Posts tagged ‘cash registers’
Electronic point of sale is not just about the cash register, but also the software behind it and how this integrates with your existing business processes. Here we look at the steps you will need to go through in order to make the best decision for your business.
Your business objectives
Why are you thinking about EPoS and what do you need to get out of it?
Will it be a stand alone system, with little integration required, but simply used to improve service? Or are you looking for help with sales information, stock control, accounting or customer relationship management?
Are you looking to integrate with CCTV, website sales or online bookings?
And what are your marketing objectives behind these requirements? Are you looking to increase turnover, profit, reduce staff or other costs, slow churn rates or increase customer base?
What hardware do you need? A cash register presumably, but you might need scanners, mobile PDA’s, wireless router, printers, scales, CCTV equipment, chip and pin.
Do you need customer display, to take payment at table, keyboard or touchscreen?
What software are you looking for? You can integrate with accounting packages like Sage, stock control systems, including supply chain links. You can integrate with customer database software and your website so that online and offline sales are co-ordinated.
There may be industry specific software you can use or you may require something simpler and more generic or more bespoke.
Are you looking for an on-site system or a cloud-based system? This is still fairly new, but it is possible and will not take too long to enter the mainstream.
What support will you get and how much extra will it cost you. If you are operating outside of normal office hours, you will want to be sure you can fix problems as and when they occur.
This can be particularly agonising if you have hardware and software from two different suppliers, each blaming the other over a specific problem.
Also, what training will you get beforehand, so that you and your staff can hit the ground running? No customer likes to see a member of staff agonising over a new till when all they want is their food, item of clothing, hotel room, etc.
This leads on to the supplier themselves. Are they reputable, credible and listening to you? In any event you should talk to more than one potential supplier.
Can they supply references? Look at testimonials on their website. Have they a couple of current customers you can ring and chat with? What is their install, warranty and refund policy?
Make sure you have a proper demonstration, all your questions are answered satisfactorily and that you feel comfortable with not just the person you are dealing with but the company as a whole.
Any system is going to represent a significant investment for your business and you will want to ensure you get the best price possible. It is easy to say that price should not be the most important consideration, but when you have pressures on all costs, as most businesses do these days, every penny counts.
Nevertheless, the most important aspect is the suitability for your business. Get that right and the system should pay for itself within two-three years. Make sure it does what you need; it works with your existing set-up; is right for your customers and staff and choose the best supplier for the job.
Often the cheapest supplier may not be the best. Will they give you the equipment and support you need for the money? Will they still be around in two years time? Don’t make savings now that could cost more later.
CCTV is mostly thought of in terms of security, but what if it could increase your profits as well?
Arguably, it does this already. If it is acting as a deterrent to crime, then it is saving you time and money. But what more can it do?
If your CCTV system is connected to your Electronic Point of Sale system, you can pinpoint and replay the exact moment any given transaction was made. If customers argue they have been given the wrong change, if staff have made an error, all these issues can be resolved, quickly and easily.
Along with the video replay of the transaction, the details of the order also appear on screen, giving you minute by minute, accurate information. As well as by time, you can also search the digital recording by product, e.g. Latte or Steak.
This level of detail, coupled with the ease of access, means you can check for staff problems. Have two lattes been ordered and paid for, but three served? If there are too many ‘no sale’ items on the cash registers, these can be checked on video to ensure there was no foul play.
This information can even be accessed remotely, via remote computer or Smart Phone, which means you can react instantly to problems, wherever you are.
The CCTV system offers wide angle dome units with zoom lens and automated night vision – this can activate when the light goes below a certain level.
Similarly, the cameras can be permanently on, or activated by motion sensor, with remote back up and easy download to disk or memory stick
With all this control, reducing errors and crime, you will gain valuable time during your day and make sure the money in the till at the end of each shift is what should be there.
It can also help to train staff and encourage correct behaviour in any that may be tempted to cheat the system. A proper CCTV system could not only pay for itself, but add extra efficiencies to your business to give you an even greater return.
All in all, a great boost to your bottom line and a lot less worry.
If you would like more information about CCTV and EPoS, contact Phil straight away on 0117 963 2200 – and start improving your business today!
Well it is an electronic machine, so it can process information faster than we can. However, we cannot hard-wire to our brains, so our hands are still required to manipulate the interface. That said, an automatic system will enable you to input far more information, more accurately than you could by hand and delivery it to other departments far quicker than, say, a waiter delivering an order from his three part pad. Read More [...]