The Benefits of Moving to a POS System

Buying a point-of-sale (POS) system may seem like a hassle and an unnecessary expense, but if you look closer, you’ll find clear gains.

There are two main types of systems: for retail stores; and for restaurants and hotels, also known as the hospitality category. To understand the different requirements for the hospitality industry, read Tips on Buying POS for Restaurants.

The benefits of point-of-sale systems are:

  • Accuracy: Scanning is more accurate than punching in numbers from a sticker, or expecting the cashier to remember what each item costs.
  • Analysis: POS systems let you manage inventory, flag items for reorder, and analyze sales patterns.

A point-of-sale system is, at heart, a cash register — but because it’s based on a PC, it opens up a new world of data about your business.

A point-of-sale (POS) terminal can be networked to other terminals, and to a server in the back room or at another location. It can be expanded with handheld devices wirelessly linked to the main system. You can use it to can track a number of operations in useful ways and customize it as your needs change over time.

The main advantage of a computerized POS system over a cash box or a cash register is the sophisticated and detailed sales reports it provides. The software lets you analyze sales in different ways, such as by SKU (item sold), time periods, promotions, by store if you have more than one, or even by sales clerk. It will help your inventory manager buy in the right number of cartons of tissue paper with improved timing, and help your chef calculate how much cheese to order for the coming week, taking into account an upcoming holiday. It can also help reduce employee shrinkage.

But that’s only the start. Once your sales are computerized, you can plug that computer into a network, and the network into a back-office computer system that downloads results from all your registers, consolidating and monitoring the information in a variety of ways. If you bite the bullet and pay the costs, you can integrate all this into your accounting and inventory software systems.

Expect to pay anywhere from $3000 to $6000 per station, including software, scanners, printers, installation, training, and support, plus costs for integrating into your back-end system. (For an explanation of the hardware and software components of a POS system, read Understanding POS Components. But once you grow in size — as you approach a million dollars in annual sales, and especially as you add retail outlets or restaurant locations — computerized POS will not only pay for itself in improved efficiencies, it will become critical just to know what is going on.

The added and more immediate flow of detailed information about your sales will help you come up with better competitive ideas and then evaluate their effectiveness.

5 Reasons to Ditch Legacy POS System

The term Legacy has many definitions: some positive, and some not so much.

If you’re trying to get into a college or university, then Legacy is a good thing.

If you’re talking about computers or technology, Legacy can be a very negative term.

According to technopedia.com, the phrase “Legacy” refers to outdated computers or systems that are used instead of available, upgraded versions.

Legacy Systems can also be compared with processes or functions that are no longer compatible with current content.

If your POS system is showing signs of aging it might be time to make a change.

Here are 5 reasons to upgrade your Legacy Point of Sale:

  • Outdated OS – A recent Epicor|CRS white paper estimates that over 25 percent of current POS systems run on DOS or other proprietary platforms that severely limit growth for retailers.
  • These systems simply can’t grow to meet current demands.
  • Inability to Incorporate Key Business Functions – Today’s business model calls for the integration of everything from inventory control to merchandising. Staffing, as well as all levels of customer satisfaction from fast check-out to gift card management also present primary challenges.
  • Compatibility Issues with Other POS Hardware – Proprietary and DOS-based systems are limited in their ability to connect and communicate with other hardware across the enterprise.
  • This is especially true with back office servers – a critical component in operational efficiency.
  • Latest POS Features Unavailable in Legacy Systems – Your Legacy System will restrict basic upgrades like touchscreens because it simply can’t function with newer technology.
  • These restrictions to growth will also impact customer service, employee scheduling and prevent sharing data across multiple channels within your organization.
  • Non-Compliance with CISP Encryption Requirements – The new Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) from VISA requires a higher level of security when processing or transmitting VISA cardholder data.
  • Many Legacy POS Systems aren’t capable of accepting stored data at the new required levels, and fines for non-compliance can be as high as $500,000 per incident.

“If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it” Doesn’t Apply to POS Systems.

You may think your Legacy POS System is more than adequate for your business needs, but you’ll never know how much better technology has become until you’ve experienced it firsthand. That’s where Revel comes in.

Why not take a look at the latest in POS systems from a cutting-edge industry leader?


Reference

Self-order menus for your restaurant

Why self-order menus make sense for your independent restaurant

BY EVA BARROSO RICCARDI – SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 

From checking out at the grocery store to checking-in at a hotel, many industries have turned to automated services as a way to speed up their services. With the literal push of a button, efficiency is increased and waiting time, reduced. That’s an improvement few of us can afford to miss out on. Early adopters of self-order menu technology like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Panera Bread have seen their sales grow since they introduced digital menus. Yet, this innovation has yet to be embraced by independent North American restaurateurs. Sure, we’re all for saving time, but when it comes to automating the restaurant experience, some are concerned that new technology might put sales before people. Whether you’re tempted to try or still need some convincing, take a look at 3 perks of self-order menus that can help you run your restaurant in a way that makes more sense – and that makes you more money.

1.  Catering to every kind of customer:

Restaurants are social spaces, and should remain that way, but the assumption that adding self-order kiosks, that enable customers to place their own order directly from an ipad will put an end to human interaction is wrong —au contraire! Different customers want different types of service and self-order menus give restaurateurs the flexibility to adjust accordingly. Just take a glance at your packed dining hall or at the long queue that’s formed at the counter. Some of these customers may be in a hurry, hoping to quickly grab a bite before returning to their busy lives. Others may have come to your restaurant to taste new food, catch up with friends or simply treat themselves to a moment of relaxation. These scenarios often occur within the same space, but when only one solution is available, frustrations can arise. Pressed customers tap their feet in line behind undecided patrons who, in turn, refrain from asking about new menu items because they feel rushed. Depending on what type of customer is using it, self-order menu technology can accelerate the ordering process or enrich it with visuals and appealing descriptions. It’s a win-win. Those on the go can place their orders directly on the iPad while others can use SOM to browse through their options at their own pace.

2. Employing more efficiently:

When self-order menus and kiosks were first introduced, many perceived it as a ploy to replace human labor by technology. While it’s true that self-order menus reduce the need for cashiers and servers on the floor, it’s unlikely to replace them altogether. More importantly, increased sales generated by the installation of SOM creates the need for more jobs in the kitchen. In addition to accelerating the ordering process, these menus invite customers to order more by teasing their taste buds with images and allowing them to order privately (and judgement free!) Panera Bread, a popular American restaurant chain, increased their sales by 6.2% within a year of introducing digital menus. This actually lead them to create 1,700 additional jobs in their bakeries. Self-order menus are changing the way restaurateurs organize their staff, challenging traditions and introducing more productive ways to manage tasks. As for front-line workers, this might improve the pace of their work. Rather than rushing from table to table to scribble down orders, they can take the time to discuss menu items with customers, chatting with them, giving recommendations and contributing to a more social restaurant environment.

3. Benefiting from more marketing flexibility

In North America, self-order kiosks are often associated with quick service restaurants like McDonald’s and Wendy’s. While they are a smart tool for fast food chains, they’re also a powerful marketing tool for table-service restaurants. You know that presentation is key. That’s why you’ve probably invested in printing (and reprinting) beautiful menus. Sure, producing traditional paper menus is cheaper than using  iPads – but think long term! The flexibility and durability of self-order menus often make them a much more sustainable option. Imagine being able to switch up menu items in no time and at no extra cost. It’s fall so, go ahead, tempt customers with your decadent apple crumble, or comforting squash soup, then replace these items with new ones once the season’s over. Did your chef whip up a bold new ceviche recipe? Promote it by setting it as the iPad’s screensaver and if it’s not a hit, that’s okay, just delete it. Because digital menus are so versatile, they keep people curious and expose them to dishes they may not have otherwise noticed on your menu. Self-order menus allow you to engage more actively with your customers and quickly make changes that will keep them coming back.

Adding more screens in your restaurant won’t take anything away from it; not jobs, not atmosphere, not personality. Many things have changed since paper menus were first introduced at the end on the 18th Century. Self-order menus rethink the way restaurants function so that they can align with today’s reality and leave you more free to do what you do best.

Six ways to manage your inventory

Your choice of point of sale can bring your store to the next level. With inventory at the very core of your entire operation and at the very core of Lightspeed’s EPOS software, there’s no better match for a retailer concerned with managing their inventory. With item tags, product matrices and work orders, with Lightspeed, you can strengthen that core, ensuring this aspect of your business runs smoothly.

What can it help you do?

1. Become more strategic when it comes to inventory

The logic is simple: you need to know what your best-sellers are so you can sell more of them. With Lightspeed, you can identify which items are gathering dust on your shelves so they don’t stay in your back office forever. Tracking your inventory, sales year over year or season over season, unit costs, margins and everything else pertaining to your stock, will help guide your decisions so you don’t waste resources on items that don’t move.

“Lightspeed is making us more productive by allowing us to organise ourselves more effectively. Stock ordering and control is something we didn’t have before, and it’s changed our business.”
Life on a bike

2. Take your inventory with you, out of store

As you hit trade shows or get on the road, with a cloud-based EPOS system you can take your inventory data with you. When customers ask you about whether this or that item is in stock, you can reply confidently because the answers to their questions will be in your hands.

“I enjoy being able to log in from wherever I am, on my computer or on my phone. It really helps for inventory management.”
Oliveology

3. Build purchase orders and order stock

After you’ve created a PO, you can fax, email, or, if working with a vendor that’s integrated with Lightspeed, submit it directly over the web. You can order stock directly from the system; Lightspeed has integrated catalogs from some of the biggest vendors in your industry. Simply click and receive.

Not only that, but by setting reorder points in the system, you can automatically fill in the items that are running low when building your next purchase order.

Guy on laptop

4. Find items quickly for customers in-store

Organize your stock into categories by type and tag items with similar attributes. By using tags and categories to narrow down your inventory search, customers will get the items they’re looking for faster.

5. Manage stock across several locations

Whether you run a single store or several locations, the system will connect your inventory across all stores. With Lightspeed, you only need to check in one centralized system to know what’s happening across your entire operation.

6. Manage inventory in your online store

Lightspeed’s web store is the only e-commerce inventory management system designed specifically for brick-and-mortar retailers who want to start selling online. Sync inventory and customers between in-store and online for a 360-degree view of your entire business.

“Lightspeed significantly cuts down the time it takes to do a stock count. Previously it would take us a week to count through the shirts. Now it takes us an hour.”
Mr. Start

Woman working on her online store

Reference: 6-Ways-Epos-Help-Manage-Inventory