BLOGS AND ARTICLES FROM THE POS SOLUTIONS TEAM

Point of Sale Software

Here is a tip on adjusting the monitor settings

POS SOFTWARE

 

Today, your monitor and computer come with a large number of settings. These can tweak your screen to make it look better for you. Many of these controls are standard such as brightness, contrast and colour. Many are quite advanced, and even experts have trouble understanding them.

So I get this question a lot, how to improve the screen.

As a rule, its the contrast that been set too high. Your monitor should not act as a light if it is then it is too high. If you look at it too long, it will hurt your eyes, so turn it down.

If I need more, what I find is that generally, the windows functions adequate, in Windows 10, you will find them in

Select Start > Settings > System > Display

If I want to go deeper, what works for me is to load on the screen a high-quality B/W image and then play with the setting. When I am happy with the B/W image, then I will put a colour image on the screen and check it out with that.

If you want to see a decent discussion on what to do, I recommend this video.

 

 

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You need to make a policy for tracking your retail promotions

POS SOFTWARE

This came up a few days ago, and what it has done is mucked up a shop's sales history file about profit.

Say the retail item cost is $10.00 and it costs you $5.00

What happens is you may decide to do a sales promotion in your shop, and it looks like this.

Here every pack sold means that each item sells at $6.66 and they cost you $5 each. So you have made $1.66 profit on each item. 

Now the retailers had some dead stock and wanted to get rid of some of it, so he introduces a new product into the mix. 

An item (B) that say also sells at $10.00 and costs them $5.00. I am trying to illustrate a point here. 

So your promotion offer now is a “buy this item and the other item free”. 

Now should your sales and profit figures be recorded in your POS system? 

Method (1) The first item at full price. 

So each pack means that you have sold each one of them for $10.00. Their cost is $5.00 thus giving you $5.00 profit on each one. Item (B) is considered being given away for free.

Or

Method (2) All the items considered sold at $6.66. 

They all have a cost of $5 each. So you have made $1.66 profit on each item. 

You need to decide. 

What has happened here is that as a shop did not make a policy. Some people rang it up using the method (1) and others used method (2). 

Now what is showing in history is a higher sales margin on one item then there should have been. 

You need consistency in tracking promotions if you wish to correlate your sales.

Make a policy first.

 

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How do we sign and witness documents in a pandemic?

POS SOFTWARE

How can we sign and witness documents in a pandemic? This is getting to be a real problem in this pandemic.

 

Business must go on, and documents must be signed. How do we do this as many of us often now are not near a printer or fax?

 

This is what I do. I convert the electronic document to be signed into a pdf. Then I use a free website, pdfescape

I import the pdf to that site.

 

 

Then I put in the details required by the document electronically and then sign using my mouse instead of a pen.

Then I add under my signature with the following note. 

This document was electronically signed in accordance with the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Electronic Signing and Witnessing) Regulations 2020.

Note this is allowed in Victoria, looking at several states, I found that they all I found have something very similar but you need to check for your state the exact wording if you are not like me a Mexican.

So far only one supplier has made a fuss over to this to me, most now from what I can see are aware of the problems and accept this solution. 

Hope this is of help.

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Many SMB not getting any help even if closed

POS SOFTWARE

As governments all over Australia are put financial relief measures for SMB businesses impacted/closed by the COVID-19 restrictions.

Yet many of my clients are not able to get anything.

What do you say?

I have a client who has a dog training school. Well, it is closed, and somehow for some reason, they are not eligible.

A client a beautician has been closed down.

What they are noticing is that some of the bills are not stopping.

Not mind you $5,000 or $10,000 grant very far if your business is closed. 

 

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Its official, Australian retail turnover up 3.3 per cent in July

POS SOFTWARE

The preliminary retail trade figures have been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It shows that Australian retail turnover rose 3.3 per cent in July 2020, seasonally adjusted. Interestingly turnover rose 12.2 per cent when compared to July 2019.  This is true in all states and territories except of course Victoria.

In my experience, these figures are what our leaders will be using to base their decisions

You can get more details here.

Considering what sort of a year it has been with bushfires and COVID-19, we can be all very pleased with that figure. 

 

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Improving our Software Accessibility for the Disabled

POS SOFTWARE

Years ago, one of our clients came down with multiple sclerosis. It was a shocker to us all. Never would we have thought that this guy would get it. There was nothing wrong with him, except for his movements. He could, in theory, still work the computer at the shop. So we were asked to help. 

We immediately investigated the voice control software which his carer decided on Dragon. Then made many changes to our software to help. It was a limited help. It was not easy for him to use all the controls he required.

Little then did we realise that we had fallen into the field of Assistive Technology (AT). AT helps people with disability overcome difficulties to use computers.

Nor did we realise how big a problem it is, today. Approximately 18% of our community has some form of disability. As a computer does not involve physical work, sometimes we can get them productive on a computer. Often not 100% but 50% which is infinitely better than zero. 

Also, it is a great feeling when you see how some people with a disability that cannot do something now can. 

What has proven a revolution in this part of Assistive Technology (AT), for us has been the improvements in the mouse controls systems! This was not available ten (10) years ago when we started. Using this and Dragon, today I think we can get many such people to almost 100% on our software. Here check out this video.

 

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A tip to speed up searches

POS SOFTWARE

A tip to speed up searches, unlike many of our competitors, we built our software from scratch, so we are in the best position to optimise it!

One adorable function we offer is that we put in a search engine in various sections.

For example, in the creditor (suppliers) section.

Say you want to find a supplier of goods, but you are not sure of the name.

Not to worry, use our software's inbuilt search engine. Here is how you do it.

Go to the main menu and then select in Creditor > Maintenance.

 

Now select Find.

As you can see, we have many different ways of finding that supplier, address, the telephone number, etc.

Also look what is marked in green. Here you do not need all the details I put in rail, and it found the railway in the middle of the name.

Give it a shot.

 

 

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Use the Best free CRM for Your Business

POS SOFTWARE

We are confident that we are giving you our users, the best CRM for your business free. So I was pleased that salesforce who are the number one in this filed invited us to attend their conference on their CRMs yesterday. I checked them out.

 

Click here if you wish to see some of the talks here.

One talk I do recommend that you listen too is this one by Mathew Sweezey "A CMO Roadmap to the Future of Customer Engagement." He spoke well. His message was that everything is changing. A *NEW* normal is forming. People that you have never had a chance before to turn into customers are coming into your shop. Goods that you never sold, you can sell now. Its all changing. Everything has taken a new turn. There is no going back.

Some of the other talks were good too. Some of these guest speakers were very experienced retailers. They saw a CRM a must for them. Included were retailers, of all sizes who sold many different products.

Okay, what did I get out of it?

What modern retailers use CRM is to track their sales process, so they know what worked.

They want a CRM to sell more to each of their customers?

They want a CRM to tell them what is *NOT* working.

Your system has a CRM, why not try and use it? At the very least you will get a feel of how they work.

 

 

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What identifying your top selling items can do

POS SOFTWARE

Why identifying your top-selling items and you can do with this information!

Well, who knows what sells well today! It is all different then it was! With COVID-19, your experience now works against you.

What you need to do is look at today, see what worked and try to figure out why it worked. We can help you with this, and it is easy to do in our point-of-sale system.

Go to Register reports

 

 

Now select "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period"

 

 

Now in the form put in yesterday.

 

Now a report comes out that looks like this with your top sellers listed.

Now, these need to be reviewed to see what you did right here. Take your time.

Now the kicker in retail is a top seller today will often be a good seller tomorrow. Studies show that a top seller today will sell about 66% tomorrow. So you need to check if you have adequate stock for tomorrow. If not in that spot you will need a substitute. 

Give this a shot and tell me how you went.

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Learning Social Media marketing

POS SOFTWARE

If you have not yet, look into using Social Media marketing!

Today more then ever, every business needs social media marketing. Few are going to walk past your shop now. So many of our clients now every day do something on their Facebook company page. It is their main communication method. Today in business using social marketing has never been more important. Vital, I would say.

No business can ignore social media as part of its marketing mix.

Checkout statistics for social media in Australia

"85% of the eligible (age 13+) Australian population have active social media accounts and spend an average of 1 hour 47 minutes per day on social media."

 

I was shocked a couple of days ago when a client asked us for help in setting up a Facebook page. We did help him out but now the problem is that he does not know how to use it. I told him, that he better learn. There is no excuse if he cannot do it get someone to help him. Then I gave him a few pointers. What I advised him was that there are plenty of good online courses, that he does not need to pay a cent for them, to learn.

The two courses that I suggested was

Facebook Blueprint

And if he wanted something more detailed, Hubspot was pretty good.

If you know something better please let me know.

The fact is that every serious business and organisation today needs a web presence. Today the web is the major means of communication between business and their clients.

So I recommend you go to Facebook now. See what a few similar businesses to yours are doing there now. Check the ones you like and take a few notes about what your business needs. Note the words they say. Presumably, they have experimented and found that these work for them so why not for you?

If you are not there, I recommend you go to Facebook, see what a few similar businesses to yours are doing on Facebook now. Check the ones you like and take a few notes about what your business needs. Note the words they say too. Presumably, they have experimented and found that these work.

Items like Facebook are mainly free.

You can always experiment later with the paid services.

 

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In a time of uncertainty, our clients can count on us

POS SOFTWARE

Dear valued client,

Boy have things change, but we are open and trading as usual

 

The past few days have been tough for many businesses in Melbourne like us and we are all here feeling the pain that has come with the implementation of Stage 4 restrictions. 

What however is clear, that our clients are more essential than ever before to our community. So we are committed to helping them navigate these uncertain and challenging times.

So all our support phone lines are open, email services working, our mail is getting picked up, are team is fully operational and will continue to be available to help you with any queries relating to any of our products and services. 

Its all business as usual.

We will keep you updated as we all work through the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

We hope that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe during these unprecedented times and we wanted to thank you for being part of the POS Solutions community.

Kind regards,


Bernard Zimmermann

Director

 

 

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Need now to improve traffic to your shop?

POS SOFTWARE

Q: Improve traffic in your shop? 

A: Google.

Coronavirus has increased internet usage. Not surprising as many people right now are stuck at home. They are using google to find the goods and services they need close by them? They are not going out! How many of them are seeing your shop online?

We can have you on a website now. 

Imagine I want to get some toys for my kids. I cannot go to my regular supplier, so I go into google and search. 

 

 

Try if for your goods in the shop? 

Do you find yourself? 

If so, where do you find yourself? 

If you want ideas on what people are looking for, go to the bottom of this page, there is a section highlighted 

"Searches related to ......."

Check it out.

Also, check out the free keyword research tools on Google Autosuggest. 

Go into the Google search box.

Pick your top goods and services you offer, then type in them. See what you get.

Are you there?

If you haven't given much thought to your online presence, it's time to start. Here is what you could be thinking of now.

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Freight charges where are they going with this?

POS SOFTWARE

Freight makes up about 9% of the Australian economy. That does not include much of the last mile delivery costs.

The problem of deliveries delays is something we all have experienced and talked about here. 

What is also shocking is the increase in the cost of freight. If you are in a low margin industry like ours and many of you are, it does not take much of an increase to destroy your margin. 

Here is a chart of costs what we are looking at now for freight. 

 

I circled in red, what happened since the pandemic hit. We are looking at a now a 30% increase. Is it stabilised or going up, who knows, but it is no wonder that all these experts are concerned. 

The big issue with most of my clients is not whether it goes up but whether it goes evenly up. The fact is that in crisis, it never does. As such, the guy up the road might have the same item much cheaper. Some suppliers are idiots, one thing I have learnt over the years, is never overestimate the intelligence of a person with a billion dollars. Some suppliers have long term contracts in place. Many do not. Some have large stock they need to get rid of sitting here while again many do not, etc., etc. 

What I do know is when a crisis happens, it pays to shop around. For example, I have grabbed some scanners at an excellent price if you are interested, click here,

 

 

 

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Now you can have more information on one larger label.

POS SOFTWARE

Consumers look at many factors when buying food, including where a product produced and what is inside of it. If you need to put on your label, CoOL (Country of Origin Label) , Ingredients and Nutrition Table

 

Check out this label, which I have marked with blue and green arrows to highlight this information.

 

Here is a guide for what might need to be included.

This label itself is 58(W) x 110(H).

It comes in a box of 30 rolls with 250 labels per roll. 

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Sometime for you to think about?

POS SOFTWARE

I'm afraid I have to disagree with this video.

This shock of COVID-19 is leading to structural changes in the economy, but his arguments are well expressed. So although it is off-topic, this is something for you to think.

We all know people that are doing it tough. Government handouts are no substitute for a job. In Australia, 37,000 deaths in the US would be about 2,800 people.

Anyway look at the video and make your mind up and please let me know what you think.

Why 40,000 People Die for Every 1% Increase in Unemployment - The Big Short

 

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Why do Click and Collect if you have not done it yet

POS SOFTWARE

I have spoken about click and collect a few times here over the past years. 

If you have not already done so, this is why you should look at Click and Collect!

Near me is a small strip shopping centre. I walked down the shopping centre what I discovered that every single shop in my centre had a sign in their window advertising their click and collect service. Looking at the cars coming and going, I could see it was in use. Some of the shops, its the only business they can have. 

Now, this is not a notable centre. Although new it is ordinary with a range of shops having small to large retailers. Clients are not computer savage or sophisticated. 

Let me start by saying that our POS system makes it very easy for you to set up and do click and collect, more about that later. 

Here are some reasons why you should consider doing this if you have not already done so.

-Many people now do not want to come to your shop because of COVID-19. To service these people as a retailer, you now have to look at alternatives or lose these people.

- Here is a costing from the USA costing out the alternatives by options. If you go through the list, you can see significant operational costs savings compared to delivery by click and collect. 

 

-For many small retailers, delivery in Australia is not worth it. You need as a rule orders of about $100, to make it worthwhile delivering. 

-Click and collect is much faster. Your customers can have their goods often in minutes. 

-In the click and collect model, the customers come to the shop to collect their purchases. Many, studies state that between 49% to 61%, make new unplanned purchases. These are often impulsive or forgotten items. You are not going to get much of this business from a delivery model.

-People are comfortable buying on click and collect, as they know you. They know if anything goes wrong with their purchase, they can go to your shop immediately. 

My advice is to try click and collect and see what happens. You can make adjustments as you go on, if it does not work, you can stop it.

If so, you want to do it. 

You need to make a clear strategy for your program! Go out of your shop, see what others are doing, check out the opposition and make a plan. 

- Do you want to introduce a fee? Can you?

-What packaging are you going to use?

-Where is going to be your collection point?

- How will the customer warn you that they are here?

 etc. 

Now once you are on your trial. 

Advertise it boldly in your window! There is a question often raised did "A tree did not fall if no-one heard it!", if you do not advertise "Click and Collect" you do not have it.

This is how I recommend doing it in our software. I would suggest using business invoicing with an A4 receipt in the cash register. It is easy to do. 

Look for the item, to click and collected. 
Click on the "Receipts" button. 
Find the receipt you would like to print.
Then select the "A4 Print" button as here.
 

Out will come an A4 receipt:

As always, please let me know your thoughts and how it goes. 

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From now on is the future in Virtual Trade Shows?

POS SOFTWARE

We are all used to scenes like this, at the trade shows!

dog lovers show Melbourne

 

Years ago, people meet at trade shows as they went from stand to stand. They introduced themselves and exchanged information about current products. They saw new trends, learnt about coming innovations. They were fun for both the public and the trade people to go too. 

The most critical aspects for a show was the location and the timing. The problem was that it often costs a ton on money to go. I had a client that wanted to go to the Chinese Gift show. He was adding up the costs of airfares, food, transport and lodging. His biggest problem was the timing of the show, which was not convenient for him. For the exhibitor, there was all this plus a lot more costs. 

Well even before this pandemic hit, many of these shows were going. This was even before COVID-19 hit. I blame much of this on the internet. If I want to research an industry, I go to google. Why do I have to go to a trade show? Now in business, if it does not pay, people stop coming. This is what has been happening for years now. Attendance in most trade shows has been dropping. 

So trade show organisers started experimenting with virtual shows. Results were very dubious. Part of the reason has been the organisers, have been asking for too much money from the exhibitors. Plus most exhibitors felt that Virtual Trade Shows were no substitute for the real thing. 

Now there is another problem, COVID-19. This is why we recently got notified of another trade show cancellation, the Reed Gift Fair in Melbourne. It is hardly the only one; exhibitions all over Australia are cancelled. 

So now people have to assess whether to make a virtual show or have no show. 

It has a lot of benefits. 

1. Reduced costs as a virtual show is much cheaper to hold. 

2. Much more accessible for people to attend. 

3, They can last longer, a suitable venue can only be booked for a short time, virtual shows can last as long as you want. 

I saw a recent report, that stated "by 2025 more than 65% of traditional trade shows would be virtual and by 2030 this number will have jumped to 85%. " 

So where are we going with this? Well, things are not going to back to normal. Face it, why would you want it to go back? I attended a virtual show recently on a new computer range with AI sensing. These computers promise to be much faster than current computers. I would never have attended as it was *held* in India, but with an internet connection, I could go. I asked questions and saw these computers in operations. I was sold and we intend to be selling them soon. 

This is the future of trade shows, virtual! 

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In these troubled times, when everyone is getting lost what to do.

POS SOFTWARE

In these troubled times, when everyone is getting lost on what to do. We are seeing the entire country is coming come under quarantine orders. Consumers are shunning human contact. Retailers are scrambling to adapt. What is reassuring is the work done by the various retail associations to me notably VANA, Pet Industry Association, VECCI and the Pharmacy Guild

I am in communication with them often. I know that they are in contact consistently with major decision-makers. I would say the advice and help that they are giving me and their members have been first class.

Who knows what to do now?

To find out I am reading all the information they are sending. Sometimes this helps me to know what to do. If I do not know, I am grateful that I can ring them up to get an explanation so explain to me the situation. What I do appreciate is if they do not know, I am getting the truth that they do not know. I also appreciate that they are explaining to me fully the situation.

I confess without these peoples help now. I would be lost.

I am happy, and almost all my clients would agree with me that when they need their local community, is working for them.

Yet there is a lot more work as it is clear that this situation will last months. The Spanish flu lasted from February 1918 to April 1920.

Where I disagree with many people, is I doubt after we are going back to what was. This virus will change the reality for us all. There is no going back. People are getting used to a new type of shopping. Shops are reporting to me that they are seeing customers that they have never seen before. Many of the people that you used to deal with are not coming back. Their customer base and so their needs have changed.

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Melbourne lockdown curfew hours what people are doing

POS SOFTWARE

I got asked what time should people be closing the shop, as I was not too sure, I decided to see what others are doing last night. 

After looking at a few shops, I decided that this sign looked fair and reasonable. Also, they are a big company, so I am sure they have checked it out. 

So this would be our recommendation.

  


The shop starts its closing down procedures at 7:30 PM, so the public has a 15-minute window to finish off their purchases as the tills get shut down at 7:45 PM. 

And remember, at 8:00 PM curfew starts.

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Our Melbourne Office now closing for six (6) weeks

POS SOFTWARE

Our Melbourne office will close tonight 
Our Interstate offices will remain open

Under Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ Restrictions, workplaces in our area we are required to close our Melbourne Office so from 11.59pm on Wednesday 5 August 2020 for six (6) weeks. Actually this is something we expected, so we were already prepared. Almost all our work now has already been moved to remote, plus with our offices interstate open we do not see this restriction as having an impact on our operations in supporting you.

- Today we have the technology infrastructure in place that we need to run our business remotely.

- Our people are as accessible as if they are in the office.  

- We are available to meet you at any time via videoconferencing technology.

So we will continue to be working with you to navigate your business through this crisis and continue to support you in this everchanging world.

We are all in this together.

 

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