NCR Silver Combines Functionality, Ease of Use, to Simplify Mobile POS Experience

From retail shops to chocolatiers, cafés, restaurants, food trucks and even farms, NCR Silver is proving to be the right fit for a myriad of small businesses looking to use an integrated mobile POS for more than just payments.

In fact, NCR Silver is doing for small businesses what NCR has done for large retailers for more than 100 years – providing the necessary tools and capabilities to manage and grow a successful business. Silver keeps these tools simple, allowing small business owners to focus on servicing customers and growing their businesses rather than managing technology.

This ease of use, combined with solid retail experience is especially important to customers like John Masek, co-founder of Oregon-based Bricks & Minifigs, the largest aftermarket Lego store in the country.

“When I was looking for a point of sale for Bricks & Minifigs, I wanted a name I could trust,” Masek said. “With 130 years of experience behind them, I knew the NCR brand could deliver.”

Accepting many forms of payment including credit cards, checks, cash and mobile payments, NCR Silver is an iPad solution that gives small merchants the ability to track sales and profitability, customize automated email marketing programs and sell anywhere. The mobile POS also includes essential back office reports and dashboards to provide small businesses with a 24/7 view of their locations.

Customers like Masek rely on integrated customer marketing capabilities, like bulk emails and reports, because they are easy to set up and provide valuable insights into how marketing campaigns impact sales. The built-in loyalty program makes it easy for all types of businesses to reward customers at checkout, by eliminating the need for paper punch cards.

In addition, redeeming points is effortless for because the information all shows up on the POS at checkout.

For many family-owned businesses, a user-friendly, cloud-based POS also ensures they don’t have to spend extra hours in their stores reviewing and analyzing sales reports.

For example, the owners of Aly’s Applesin Texas wanted to start a business that centered on traditions, quality products and a flexible, family-centric lifestyle.

Taking a homemade caramel recipe and combining it with apples and chocolate turned out to be a great place to start for the Deason family, which started its business following the birth of their daughter, Aly, in 2009.

Fast forward to 2014, and now Aly’s Apples has four retail locations throughout Texas, all using NCR Silver POS with multi-store capabilities.

“We’re one of the largest resellers in Houston and are building our own customer and email database,” Shane Deason, owner of Aly’s Apples, said. “Silver was able to put everything together, from raw data to marketing magic. We would like to franchise in the future and would certainly recommend NCR for its functionality, but equally important is its ease of use.”

Multi-store capabilities give the Deasons flexibility to manage sales across their four locations by viewing a consolidated report or drill down to the individual store for details.

Additionally, NCR Silver lets small businesses like Aly’s Apples take advantage of the move to digital receipts – a trend that is growing in popularity among consumers.

Email receipts protect us at tax time,” says Deason, adding that email receipts also provide a level of convenience for his customers. “Today email receipts are as much a way to connect and nurture customer relationships as they are proof of purchase,” he adds. “NCR Silver makes it easy to leverage integrated tools like loyalty and email marketing that are built into its system.”

Patten Seed Company in Georgia dates back to 1893 when a former school teacher opened a general store that sold seed, fertilizer and everything a small town needed from a farming supply store.

“We started with NCR Silver just a few months ago, but saw an immediate and positive change in our business across all of our 14 locations,” said Chris Burns, controller at Patten Seed. “As a landscape company, we’re seasonal, and when spring hits, we get blasted. NCR Silver POS is superior to any of the systems we have used. It’s so user-friendly. I can spend only a few minutes on the phone with one of my retailers and they will have it installed and ready to go.”

And at Roba Family Farms, with seven terminals, NCR Silver is used to ring up tickets for seasonal (harvest and Christmas tree) sales, They also have NCR Silver set up in the café to sell cafeteria items for guests who are visiting the farm for festivals and events. The business makes most of its revenue in the seven weeks between the Halloween and Christmas seasons. During that time they run daily reports, and have used NCR Silver to see what items they should grow, based on volume. They started using NCR Silver about a year ago, and Sue Roba says the introduction of NCR has been great. “We hope to expand our reach, and NCR Silver will help us.”

How the Point of Sale (POS) Industry Works

If you are researching point of sale (POS) solutions for your business, or just want to understand more about the POS industry, here is a brief summary of how the point of sale industry works.

Point of sale solutions are about as diverse as the businesses they serve.  This stands to reason, since businesses vary in size, scope, location, products, services, management styles, customer base, and many other factors.  Point of sale systems include a synthesis of both hardware and software, and coming up with the right blend for a particular business model is no simple matter.  Those in the POS industry know this, and so there is naturally an attempt to create avenues for helping businesses make good decisions and find the support they need.  It is helpful to know how this works.

Generally, the POS industry follows a supply chain model as follows.

POS_industry_supply_chain

POS Hardware Manufacturers and Software Developers

Point of sale manufactures create hardware, such as all-in-one POS terminals, bar code scanners, keyboards, cash drawers, pole displays, and receipt printers.  Frequently manufacturers will specialize on certain POS hardware items, such as APG Cash Drawer and MMF POS for cash drawers, or Epson for receipt printers.

POS software developers focus on creating software that provides POS functionality such as sales transactions, inventory control, reporting capabilities, managing customer data, and much more.  It is common for developers to customize their POS software for various industries, such as retail, grocery, liquor stores, salons, and others, since these business types can have very different needs.  Some software developers choose to work directly with businesses to create cost-effective and customized solutions, doing without the distributor/VAR chain.  Some developers focus on providing online POS solutions based on cloud technology, so that the point of sale software can be used more independently of hardware restrictions, and accessed from a POS station, computer, laptop, or smartphone.

POS Distributors

POS distributors act as liaisons between manufacturers and VARs.  Large distributors such as BlueStar and ScanSource are poised to find and work with the best manufacturers of POS hardware from across the globe, many of whom offer innovative and cost-effective technology but are not set up to work directly with VARs or businesses efficiently.  By working with manufacturers, the distributors help to reduce costs, and improve products with product testing and product support.

POS distributors also are able to integrate POS hardware with various POS software options, allowing VARs to offer reasonable options for businesses of all levels.  Distributors will often include terminal setup so that VARs can offer plug and play installation for their clients, saving both the reseller and the business the headaches of installation.

The distributor’s relationships with POS software developers provide the benefit of customer leads for POS VARs.  Other benefits that distributors offer to resellers include training for products, technology and business, sales support and advertising assistance, and trade shows for education, exposure, and networking.  They can also provide technical support, such as testing software compatibility with POS terminals, as well access to an extensive inventory.

Distributors also provide a credit facility, when VARs require it, to allow sales involving large amounts of equipment to be easily transacted.

POS Value-Added Resellers (VARs)

POS VARs work directly with business owners to find the right blend of hardware and software for their business, adding value to the products with their expertise and ongoing support.  VARs may work independently or with a POS Distributor for added support and expertise.   VARs will handle installations, coordinating or supervising cable and electrical installations.  They will also provide on-site training for the staff.   Many VARs bring decades of POS experience with equipment of all shapes and sizes to bear for the benefit of the store owner.

POS End-Users

The end-users of POS systems are businesses large and small in retail, service and other industries.   Businesses using point of sale solutions range from small single-store outfits to online companies, to national or international corporations.  Point of sale solutions can hold tremendous benefits for apparel or hospitality applications, automotive shops, drug stores, restaurants, grocery stores, e-commerce sites, single store or multi-store operations, and more.  A properly suited POS system can save time and money, greatly increase efficiency and improve customer service and satisfaction.

The effective installation of a point of sale system involves a ten billion dollar plus industry with numerous players adding value at every stage.  End-users of a POS system, and certainly their customers, may not see or appreciate the tens of thousands of people involved, but they are there, in the background, helping to make it happen.  The local reseller may be a two person, or fifty two person operation, but they are ultimately backed by companies from modestly sized software developers to multi-billion dollar distributors and layers of expert industry personnel, all working to insure a smooth and seamless POS installation.

Jay Abraham’s Letter on Stephen Covey

Below is a letter from Jay Abraham on Stephen Covey. I know in no way
this is relevant to Point of Sale system but it’s something that I believe
will benefit people especially if you haven’t read Stephen Covey’s works.

Stephen R. Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People,” died unexpectedly on Monday. The world is saddened by his
passing, but has been blessed these 79 years by his life.

He was a friend, but even more, he was a true benefactor to the
betterment of our entire world. An obituary in USA Today started out by
calling him “A force of human nature…”

They talked about how his “seven habits” have been woven into the
emotional wellbeing of multimillions of people’s lives – in almost every
walk of life – from self-help to the corporate boardrooms of big
businesses.

Bill Clinton said Stephen’s book was one of three that every worker
should read to “dramatically” boost the nation’s prosperity. Chief
Executive Magazine said the Seven Habits was THE most influential book
of the 20th Century.

One of his most powerful – yet elegantly simple messages: “Seek first to
understand, then to be understood.” He coined the concept of “Win-Win.”
He taught people (including me) to be proactive. He stimulated people to
think differently, more respectfully, empathically, externally.

He stimulated you to examine your situation and circumstances from
perspectives you never considered doing before. And, invariably they’d
discover an innovative breakthrough. One that far surpassed the status
quo.

Stephen R. Covey wrote his book for business people; but its message and
influence crossed over into their personal lives.

Families became stronger, values rose higher, relationships became more
meaningful – ALL because of one man’s willingness to dedicate two
decades of studying hundreds of books, thousands of essays, legions of
different philosophies, ideologies, methodologies – looking for the
simple, universal truths.

Interesting — in a world where many people are looking for a short-cut
or trying to “game the system,” Stephen’s message was based on an
immutable bedrock: Focus on your character, values, conduct, respect for
others, operate with unflinching integrity. Have the courage to be
extraordinary – not just of yourself, but in your ability to grow,
develop, improve and enrich and seed greatness into countless others. He
also urged us to have patience.

Stephen loved entrepreneurs like you. He’d “always” make time from his
busy schedule and high-paid (we’re talking six figures to speak for 60
minutes) activities, to contribute to me – for you!

If that meant coming to Las Vegas the same day he’d landed from Tokyo
just to talk to one of my seminar groups for an hour – he’d do that,
too. If that meant stepping out of an important board meeting with some
Fortune 500 corporation just to do a 90-minute conference call
discussion with my group – he’d willingly/enthusiastically do it.

I’d always get an admonishment from his assistant, saying Stephen can
only do it for 60 minutes, and then he’d continue —
sharing/inspiring/transforming my audience for 60 minutes more. He was
just an extraordinary man, a monumental mind, a mammoth influence for
all that’s good. Stephen R. Covey was someone who changed every life he
touched, myself included.

If you haven’t read the Seven Habits book – do it, now! If you have, but
it’s been awhile, do it again and have everyone in your world – business
and personal – read it, too!

I was blessed to have Stephen R. Covey not only as a friend, but as a
true benefactor of the entrepreneur.

I feel privileged, honored and blessed to have had him and his influence
in my life.

I feel more blessed to have had someone transcribe some of the wonderful
discussions and interviews he generously did with me – about, and for –
you, the passionate entrepreneur.

It is my honor, and privilege – to share two of those documents with you
today.

It will mean a lot to me to have you read them or re-read them if you
have them already (but it’s been a long time). But it will mean far more
to you in the shifts you will make.

One is the full transcript of a nearly two-hour interview I conducted
with Stephen on the topic of igniting more passion, possibility and
purpose into the hearts and souls of entrepreneurs.

The other is a distilled, “abstract” of a short interview we did of him
right before the economy came crashing down. They’re yours-gratis. No
opt-in required. No purchase necessary.

Just click this link to download instantly:
Download the Steven Covey Interviews by Clicking Here

(Note: If you have problems, just right click the link and choose “Save As”)

In fact, I urge you to pass them around to everyone you possibly can.
They don’t benefit me one iota. But they do enrich and illuminate
everyone who reads them.

Anyhow, here are both the long and short documents. One we did in 2005,
and the other in 2008.

Also, since Stephen’s son, Stephen M.R. Covey is also a precious friend
and personifies in his professional life all his father stood for – I’d
like you to ALSO have a profound interview I was equally privileged to
conduct with him on the concept of trust’s role in our business and
personal life’s success.

Again, I felt enormously lucky to have had Stephen R. Covey befriend me
and my work. You will be equally blessed if you follow his teachings.

Again just Download the Steven Covey Interviews by Clicking Here.
This is a direct download – No opt-in required.

Stephen R. Covey truly was a force of human nature. You’ll understand
why when you read his perspectives on life.

Respectfully but sadly,
Jay Abraham

Social Media & Business Strategy

Saw this article in the Straits Times newspaper so thought of sharing with you all. Social media was the hype years back and people were generally skeptical if it would work for businesses. After a couple of years, we can see more and more companies embracing it. However, it’s not about jumping in and be all over the place. One must still define the objective(s) of engaging social media and there must be plans lay out and executed step by step. Happy reading!