour you can encourage a healthy sense of competition among your workforce and encourage them to push themselves, fuelling the growth of your business.
  • User-friendly: equipping staff with a simple, user-friendly interface mean staff need minimal training and can be up and running in less than 15 minutes. A intuitive system means the average transaction time is reduced, allowing your staff to serve more customers.
  • More time serving customers: EPOS reduces the amount of time your staff have to dedicate to tedious admin tasks. Less time on inventory management or cashing the till there’s more time dedicated to helping customers or meeting training needs.

Questions?

If you have any questions or would like more information on how EPOS could benefit your business, get in touch with our specialist EPOS consultants by calling 0191 500 8150 or contact us here. They’d be happy to talk you through any queries you may have or arrange to call you back at a time convenient to you.

3
Jul

How ERP systems can increase a business’ operational efficiency

Every business wants to get ahead of the competition and increasingly looks to innovative ways of achieving effective solutions that cut costs but retain a smooth-running, efficient organisation.

Many businesses are turning to ERP systems to increase operations efficiency by integrating organisational systems into a single program.

ERP is a software solution comprised of a variety of modules that link departmental data and information together with real time updates. Businesses can choose the modules most relevant to their needs and add more as they develop and expand further.

Management Integration

ERP enables its users to join up multiple areas of the business into one program and allows managers to have access to an overall database that covers client information, orders, invoices and figures. The users, who will require high quality training on the system, can update changes and then implement them in real time. Information is accurately stored and will not get lost across other applications or spreadsheets.

Cost Benefits

With industries constantly examining ways to cut costs but maintain efficiency, ERP can bring significant cost benefits to all sectors. Using ERP means that managers can make considerable reductions in costs relating to inventory and administrative mistakes. With information available to be exchanged across all levels, communications between all departments is made much easier. As each department is able to access a central database, the cost associated with multiple data centres is diminished, with both time and money saved.

Operating costs can also be reduced using an ERP solution. The program works to merge all aspects of the business into one central system, allowing businesses to improve their processes and cut down on waste or unprofitable areas. By increasing organisational efficiency, ERP not only helps decrease operating costs but can also reduce control and inventory costs as well as costs incurred in help desk support and marketing.

Strategic Planning

ERP can help managers as a strategic planning resource, allowing them to pinpoint their target market and define exactly what their aims and objectives are. In terms of day-to-day activities, the software gives quick and easy access for managers to get the information required for better decision-making.

Financial Controls

With finance at the heart of every organisation, managers need to keep a close watch on how the financial department is operating. ERP gives management comprehensive visibility into the department’s performance, so the functioning of accounts can be viewed with full integration of business analytics. By keeping on top of the financial situation there are opportunities to boost organisation profitability and to improve financial controls and risk management.

Organisational Performance

The creation of a single system allows management to drill down to see how efficient and productive individual employees are, using precise, accurate data from each department. As a result, organisational performance together with staff efficiency can be increased.

An Effective Solution

When ERP is rolled out across an organisation, and provided it is implemented correctly, it has the ability to transform the operational, financial and human resources aspect of any business.

As you can gather from the above, companies at the forefront of innovation are looking to implement ERP to reduce internal costs, improve processes and increase efficiency across the organisation.

So, if you still need some persuasion that now might be the time you need to implement an ERP system, we’ve compiled 15 of the most common benefits of an ERP system that companies have reported after implementation.

Competition

It’s true that ERP software requires a major investment, but there’s also an even bigger cost in not making the investment. While some businesses choose to stick to the tried and true methods of the past, others seek technology solutions. Companies cannot afford to put off an ERP implementation while their competition invests in ERP and starts reaping the many benefits we’ll touch on below.

Efficiency

An ERP solution eliminates repetitive processes and make it easier and more efficient for companies to collect data, no matter what department they’re working in.

Forecasting

Enterprise resource planning software gives your users, and especially managers, the tools they need to create more accurate forecasts. Since the information within ERP is as accurate as possible, businesses can make realistic estimates and more effective forecasts.

Collaboration

Nobody wants to run a siloed business with each department functioning separate from the other. Collaboration between departments is a crucial and often unnecessary part of the business. With the data entered into ERP systems being centralised and consistent, there’s no reason why departments can’t work together. The software also touches on almost every aspect of a business, thus naturally encouraging collaborative, interdepartmental efforts.

Scalability

Did you know structured ERP systems allow the addition of new users and functions to grow the initially implemented solution over time? When your business is ready to grow or needs more resources, enterprise resource planning software should be able to facilitate that growth.

Integrated Information

No more issues with data spread across separate databases; all information will be housed in a single location. This means you can integrate platforms like your CRM software or EPOS with the ERP system, keeping data consistent, accurate and unique. Know your customer, their orders, and your inventory, all in one place.

Cost Savings

With one source of accurate, real time information, ERP software reduces administrative and operations cost. It allows companies to proactively manage organisations, prevents disruptions and delays, breaks up information logjams and helps users make decisions more quickly. If you’ve chosen the right solution for your business, and the right vendor who meets your needs, you’re bound to see powerful ROI.

Streamlined Processes

As companies grow, their operations become more and more complex. ERP software automates business operations cross-departmentally, providing accurate, real time information to everyone utilising the solution. ERP increases efficiency and productivity by helping users to navigate complex processes, preventing data re-entry, and improving functions such as production, order completion and delivery. Streamlined, efficient processes throughout.

Mobility

An advantage of ERP solutions is having access to a centralised database from anywhere you work. Home, office, wherever, through cloud-based ERP software solution and application.

Reporting

ERP software helps make reporting easier and more customisable. With improved reporting capabilities, your company can respond to complex data requests more easily. Users can also run their own reports without relying on help from IT, saving your users time to use towards other projects.

Productivity

Save time and increase productivity levels. Sound too good to be true? It’s not with ERP software. By having redundant processes automated, users have more time to work on other pressing projects and tasks. They’ll also be able to work easier since the solution was designed for ease of use.

Regulatory Compliance

A benefit of ERP software which sometimes goes unnoticed is how it ties well into regulatory compliance within a number of different industries. Powerful ERP solutions will keep track of regulations within the industry and monitor changes in compliance.

Flexibility

Modern ERP software systems are robust, flexible and configurable. They are not a one-size-fits-all proposition but can be tailored to the unique needs of a business. ERP systems also can adapt to the ever-changing needs of a growing business, ensuring you won’t have to buy a new solution once your needs change or your business grows.

Customer Service

It’s easier to provide high-quality customer service using an enterprise solution, especially when you’re using one as well-equipped as some of the solutions out there, such as Pegasus or Sage. Sales and customer service people can interact with customers better and improve relationships with them through faster, more accurate access to customer’s information and history. You’ll also have access to marketing automation, ensuring your customers can be interacted with constantly.

Security

Data security isn’t a worry when you have an enterprise resource planning solution in place. A new system will improve the accuracy, consistency, and security of data, all through built-in resources and firewalls. Restrictions to data can also be enhanced by managers of the solution, so you can make your own software as secure as you like.

Convinced? Ready to learn more or just to have questions? Contact us here today or call us on 0191 500 8150. Our Business Software Consultants are ready and willing to answer all your questions and help you get started on selecting the right solution for your business.

8
May

4 tell-tale signs your SME really needs an EPOS system

Small businesses often spend a lot of time doing things the hard way. Budgets and resources are limited, and this leads small businesses to make do with what they have. There are some instances in which this makes sense, but in certain cases, this puts small businesses at an overwhelming distance, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to help your business grow.

EPOS systems make things so much easier – they aren’t just for ushering your customers through the checkout process.

Help your business grow to everything you’ve ever wanted with the right EPOS system for your needs.

Here are four tell-tale signs that your small business really needs an EPOS system:

You’re noticing a lot of errors

Without an EPOS system, you’re likely dealing with a lot of paperwork and a lot of trust. You can’t automate anything, and this often leads to small mistakes. These small mistakes can quickly accumulate into the equivalent of a big mistake – especially where money is concerned. Losing invoices or receipts, improperly filling them out, or making miscalculations can come back to bite you in the end.

Without an EPOS system, you might even be more vulnerable to theft. A disgruntled employee could take a few pounds here and there without anyone noticing because of the inevitable margin of error that comes with doing everything by hand.

An EPOS system will know if it’s short a few pounds. It will also know who used it, and who can be asked about any missing money or errors. It’s good to know, even if they were honest accidents or a miscalculation of a few pennies.

You can’t serve customers quickly

Think about how much time you spend doing things the hard way. When things get busy, you likely need multiple people to complete transactions. It takes a while, and you need to be very careful and thorough to keep your information accurate. Before you know it, the line is backed up, and people are getting impatient. You don’t want anyone to get impatient and leave.

Long lines damage customer experience. They get impatient and have places to be. It might put such a damper on the experience that they don’t come back, even if they love your products or service. If they see you operating without an EPOS system and taking a long time to do so, they might even see this as a sign of unprofessionalism. You might still have long lines with an EPOS system, but you’ll be able to clear the queue a lot faster.

You always feel underprepared

An EPOS system does a lot more than process payments and ring up services or merchandise. It also collects valuable information that can be used to automate a lot of aspects of your business. It can tell you what your best-selling products are, what you sell more of during certain times of the year, who is ringing up the most merchandise, and how well you fare during a sale versus other times of the year.

The data you receive from an EPOS can help you create a better future for your business. You’ll know how often you need to reorder products or materials. You’ll know which of your employees are worth their weight in gold. You’ll be extra prepared the next time a sale rolls around. Since KCPOS utilises cloud-based technology, you can access that information from anywhere. You can be making predictions and analysing your findings while employees are using the machine.

Your current system is slow

If you already have an EPOS system, you might not realise that you’re in desperate need of a new one. Outdated machines take forever to load. They’re prone to crashing and errors. They might take a few minutes to process payments, leaving customers worried that their card might be declined. If a stormy day causes the power to flicker, it might take half an hour for your EPOS system to reboot.

Slow systems are more than inconvenient – they’re unreliable and possibly even dangerous. The more out of date your EPOS system is, the more vulnerable it could be to malware or other security threats. Electronic point of sale malware is a real concern among consumers. With data breaches and information theft being a prevalent part of our everyday lives, many customers don’t want to risk putting their card into an EPOS system that could be compromised.

A great new EPOS system can drastically simplify both your life and your small business. It may be very costly upfront, but for what it does, it will pay for itself in no time. If you want your small business to grow, you simply can’t afford to be without a great EPOS system.

For more information regarding EPOS systems, or to discuss what solutions we have available, contact us here, or call us on 0191 500 8150 to speak to a Business Software Consultant.

 

19
Apr

EPOS systems and the GDPR

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data protection regulation that comes into force on the 25th May 2018.

It is designed to give individuals more control over their personal data, particularly held by international companies. By harmonising data protection regulations throughout Europe, it makes it easier for companies around the world to comply. Why does this matter to you?

What does this mean for you?

Data is integral to most industries, meaning that collecting customer data to work out trends and patterns is essential for growth and success. If you are not already collecting this data, and making use of it, you should be, as it can go a long way to helping you become better. So, how should you be collecting this, and what changes will you need to make to comply with GDPR? Headline components of the new regulations are:

  • Ask for ‘unambiguous consent’ for processing personal data – importantly, this means that pre-ticked boxes no longer constitute consent.
  • Remove personal data from your database when requested.
  • Authorities must be notified within 72 hours of a data breach.
  • Appoint a Data Protection Officer within your business, if you deal with a lot of sensitive data.

It is important to understand that, even when using an EPOS system, you are classified as the controller of the data. Responsibility for getting consent and making the customer aware of how the data is to be used, lies with you.

Penalties for non-compliance

An understanding of these new regulations is vital, as there can be huge fines for those who find themselves on the wrong side of it. The sanctions that can be imposed for non-compliance include:

  • A written warning in the case of first and non-intentional non-compliance.
  • Regular data protection audits.
  • Fines of up to 20 million euros, or up to 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

As you can see from the above, it is imperative that you get your EPOS system up to date and in line with GDPR, as to be sure not to breach the GDPR, and to have peace of mind that you are being compliant with the new legislations.

Below, we have outlined some tips on how to choose an EPOS system, which we think you will find helpful.

There are many factors to consider when selecting an EPOS system and many of them can be puzzling for the uninitiated. An EPOS, or electronic point of sale system can offer great convenience to customers and lead to an upturn in sales in their own right.

However, they also afford vendors a tremendous number of benefits, too. In this blog to choosing an EPOS system, we’ll be addressing these advantages and working out which ones will be relevant to the sort of business you run. Ultimately, choosing an EPOS system comes down to the level of functionality you require weighed up against any cost implications. In other words, it is just like any other business decision – working out how you can add the best value.

One size does not fit all

The first thing to realise about an EPOS system is that it can have as much or as little functionality as you need.

If you think you need to invest great sums to obtain an all-singing, all-dancing version, then it is time to reconsider. Depending on your specific requirements, you don’t need to go for a fully-fledged version. In order to work out what EPOS system might suit you, seek advice. Specialists in the field should be able to work out which size of the system will be the most beneficial to you. A little time spent researching the various EPOS systems on the market will pay off in the long run.

In order to avoid the pitfalls and to obtain a more tailored solution, it is important to think about what your business requirements actually are. If you consider that you simply need an EPOS system because that is what your competitors are offering, then it may be time to do a more specific business needs study. By being clear about the sort of requirements your business has, it is much easier for suppliers to bespoke their EPOS systems to match them. After all, most business functions require tailored solutions these days and not a simple ‘me too’ application.

Once you have conducted the research necessary to make an informed decision about what functions you want, it is time to start looking at the various EPOS systems that can offer these. Ask yourself a few questions when shopping around. Firstly, it can be helpful to ask yourself how adjustable your favoured EPOS system might be down the line, if your business needs change. Secondly, it can be good to ask your preferred supplier to conduct a calculation that gives you a picture of the return you can expect on your investment, if they cannot, then move onto another supplier.

Defining your business requirements

Working out what you need from an EPOS system is essential.In addition, you might like to form a wish list of what else it might be able to do for you. Sometimes you may be surprised at the degree of integration with your other business functions an EPOS can offer. They are not just there to process transactions, although this is a primary reason for investing in one. Nevertheless, defining your business requirements is not always so simple. What should you be looking for?

Initially, it is a good idea to have a clearly defined statement of your normal business operations. This might be easy to do if you work in retail only or you are in the leisure industry. However, many businesses cross over into more than one sector, which means their customer interactions can differ slightly. For example, some businesses need an EPOS system to handle their wholesale payments and transactions from registered trade customers, but they also have a requirement to process transactions from retail customers, sometimes with differing rates and separate nominal coding for their accounts package. Many leisure and tourist attractions require bulk bookings to be made by phone or via an e-commerce platform, but also require smaller transactions to be made on site, perhaps from a cafe or a shop.

Furthermore, many businesses need to be able to accurately describe themselves in terms of their point of sales functions. Multi-discipline sites are a typical example of when this is not necessarily straightforward. Multiple points of sale – even if they are under differing brands – can all be run from a single, well installed, EPOS system. If you need to run transactions from a bar, a box office, a ticket office and a retail space, then there is an EPOS system that will do it, but it will mean you need to look for a specific solution that will handle all of these functions. Lastly, it is important to think about mobility. Not all EPOS systems allow for transactions to be made away from base units, something that is now expected in most restaurant or service-led environments, for example.

Determining your business priorities

Ask yourself: what is paramount for an EPOS system, what else would you like from it and what is a luxury that you might be able to do without? All too often, businesses are put off adopting an EPOS system, which could do so much for their company’s operations because they either look at a high-end solution which offers far too much, or a low-cost system with limited functionality. By determining what is a priority and ruling out those things which are not, it becomes much simpler to see where the cost benefits are. Put another way, by focusing on the essential business needs, you are more likely to find a system which matches your requirements at a cost that is affordable.

When talking to a potential supplier about their EPOS system, it is essential to work out whether they are offering a fully scalable solution. Although you may want to cut down the functionality to what your firm needs at the moment – thus keeping installation costs at a minimum – it is important to know which functions can be rolled out should something from your wish list become a genuine business need in the future. Essentially, your paramount requirements will shape the initial proposal and form the first phase of any implementation. Nevertheless, you may not want to stop there and it is a business risk not to check whether the proposed EPOS system possesses the ability to be extended in phases down the line. This factor can have a huge influence on deciding which system is chosen.

What might my business priorities be?

Deciding what you need now and what you might want available to you in the future comes down to the sort of business you run. However, there are certain key functions which many sorts of companies ought to be considering as potential add-ons from the start. For example, booking management modules might not be needed at the moment, if you are only engaged in retail or e-commerce sales at the moment. However, if you choose to sell maintenance inspections or upgrades down the line, then managing these services through an EPOS system is perfectly possible, so you might want this sort of module included. Equally, if you offer a customer loyalty scheme at the moment – a common enough way of promoting repeat business – then issuing customer loyalty cards which can be swiped or loaded with credit that functions with your chosen EPOS system might be a priority.

For warehouse businesses, an EPOS solution which can plug into the stock and inventory system can be invaluable, especially as a point of sale function frequently reflects downward trends in stock. An EPOS system can be used to trigger buying instructions, for example, so that you don’t run out of stock at key times. While small businesses, which can track their stock more easily, don’t often need this sort of integration, growing companies often find that they do benefit from it. Such functionality can be especially useful for firms which have their warehouse and despatch areas located in different physical location from the point of sale.

Other areas which are important to look out for when considering an EPOS system include how one might interact with your other software solutions. Do you have a CRM package which you might want to integrate with your EPOS one day? As well as CRM, you may want an EPOS system to feed your marketing functions, perhaps generating data for an email campaign, for instance? In addition, many specialist areas of industry rely on third party software solutions which are specific to their sector. It is certainly worth working out how an EPOS system you choose might integrate with third party software.

Get a demonstration

With all of your specialist functions, basic requirements and wish list now fully worked out, it is highly desirable to see an EPOS system in place which is performing in the way you would like yours to. This may mean observing one in operation within a similar organisation. However, it is preferable to have a solution provider offer you an industry-specific demo using data that is relevant to your sector. Ask your proposed solution provider to use your own data, if possible, which is an even better way of assessing how the system will ultimately function.

Understand the full cost implications and how they are generated

Much of the visible part of an EPOS system is the physical hardware that comes with one. this might include touch screens and new tills, but it can also include things like improved scanners, customer displays and printing facilities. Remember that along with all of this hardware is the software which runs it. Often this is regarded as an ‘invisible’ cost, but it is essential that buyers of EPOS systems realise that they are not simply investing in new physical equipment, but in a software solution which can integrate with other applications too.

Choose a partner, not a supplier

All EPOS system investment should be made with due diligence. Research the company offering a system which matches your requirements and check that it really does meet your business needs. If possible, gain insights from existing customers and ask for references as a matter of course. When you obtain references and testimonials, make sure that they are relatively recent and that they chime with the sort of system you’re after. Finally, consider the product road map of the EPOS system in question and check for future support and software releases. Future proofing is really the key and should be your watchword with any purchase decisions.

For more information regarding EPOS systems, contact us here, or give us a call on 0191 500 8150 to speak to one of our Business Software Consultants.

23
Jan

Accounting software solutions: which one’s for you?

Selecting the correct accounting software for your small or medium business may be a daunting task if you don’t have much experience with B2B and SaaS solutions.

Before you delve into the task of automating all your financial reports with a single mouse click, you should realise that this is unlikely to happen. Such software is able to automate  much of financial and business procedures but you still have to understand the details of financial reporting to pick a product that will fit your company’s needs.

So, go and brush up on your financial basics. It’s like learning to drive manual first before going for automatic transmission. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to get the big picture of what’s out there before deciding which accounting software product to buy.

Here are four general types that are marketed today:

Payroll and accounting.

There are one of the most popular accounting software services that you can buy off the shelf or download online and install right in your desktop computer. They’re targeted at small and medium sized businesses.

The software products provide basic accounting tools and reports to create financial documents, saving you the time to compute data and write them in logical statements. Names like Pegasus and Sage are the more popular products in this category.

Many of them share the same ease-of-use features, such as cash flow, drag and drop formats and multiple users. Likewise, they often feature modules specific to construction, distribution and manufacturing. But they also provide paid add-ons such as point of sale, retail and funding.

Business Management.

These accounting software products have more features that go beyond payroll and accounting. They are targeted at larger enterprises. Like payroll and accounting, these products are readily available off the shelf or online.

Aside from standard financial tools and reports, this software can feature all or any of the following: point of sale, inventory control, customer relationship management (CRM), billing, purchase, and enterprise resource management. Often, these products are marketed as a complete solution to your accounting needs. But, in reality, you need to pay for add-ons to actually complete the system.

Web-hosted apps.

They are also referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS) or cloud accounting. The main difference from the first two categories, of course, is that SaaS is a subscription based model and

accessible via the internet. This is the fastest growing category in accounting software today because of better cloud and internet infrastructure and the increasing confidence of businesses to put their data in the cloud. Generally, you subscribe to a monthly fee per user to access the web-hosted system.

Cloud accounting’s most attractive benefit is the lower cost to use the system. Instead of paying a capital to buy license, hardware, and technical staff to run the software, you simply rent these out via the cloud. Of course, that is also its main drawback: entrusting your data to a third-party provider, the cloud accounting firm.

Free software.

Approach these products with scepticism. Many of them appear ‘free’, but they capture your data to force you to subscribe eventually. Of course, not all products to that. The safe bet is to go for free apps by a major brand. Big brands have a reputation to protect so you can bet they’re not out to rip you off.

Free software allows you to do the most basic accounting processes, such as, create invoices, print checks, handle payroll and manage a limited number of customer accounts. If you want to get more features, you need to pay (which makes going for a major brand logical since they’re likely to have more add-ons in their suite).

Having a general picture of accounting software products in the market today is just a starting point. You need to go deep into your operations and work processes and the products’ specifications to hope for a match.

4
Jan

Make 2018 your year with an EPOS system

EPOS systems don’t just make transactions seamless and streamline day-to-day business operations.

One of the most powerful functions of an EPOS system is the ability to glean critical information and create customisable reports. EPOS systems can help small businesses to predict everything from their peak times to their best sellers, and SMEs can use that information to increase their profits and grow their enterprises.

Business owners and managers can use EPOS system reports to make critical decisions about personnel, inventory, marketing and pricing based on what they know is going to happen. By effectively tracking the past, an EPOS system allows you to look into the future and make decisions now for next week, next month and next year.

Crucial Sales Insights

Sales reports can be generated using a ton of filters and variables, and at any time of the day or night. These reports can give you important sales insights based on parameters such as dates, items, transactions and payment types, ranging from one day to a whole year.

Using customised sales reports, you will be able to analyse which are your top-selling products, which products sell well on which days or at which price, and which promotions work best. Monitoring sales reports gives you a detailed view of past and current sales so you have a true overview of where your business was, where it is now and what strategies you need to employ now for future growth.

Predictive Inventory Management

Managing inventory is one of the most labour-intensive aspects of running a small business, but it’s an essential part of optimising your sales. Unlike traditional till systems that require you to manually adjust your stock levels, EPOS systems can provide you with accurate stock accounting in real time.

It doesn’t just alert you when you need to re-order stock, a big reason why small businesses choose EPOS systems is that by analysing your previous sales data, you can make better informed decisions about product reordering for future need. You will know when to expect an increased demand for certain products and can place orders at the right time to ensure you have sufficient stock in your inventory.

Inventory ranking reports also rank products in order of gross margin generated and can give you a good idea of the product’s profitability. You might decide to increase your order or drop a product altogether. If you have more than one location, your EPOS system can show you if its more practical to transfer stock between locations, rather than order more. Having an EPOS system that can automatically track, control and analyse your inventory can give you huge insights when you’re making these decisions.

Managing Staffing Levels

Proper staffing is crucial when you’re running a business – whether it’s a shop, cafe or restaurant. No one like to wait in long queues or wait ages for their meal. When you’ve got tracked data that shows you how busy you are at specific periods across the week, month or quarter, then you can put the right staff in place well in advance.

Not only can you ensure you have the right number of employees at your venue at the right time, but you can make sure you have the most appropriate ones for that shift. That, in turn, can help you assign the ones who might be quicker on their feet at busier times, and the ones who tend to spend more time with the customer to periods when things are slower.

When you know how busy you’re going to be, you can truly optimise your scheduling and maximise your business resources.

Understanding Your Customers

One of the keys to running a successful business is to know your customers. EPOS systems help you capture vital customer information and behaviour in real time. You can store contact details, delivery addresses, preferences and purchase history, and get a greater understanding of what makes them tick. You can identify your most loyal customers and your most valuable ones and determine the ones you need to make a special effort with in order to retain them. After all, it’s easier to maintain current customers then attract new ones.

You can glean more information from customer loyalty cards which can be integrated into your EPOS system. By checking out their history, you can predict which kinds of promotions and offers they are likely to take up. These days, people expect personalised interaction with companies they make purchases from, and they expect individually tailored advertising and deals. They might not know what they want right now, but with the help of an EPOS system, you do!

Pricing Decisions and Best Sellers

If you’ve dropped or raised the price on something or offered a special discount on a product, you need to know if it’s been effective. What’s the net return? Did the increase in sales justify the price cut? All of an EPOS system’s pricing, inventory and sales data can be used to gauge the effectiveness of your pricing decisions and customers’ responses.

You can clearly see what has worked and what hasn’t and plan to make similar pricing alterations or run similar discounts. This information arms you with a helpful insight into future product lines you should invest in, or might prompt you to pull a stock item that didn’t perform as well in the past, so more than likely won’t in the future either.

Creating a ‘best-sellers’ report identifies the most popular products in each of your product groups. You want to know what’s working well and what items you should invest more time and money in. Filters like sales amount, sales quantity and profit amount keep track of what’s selling like hotcakes, and also shows how much you’re making on each product.

Maximise Your Marketing Through Trends

Historical sales data can help you identify opportunities where you can pick up more business. By generating these reports, you can accurately predict that Tuesdays are slow, or that sales drop off in winter, and accordingly adjust your marketing strategy.

Perhaps your forward strategy is to promote a special deal on a Tuesday, or offer a whole new product line in the colder months. You could even offer a one-day-a-week discount to certain target demographics.

Looking at data from your sales should give you some clues as to why a certain day or time isn’t as profitable as others. Maybe you need to change things up by reducing your prices or offering special deals. Your EPOS system will record the data and by seeing what works and what doesn’t, you can plan your future strategy around it. Reports will also show you the time of year when certain products spike, so you can get ahead of the game and organise a promotion ahead of time to maximise sales.

The Future

EPOS systems have evolved enormously and are used for far more than simple transactions and accounting. They are now a strategic tool that should be essential to any SME. With sales data and trends at your fingertips to the profitability of a new line of stock, it’s never been easier to forward plan for your business.

An EPOS system might not exactly be a crystal ball, but it does give you a huge advantage in being able to predict the future in terms of sales and trends that will help your business boom.

So, what time is better than now to get investing in an all-seeing, all-knowing EPOS system that can help to take your business to the next level? Start your 2018 off right, and get in contact with us to make this year your most prosperous year yet!

12
Dec

5 WAYS USING AN EPOS SYSTEM CAN ADD VALUE TO YOUR BUSINESS

There are various electronic point of sale systems available and they can all add value to your business whether you are an SME or a large multi-site organisation. An electronic point of sale system gives you full control over your business operations, making it more efficient and productive, and by streamlining your internal processes your business becomes a more profitable one.

Below are five reasons to why investing in an electronic point of sale system will add value to your business:

Saves money

One of the main benefits over everything else is that an electronic point of sale system will in fact save you money. Not only does an EPOS system eliminate human error, due to its automation, but it will keep track of all sales and stock at all times. Staff no longer have to spend hours counting stock because accurate reports can be generated through the system.

Saves time

Transactions with an EPOS system go through quickly and seamlessly, which enables staff to serve more people in a set timeframe. Their accurate records of daily transactions enable reports on volumes of stock to be printed at any time, so staff no longer have the laborious task of counting stock, which allows their time to be more productive. With their touch screen capabilities, they are simple to navigate and add-ons, such as a barcode scanner, will make transactions even faster.

Full stock management control

With an EPOS system, you can have full control of your stock levels. You can categorise your stock items to suit your business and you can search your stock levels at any time. You can even set alerts for when a particular product is low on stock so you know to re-order and through reports you can see which items are selling better than others, which is great for forecasting of sales in the future and determining which stock is selling better than others. Purchase orders can be generated through the EPOS system and tracked from order date to when the goods are received.

High customer service

With an EPOS system, the customer service you offer your customers will be improved. Not only will your transactions be faster, making queue times less, but through the stock control analysis you will be able to determine which products are selling better so you can gage what it is your customers want. You can also collect data through an EPOS system, which is great when you are conducting targeted promotions.

An EPOS system also has the ability to prompt staff when someone is making a purchase, so for example, if someone is buying a certain product, the system will prompt the member of staff to buy another product, or upsell something else. This will heavily increase sales, and end up increasing the ROI, so the EPOS system ends up paying for itself much quicker than first thought.

Consistent pricing

When you run promotions, special offers or have sale of stock, it can be hard to keep the pricing consistent, especially across multiple site locations. With an EPOS system, you can make sure your prices remain consistent as the electronic point of sale system will automate this pricing process. It also makes the whole process easier for staff and less time consuming.

So, what next?

To get the ball rolling for your business in terms of a new EPOS system, get in touch with one of our Business Software Consultants by either calling 0191 500 8150 or emailing [email protected]

28
Nov

VISITOR ATTRACTION SALES: UNLOCKING POTENTIAL WITH ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE

Today we’re going to look at the pillar of finance which sits at the heart of every organisation. It’s for this reason that your accounting package should be integrated directly with the EPOS system you’re using if you’re really going to make the organisation work efficiently and effectively.

By integrating the accounts package with, for example, till sales, invoices, customers and orders, you’ll save a great deal of time. We’ve often seen visitor attractions waste an inordinate amount of time trying to track, tally up and chase for information.

We bet more time is lost than many care to admit, particularly as it’s possible to automate most of it. Add in a business intelligence or CRM layer too and you can really start to analyse the interactions and data so as to understand the life-time value of visitors. And if the accounts team has access to the leisure management software as well, they can run any reports when they want, when they require them. No one is left waiting on someone else for information, which is a good thing as it reduces bottlenecks.

Then, there are all the seemingly small things that the system should handle automatically:

  • Accurate VAT handling both at the till and online, including reporting.
  • Gift-Aid properly recorded at the point of sale with donations being accounted for as HMRC specify.
  • Multi-currency with options to deal with different rates, alongside the ability to handle tax free sales for foreign customers.
  • The ability to value stock using a number of different methods.
  • Calculating profitability on every item sold at the time of the sale, enabling you to properly record changes over time.
  • Ability to match stock orders to invoices for accurate reconciliation.
  • Being able to run conversion rate and average transaction value reports quickly and easily.

It’s only when you look under the hood within visitor attraction sales that you really start to understand the complexity. Finance need to take into account not only the sales being made, but also how efficient the organisation is in generating those sales.

It takes the whole area of accounting and finance to another level, looking much more at the strategic aspects of the organisation, and having the tools to support this approach. And as for the auditors? They’ll be happy that the system has full recording of stock handling, sales order processing, price variances and other important changes being recorded in the system.

Unlocking potential with accounting software and EPOS integrations

Visitor Data

Being able to capture your customers’ data when they visit is an integral part of keeping customers happy. It will not only help your business grow, but having the ability to analyse areas where more attention is needed makes it easier. It is necessary to keep in contact with your customers, especially existing customers.

You can recover email addresses so that you can send in offers, promotions, upcoming events and much more. Keeping in regular contact with your customers is important and can help to increase numbers. Being able to gather data from your tickets and memberships means you can create happy customers that improve your business.

Online

Nowadays, people prefer to book online. They like to be able to order in advance so as to not have to wait in long queues. If you are able to give your customers this option, it means that again, your customers are happier and it also means that you are increasing your secondary spend. More money can be pumped around your attraction for the wellbeing of your customers.

Online gives more options to your customers, and that’s giving them what they want. Options. You are able to retrieve data from this as well, and see how your online sales match up to your in-house ones. Give your customers an incentive to book online, it may be that it is 10% cheaper, or they receive an extra feature with the attraction.

Mobile

Being able to queue bust is an important factor when it comes to visitor attractions. You want to make sure your customers are not always waiting in lines to get in and out. Having mobile options will help this. Being able to use tablets and phones to scan and redeem tickets means cutting down time.

Customers are more than happy to use their mobile phones for tickets or print off their e-tickets which are sent to them directly when they book online. This saves time on printing and makes it easier to separate queues and cut down. Using tablets means that your employees can walk around helping your customers when they arrive and being able to use the system at the same time. It’s convenient.

Marketing

Marketing is an essential part in making sure your customers are returning time and time again. It can be done in several ways, but being subtle about it can be difficult. You don’t want to be hounding your customers so that they get annoyed.

Having the options to be able to promote events on the bottom of receipts, on the back of tickets and an extra parts in emails. This is something they may not think they see consciously but in reality it is there when they think about dates and events. It also acts as a reminder and helps to cut down marketing emails everyday, and many people choose to opt out of this option.

Kiosks

Kiosks provide a quick and easy way for customers to buy tickets without the need for queuing too long. Visitors are able to purchase their own tickets, without the need of a member of staff, which is very useful at busy periods.

Not only this, but it comes with fully integrated ticket printing facilities and a chip and pin for instant payments. Having this option, provides more staff to be in busy areas and offers ease of convenience to your customers when they like to pay on the day.

So, what next?

If you’re interested in finding out how integration between EPOS and accounting software can help your business, give us a call on 0191 500 8150 or email [email protected] to speak to one of our Business Software Consultants.

27
Nov

EPOS BUSINESS BENEFITS

Advantages of EPOS

There are several advantages for using an EPOS system in your business. If you are just starting out as a business owners or vendor, it can be hard to understand why you should invest into more expensive hardware rather than opting for the cheaper version, such as a simple cash till.

An EPOS system is an integrated system that can organise, control and analyse various parts of your business, from cash transactions to backend reporting, staff monitoring and inventory control.

The additional features an EPOS system offers over a cash till are interesting enough, however it is predominantly the integration of all features in a single system that makes life so much easier for the merchant.

With a sophisticated EPOS system, it is possible to get reports about best-selling items, best-performing staff, peak sales times and the best-performing sales channels, allowing you to optimise your business flow easily.

The five business benefits of EPOS

Financial accuracy

One advantage of EPOS systems is the increased financial accuracy when charging customers. Traditionally, businesses rely on their staff’s competence to correctly calculate sales transactions, which can lead to mistakes and omissions.

This can result in customers being overcharged, reducing the likelihood of them returning, or undercharged, resulting in a loss of profit. EPOS systems greatly reduce the possibility of such staff errors, ensuring that a business’ pricing and charging structure remains consistent.

Accountability

Electronic Point of Sale systems allow businesses to accurately monitor and record staff activity. Being able to pinpoint which staff members were responsible for specific transactions can prove extremely useful for employers.

For example, employers can identify employees with the strongest sales figures, or those displaying unusual sales activity, such as unusually high levels of voided transactions, can be easily identified.

Speed and efficiency

EPOS systems greatly improve the speed and efficiency of transactions, which will appeal to your customers and help your employees focus on serving more people. This can improve your customers’ overall experience and encourage repeat custom in the future.

Stock management

Modern EPOS systems can also be used to manage stock. Businesses have the ability to quickly review their current levels of stock, and easily identify areas in which a greater level of stock is required. The advantage of an EPOS system is that it can save a noticeable amount of time compared to traditional, manual stocktaking operations.

Reporting

A final advantage of EPOS systems is their ability to produce a variety of business performance reports. Such reports can range from a basic analysis of daily or annual profit margins, to an identification of the top selling products or services in a company’s range.

Such information can provide a business with a useful picture of their overall performance, and can help influence marketing campaigns. For example, you can apply discounts to less popular sales items at certain times in the year.

Making the most of your EPOS system

An EPOS system can bring huge advantages to your business, and there are steps you can take to ensure you maximise these benefits. Doing some research beforehand to understand exactly what you are looking for will help you find what you need more easily and ensure that you are not paying for unnecessary features.

The right EPOS system

While almost any EPOS system is an advantage over no EPOS system, you can maximise the benefits of investing in an EPOS system by making sure you buy the right system for your business. What kind of system you need depends on many factors including the industry you serve and the size of your operation.

The cost of an EPOS system

Understanding the costs associated with an EPOS system will help you choose the right product and pricing structure for your needs.

Cheap EPOS systems

Buying the cheapest EPOS system you can find can often turn out to be a false economy, because the advantages of your EPOS system can bring you will be compromised if you are missing vital features.

Understanding how EPOS works

Understanding fully how EPOS systems work will help you make the most of the benefits an EPOS system can offer. You will be able to pick up the system that complements your business the most and make the best use of its features.

Next steps

If you are interested in hearing about EPOS prices for your business, then give us a call on 0191 500 8150 or email [email protected] so you can speak to one of our Business Software Consultants.

21
Nov

WHY EPOS SYSTEMS ARE SO IMPORTANT

You don’t really need an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system as you do all your billing by hand and give your customer printed receipts.

You are happy, your customers are happy and you do not need an EPOS system. After all, where would you keep it?

Are you right?

You could not be more wrong. It does not matter what size your business is; you require an EPOS system – and you require it right away.

A good EPOS system is invaluable to any business. Modern vendors, such as Kamarin Computers, make EPOS systems that can be operated through a smartphone or a simple handheld tablet.

You do not have to invest all of your savings and the EPOS can actually help you maximise your savings. However, you might not yet be convinced about the benefits of an EPOS system for your business. In that case, here are a few points that should convince you:

Newer billing systems

Traditional billing systems are outdated. Most retailers have now shifted over to handheld billing systems, like tablets and smartphones. The EPOS system is loaded on to the tablet and smartphone and can be accessed through a small icon. For example, if you have a website, your online shopping cart can be integrated with your tablet or smartphone EPOS system.

Customers who buy online are processed through the same EPOS system. You will be notified when sales take place and you can ship goods immediately. This same EPOS system can also be used when you set up a pop-up store or stall as well. There is no need to refuse customers who have debit or credit cards at all. This scenario is far, far different from conventional billing systems and you can actually increase your customer base rapidly.

Cheap and portable option

You can now carry your EPOS systems anywhere you want. All you need is a tablet or smartphone. Cloud-based systems are even cheaper and the entire set up cost for one tablet or smartphone and the EPOS system can be really affordable.

Of course, you might have to pay a monthly fee to store your data on the company’s cloud server, but this is really worth the portability offered by such systems. You can carry the smartphone and tablet  to any business venue and process a sale anywhere. Can you imagine the benefits this will offer a business like yours?

Financial reporting

Small businesses cannot afford to hire bookkeeping and taxation services to keep their papers in order. Now, EPOS systems have bookkeeping and taxation software built into the system. All you have to do is click on a single button and the EPOS system will generate the reports for you to view.

You can go through the reports and collate your tax data at the drop of a hat. Manufacturers also update their systems regularly. As a result, your EPOS system will contain current tax information and you will find it easier to file your tax returns.

Track customer data

Even though you are a SME owner, you have to track your current customers and generate leads for new customers. With an EPOS system, you can collect email addresses, generate newsletters and gift cards, set up a loyalty programme, and track favourite product purchases, set up a notification for out-of-stock items and so on. With these features, you can easily get customers interested in your products and get them to visit your real-time or virtual store.

So, what next?

Take the time to browse the latest EPOS systems operated through smartphones and tablets in order to make an informed decision. Make sure you buy your system from a reputable dealer and do plenty of research into the right balance of cost, ease of use, portability, product features and customer support.

For more help and assistance, get in contact with one of our Business Software Consultants by either calling 0191 500 8150 or email [email protected]

16
Nov

HOW EPOS CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS

The primary concerns of businesses revolve around cutting down on costs, enhancing their employees’ productivity and boosting their sales. With these goals in mind, businessmen and retailers are determined to seek ways to implement the most convenient, practical and efficient system to run their stores day by day.

These concerns are basically the same issues that an EPOS system can resolve. They were created in an effort to utilise technology to solve the ever increasing problems faced by companies on a day-to-day basis. That is, an EPOS system offers a reliable, accurate and economical way to handle the demands of today’s businesses.

What is EPOS?

EPOS means Electronic Point of Sale. This is a computerised system commonly utilised by the service management industry. It is a self-contained equipment capable of performing the tasks typically assigned to a checkout counter. This system generally accepts payments made via debit or credit cards. In a nutshell, an EPOS machine can be used by businesses to let their customers pay for goods or services.

Apart from functioning as a checkout counter, an EPOS machine offers benefits beyond this. It can also verify transactions and create sales reports. The system can synchronise the inventory data. Overall, an EPOS system essentially provides similar services business owners gets from their employees.

Here are more ways an EPOS system can help your business

EPOS offers heightened accuracy and efficiency.

Businesses traditionally depend on their employees’ aptitude when handling sales transactions. Regardless of a staff member’s skills, errors can still be committed at any point. Customers face the possibility of being overcharged. Due to these mistakes, businesses are in danger of losing their clients who become disgruntled after experiencing such mistakes. Meanwhile, errors resulting to undercharging a customer would cause a loss in the company’s profits.

These concerns can easily be eliminated by using an EPOS system. The use of the equipment guarantees improved financial precision when dealing with customers’ transactions. By cutting down the costs brought about by an employee’s mistakes, an EPOS could encourage customers to return due to the improved experience in the store.

EPOS improves stock management.

Utilising an EPOS system allows businesses to quickly check the current status of their stock. Being able to easily determine the levels of need in the stock room provides a huge advantage for business owners. This saves a huge amount of time as employees would no longer need to go through hours of painstaking manual inventory.

Businesses constantly need to hit the right balance of holding just the minimum level of stock and meeting the demands of clients right away. Achieving this goal means that the company manage to reach their maximum productivity and decreased margins. Moreover, an EPOS system assists businesses to determine their most popular items or products in the warehouse and deliver these to the store in the shortest time possible.

The system tracks the information from the moment a sale is made and the transaction details are entered into the EPOS terminal. The data will automatically be sent to the manufacturing and supply facilities. Subsequently, the system’s prompts will signal the businesses to replenish their stock. This will result in an accurate and organised account of the company’s inventory.

EPOS increases workplace accountability.

An automated system like the EPOS provides business owners with an accurate record of their employee’s activities during work hours. This machine allows companies to determine which staff member should be held accountable for particular dealings on a day-to-day basis.

Apart from the accountability benefit, an EPOS system can also contribute to the growth of the employees. Business owners can utilise the machine to recognise who among the staff members earn the highest sales. This information could lead to better employer-employee relationships. Meanwhile, those who land at the bottom of the list could be identified as well. Employers could easily distinguish who are engaging in sales activities and who isn’t.

EPOS provides direction to your business.

Utilising the data gathered from an EPOS system, a business owner has the potential to turn his store into a bigger venture. EPOS systems are capable of providing business performance reports to users. These statements can not only provide rudimentary breakdowns of the profit margins of a company, but also determine the most sought after product or service of the company.

By using the information from the machine, businesses can conveniently determine the best ways to maximise their sales. At the same time, the data could help in formulating measures to better manage the company’s resources and cut down on expenses. On top of these, business owners can also use the information to manage their employees and implement better systems.

Conclusion

An EPOS system offers a lot of benefits that can push your business to reach the next level. By utilising this machine, you definitely lower the possibility of human errors affecting your profits and overall experience of your customers. You also manage to implement a system that provides quicker, accurate and more efficient transactions.

This system can provide you with better ways to manage your employees as well. By knowing who among your staff members perform the best and the worst, you can seek more effective ways to improve their performance at work.

All things considered, an EPOS system offers a myriad of possibilities to business owners. Its capacity to organise, coordinate and evaluate several aspects of your business makes it a valuable investment. The data it provides could cover various facets of your company from cash dealings to back end assessment, employee monitoring and inventory management.

So, what next?

If you’re starting to think that investing in an EPOS system could be for you, get in contact with one of our friendly Business Software Consultants and they will be happy to talk you through any questions you might have. Either give us a call on 0191 500 8150 or email [email protected]