Point of Sale Software

POS SOFTWARE

This question has been bugging me since yesterday when I got my COVID shot. While there, I started thinking about this question. My clients have many employees that work indoors and have contact with over 300 people daily.   If they have COVID, these people could create a 'perfect storm' by superspreading. 

Still, in the current circumstances, I was advised that most employers should assume that they can't require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID.

This is what the federal government are saying as they are not forcing anyone to take the vaccine. Yet, many state governments are saying something different, as more important here many of the public health bodies. Currently, there have been a few notable legal cases where employers have been allowed to sack staff who refused to take a flu vaccine.  There have also been cases where an employee has sued the employer over lack of care, resulting in them getting COVID.

This pandemic is a reminder that we are all interconnected and no cannot go it alone

As everyone is flat out doing enough vaccines for those that are voluntarily taking it, little is heard about inforcement. But what happens when the number who want it willingly winds down? 

Also what if an employer demands an employee takes a vaccine. The employee then takes it and although most people who are taking the shot report no symptoms, some do report pain, mild fever, headaches, etc. In our company, one guy had to take the next day off due to significant tiredness after taking the jab.

Another potential problem here is that the government wants to do the vaccinations on the employer's premises. What happens here if someone gets sick? Who is responsible here? 

This all is something that needs to be addressed.

Now doctors are worried about this. For example, I had to sign a waiver after a long speech on the possible effects of the shots. Then after I took the COVID shot, they told me to wait for after for about 15 minutes in the doctors' surgery just in case. I was also given a medical certificate for the next day. Plus, I was told several times if I felt anything wrong to call emergency ASAP. The process took over an hour.

Here are some tips if you are taking a COVID shot, from my experience.

1) Do it at the end of the day. If it affects you, you have a night to recover.

2) Plan what to do if you cannot come to work the next day.

3) Do not go with your partner and have the shot together. Instead, do it on different days. 

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POS SOFTWARE

In a few days, the Naturally Good expo which is the leading business platform for natural, organic and healthy brands starts. Unfortunately, it is in NSW so I will not be attending. If you are in the area and you are one of our clients I recommend you attend as your POS System can handle such products. You might get some ideas. 

Our system is widely regarded in this industry. For example, when Health Food Thyme needed a Point of Sale system, they came to us. They faced the problem that Nutrition and Health Food shops have to deal with colossal product catalogs and inventory. So they have to manage products for the vast demands of the public health needs. Besides, there is always a need to find and sell special orders, even if they don’t handle the product. In the Health Food Thyme case, they also consulted with naturopathic consulting and clinic rooms. This needs management too. You can check out their goods and services here.

After doing many of these stores, other problems that we need to take into account with Nutrition and Health Food shops:

-They can be both retail and wholesale businesses. Plus they need to manage products at different pricing levels. For example, loyal customer or wholesaler as they often need customer-based pricing or discounts. Plus group price reduction, quantity pricing, multiple purchases, promotional prices and bulk discounts. So they need their system to have a robust inventory management system. With such a large stock, they need an automatically reorder facilities. 

-They also need an inbuilt CRM loyalty system to manage the entire sales history of a particular customer. This helps them to make recommendations based on past purchased items. It also allows the shop to provide a personal experience for shoppers. For example, check and track dietary restrictions, brand preferences, etc. 

-The specially designed price tag with bar code-suitable for items without barcodes. 

-Time-based promotional prices-set promotional or discounted prices within a specific date range.

-Tracking and manage self-made products by the shop made from other products in the store. 

This system was designed to help people that market Nutrition and Health Food to grow and succeed.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

There was great hope that we were returning to normal with vaccinations finally rolling out and the virus contained. Suddenly it went South, the Victorian government has just invoked an emergency week of lockdown.  This tightens restrictions again in Melbourne. Another bump on the road, a reminder that things change and that we must all as a community be vigilant.

So we have decided to close our Melbourne office down for the week, we will review this decision as the situation unfolds.  

Be assured that we are pleased to announce that POS Solutions will continue to work and help our customers during this time of uncertainty. Our interstate offices are all open and our Melbourne staff are now working from home.

Stay safe. 

 

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There are a few grants available for small businesses, by State governments, local councils and companies. It is worth checking on them. I have quite a few clients who apply and get them. But, most of you will find that these grants are pretty small and full of such small print that few can get them. With company grants, I have noticed that they are so highly competitive that only a few can get them. Still, if you are legible, you might be able to get something good out of it.

For example, in Queensland, they have now a grant that if your business qualify (and it probably does not), they will give you $5,000 for a website. If you can get it, that should get you a decent website.

If you do not qualify, don't be too upset. I have many frustrated clients reading the words reported and seeing the reality.

Having said this, we have many clients who are doing well with their websites. So I recommend that you look into this, whether you do or do not qualify.

 

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Days of Supply KPI is how long will it take for a product to run out if sales continue as expected. It is evaluated in the periods based on your order cycle. This is as say you typically sell 20 items a month, you have 15 Days of Supply if you have ten items. But if your supplier needs 30 days from you sending them an order, the odds are here, you will run out.  If your supplier needs seven days, well, you should be okay. This is why knowing your supplier's delivery time is here critical. 

Calculating the *standard sell rate* for every item in the shop is impractical. But, not to worry as this is what your computer can help you do. 

Here is an example.

If you go to stock maintenance, call up an item, now press ordering as above. The product here has two (2) on hand. The focus (which is the standard sell rate per week) is on (4) sales. Thus, we can say that you can expect to run out in a few days. If my ordering cycle is weekly, you need to place an order as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will lose sales.

Our system gives you the information you need! 

Check it out. You will find it very useful.

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A SWOT analysis is the most popular and influential method for analysing plans today. You tend to notice once you know SWOT what people who service your business the way they think. No surprise, as this is the way they are trained. 

SWOT will help in the decision-making process and test the feasibility of a business, marketing, product etc. 

 

It is simple, and it will take you about 7 minutes to learn here.

Now you know how to do it, here is my advice.

Grab a big sheet of paper. Experts often use a large A2 sheet. Clearly they think people have a lot to say.

On the top, write your project aim. I find keeping it simple best, e.g. do not say "Increase turnover by 10% "but say "Increase sales of XYZ product". Then when you get more experienced, you can move into more general cases.

Now draw a big cross in the middle of the page, so you have four quadrants. Look at the above example.

Come up with ideas. Brainstorm with others in your team is a great idea. Running computer reports can stimulate ideas as can internet searches on your ideas.

Now you have the idea, it is easy to determine where it goes on the chart. 

1) Is it good for the business on the right side (Helpful) if it is bad on the left (Harmful) ? 

2) Is it something to business has control of then on the top (Internal), else on the bottom (External)?

Now write down your points in the relevant quadrants.

Now highlight items that people think are significant.

In the end, you will have a visual image of where you are. I promise you that you will find it helpful to examine. You will find that doing a SWOT analysis will help you better understand and how others in the business see your business. 

Let me know how it goes.

 

 

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We have regular training courses.

Due to COVID, we had to stop in-person training, but we did manage to keep online going.

Today, despite the problem of face-to-face training due to the risk of rapid lock-downs, we have reintroduced in-person training. Actually, the new COVID cases reported now are higher than last year. There are currently 29,997 Coronavirus Cases in Australia. It is not less than a year ago, it is just that we are now used to it.

So today, we provide a hybrid model where people can take part in person or online. The most significant advantage here is that as we share content. Our clients can join even if they can not make it at the scheduled time but only when they have time online. If you want to conduct online training, please use an area free of distractions -learning is not an easy task. Take notes-what works for me is that I have a pen and a piece of paper in front of me to write down the main points. Participate in the discussion if you don't know what to ask.

Overall, the rise of online activities has been very successful.

 

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The Baking Industry Trade Show started in 2017, and it is in a few days. It is a unique exhibition in the Australian baking industry. They probably picked now as winter is coming up which is always a problem in the bakery industry.  It reminds me that we have many clients with our baking shop system now. Recently I was very pleased that after reviewing the bakery point of sale systems, recently Treats and Takeaway in Queensland decided on our bakery POS software.

Bakery point-of-sale (POS) systems need to have many functions of retail POS system, plus they need much more. 

Our system makes it easy to run a bakery. It is fast in action. It has a slick touch screen interface for them, possibly the fastest in our marketspace. 

-It can sell by units or by weight. 

-It can handle the large numbers of special orders often required. We can also help simplify order tracking and so increase efficiency, for example, wrong names. It also displays orders in a form that is easy to scroll through and find them. It also makes it easy to repeat special orders. 

-Also, we keep track of the many items required to be kept in a bakery. Plus, we can do it in the precise amounts needed. This can help avoid the delay in special orders because one necessary ingredient is missing. 

-Using our quoting system, you can accurately calculate costs for regular and special orders. 

The right bakery POS system will enable your small business to grow. By implementing this right bakery management software, you can improve your business.

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I think many of the readers here will find it interesting. I am using it in a talk I am giving soon. 

This is the earliest published mention of newsagencies in Australia. It was published in an Australian newspaper  Empire (newspaper) on Monday 26 Mar 1855. This advertisement above was repeated many times. So it appears that in 1855, an operating newsagency system was in place in Australia.

 

Here are the earliest photos, I could find of newsagencies in Australia, 

Short Street, Hill End, in 1872, when the gold town was at its peak. State Library of New South Wales.

 

 

J. Phillips' Newsagency, Fruitrer (sic) and General Dealer, Hill End1870-1875

By 1879, the first Newsagents Association in Australia (VANA) formed in Melbourne.

 

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In the budget, one change made that retailers need to be aware of now. Before you only had to pay superannuation if an employee monthly income from you exceeded $450. This was handy as it reduced much administrative burden over what was so little. Remember the government commitment to reduce “red tape”? Anyway, this $450 monthly threshold is now gone. No matter how little money you pay a person in salaries, you have to pay the superannuation.

Also, the superannuation rate will increase to 10% on July 1, 2021. Count on it going up again very soon as the government plan is to raise superannuation to 12%,

All this needs to be budgeted by you.

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The current report of probably the best loyalty analysis in Australia is now out at For Love or Money™ 2021. It is in its 9th edition. 

If you want, a free and quite detailed executive summary is available there too. One point for sure if you get it, it will give you much to chew over. It did me.

Looking through the report, I noticed that the active participation rate is down. This is not a COVID thing, as it's been going down since 2015. In 2015, 59% of Australian shoppers used a loyalty program. Today it is down to 43%. Also, transactional loyalty programs, where the customer gets money, are down in 2019. Then, they comprised 76% of all loyalty programs; now, in 2021, they are down to 69%. I am not surprised as these schemes often end out giving away margins with little reward to the merchant. 

Far too often, the customers in loyalty programs will often buy the items anyway. Hold this thought as important later.

Still, after going over these reports plus what I know, here is a guestimate of a budget of what a modern loyalty program would cost you.

Your customer's name and emails addresses, buying history and their permission to use the information in your loyalty program are considered to be worth about 1%. So most loyalty programs tend to hover about this figure. If they go much over this, it is generally because of suppliers help. For example, you promote a supplier product in exchange for them giving you a lower price during the sale. 

So if we are looking at million-dollar sales in a shop, your budget   (1%)  is $10,000. Say your expenses of running the loyalty program is $2,000. Then we have about $8,000 worth of product discounts to give away. 

Now based on the report, only about 48% of the people using your loyalty program are buying because of your loyalty program.  

So if your margin is 30%, to cover your $10,000 expenditure, you need to get about $70,000 of turnover in your loyalty program. 

The formula here is (Turnover required) = (1% of turnover)/((margin%)x48%) 

In this case, the discount you would be offering your customer =$8,000/$70,000  about 10%. 

If the margin you are pushing is 50%, then you need about $40,000.

The discount you could offer your customer much better, about $8,000/$40,000 or 20%.

So push a higher margin item in your loyalty program.

Note few professional marketers get profitability figures. Only only transaction amounts and they work on average industry needs. Your views might be different on this as you have detailed financial figures and specialised needs.  

Also, consider that a loyalty program is a minor factor in your customer loyalty. It is minor. A factor far more important is your relationship with your customers. 

Still, this gives you a starting point.

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POS SOFTWARE

What it does is give you a different perspective in your business, the computer perspective. 

Data mining is a formal process used by organisations to look into their information. Using it they can get helpful information about what is happening. They do this by using software to look for patterns in their data. Using it, businesses have learnt more about their customers. They can use it to develop more effective marketing strategies. For example, to increase sales or decrease costs. 

It is not a manual process but is computer-generated, which is both a blessing and a curse. Doing it depends on your POS system having effective data collection and processing. Something, as far as I know, we are the only ones in our market space that have a computer system that can do that? We then often add extra information like the local weather over the period, COVID lockdowns, economic data from the government surveys, etc. Then we use a specialised data mining software package. This brings these figures together and analyses the statistics. 

Generally, this takes over two weeks to do it. This is because it often fails, and we have to redo it. It also often gives misleading results. Please do not believe that its results are always right. It usually takes a few attempts to narrow it down on the information where it can help. The results are sometimes interesting but not useable. Sometimes there is little you can do even if you know a pattern. 

Also, when you do it, you get results like above. It is the sort of stuff that even experts find hard to understand. 

So it has in the past proved quite valuable. It often identifying shopping trends by understanding the purchasing behaviour of your existing customer. It can often increase sales and customer loyalty as are predicting the market. I also find it is good at finding cross-selling opportunities in our clients' shops. This often allows our clients to increase the efficiency of their business.

 

If you want to give it a try, let me know. We do offer it to our clients *FREE*.

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When Ian Grant's Caravans decided they needed POS Software, they came to us.  We were delighted as they are one of Australias busiest caravan sales yards where people from all over Australia to get their caravans. Now that the caravan shows have started again, we are having in Melbourne our annual supershow. You may want to check them out at site No. 9 & 10.

If you want to go, you need to buy tickets before it's like in previous years. They do not sell at the door tickets. But, if you are like me, I am sure you will find it interesting.

What I find is that caravan sales yard need much specialised in their POS Software. This is a challenge.

It grew when COVID hit. Suddenly all caravan software had to go into the cloud to work enabled. So now remote working on the caravan sales yard is standard in our caravan system. Lucky Ian was integrated into our online shop.

What such systems need is the ability of a CRM to track potential customers. This is often particularly difficult as much here works on finance, and many people use several finance companies.

In the workshop, repairs here need a wide range of functions in our system. One feature that proven useful here is automatically sending service reminders when customers need service. SMS is better here than email, and this SMS option is free with us. Next, you need to keep a history of the quotes. Then, you need to be tack track quotes to actual costs. Then keep a record of completed operations. Finally, you need to check your workshop schedule at all times.

Inventory control has to be spot on as ticket items are expensive. The big problem here is that sale items often have subsections. Sometimes these subsections need to be tracked too. As a detailed history of everything is required what helps is our detailed Google-type search. It can use various search functions, such as searching by brand, model, rego, etc. Also, very detailed inventory flow reports are needed. This is because of the high prices of the goods. This allows constant monitoring of inventory levels. This helps maintain the best inventory at the best price.

Our software provides you with the latest technology. This makes your business more controllable and profitable.

 

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Yesterday’s budget had two positive points for SMB, which need the instant attention of many of our clients. This is we are now in this financial year.

The first is that the immediate asset write-off goes for another 12 months. Facts have proved that this is an excellent way to increase cash flow. If you can get this money, it is shameful to miss it.

The other is a new law introduced by the government that allows companies to carry forward tax losses.

Now I am not an accountant, but this is my understanding of how it works.

Suppose you paid $27,500 in taxes two years ago. Last year there was nothing. This year, you are looking for a tax loss of $25,000. Assuming you pay 26%, you now owe ATO about $6,500

Since $6,500 is less than the $27,500 you already paid. When you file your tax return this year, you may be able to request a refund on the $6,500 based on what you had paid two years ago.

Due to some exceptions, not all tax losses are claimable here. If so you may not be able to cash the tax losses as described above.

So, you may find that some pre-planning may help you now. So please *immediately* ask your accountant about these two items.

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Shopify released a list of products that are trending up now, here.

Unfortunately, they did not release Australian figures. So I went through their list to see what google trends stated was in Australia interesting.

Going through them these three, I think, would be of interest to my clients.

You have to remember that Australia has plenty of time and often want to organise so:

Storage containers

Australia now needs more home storage products to tidy away your belongings. They often need to create a clutter-free home. What they want now is stylish storage.

Bookends

Books have been selling well. People are organising them into some old order. So bookends are in demand as they are a neat solution to tidying up their book collection without spending a lot of money.

Temporary tattoos

Many people want tattoos that last 1-2 weeks and then fade into your skin.

I hope this is of help.

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Scanner range can be a big problem in the retail industry, especially if you stocktake or sell goods in bulk. 

Generally, most scanners in retail are designed to be close-range,  about 20 cm from the target. 

A typical problem can be if someone buys a heavy or large box. The operator on the cash register must then either lift the item onto the counter or move the scanner to get into the scanners reading range.

Also, if you have high or low shelves, there may be problems when counting with items on these shelves. 

Often here, there is a speed issue. If you can save 10 seconds of scanning time, you will save an hour of work after about 300 scans. Consider that an hour's work is often 20 dollars to the shop. So over the scanner's service life, an extended range scanner can save a lot of money. 

If you are concerned about these issues, consider using a medium or long-range scanner. For example, we regularly go to about 10 meters.

To see your requirements is easy:

1) Check where your barcode scanner would be. Now measure from there to where the largest distance barcode you need to measure would be. Add 25% more as you will need more.

2) Measure the least distance you need.

This gives us the ranges over which your scanner will need to measure. 

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Under new management

When buying or selling a business, consider the ownership of the computers and/or software.

It is not so simple as the business is likely running the software under a license that grants them the right to use the software, however, they probably do not own it. So they will have conditions attached to their use. Find out what they are! We provide on request the details, a change of ownership form and account details to prospective buyers on request, provided that the old owner agrees. 

 There can be other issues too.

- The new owner may experience problems due to privacy laws, so the software supplier cannot often help the new owner if there are problems until it confirms the new ownership. If the changeover is done at the weekend, this can be a real problem. 

- Is the system under subscription? If so, what the new owner is buying is nothing but a legal obligation to pay. 

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Retail is changing. As such, what people buy from you changed too. The problem here is that our memory is like a camera. What can be in it is what was not what is now. This can cause significant problems. Own here is an excellent report to show you the shift in your sales shop.

Go to Cash register > reports.

Then Sales -Register> Sales comparison for a given period.

Above in purple, I put in the last few months and notice that I am using a few years back in comparison.

Now also notice in green that I changed the comparison from percentage to currency. This is because what happens is small departments often show dramatic changes. So, for example, a department with $5 in sales then, now having $20 sales, has a big percentage increase. In reality, is not much of a change

Try it.

Put in your figures and see.

 

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Mother's Day is approaching. I hope you have formulated a winning formula to make the most of this lucrative retail event. It is a good idea to make a special Mother's Day display. Here is what you can do to help you determine the items to put on this stand.

Go to Register reports.

 

Now pick "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period."

 

In the form, put in the week before Mothers 13 May 2018 (I would not suggest last year). These are the items that worked for you then. Hopefully, you have them now.

Mother's Day is an excellent shopping day in retail. Although it is on a limited-time shopping with a short season, it can if properly done make a considerable impact.

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Retail today strives to maintain profitability. It has too. This is why gross margins are quoted. It is generally easy to calculate, often in theory, you do not have to as your suppliers will give them to you on request.

Actual gross margins, what you are getting is something else and challenging to get. Yet it is the heartbeat of your shop. It is the most important indicator to measure your business. It will help you see whether you are operating effectively.

It is, in my view, the best ways to determine whether your business position.

Now suppliers are often the first problem here as they often try to hide their figures. A common way to do this is not to give you margin but a markup figure. For example, a 30% margin is a 42% markup. Yet a 42% markup can sound better. Another way they often do this is to supply you with the margins for selected products only. Then they claim the others are of little relevance as they are minor. Yet to you, they may not be minor. It is, for this reason, we recommend that you always use margins for every product. That way, at least you are getting a consistent figure.

There are other reasons why actual gross margins are wrong. For example, if you have a product, you discount for some reason.

The result is the same, as your margins can differ from what it looks like in your mind. This is why you need a fast and reliable method to measure this KPI.

Well is quick and easy to do.

To get this KPI, please go to cash register reports, then go to sales.

 

Once there select

Dissection Sales / Profitability for a Given Period.

Now run the report for the last year. See is a column there which is % Profit, it will tell you the actual figure by dissection.

 

 

Now check them to see what you are getting.

Try it now, it will take you a second to do.

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