Bernard Zimmermann's blog

How to clean your shop's keyboard

POS SOFTWARE

 

As it is, the keyboard at the register in a POS system in a shop is generally dirty. It is likely to be one of the dirtiest spots in your shop as it is shared with many people, so we recommend cleaning.  Now with COVID,  this is much more critical. Although I have not seen any figures for COVID, as a keyboard is known as an excellent environment for germs to spread, so I am sure will COVID.

Work safe Australia's recommendation now is that a keyboard shared by several people is to be daily cleaned.

This is a quick, non-technical way of how to do it.

You will need 

-Cotton swabs

-A few toothpicks

-A cleaning product, use a disinfectant, Australian standards now require that you use one that is listed as having antiviral activity, meaning it can kill viruses. This should be on its label. Do not use bleach as it can ruin the writing on a keyboard.

-Two rags

Let us start

1) Disconnect the keyboard.  

2) Now dampen a cotton swab with the disinfectant. Run down the tracks to pick up the dirt. You will need a few swabs as they get dirty quickly.  See the picture above.

3) A toothpick is handy here for bigger stuff. 

4) Use the dampened rag dampen with the disinfectant and wipe the surface. If a spot does not go away, use a toothpick to remove a spot.

5) Now wipe with the dry rag. Do not leave the keyboard moist! 

6) Flip the keyboard so it's upside down to let the moisture drain out.

It's best to do it at the end of the day to give plenty of time to dry out.

 

Note: There is an Australian Government Standard for Business retail to clean, details are here.

 

 

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Get a Business free COVID contact tracking tools

POS SOFTWARE

We are seeing now signs like this that are springing up at the entrance of a business and/or the front counter. 

In parts of Australia now, retailers have to record some of the people that come into their shop. For example, in NSW, if a person came into their shop and spent an hour there, they have to note their contact details.

Here are some potential issues that you need to consider

- Each state has different requirements. You need to find out what you need to get.

- It is unclear in some places what happens if a person refuses to give this information. 

-The retailer does not have to verify the information. But in some states, they do have to confirm that the person has filled in the information.

A problem came up when the health department audited a few of our clients.  Then one of our clients told us that they knew some that got in trouble doing this manual. They found out that these are medical records, and there are strict laws with Australian privacy laws. 

We all used a manual system, so it was clear that we all had to switch to something better. 

So, although we could have automated the process using either our CRM or set up Google Forms what we decided that we do not want concerns like what information and an "invasion of privacy" issue.  So we decided to use an existing automatic system. 

The one we decided on after trying a few was guestttrack

It is free and does the job well. 

It only took me a few minutes to set up.

Then it operates, and I do not have to worry about it.

Another plus was that if someone comes, it remembers their details so the next time, it takes them seconds to fill out.  This saves a lot of time. 

It also gives you a full audit trail.

So I recommend it.

PS If you want some help with it, by all means, give me a call.

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Bank trials of your sales data to start

POS SOFTWARE

Currently, our users in our marketplace can enjoy the cheapest EFTPOS/Credit rates.  But, we are looking forward to getting lower rates. In the process of looking, we were invited to join because I think we are considered the technology leader in our marketplace, a trial.  

For those of our customers on the trial, the banks will pay. I calculate a typical user of ours is looking at about $300 a month. When I do the figures for many of my users, that will cover the EFTPOS, so many of our users will get free EFTPOS which is very nice.

What they will be asked is to send sales transaction information from their POS Software.  

Needless to say that much of the information the banks know already. Plus, as its banks so strict confidentiality will be enforced.  You will get a secret code that only you, the bank's agent, and we will know.  Plus, the exact details of what will be sent. You will be able to restrict some of the information being sent if you wish.

As part of the trial, what excites us is that our users will have access to some of the latest and most advanced electronic payments functions that no-one else has yet got, e.g., free advanced SMS receipt.  Your customers will have better Bank Reconciliations too. What I like is the bank certification of payments. Now, if you argue with someone over the amount of the payment paid, it is you against them. Now those on the trial will have a bank certified amount to back them up.

I am not sure how long this trial will continue. It may be a month, and it may be years. It all depends on whether the banks and their agents think it's worthwhile continuing. 

We will release more details in the invitations that we will send out next week.

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How to do real-time stock monitoring immediately!

POS SOFTWARE

This is a question that I get a bit. How do you do, I get real-time stock warning monitoring?

The problem: 

With so many different lines in a shop, that it is almost impossible to know which items are starting to run out or have run out. 

No doubt, you will know when a customer asks you, but it's often too late by then. 

Answer:

It is simple, you can check in seconds your stock levels, and here is how! 

Go to reports > stock > Sold Out or Selling Out Stock Lines

 

 


Note if some of the stock comes out with stock on hand figure in negative. It shows you that items that are not probably entered into your system, so it's a check here as well.

So I would recommend running this report regularly. It will alert you to both out of stock situations and errors in invoicing.

 

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Hallelujah: Melbourne to re-open on Wednesday

POS SOFTWARE

We just received confirmation that all Melbournians have been waiting for the State Government to announce that hospitality, beauty, and retail businesses in metropolitan Melbourne can open their doors from 11.59 pm Tuesday 27 October.

I and probably most of the state were going close to crazy. It is our fault as no other state stuffed COVID so badly as Victoria.

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Ransomware why you need to wipe computers

POS SOFTWARE

Every week one of my clients gets hit by Ransomware. 

This is why if you get hit by Ransomware you may need to wipe the computer.

Those who are not too sure what I am referring to a person who goes to switch on their computer.  They see a new page demanding that they pay money; otherwise, they will lose everything on their computer. This is a typical welcome to Ransomware.

 

To us, it's a weekly occurrence. Some client somewhere has been hit. First, we take a deep breath and ask them do you have a backup? If yes, then we have a chance.

What disturbs me is that we see a change in tactics from ransomware in a few attacks. The ransomware is now firstly embedded in your system. So if we remove the ransomware and put your backup on, you will be working for a short time, and then the ransomware comes back. Then again, it asks for more money. This cycle will not stop. It is a program, and that is how it works.

There is only sure cure now is once a Ransomware hit, the computer should be completely wiped.

Final note: Should you pay if you cannot get your data back? 

By paying, you are contributing to the spread of ransomware. 

If you pay from now on, you are an identified person willing to pay ransoms, so you will be likely to be targeted again. 

I know people that have paid and never got their data.  What are they going to do? Sue them!

Don't Pay!

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Individuals score points but teams win games

POS SOFTWARE

In business as in sports, we do not get far alone.

 

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We have a Public holiday today here - AFL Grand Final

POS SOFTWARE

 

Today it's a public holiday in Victoria. You will find our support will be as good as usual today.  

It has been as good as a year as we could get considering what has happened.  As a steadfast blue Carlton supporter, I was pleased with my team improvement. Tomorrow I think we will see Richmond as stronger, but either could do it. So I will be watching just for the game. It is frustrating that we have two Victorian teams in the Grand Final, and we have to watch on TV.  We cannot even host a family or friends get together to watch the game. Detail here. Queenslanders, I suggest you treat yourself to history if you can get out there. 

Please, if you can avoid using support at the actual game time itself, our guys on support would appreciate it. But if you have to call, they are available.

May the best team win!

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