The time has come – upgrade your POS System
With Apple’s new XS, XS Max and XR iPhones now on the market, those wishing to simplify the day-to-day dealings of their professional and private lives, are opting to upgrade their phones. This is primarily because yesterday’s technology often does not sit well with today’s apps. When you upgrade your phone, computer or TV for that matter, technological advancements again change the way we conduct our daily lives for the better.
This can also be said for your Point of Sale System, with an updated system designed specifically to save you time and money, so you can attend to more important things, like customer service.
Re-assessing your POS
When was the last time you had a good look over your current POS system? Does it meet the daily demands of your business? In saying this, remember: what was once great software, may not necessarily be the right fit for your business today.
This is particularly relevant considering how far technology has come over the last few years alone, and how significantly your business may have changed during this time – often much more than you realise.
Although new software, along with new hardware (terminals, receipt printers and cash drawers), may be an investment that you do not wish to make today, the longer you take to make the change, the harder it will become to adjust to a new system. Just like consuming bitter medicine; we know we need it at some point to make us healthier – it is the initial step that is the hardest.
Upgrading your Point of Sale system is a business investment that will not only make life easier, but will also save you many man-hours in the long term.
When researching for your new system, there are several ‘must have’ items you should consider, which include:
- Real-time reporting.
- Employee management features.
- Email marketing campaigns.
- Stored customer data and purchase history.
A new system may also have the ability to communicate with your accounting systems, which will save you an enormous amount of time in data entry etc. in the long run.
Also, bear in mind that inventory management is also key to running a successful business. Too much stock eats away at cash flow, while too little stock can harm daily sales. A good POS system should:
- Let you know when it is time to re-order and flags on inventory that is not moving.
- Give you the option to organise products by department, category and vendor.
- Deliver functionality to track markdowns and shrinkage.
This is an extremely important aspect of a POS system. This is because reports not only prevent future wastage in-store, but are also tailored to your specific business needs.
A modern reporting system will allow you to see exactly how much your staff are selling through a custom report, which will include what products are selling and which promotions were particularly successful. This would also include how many hammer drills came back for repair or damaged, and even how customers are purchasing items (Apple pay, EFTPOS, cash etc.)
A modern POS system should also offer you the support you need, 24 hours, seven days a week. When you really think about it, you simply cannot afford NOT to have a reliable system.
Moving with the times…
Unfortunately, most paint, hardware, tool, timber and building retailers in Australia are still very behind when it comes to their POS software and hardware. This is simply because it is a change that most retailers are just too afraid to make.
When you think about it, as a phone user you would never go back to a Nokia 5110. Once you make the change to an upgraded POS system, you will have access to new data that will allow you to easily run your business at your fingertips. Remember, in the long term, this is an upgrade that both you and your business need.
Let us have a look at some of the current software and updated features available:
Built for Profiit. Built for hardware stores.
Australian owned software provider, Foresiight, has been partnering with businesses for over 30 years to streamline operations, improve efficiency and help Aussie businesses grow. Its flagship software, ProfiitPlus, is a complete business management system that integrates stock, point of sale and accounting operations. But, in opposition to an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution, ProfiitPlus serves the specific and unique needs of the hardware and building supplies industry, with the Foresiight team drawing upon their years of hands-on experience to continually evolve and update ProfiitPlus.
First and foremost, ProfiitPlus provides powerful stock control functionality.
Take control of your stock
If you are struggling to manage thousands of product lines, ProfiitPlus provides the flexibility to accurately control all manner of stock. Maintaining accurate stock levels is impossible without support for every conceivable sales and purchasing measurement. With ProfiitPlus you can purchase by the tonne or by the pallet, sell by the lineal metre, cubic metre, and many more. You can manage ratio items to allow sale by multiple units of measure. ProfiitPlus stock control features include:
- Full stock control integrated with the general ledger to ensure accurate stock valuation and cost of goods sold.
- Intelligent ordering tools incorporating movement history, usage forecasts and seasonal adjustments.
- Mobile stock management with the easy-to-use StockMate app – create orders and sales, perform stocktakes and price checks on the fly using your Wi-Fi connection.
- Manage stock across multiple locations and view stock levels at each location from a single screen.
- Quick and easy inter-store transfers.
- Support for shelf and bin locations for order picking and stock management.
- Automatic price calculation based upon flexible margin management features.
- Quantity price breaks, quoted prices and individual customer pricing rules.
Automation & integration
ProfiitPlus provides industry specific integrations, with full support for the Independent Hardware Group, including Mitre 10, amongst others. ProfiitPlus eliminates the need for manual data entry and simplifies ordering processes with its industry specific Electronic Data Interfaces (EDIs) to:
- Manage electronic purchase ordering.
- Process supplier invoices.
- Import supplier Electronic Product Guides (EPGs).
- Manage supplier promotions.
- Automate price updates and barcode label printing.
What’s more, you will save precious time re-entering your financials and eliminate the need for secondary systems to manage job cards or memberships. And as your business grows, you will find all of the features you would expect from a complete business management system – things like integrated EFTPOS, electronic signature pads, catalogue promotions, loyalty programmes, comprehensive reporting and analysis tools.
For businesses ramping up their online sales, there is a modern and powerful eCommerce Interface, while those looking to save floor space and dump the old filing cabinets will love the integrated ‘Paperless Office’ document management system. With everything you need to grow your business, you can train your staff in one system only – ProfiitPlus.
Grass roots support
When it comes to training and support, the Foresiight team has a proud history of being real, local people that you can pick up the phone and have chat to, ask a few questions, or just bounce an idea off.
Foresiight talk about customer service as enthusiastically as they talk about product innovation.
“A lot of software companies that provide business management software really don’t make the effort to get out of their urban environments,” says Manny Gill, former Virgin executive and now Managing Director of Foresiight. “As such, it has always been a bit of an underserved market.”
That is where Foresiight comes in. Based in the Brisbane airport suburb of Hendra, it works with businesses in city and regional areas right throughout Australia and it believes in old-fashioned, on-the-ground support.
Foresiight’s hardware industry partners and customers are testament to its industry offering and include IHG, (Home Timber & Hardware, Mitre 10), HBT, H Hardware and more.
However, because Foresiight is about helping smaller Australian businesses grow into larger, more profitable organisations, its starting price point is well within reach. From as little as $340 per month you can begin reaping the benefits ProfiitPlus can bring to your business. But do not let the modest pricing surprise you – ProfiitPlus really is a complete business management suite with a proven track record of helping businesses to grow.
The Future Is Here
Any successful enterprise should start with a foundation of great customer relationships, with you, the seller, connecting with people who need your products. As your company expands, these connections become more sophisticated. It’s not just a transaction between the buyer and seller. In order to maintain and grow that connection, you need the most up to date tools available. Pacsoft Views is just that tool.
Pacsoft Views enables you to take what’s happened and apply it to your business going forward. The old rule, that 80% of profit is derived from 20% of Inventory and 20% of Customers can be easily managed, not just reported on, with the power of Pacsoft Views. For instance, you can easily and quickly analyse who your worst payers are, their profit contribution and globally reset their terms, interest charges, or close their accounts; or analyse slow moving items and create a promotion to clear them out; be on top of fast moving items and manage minimums and maximums; have greater control over cash flow with the ability to select as an example, items below their minimum level, and elect to replenish based on last week’s sales.
For a new store, you can very easily set designated order points for ranges of products, with the press of a button. Build email alerts with ease to notify managers of potential issues within the business, such as low margin sales or poor performing staff.
With Views’ ability to report on what has happened and use that data to drive outcomes in the future, you have unlimited control over your business.
Other Examples include:
- Bulk price changes and customer special pricing based on sales history and sensitivity.
- Manage POS prompts for groups of items.
- Track Customer sales activities and find mismatches in buying behaviour.
- Identify best and worst selling items and tweak pricing accordingly.
- Build intelligent margin management processes with ease.
- Identify your best Customers and reward them.
- One button reordering of unsupplied items from an alternate Supplier.
- Create automatic orders to meet your needs.
Does your business have the right framework?
Frameworks is the latest innovation in business management software. Designed to meet the needs of the building industry, suitable for any building supplies business, from single sites to multi-branch operations.
With an integrated suite of products, Frameworks is built on the foundation of our ProStix software generation and offers unrivalled flexibility.
Sterland truly understands the needs, processes and intricacies of the building supplies industry, because it has been part of it for over 40 years! Our software packages have been implemented into over 450 sites including hardware stores, plumbers’ suppliers, timber merchants, steel merchants and tile suppliers throughout Australia and New Zealand. We are also the sole preferred software supplier at Natbuild, and an accredited supplier to Mitre 10 and HBT.
Designed for productivity
Multi-store capabilities ensures processes can be easily streamlined, while comprehensive information is shared across head office, branches, trade counters and front counters, in real-time.
Leading edge sophistication
Frameworks is a multi-tasking, graphical business management solution that harnesses leading edge technology and deployment techniques to offer a truly productive user experience.
The sophistication of Frameworks lies in its flexibility and agility, while the industry specific nature of the product has resulted in an easy to use tool that works across a range of complex pricing structures and contracts.
Open & flexible
Framework’s open architecture and modular approach ensures there is a software solution suitable for any size building supplies business, which has the ability to be hosted onsite or in the cloud.
- Designed specifically for the building supplies industry.
- Multi-branch or single-site capability.
- Manage margin simply through comprehensive inventory, pricing and contract management systems.
- Powerful and rapid POS system.
- Optimisation of inventory levels and cash flow through automated reordering.
- Sophisticated management of complex pricing structures, products and contracts.
- Rapid and powerful POS system with integrated EFTPOS.
- User-friendly general ledger, balance sheet, sales, stock, debtors and creditors’ management reporting.
Frameworks’ flexibility includes use in single to multisite, trade to retail, and cash register to ecommerce. Frameworks extension modules include:
Electronic commerce – Enables your organisation to trade electronically with suppliers, customers and business partners.
Customer order imports – Using OCR technology to import customer printed orders and create sales transactions directly in Frameworks.
Mobile solutions – Access information anywhere, anytime from any browser-based device with integrated built for purpose mobile and web-based solutions.
Frameworks in focus
Today’s building industry requires the careful monitoring of all key transactions, which is why Frameworks delivers operational efficiencies including:
- Increased productivity and efficiency through automatic pricing and discount management.
- Streamline processes and information through to head office.
- Reduce replication of effort while educating trading partners on your processes.
- Integrated financials with extensive point and click ‘drilled down’ to transaction level details and key supporting documents.
- Drastically reduce stocktake times and minimise stock shrinkage through increased stock control accuracy.
- Built-in sophisticated re-pricing options.
- Ability to buy better, negotiate and effectively source product.
- Lower stock holding and transportation costs by removing safety stock from the supply chain.
Better customer service
- Compete more effectively by being easier to work with than your competitors.
- Improve customer service and product availability by aligning supply of product with customer demand.
- CRM capabilities including contact information, sales call notes, quote history, sales results and account balances.
Sterland Computing grew out of a parent company in the timber supplies industry, Sterland Bros Timber Supplies. Sterland Computing became a separate company in the early 80s.
It has since acquired a depth of knowledge and experience of the particular needs, interests, cycles, products and schedules of the building supplies operations and business.
Not all POS solutions are made equal
Seven questions you need to ask your provider
Retail moves fast. So too must the technology that supports your business. Time wasted equals revenue lost. An agile POS system will ensure you stay ahead of your competition. With so many POS products on the market, how do you select the one that best suits your needs? Here are questions you need to ask when looking for a solution.
1. Does it reduce inefficiencies?
The power of taking control over your data is priceless. The ability to easily create accurate reports at any point in time means you have the latest information to make the best decisions. Flexibility in updating prices and creating labels in a variety of formats for example, should take only minutes. Manual processes are simply inefficient – they should be a thing of the past.
2. How much time will it save me?
If it takes five steps to complete a task when you can take one, it does not tick the box. Think about the top three things you do each day. If you cannot save at least 50 per cent of your time using automated processes, it is now time to make a change. Say goodbye to time consuming manual processes and errors forever.
3. Will it improve my bottom line?
Having a complete view of all your break down costs allows for accurate pricing. It is the only way to help you manage your cost base and maximise gross profit. For example, can freight, warehousing and insurance costs be allocated? The most effective solutions allow transparency and optimisation.
4. Are there upfront fees?
If your provider is charging upfront license fees, it is out of touch with the pressures of small business. Paying large upfront costs is an old practice that entraps companies financially for up to five years. Alternatively, ‘Pay as you go’ is the fairest system where software companies can be kept accountable, while you maintain your freedom to choose.
5. Are there hidden costs?
A POS solution must include all standard services required for a company to run a successful business. That includes staff training, EFTPOS integration, signature pads and emailing statements which some companies try to charge as an extra monthly charge. If it is an essential business service, you should not be paying extra.
6. How quickly will my team be able to use it?
Learning new tasks must be easy for a team to pick up as soon as they are trained – running in days, not weeks. Training is most effective when delivered regularly and without technical gobbledygook. If ongoing training is not included within your offering, what is it costing you each time a new employee starts or if the entire team needs more in-depth mastery? The best solutions include training as part of a standard package, is user friendly and backed by technical support just a phone call away.
7. Can you customise to meet my specific needs?
One size does not fit all. And the “that is the way it is” attitude just is not good enough. Choosing a solution that provides the flexibility to adjust its functionality to make life easier for you, is the way to go. For example, can your system seamlessly integrate into Xero or MYOB so your accountant has live updates? Ask not what you have to do to fit their system – ask what they can change to meet your needs.