Who Says Point of Sale Solutions Are Boring!

Enjoy this cute little video clip on Point of Sale solutions! Cool right? I love the way Point of Sale solutions are being presented instead of traditional sales brochures, PowerPoint slides etc. Not to forget the essence is being captured.

Point of Sale systems are not just like another piece of computer. It depends on how you use it. If you are just using it like a normal cash register then often than not you are not leveraging on it’s full capability. The most common observation I got is that users don’t make use of the various reports available in the system. Do you know from the reports it can help you better managed your inventory, marketing, pricing, staff performance tracking and more.

How to Choose Retail POS Software

When it comes to selecting retail software, there are more and more offerings from which to choose every year. You may be surprised, but there is actually quite a lot of variation in the different software packages, so you need to know that you’re choosing the right one for your business. The following are some useful things to consider if you’re thinking of buying retail software.  These suggestions are designed to help make sure that you find the right package for both you and your company.

Do you Need Inventory Management?

Many retail point of sale systems now come with the added bonus of inbuilt inventory management.  What this means is that the system will record how much stock you have remaining every time someone makes a purchase at your store. Inventory management systems are particularly useful to small businesses, as doing any kind of stock check manually takes a lot of effort and man-hours. If you run a small business or routinely find that your staff does have time to run stock checks, you will want to look for retail software that can offer you some form of inventory management system.

Does it Run Daily Sales Reports?

This is a feature that could be of use to businesses of almost any size or sector. It’s a good idea to look for retail software that has the capability to produce daily sales reports for you. You will want a system that can perform this kind of task for two reasons: first, it will give you a highly detailed report that you as the business owner will be able to analyze thoroughly to see which of the items you stock sell well and which don’t shift quite as many units. Secondly, it will provide you with data on how much your individual members of staff have sold, allowing you to calculate commission or single them out for praise.

Is it User Friendly?

This is an extremely important thing to think about when considering which retail software to purchase for your business. You need to know the software you’re buying will be both easy to use and quick to master. The last thing you want is to buy a system that is so complicated that your staff will take a long time to learn how it works or perhaps not even be able to grasp it at all. Make sure you know what you’re buying; take the time to find a point of sale package that is extremely user friendly, and your choice will pay off in the long run.

Can it Link Multiple Stores Together?

If your retail business has more than one branch, chances are you would prefer to purchase retail software that links your stores together. Some point of sale systems can analyze stock across your company.  This way, if you don’t have a particular item at one store, your employees may be able to direct a customer to another nearby outlet that has the item in stock. Even if your business only has one store, you might want to think about buying retail software with this capability as a way of planning for the future.

If you keep these four points in mind, it will go a long way to making sure you select a retail software system that is right for both you and your business.   Choose a system that is user friendly; can give you sales reports and inventory management; and can run over multiple store locations.  Doing so means you are likely to increase your staff’s performance and maximize your productivity.

Is Your Business PCI Compliant?

What is PCI, and why does it matter to your restaurant?  Otherwise known as PCI DSS, which stands for payment card industry data security standard, this standard was put into place to protect the information of your credit card holding guests. According to PCIComplianceguide.org, “The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.”

This standard, launched in 2006, was put into place as the credit card industry began evolving at a rapid pace. And though credit card processing is integral to any restaurant, maintaining customer security is even more important. If you’re operating with a point of sale system, consider what makes your POS compliant and any changes you may have to make.

Install Security

The first step in ensuring that your point of sale system is PCI compliant is to install a firewall which is used to protect the incoming information. This keeps the information safe as you process credit cards, as well as after the information is stored.

When you do this you want to be sure the software is customized to your business so hackers are less likely to break in. Change passwords and create your custom protection system based on specific security needs.

Protect Cardholder Data

All in all, this standard is put in place to protect the card holder’s data. However, this isn’t as simple as installing your firewall; you’ll need to take it one step further. RetailSystems.com suggests, “Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks and the internet.” In addition, be sure only the first six or last 4 numbers of the credit card are displayed on the receipt.

Allow minimal access

Once the data is within your system, any number of people can reach it; specifically employees. Because of this, you want to restrict access to this part of the software to just those people who need it. Consider granting special access to managers, owners, partners, etc. Give them specific access numbers so you can see if an employee has breached the system with someone else’s ID.

Monitor Information

The final requirement for a PCI compliant POS is to monitor your security and information access at all times. There are a number of aspects for you to monitor.

  • Employee access: When are your approved employees accessing it; be sure they were physically in-house when it happened and had a valid reason to be looking through this information.
  • Updates: Be sure that you are regularly updating your firewall and other security software. When out of date, you may not be getting the coverage you need to remain compliant.
  • Test: Run tests on your software and security systems often. This ensures that no card numbers or information gets through if something has gone wrong without your notice.

As a fully functioning restaurant, it’s imperative that your POS is PCI compliant. If not, and card holder data is jeopardized, you could get fined anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. This fine is given to the bank you operate through and will inevitably be passed down to you. Not mention, it is also safe to assume your relationship with that bank will end. Don’t take the risk – protect yourself and your customers by staying PCI compliant.