Management

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Management

Software support cost

POS SOFTWARE

Software support

This is to clarify that there will be *NO* increase in software fees to our clients despite what we have all seen that all our competitors have this financial year increased their software support fees, some quite dramatically, way beyond what I think is fair especially if you consider that many of them raised their prices last year too.  Based on some of the software agreements, I have seen their users are now paying 50% to 100% more than our users. If you have any of their software agreements, we are happy to supply a competitive quote.

As announced at the start of this year, despite that we have *NOT* increased these fees for many years, we have no plans to raise them. 

 

 

 

 

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Holidays - who's minding the store?

POS SOFTWARE

Holidays

You are planning a holiday. It going to be a great time.

Fair enough everyone needs to get their batteries recharged and stepping away for a week or two is I think a necessity. If you are like me, you need a week of holidays just to unwind enough to start enjoying the holidays. You start making plans, counting the days 

But hang on a minute...

Have you prepared the shop for your absence? Who is in charge while you are gone? Does everyone know what they are supposed to do while you are gone?

Of most importance to us, do they know how to work the computer system? If they do not, do you have support available while they are gone? 

Test runs

What I recommend is that you do some test runs, organise the shop, take a couple of days off and then see what happens.  

 

 

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Aldi slams loyalty programs

POS SOFTWARE

Reward cards

Aldi, here has made an extraordinary attack, on Coles and Woolworths, claiming that they are not worth chasing.  They have made a calculator here to show how small the benefits of these people's rewards program.

I think they are right.

However what the article goes on further to say is that "60 per cent of Australians saying it influences where they shop and 36 per cent of people admitting they spend more because of the schemes" so for such small rewards people are being influenced.

To me what it says is that your loyalty program offering does not have to be much to get decent results and there is no denying that it does have an effect.

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Heavy items

POS SOFTWARE

In your shop, what is strongly suggested all things being equal that you keep heavy goods on or near the floor! Although there is no limit as such, as a general guide anything over 45 kgs needs to be looked at ASAP.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg

Legally a heavy item depends, on many factors eg if the item is wet or slippery if the items are stored in a cramped area so that people had to assume awkward positions to lift them etc. Here is a guide for retail that explains much of it from a legal point of view.

 

The other issue is forgetting the legal problems, do you really want anyone to get hurt?   Everyone is trying to do the right thing here.

So what can you do about it?

So once you have identified the heavy stock, move them to safe areas.

What I further recommend is that you mark in your software these items so that people will just by looking at the item on the screen know that they are potentially looking at a lifting problem and these items require special handling.

You’d do it like this:

Go to stock maintenance in your point of sale software -> Edit marked them as in the red box.

 

 

Just another example of how our software has useful items that you can use.

 

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Information and the growing importance of 1%

POS SOFTWARE

What is driving retail today is information. A few days ago, I talked of the 1% rule. Let me show you another example. 

Taking from the ATO benchmark study they give what I consider the best benchmarking figures for typical businesses in Australia today, so I picked a stationery shop just because it is something most of us can quickly get our head around.

Putting in typical figures for their figures, I made this chart.

ATO benchmark figures for a typical stationery shop

So here what I am saying is that on the first column So on 150,000 turnover a business from the chart would have about 78% expenses leaving it with about $33,000 profit and I did the same on the other rows.

Okay now let us say that these businesses make a 1% improvement, so they sell 1% more and they reduce expenses by 1%. What do you think the effect will be? I think you are going to be surprised.

Stationery shop with a 1% improvement

Look at 1% did?

What is clear is that you do not need much to do dramatically better. All you need is 1% better.

So how do you get 1%? 

    Information, here are some ideas in no order
  • Speed up the queues by making your point of sale faster by increasing your POS sale scanning.
  • Find out your best sellers and move them into your best selling locations.
  • Better and more accurate buying.
  • Getting a better loyalty program going just using a simple customer birthday marketing offer helps a lot.
  • Monitor your theft rate
  • Speed up your computer processing by getting your suppliers to automate 
  • Controlling your debtors better.

All this is available from your computer system now.

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Chinese tourist and Alipay

POS SOFTWARE

Alipay Australia

That is how it looked in 2016, in 2018 we now have about 1.4 million Chinese yearly visiting Australia and they spend about $10.4 billion here. For almost all of these people, the preferred payment method would be Alipay because with cash or other credit cards they have to pay extra fees plus it is on a platform that they are familiar with, and they can see their transaction in their own language.

The other big market is Chinese nationals living in Australia who have relatives overseas and students.

So if these Chinese customers are of interest to you, I do suggest that you look into getting Alipay into your shop.

Alipay sign

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Software on Change of Business Ownership

POS SOFTWARE

Under new management

When you buy or sell a business, one point that you need to consider is the ownership of the software you think you are buying.

What most likely this business has a license that gives them the right to use that software, on a non-exclusive and non-transferable basis. Legally the business cannot transfer this license to someone else without the consent of the software owner.  

Whoever does the transfer of the business should do a careful examination of software licences before the transfer takes place. 

Some points over the years, I have seen 

1) After the business has been sold, the former owner demanded more money for the software as it was not covered by the sale.

2) People demanded refunds for software that they have been charged for a transfer but never got. 

3) Arguments over past debts relating to the computer and/or software.

4) Software companies delaying helping the new owner until the old owner okays the transfer. Generally, this becomes a major problem when the old owner is long gone. 

5) Software companies do not know who to contact if they have not been notified of the changes. So the new owner is not informed of some important details.

Here are some FAQ which I have put together as far as we are concerned about the change in ownership.

• Do the old owners or agents need to sign the transfer forms? 

We certainly prefer this but it is not required as long what we consider reasonable proof can be provided that a change in ownership has occurred.

• Do you do changeover during a weekend?

We do not change customer details during weekends. Should your settlement occur over a weekend please inform if you wish for your details to be changed on the Friday or Monday. 

• Credit Application

We do not require a credit application to be completed.

 

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Christmas is coming

POS SOFTWARE

It is October now, and already we can start to see that retailers are getting ready for the holiday season. 

As the economy is doing well now and the public mood seems positive, this looks like it will be a good Christmas. 

Christmas trends over 5 years measured in 2018

Measured interest using Data Source: Google Trends (www.google.com/trends).

As you can see the public interest has not changed over the last 4 years.

It certainly now the time to start planning your stock ordering, so you need to estimate your stock requirements which is something our point of sale software can help you do. You also need to start looking at roistering again something our point of sale can help you with all this. I will be talking about all of these soon.

Before we go any further

You need to check is all your POS system ready for Christmas?  

So let’s get to work

If you are planning to bring in some of the old POS computers “out of the closet” to accommodate the rush period, tested it to make sure it works? If it has been in the closet for a year, who knows what state they are in now?

Here are some other points

Have you checked that you have all the cables to connect to this equipment?

Do you have a connection into your network where you need it?

Can this equipment be linked into your system, it been a year since it is been used?

Now try it now to see if it all works if you plug it in?

The closer it gets to Christmas, the harder it gets to repair in time.

Here’s the kicker

What is going to happen if you have extra staff and the computer register does not work over Christmas? I have seen this happen all too often. 

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POINT OF POINT OF SALE SOFTWARE - CLOUD BASE VS LOCAL DATA

Cloud point of sale

Cloud base is all the buzz now. What it means is that your information is stored on another computer and generally accesses over the internet.

As a company, we have no views on the subject but here is a discussion on some of the ramifications for point of sale systems.

Location

The big plus with cloud is that you can be anywhere as long as you have an internet connection you can access your information. It can be a convenient function particularly if you have several locations.

 

working on cloud point of sale

Budgeting

Cloud systems are generally easier to budget. A fixed fee sets much but not all the hardware and technical aid required.

The disadvantages are several.

Complex

A cloud system is more complicated. Generally, they are run a hybrid system which means they are both cloud and local.

Cost

The cloud is dearer as you need to purchase a good internet service. What we recommend an emergency internet connection as well just in case the primary internet goes down and/or a local computer to act as an emergency server in each location.

Security

If you access cloud anywhere for your information, it is almost sure that other people can access it too. You have very little control over how it is stored and where it is stored. You are looking at a legal issue this could be a problem. You have no idea what the cloud provider is doing with your data.

If the cloud provider closes now which I have seen then your data is possibly gone unless you have a backup. If you have a backup, it is generally a new installation to get you up and running if they close down.

Reliability

If something goes wrong with either the internet and/or the cloud provider, then there is often little you can do until they fix it. Now, these both generally claim about a 99.9% reliability. I think these reliabilities are greatly exaggerated What they mean here by reliability is no service, going slow often does not count in this calculation. But let us assume it is true, that means a shop running 363 days a year, 8 hours a day, then it will be down about 6 hours a year. If you have two locations say two shops or a shop and a warehouse, you can double this to 12 hours. If say you ran an average of 10 hours a day your shop and many of my clients would be running more then you could increase this by 25%.

Without emergency systems in place No internet = No business

This would not include going slow and going slow is a significant problem in a cloud. Come for example 6 pm in a residential area, when many people switch on cable TV to watch something, and all the internet in the area runs slow. Instead of processing in a register going beep, beep, beep, it goes beep (wait) , beep (wait) , beep (wait) . Queues are building up.

Speed

Cloud is slower however with our POS system because it uses a good quality SQL you may not notice the speed drop.

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Discount vouchers

POS SOFTWARE

There are some Gift Cards / Vouchers that are excluded from the new changes. Note the part I have put a red box on.

I would think that our discount vouchers are part of our customer loyalty program. Our suggested customer loyalty program does collect names and email addresses and other details so it is a fact that a customer loyalty program exists.

Also, most of our clients do not use it all the time so for most, it is a temporary marketing promotion. However, if you run it all the time, I suggest that you frequently change the details eg frequently change the percentage and so the amounts so that it is not a *permanent* promotion eg Mothers Day season special X% off, St Patricks season special Y% off, etc.

Following discussions, we have had with several people, we are currently changing our software. This will be released in an emergency patch going out tonight that will allow you to make changes to make it clear to your clients that these vouchers are part of your customer loyalty program. Details will go out in our newsletter shortly.