RCS Wins NCR Award for Top Volume Partner in 2016

RCS Wins NCR Award for Top Volume Partner in 2016

Awards & Recognition

Retail Control Systems (RCS), a leading point-of-sale solutions provider for retailers, was awarded the Top Software & Hardware Volume Partner of the Year award at the 2017 NCR Interact Partner Conference, in Amelia, Florida this month. This prestigious award was given to the worldwide partner who sold the most NCR Counterpoint Software and NCR Retail Equipment in 2016.

Over the past two decades, RCS has earned this award 20 times. RCS attributes their success to a dedicated staff that is willing to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.

“RCS’ new customer base generally comes as a result of recommendations from our existing customer base, and this is due to our dedicated team of professionals who ensure exceptional customer satisfaction,” said Dave Albert, president of RCS.

NCR Interact Premier Solutions Provider Workshop Logo

In addition to product sales, RCS strives to be educators in the retail community by offering free educational events and resources such as webinars, workshops and knowledge base articles. These events are focused on educating retailers on the ever-changing retail landscape.

“Making our customers successful in every aspect of their business is our goal. These events cover key topics that are at the forefront of every retailer’s mind such as generation selling, social media, ecommerce, and search engine optimization.” said Darlene McQueen, sales manager at RCS.

The secret to RCS’ success is going the extra mile for their customers as well as hiring a talented staff. In addition to the Top Software & Hardware Volume Partner of the Year award, RCS was also awarded Top Partner for NCR Merchant Solutions. RCS is proud to share this accomplishment with you for the 20th consecutive year!

About Retail Control Systems

Founded in 1987, Retail Control Systems specializes in retail and restaurant management software and hardware solutions. RCS has built a reputation for finding specialized business management solutions that help businesses gain complete control over their operations and finances. From inventory control to daily sales management, RCS has the experience and expertise across the full-range of retail and restaurant industries to meet the unique needs of any business. RCS has been providing superior customer service, exceptional quality, and innovation to the retail and restaurant community for nearly 30 years.

To learn more about RCS, visit or call 1-800-417-3030.

About NCR Corporation

NCR Counterpoint is a full retail management application designed to help retailers of all sizes run their business more effectively, connect with customers and sell anywhere. NCR Corporation is a world leader in consumer transaction technologies, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. NCR Corporation makes more than 450 million transactions possible every day.

For more information on NCR, call (800) 225-5627 or visit

Ariel’s Adventures – Curtis Liquors

Ariel’s Adventures – Curtis Liquors

Just for Fun, Wine & Liquor

By Ariel Leggett

I love visiting RCS customers for many reasons. Mostly, I love that each trip is an adventure, an opportunity to get face-to-face, belly-to-belly, to learn more about the people and businesses we serve, to discover wants and needs, joys and frustrations. Each visit is an opportunity to strengthen relationships, to share knowledge and to help. Since I stayed back from our Red Sox Team Store trip (read more about that here), I decided to embark on an adventure of my own, to Curtis Liquors!

This month, I paid a long overdue visit to Rick Curtis, President and Founder of Curtis Liquors. As I pulled up to the parking lot of the Weymouth, MA store, I was greeted by a gigantic welcome sign. I entered the store with my RCS bag over my shoulder– one look from the friendly Curtis Liquors team and they knew I was here to see Rick. We looked all over and finally found him up front, connecting with vendors and ensuring the store was in order for the day ahead. We immediately beamed big toothy grins at one another, shook hands and landed in a great big hug.

About Curtis Liquors:

Curtis Liquors was founded in 1976 and has, in its more than 40 years, grown to two locations on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Operating under Rick Curtis’s philosophy of the winning trilogy (selection, service, price), both stores consistently wow customers with their variety and value of wine, spirits, beer and cigars. With his passion for building and nurturing relationships, Rick has been constructing his empire for decades. In fact, he was among the first to take a gamble on Jim Koch’s craft beer in the 1980’s. Maybe you have heard of Sam Adams?

Back to the visit:

I knew from my phone conversations with Rick there was something very special about him – his demeanor is kind, warm, attentive and passionate. As we found a seat in the training room and delved into discussion, it was very clear he listens to understand, not to respond. The way in which he communicates with his team (not his staff or employees – a very important distinction) speaks volumes to the depth and quality of their relationships. You can see it also in the dedication his team has to carrying out his vision. Don Barrows (Weymouth Store Manager) was originally hired at 18 years old and has since been with Curtis Liquors for over 30 years! I also had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Raymond – sharp and hard working (not to mention her gorgeous head of red, curly hair), she often single-handedly saves the day when it comes to e-commerce snafus.

So what’s next for Curtis Liquors? Rick and the gang will be joining us next month at the Julio’s Liquor Store Workshop (you can find out more info here).This summer, Kelly will be exploring new integrated e-commerce solutions. The whole organization will be one step closer to achieving PCI compliance once 2 Factor Authentication is fully implemented. Of course, and this goes without saying, they will all continue to create an awesome experience in store and online for their customers!

Offline Ticket – What is it, and why do I need to test it weekly?

Offline Ticket – What is it, and why do I need to test it weekly?

Technical Tip

What is Offline Ticket (Offline Mode)?

Offline Ticket is an optional Counterpoint function that stores a smaller version of your live Counterpoint system on your local register. Every 15 minutes packets of information are sent to your NCR Counterpoint server from the offline station(s). Also, inventory updates, posted sales, customer updates drawer sessions and Counterpoint user updates are received to the offline station(s).

Offline Ticket can be a life saver when the connection to your live Counterpoint server is down or slow. You can use this option to minimize your network bandwidth in order to optimize your network performance.  This feature can also be used for outside sales events such as tent sales, trade shows and conferences when you have minimal internet source for credit card transactions.

Computer with Offline Mode Activated Text

Why Test Offline Ticket Weekly?

When an update packet fails to make it to the offline station(s), the information contained in that packet will be missing from the offline database. Offline will attempt to receive the packets again, but if something is not working correctly (Counterpoint Services, for example), the information will never get processed.

For example, if the packet from your live company contains a changed password, a new item, or a large number of items that were transferred to another location and doesn’t reach your offline station, the offline database is no longer up to date. This will cause problems in a situation that demands operation in offline ticket.

Testing offline ticket weekly will ensure your offline database is always up to date.  If you find an issue during your testing, you (or RCS) can resolve the issue proactively so that offline ticket will be functional when needed.  Now that you know why you should test weekly, let’s review how to do so.

How to Test Offline Ticket

Testing Offline Ticket can be done one of two ways:

  1. Pick a day of the week to open your drawer and run the morning shift in offline mode. As long as you have an internet source you will be able to process credit cards. Run both cash and credit card transactions to be sure all of your hardware devices are working properly (e.g. credit cards swipes, receipt printers, pole displays, cash drawers, etc.). When your shift is done, count your drawer in offline mode and then reconcile in your live Counterpoint system. Verify all tickets have transferred up to the live Counterpoint database by comparing your drawer reading report from both live and offline.
  2. A simpler test: open one drawer in offline ticket and run a couple of test transactions using both credit card and cash payment types. You can void the tickets in your live Counterpoint system once they have synced with the NCR Counterpoint server.

Testing offline ticket weekly will save you headaches in the future and can prevent revenue loss by ensuring maximum up-time for your Counterpoint system.

Read the full NCR Counterpoint Knowledge Base article here on offline ticket entry.

If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to call Support: 800-417-3030 option 2 or fill out our contact us form here. We have multiple certified Counterpoint Technicians happy to assist you!

*Editors Note: This post was originally published in June of 2015 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy.

Beware: Google Document Phishing Scam

Beware: Google Document Phishing Scam

Technical Tip, Web Tips

Google is warning all to not open a phishing scam e-mail being currently sent out. The sophisticated looking e-mail will look like it’s coming from an e-mail address that you may recognize. There is one key giveaway to recognize these e-mails: The mail is sent to a fake email address in the main recipient field — [email protected] Your address is included in the BCC field.

Google Docs Phishing Scam Image

According to a tweet by Google, make sure you immediately report this e-mail as a Phishing attempt via Gmail and then delete. Do not open any attachments, click on the link, or respond to the sender. Google is in the midst of investigating where this phishing scam originated and how to stop it from happening again in the future. Read more on how to report an e-mail within Gmail.

Gmail Tweet

When users click on the file, the fake Google Docs will seek permission to access your account. Users who click on the link and follow through with the process should go to Google’s account permissions to deny access.
Phishing is generally carried out via e-mail, but can also happen via websites, ads, etc.. It means that an internet hacker is trying to convince you to share your personal information online, like credit card information, social security numbers, banking information and more. Read more about phishing scams and how to avoid them. If an e-mail looks suspicious, don’t open it!

e-mail on phone

Here are some additional e-mail “Safe Sending” Tips:

  • Do not send personal messages from your corporate account
  • Do not forward company emails or corporate data to your personal account
  • Always remember that email is not private
  • Check with the sender before opening attachments
  • Do not send sensitive information over email
  • Respect email laws and regulations
  • Know the difference between public and private information!

Read more about the phishing scam.


Update: May 4th, 2017, 4:00 pm

Google has addressed the issue and it should be re-mediated. If you think you were affected, follow this link:

See the tweet from Google

Happy Lucky’s Utilizes an Omni-Channel Experience with RCS

Happy Lucky’s Utilizes an Omni-Channel Experience with RCS

Featured, Gift Stores

by Casey Albert

Happy Lucky’s Teahouse has been part of the RCS family since 2013 when they became our first Fort Collins, CO customer after establishing an office location there. RCS is pleased to announce Happy Lucky’s as our May Customer Spotlight!

Happy Lucky’s Teahouse is a retail store offering over 200 loose leaf teas and tea brewing accessories. Their mission is to “Nourish Your Happy”—through community, connection and the experience of great tea.

Since 2009, owners George and Kari Grossman, along with their dedicated team of Leafsters, have been sharing how culture, lifestyle, health and happiness boil down to just three elements: Water, Tea, and Time.

With a commitment to quality, selection, and community, Happy Lucky’s has created a highly interactive, informative and immersive tea experience. Whether you are already a tea lover or new to the brew, you’ll find the flavor, aroma, and feeling that speaks to you. You can choose your tea from over 200 loose leaf options on their Great Wall of Tea. With the largest tea selection in the state of Colorado, you can’t go wrong!

Happy Lucky’s switched their Point of Sale System to NCR Counterpoint with RCS’ help back in 2013. RCS and NCR Counterpoint has enabled them to grow, opening a second teahouse in November 2016, in Front Range Village, south of the original Old Town, Fort Collins location.

Man using Point Of Sale System

“With RCS’ help in implementing Counterpoint, we have been able to achieve both our financial and operational goals. And throughout our growth, RCS has been there to help us achieve our goals.”

– George Grossman, Chief Leafster

Integrated into Counterpoint is Customer Connect, an email marketing program which allows Happy Lucky’s to directly reach customers and reach members of their loyalty program—the Tea Lover’s Club. Customer Connect also allows the shop to track customers’ preferences and purchases. They can then send them an notifications about new teas or retail items they may be interested in.

Happy Lucky’s also utilizes NCR’s Smart Alerts. This application allows the Leafsters to receive text messages on their phone with store alerts, daily reports, excessive void alerts, and much more! George utilizes Smart Alerts to judge how busy his stores are and, if needed, head to the store to offer an extra hand.

Lastly, Happy Lucky’s recently switched their e-commerce platform to NCR Retail Online (NRO). NRO is directly integrated into Counterpoint which will allow them to control inventory between two inventory locations and online (Get one of my favorite teas at their new e-commerce store here). Happy Lucky’s is one of RCS’ only customers that utilizes all of the NCR applications: Customer Connect, NRO and Smart Alerts. This allows Happy Lucky’s to have a true omni-channel point of sale system.

RCS is thrilled to have Happy Lucky’s as part of the RCS family! We are excited that we could assist them with reaching their goals and we can’t wait to see where they go next!

The NCR XR7 Water Test

The NCR XR7 Water Test

Just for Fun, Technical Tip

by Casey Albert

Is your hardware showing it’s age or have you been thinking about updating your registers for your store? NCR has just released some sleek new Hardware that will work as hard as you do. Look no further than the new NCR XR7!

Brains and brawn meet beauty to give you one impressive point-of-sale They say beauty is only skin deep, but not true with the NCR RealPOS™ XR7—Sure it has a sleek, modern appearance with its slim profile, zero-bezel design and elegant styling that sets it apart from other point-of-sale solutions, but that’s only part of the story. It’s powered by 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor technology—an energy efficient powerhouse—to deliver amazing performance and future-proof your investment. To top it off, it’s smart too. On-board “odometers” capture vital health and usage statistics so we can keep you up and running and keep your customers coming back for more.

  • Stylish and compact all-in-one retail solution with a sleek zero-bezel design
  • Extreme performance with 4th generation Intel Core Processor Family
  • Customer facing displays. Make sure that transactions are accurate, show rich graphics and encourage up-sells with these sleek new displays.
  • Secure, powered USB and serial peripheral connectivity

Watch the video below to see its durability and the new sleek design. This video features an environmental test conducted by spraying the NCR XR7 with water from the top down and from all sides to demonstrate its durability in the retail environment.

Or read the full brochure on the XR7.

RCS Assists Red Sox Team Store with Opening Day

RCS Assists Red Sox Team Store with Opening Day

Just for Fun, Sporting Goods

by Jason Schuster

The light glared off of the ice as the sun rose over Mascoma Lake on Monday April 3rd- season opener for the 2017 Boston Red Sox. One by one we arrived at the RCS headquarters and prepared ourselves and the van for the 2.5 hour journey south to Boston. While we are far from a professional sports team like the Red Sox, we certainly did feel like it that morning.  Our lineup consisted of:

  • Matthew: The promising rookie playing in the position of hardware support
  • Geff: The proven networking master
  • Molly: The sales/customer service all star
  • Jason (myself): The software/database guru

We arrived at the Team Store thanks to Geff’s expert knowledge of Boston streets and unloaded our van of supplies. The crowd at the store and on the street outside were busy but mostly with stragglers killing time before the game. We met up with Lindsey, the Store Manager, and were quickly split up and put to work. While others went to the satellite stores in the stadium I worked at checking and updating the additional registers that were stored for the offseason and brought back in for the start of this season.
RCS helping at register

Once the checklist at the store was completed, Geff and I accompanied Lindsey into the stadium to support a possible issue at one of the many kiosks. We followed closely as Lindsey masterly navigated through the stadium while pointing out each store location in case we were called there later.

As we made our way back to the main store, we took a quick break to go into the stands to take it all in. I will always remember the quietness of the anticipation in the empty stadium knowing there are thousands of people outside just waiting to get in. We arrived at the store to a much different scene as all customers were moved out from the store and street to get ready for the gates to open. Once opened it felt like nearly all the true fans were heading straight to the store.  Lindsey and her team of seasoned experts were more than prepared, and so were we.

The pregame sales went very smooth with Molly helping at the cash registers and Matt, Geff and I assisting and monitoring for support issues.  The issues we addressed were mostly straightforward and quick to resolve; answering questions, ensuring device functionality and making sure all settings were correct.
As the game started and the store emptied we were left feeling relieved that things were going smoothly. Lindsey took our cell phone numbers and released us to walk the stadium and watch the game during the quiet time but assured us we’d be on call for when it picked up again!  We were able to enjoy several innings of the game, including the incredible home run by Andrew Benintendi, while periodically checking on the satellite stores and the main location to answer any NCR Counterpoint related questions they had.

Red Sox Team Store

We made our way back to the main store to finish watching the game – which ended in a win for the Red Sox!  After the announcement the excitement grew from the store staff as they knew what was coming next.  While close games with wins are great for everyone, it does mean that all the fans leave at once and many want a last minute souvenir from the store.  For most of the RCS lineup this was the first time to assist The Red Sox with a home opener; although it was a bit overwhelming for a split second as the store became full with excited fans, the Team Store staff was unnerved more than prepared to handle the demands with professionalism. We did what we could to help as needed while staying out of the way as the staff did what they do best, serve the Red Sox fans of the Boston area. We stood behind the registers as customers came and went, helping with stocking and bagging and again with any NCR Counterpoint questions that came up.

As we packed up, said our goodbyes and left we all felt like we helped to ensure that our customer, and most importantly to them their customers had a smooth and successful day. While there were many take-aways and experiences the feeling we were left with was this: The only greater feeling than being on a team is being on a winning team!  I would like to thank the RCS team as well as Lindsey and the Team Store staff for the opportunity to work together to guarantee one of many winning days.

Read about our past experiences with the Red Sox Team Store here:

We helped the Red Sox , Boston Red Sox Opening Day – 2013

Happy Lucky’s Expands Teahouse in Fort Collins, CO with RCS

Happy Lucky’s Expands Teahouse in Fort Collins, CO with RCS

Awards & Recognition, News, Specialty Retail

by Casey Albert

(ENFIELD, NH | FORT COLLINS, CO) – Retail Control Systems (RCS), a leading point-of-sale solutions provider, is pleased to share that longtime client, Happy Lucky’s Teahouse (Happy Lucky’s), has opened a second location in Front Range Village, a popular southeast Fort Collins shopping center. RCS helped equip the store’s point-of-sale system, which included a NCR Counterpoint 1530 terminal and two (2) CP Mobile units – Counterpoint’s mobile POS platform. The second location officially opened in November 2016.

Happy Lucky’s is a unique specialty shop and teahouse, “serving up world change,” alongside a delicious array of baked goods and treats. Owned by Kari and George Grossman, the teahouse was originally established to provide a venue for promoting their charitable organization, Sustainable Schools International (SSI). While SSI still remains a central focus, Happy Lucky’s success has exceeded the Grossmans’ initial vision, offering the largest tea selection in Colorado and a place for people to connect.

Happy Lucky's Teahouse - Fort Collins, CO
George Grossman Owner of Happy Lucky’s Teahouse – Fort Collins, CO

When RCS first expanded its business to Colorado, Happy Lucky’s was the first retailer in Fort Collins to partner with RCS for a retail management solution. RCS customized an NCR Counterpoint POS system for Happy Lucky’s, including a Donation Round-up feature, which gives customers the option of rounding-up their ticket and donating the difference to help SSI establish sustainable education and further economic development in Cambodia.

“RCS has been with us from what seems like the very beginning,” states George Grossman, Co-owner of Happy Lucky’s Teahouse. “We know RCS understands our business, and we trust that their POS solutions will continue to deliver the capabilities we need to grow and succeed.”

“Happy Lucky’s is a part of our Fort Collins family and we are very proud of their success,” states Dave Albert, President of Retail Control Systems. “With NCR Counterpoint, we are able to give them a POS solution that is also capable of simultaneously managing donations – simplifying the process and allowing them to focus on growth opportunities.”

About Retail Control Systems

Founded in 1987, Retail Control Systems specializes in retail and restaurant management software and hardware solutions. RCS has built a reputation for finding specialized business management solutions that help businesses gain complete control over their operations and finances. From inventory control to daily sales management, RCS has the experience and expertise across the full-range of retail and restaurant industries to meet the unique needs of any business. RCS has been providing superior customer service, exceptional quality, and innovation to the retail and restaurant community for nearly 30 years.

To learn more about RCS, visit or call 1-800-417-3030.

For more information about Happy Lucky’s Teahouse, or their products and services, visit

Retail Control Systems and Hickory & Tweed are Long Time Friends

Retail Control Systems and Hickory & Tweed are Long Time Friends

Sporting Goods

(ENFIELD, NH | FORT COLLINS, CO) – Retail Control Systems (RCS) is pleased to announce our customer spotlight for the month of April, Hickory & Tweed. Hickory & Tweed has been an RCS customer since 1987, the year RCS was founded.

Hickory & Tweed began as a ski shop, founded in 1961 by Jim Ross, in Armonk, NY. The stores current owner, Skip Beitzel, purchased the store from Jim in 1985 after working there throughout high school and while he attended school at the University of Vermont. After which, a bicycle shop was added to the well-established ski business.

The store’s name pays homage to the origins of the sport itself, with hickory being the wood of choice for first generation skis and tweed wool being the most common layering insulation at the time – hence the name, Hickory & Tweed. From its early beginnings, Hickory & Tweed has established itself, not only as one of the premier ski and bike shops in the country, but an iconic brand in the ski business. The store has won numerous industry awards over the years, including “Ski Shop of the Year” from Ski Magazine and “Top 150 Bike Shops” from the National Bicycle Dealers Association. Their hallmark offering is a family ski and snowboard leasing program, which serves nearly 2,500 families.

Hickory & Tweed is a family business, just like RCS. Skip’s son, Mac Beitzel, manages their recently introduced e-commerce site. Mac created the store’s e-commerce site utilizing NCR’s retail online (NRO) application. Mac also manages the store’s social media and private label branding business.

Hickory & Tweed is also staffed by many long-time sales and management associates who are passionate about winter sports and cycling. The staff can often be found on the slopes or out riding the local trails. Based on the knowledge of their passionate staff, Hickory & Tweed’s service and atmosphere has always provided a unique shopping experience for their customers.

Almost 30 years ago, Hickory & Tweed was frustrated with several attempts to implement a point of sale system that not only worked for their business, but was easy for staff to understand and use. In early 1987, Dave Albert was preparing to start a new venture in the point of sale industry after working for many years in the bicycle industry. Skip had a chance encounter with Dave at a bicycle tradeshow. Skip and Dave kept in touch and once Retail Control Systems opened its doors, Hickory & Tweed was the very first customer! Hickory & Tweed also ended up hiring Dave to consult for them when they were first opening the bike shop portion of the store.

Since then, RCS has become intimately involved in all of Hickory & Tweed’s operations. RCS has successfully upgraded the store’s entire Counterpoint Point of Sale system several times and it’s always been a relatively easy process for Hickory & Tweed. Skip and Mac regularly attend RCS’ Envision Conferences, in order to stay up to date with RCS’ latest offerings.

“In the end, I tell all who’ll listen, that when you buy-in to RCS, it’s not so much really about the hardware and software, but rather it’s about Dave, his staff and their support. I’ve always experienced them being there for us through thick and thin. And these days in retail, there’s a lot of thick and thin.” –Skip Beitzel

RCS is so proud to have Hickory & Tweed as such a loyal part of the RCS family for so many years. We can’t wait to see where they go in the future and how RCS can help them reach their goals!

Why you need to start thinking about Two Factor Authentication

Why you need to start thinking about Two Factor Authentication

Technical Tip

by Darlene McQueen

Two Factor Authentication, what is it? Many organizations protect local and remote logins with a simple username and password. Entering these two pieces of information will grant access to company databases, email accounts, and other sensitive information. But passwords are notoriously insecure. Many users choose weak passwords which can be easily guessed or cracked. Phishing attacks trick people daily into revealing their passwords, and users on unsecured networks (e.g. at coffee shops) can have their passwords sniffed. Malicious viruses and spyware can capture passwords and send them over the network to attackers.

Two Factor is the practice of combining something you know (like your password) with something you have (like a hardware token) to secure access to a system. Even if your password is compromised, that’s only half of the piece of the puzzle needed to gain access to a system.

Protecting your Remote Users

For many corporate networks, the Remote Access and VPNs required for employees to work off-site represent a significant exposure and vulnerability of the network. It is essential for network security to protect any method of Remote Access or VPNs with additional security without impacting authorized users.

RCS recommends deploying a solution by Yubico that offers keys that simply plugs into a USB port. By deploying a YubiKey, Remote Access and VPNs are protected with two-factor authentication with the security and ease of use of the YubiKey.

The innovative USB/NFC-keys offer strong two-factor authentication – with a simple touch of a button. YubiKeys are built strong enough for the largest enterprises, while remaining simple enough to use for consumers.

For information or pricing for this service, contact your RCS Sales Representative at 800-417-3030, Option 1.

Yubikey connected to computer