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Cave of the winds and RCS, discover the unknown together

Cave of the winds and RCS, discover the unknown together

Museums Attractions

by Casey Albert

Cave of the Winds Mountain Park has been part of the RCS family since 2012, coming to RCS after working with a different NCR Counterpoint Partner. RCS is pleased to announce Cave of the Winds as November’s Customer Spotlight!

For more than a century, Cave of the Winds has been a must-see Colorado Springs attraction for travelers since 1881. They are one of the premiere show caves in the United States – and, at 7,000 feet above sea level, the cave is also one of the highest! Conveniently located near Pikes Peak and Manitou Springs and only one hour south of Denver, Colorado, brave explorers can choose from three cave tours and enjoy spectacular scenery, daring attractions and rides, family-friendly and kid-friendly activities atop breathtaking Williams Canyon. From mild to wild, exploring and soaring, Cave of the Winds is the perfect Colorado experience inside the mountain and out!

Guests looking up on cave tour

Cave of the Winds runs all of their operations with NCR Counterpoint, including gift shops, attractions, café and warehouse. This helps them have the most efficient and effective reporting possible because all the data is located in one system, NCR Counterpoint. NCR Counterpoint is seamlessly integrated with Outbound Software to allow the Cave to do onsite and online reservations for their attractions.

“The best thing is that NCR Counterpoint is a software that works with Outbound, our online ticketing software and it allows for time and group ticketing. We can easily manage inventory and setup discounts, all in a user friendly interface.” Terry Carter, Office Manager, Cave of the Winds

RCS is thrilled to have Cave of the Winds as part of the RCS family! It was a pleasure assisting them with reaching their goals and we can’t wait to see where they go next!

Learn more about Cave of the Winds on their website: caveofthewinds.com

How to keep your garden center successful in the slow season

How to keep your garden center successful in the slow season

Garden Centers

How to Keep Your Garden Center Successful in the Slow Season

by John Garvey

Green Chile Peppers

Hatch green chiles are all the rage in the late summer and fall, but try the Colorado chiles at Denver-based Country Fair Garden Center and you might become a convert for life.

“Everybody has their own thoughts about chiles,” says [Marketing Manager] Candi  Gerace, “but these are bigger, they’re thicker, they’re meatier. I’ve always done the Colorado chiles.”

The smell of chiles roasting has near universal appeal. Smell is the only one of our five senses that doesn’t get run through a filter before identification, which is why it can send us immediately into a reverie. It’s also the sense most strongly associated with memory. That’s one reason visiting a garden center is worthwhile any day, any month.

Yet gardening is, for many, a seasonal hobby. That’s a challenge garden centers must contend with year after year, with up to 2/3 of annual sales concentrated in the spring months. Riding out those seasonal fluctuations requires strategic thinking, but it can be fun, too.

Community engagement through workshops and fares

“As far as increasing sales in the off season, we try different things all the time, whether it be different types of sales, bringing in different types of product different classes, additional advertising,” Gerace tells us.

“The chile roasting is great. … We started chile roasting in August, so we’ve been doing it about four weeks now. We get our chiles in Colorado—they’re Pueblo chiles. We chose to support our local farmers.”

Gerace is excited about several upcoming workshops and events. For instance, Country Fair is hosting a cleanup and lawn care workshop on October 7. The following Saturday there will be a pumpkin painting, and on October 21st, children gearing up for Halloween can enjoy a spooky fairy garden.

After all, nature doesn’t just hang up her hat from October to March.

Garden Center Retail Store

“We increase house plant sales and we do a large Christmas—of course, poinsettias, Christmas trees, live trees. And that’s what we focus on,” Gerace continues. “We bring in a few more lines, offer a lot of hands on classes, especially in the fall and around the holidays. So people can make their own wreaths or their own mantel piece. We do a lot with house plants in January/February making succulent gardens and cactus gardens.”

The garden center probably has 20 varieties of succulent at a given time, Gerace estimates.

“You almost never have the exact plants. It’s just the nature of this industry. You get the same species, different varieties. … But we have all the basics, all the time.”

County Fair Garden Center recently opened a second location, and our software point of sale and inventory management system, NCR Counterpoint, helps with ordering, inventory and transfers between the two stores. Check out their calendar for educational events and fairs like the annual Holiday Fair in November.

New specialties

Another option to attract more off-season business is specializing in indoor gardening and hydroponics. That’s a culture decision, because here in Colorado it attracts a different set of clientele than people who grow seasonal produce or perennials. Mountain Lion Garden Supply, in Laporte, CO, specializes in grow lights, indoor pest management and fertilizer in addition to outdoor gardening.

Founder Mike Walsh is a graduate of the Colorado State University Horticulture program with a concentration in Floriculture. Walsh does consulting for garden centers wishing to tap into the indoor gardening market. He too is a client of ours.

Contact Mountain Lion Garden Supply.

Relationships

The off season is a great time to focus on business planning and maintenance activities, special events and cultivating relationships. Other local businesses and organizations are often great collaborators. For instance, Country Fair Gardens is a pick up location for Grant Farms, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) based in Wellington, CO. It’s been a fruitful partnership that brings people in during the off season.

“They’re a great group of people,” says Gerace with a smile.

It’s even a good time to talk in person with other business owners to see how they manage seasonal fluctuations in sales.

Operations

First, for timing your purchases to avoid excess inventory or spoilage, a user-friendly, reliable inventory planning system like NCR Counterpoint is invaluable.

Garden Center Retail Store

If you’re running a garden center, you believe gardening is a fun, year-round activity. With a good off-season marketing strategy, you can convert “fair-weather” gardeners to year-round customers with winter greenhouse miniature gardening, indoor fairy gardens, seasonal produce like autumn squash (so wonderful) and hydroponics.

“No matter what type of seasonal business you own, it’s possible to be profitable all year round if you’re disciplined, manage your time and explore your options,” Entrepreneur Magazine, reports.

Read general tips about what garden centers and other businesses have done to bring in additional off-season revenues and manage cash flow here and here.

Remember that the predictability of the seasons can be an advantage because it allows garden centers to plan. Gone is the luck and guesswork some sectors like commodities face. Although seasonality is a big challenge, it provides managers with something of a rudder, compass and steering wheel.

Trends and fun

Fairy gardening. It’s a thing. Wings optional.

“Fairy gardening is still going very strong,” Gerace tells us. “They put a lot of accessories in their gardens, little fairies, little benches, basically anything that we have in our home I can find in fairy gardening now.

“They’re cute, they’re fun, they can be indoor, they can be outdoor. All my classes, we design them to be more indoor, being in Colorado.”

Also ask yourself what you can do to create more of a destination shopping experience. Children’s activities are a great way to do that. One garden center in Canada even added a beekeeping operation and petting zoo, although before you go bonkers, that’s more of a point of interest than a suggestion.

Keep bringing la passion

“I love plants, love plants. That’s why I do what I do,” Gerace beams.

“And that’s what’s rewarding, is to put gardens together for people just so they can enjoy the beauty, or enjoy the produce from an actual vegetable garden.”

It’s true: eating a home grown tomato just ruins store-bought produce.

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) updates their POS System with RCS

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) updates their POS System with RCS

Museums Attractions

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) Updates Their POS System with RCS

by Casey Albert

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) has been a member of the RCS family since 2014. COSI utilizes NCR Counterpoint, Outbound Software and Raiser’s Edge to manage their entire operation.

COSI is Ohio’s dynamic Center of Science and Industry. It inspires scientists, dreamers, and the innovators of tomorrow. COSI first opened its doors in 1964 in downtown Columbus. In 1999, after outgrowing their space, COSI moved to a new 320,000 square foot space, becoming one of the largest modern-built centers of science in the United States. COSI continues to represent a significant investment in the economic development and community revitalization of downtown Columbus.

Center of Science (COSI)As a center of science, rather than a standalone science center, COSI has established embedded partnerships that enrich our guests’ experiences, including Ohio State University (OSU) Labs in Life, working research laboratories created through a partnership with OSU and staffed by OSU researchers.

In 2008, COSI was named America’s number one center of science for families by Parent Magazine. Since 1964, COSI has engaged with over 33 million people from all 50 states and around the world, both on-site and through its award-winning outreach programs.

COSI, is a large nonprofit center of science, an industry which RCS specializes in. They welcome more than a half a million guests through their doors every year. In 2014, COSI switched it’s box office operations to NCR Counterpoint after using an outdated POS System for many years. COSI uses NCR Counterpoint in conjunction with two other key systems, Outbound and Raiser’s Edge. Outbound Software helps to manage their reservations and Raiser’s Edge helps them manage their member database.

Upgrading our box office POS system to NCR Counterpoint has greatly improved our reporting and touchscreen customization capabilities.

– Rachel McLane, Manager of Ticketing Systems

RCS is thrilled to have COSI as a part of the RCS family. We are excited that we can assist them with reaching their goals and we can’t wait to see where they go next. RCS staff also fights over who gets to do the next onsite visit to COSI to marvel at this great center of science.

Retail Control Systems and The Cupboard: A Recipe for Success!

Retail Control Systems and The Cupboard: A Recipe for Success!

Gift Stores

(ENFIELD, NH | FORT COLLINS, CO) – Retail Control Systems (RCS) is pleased to announce our customer spotlight for the month of September, The Cupboard.

The Cupboard is a family run kitchen supply store, located in downtown Fort Collins. The store has been open for 45 years and resides in a 10,000 square foot retail space– just imagine the kitchen supplies you can find in their store! “The heart of every home is where family and friends share great food and cherished moments. At The Cupboard you will find not just a store, but a special place to help you to make the most of any kitchen — unique, top-quality appliances and tools, beautiful wares, specialty food, and expert advice.”

RCS has had the pleasure of working with The Cupboard for the past 3 years, after joining the RCS family in 2014. Jim Hewitt, Owner, at The Cupboard states, “RCS has helped us implement and customize Counterpoint so it is most beneficial for our specific store needs.”

The Cupboard downtown Fort Collins Colorado

Working with The Cupboard is a joy for RCS.​ They are a very well known and respected business in Northern Colorado. It’s impossible to walk through Old Town, Fort Collins without seeing at least one of the signature white shopping bags bearing The Cupboard’s logo. A trip to the cupboard is also required pilgrimage for RCS employees visiting from the east coast. RCS has also seen significant improvements in the stores learning and use of the system since it was implemented 3 years ago. The number of support calls has gone down significantly and they are more efficiently and effectively using Counterpoint.

The Cupboard converted to NCR Counterpoint from an all manual system, including cash registers and taking inventory on yellow legal pads of paper. Since implementing Counterpoint,  purchasing, receiving, and inventory management have become streamlined processes for the store’s buyers. Counterpoint provides significantly more visibility into what products are selling and when, resulting in an on hand inventory tailored to customer demand and reduced holding costs.

I would recommend Counterpoint and RCS. They were extremely helpful and knowledgeable about their products.
– Jim Hewitt, The Cupboard

The RCS Colorado office is also in convenient walking distance to The Cupboard in case we need some emergency coffee (or chocolate), hot sauce or dinner plates, they have all of our kitchen needs covered!

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 retailcontrolsystems.com or call 1-800-417-3030.

For more information about The Cupboard, their products, and services, visit thecupboard.net.

Why Workplace Dogs are a Good Thing!

Why Workplace Dogs are a Good Thing!

Just for Fun

Have you ever worked in a dog-friendly office? We are certainly that. A couple of office pets who come nearly every day are Fozzie—in the New Hampshire office—and Burt and Noxie in Fort Collins. Burt has been part of the team for well over three years, so if it weren’t working out we probably would have figured it out by now. Jake, the original office dog, has been coming to the office his whole life, close to 14 years now. He is the unofficial RCS mascot and even has a cartoon drawn of him.

Jake the Dog cartoon
Dave Albert's Dog Jake

There are tons of studies linking pet ownership to health benefits like lower cardiovascular stress. More and more companies are allowing dogs at work with the idea that they can they can strengthen the three-legged stool of Health, Happiness and Productivity.

NPR recently reported that “Studies show pets lower stress hormones, and some show that workplaces that allow pets see higher morale and productivity.” Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University published a study showing that stress levels actually taper off over the day for pet owners who take their dogs to work. As importantly, office pets may improve work satisfaction for non-pet owners.

Responsible policies allowing office pets can benefit companies in all sorts of ways. Attracting and retaining talented younger employees is one of those perks. Forbes reports that “Millennials have been known to choose dog friendly companies over their competition when most other considerations are equal.” Fortune also wrote that many human resource managers use pet-friendly workplace policies as recruitment tools.

White dogFor practical guidelines about office pets, the Society for Human Resource Management just published a helpful guide on “How to Be a Pet-Friendly Employer.” There are many options suited to all types of companies, from fairly permissive office policies to online employee resource groups for pet owners.

Breed can be a poor predictor of a pet’s suitability to office settings, experts at the American Veterinary Medical Association say. Instead, screen office pets for things like temperament, obedience training and neuter status. RCS also has employees sign a pet policy before they can bring their dogs into work.

The idea of allowing dogs at work is not without controversy, but a good workplace pet policy can result in more engaged, loyal and happy employees. It’s a perfect culture match at Retail Control Systems—so what if we’re biased? They’re some of our best friends!

The Dogs of RCS

Pros & Cons of Cloud POS System

Pros & Cons of Cloud POS System

Specialty Retail, Technical Tip

Are you in the midst of researching a new POS system? Are you confused by the difference of a cloud system and an on premise server? RCS can help. We have broken down the pros and cons of having a cloud based POS system to help you decide.

Cloud vs. Ground

For years, the only option for implementing a POS system was purchasing and maintaining your own server. These days, you have a choice when it comes to your POS system: cloud or on-premise server. The following lays out some of the most important considerations to make when considering a new server environment.  

 

Pros:

  • Save Money – on IT staffing, infrastructure and required computer hardware.
  • Real-time – Reporting, Data, and Inventory Management functionality across all locations.
  • Data-redundancy and Back-ups – Your store won’t lose important data if it lives in the cloud.
  • More power when you need it – Scale up computing power during busy months– all without purchasing new hardware!
  • Mobility (mPOS) – The ability to take your POS System on the go! Think sidewalk sales, trade shows, and pop up stores!
  • Monthly payments – Upfront costs for configuration, some hardware, training may be required – but the monthly payments for software provide greater financial flexibility as opposed to paying for licensing upfront.
  • Instant Upgrades – No need to manage database maintenance – Patches, bugs, updates, and offsite backups managed by the Cloud Host.  Future-proof your technology!

Cons:

  • Connectivity – Ensure your cloud POS has a functional stand-alone mode to keep your company running– even when the internet isn’t.
  • Limited Configurability – make sure your cloud based POS system won’t limit your customization. Cegid, allows for custom reporting, UI changes and many other features.
  • Bandwidth – Some systems charge a premium if you go over the allotted bandwidth. Make sure your POS system has unlimited bandwidth capabilities.

Other Items to consider:

  • Training – Make it a priority! Don’t skimp on your training budget.  You’ve worked hard picking out a new system, make sure you’re well trained and able to fully utilize the features and functionality that helped you make that decision!
  • Integrations – What can and can’t be integrated?  What are the costs and does it limit functionality of your POS? Integrations to consider: eCommerce, ERP, marketing, accounting, vendor portals, or state mandated reporting, automated taxes, and online ticketing.  
  • Reality of costs – where are you saving and what are these savings enabling your company to do?
  • Expenses – Month-to-month vs. buying out-right, configuration, implementation, training, integrations, eCommerce integrations
  • Time is money – Is this system saving you or your organization time, allowing for other projects to occur?
  • Need to read more? Check out this blog post on 3 common myths about cloud solutions
RCS and Lighthouse Marine Supply, Motoring Along for 7 Years

RCS and Lighthouse Marine Supply, Motoring Along for 7 Years

Specialty Retail

by Casey Albert

Lighthouse Marine Supply is a wholesale and retail distributor of marine engine parts and boating accessories, they have been an RCS adoptee since August of 2010. Like RCS, they are a family owned business, going on 32 years on Eastern Long Island. Their campus is comprised of 2 buildings with a store, offices and warehouse space.

Lighthouse utilizes NCR Counterpoint as well as  most of the NCR Retail Applications. Over the past 7 years they have implemented NRO, Customer Connect, CP Gateway, SecurePay and WorldPay. NCR Counterpoint and the associated services have made it possible for them to effectively manage their brick-and-mortar and e-Commerce sales, while simultaneously increasing the accuracy and efficiency of their inventory and purchasing.

Lighthouse Marine Supply Store

Here are some of the key features that help Lighthouse Marine Supply run smoothly:

  • Reports – The reporting capabilities of NCR Counterpoint are indispensable for Lighthouse Marine. The ability to quickly edit (and save!) filters on reports allows them to drill down to granular detail or widen the scope to see general trends.
  • Customers– With NCR Counterpoint they can quickly and efficiently move customers through the checkout process. New customer information can easily be captured, current customer information can be updated quickly, purchase history can be viewed on the fly and special orders are processed with ease.
  • Sales Kits – The Sales Kit feature is another very strong asset for Lighthouse, both in the brick-and-mortar store and the e-Commerce channel. This feature allows items that are frequently purchased together to be rung-up under one bar-code.
  • Data Interchange – This one was a real game changer. Not only can Lighthouse import pricing updates with ease, but they can create their own custom reports in Excel. Lighthouse can now easily export data to manipulate and re-import it saving countless hours of manual work.
  • Purchasing – Lighthouse Marine’s purchasing process has become a healthy balance between data driven and industry/seasonal knowledge. In 2016, Lighthouse and their new buyer attended the Boston RCS Envision conference. This allowed the buyer to gain a deeper knowledge of Counterpoint and to take a deep dive into the functions, features, and best practices of Counterpoint Purchasing.
  • Order Management – This feature is great for assisting with e-Commerce orders by helping efficiently manage and quickly ship all orders.

Greg Scholand, business manager of Lighthouse Marine, and RCS have become quite close over the years. Greg is a name that everyone at RCS recognizes, he attends all of our Envision Conferences and will often send RCS a witty e-mail after a newsletter is sent out.

Lighthouse Marine Supply Office

We were adopted by RCS less than a year after we became a NCR Counterpoint user. The RCS crew quickly got us straightened out. They have shown us how Counterpoint can automate and enhance many aspects of our business as well as shown us how to modify some of our business practices to harness even more of Counterpoint power.
Greg Scholand

RCS is lucky to have Lighthouse Marine as part of the RCS family.

Go Further…By Staying Local!

Go Further…By Staying Local!

Retail, Technical Tip

Introducing CPLocal, a secure way to process transactions on your NCR Counterpoint System without being tethered to a server. By running NCR Counterpoint in ‘local’ mode, users have the ability to keep servicing their customers in any environment. Having a sidewalk sale or event? Great! Get in all the action, by taking your unit outside to process sales. Has the internet gone down, or your server needs maintenance? No problem! Login with CPLocal to be up and running within minutes. Don’t worry, you’ll still have access to your customers, inventory, and general Counterpoint functionality to continue operations as usual.

Take some advice from the pros- Literally! Longtime RCS customer, The Red Sox Team Stores, knows that even if there is an outage, they can keep on chuggin’. While all the other stores and vast assortment of vendors were shut down because of an internet failure, The Red Sox Team Stores continued busting lines of 30+ fans at a time, eagerly waiting to purchase their fan apparel. For a store with an average ticket being sometimes in access of two to three hundred dollars, even a few minutes is worth thousands for their bottom line.  CPLocal is their trusted source of fast and stable processing power for even the busiest (especially the busiest) of game days.

How does it work? Connect to CPLocal easily by clicking the icon on your POS unit (it will need to have been purchased and installed by an RCS technician). After logging in, users will have the ability to utilize a native version of Counterpoint, using each computer as it’s’ server. If the user is accessing CPLocal for outage purposes, a sync to the server will be attempted automatically every fifteen minutes. Once the connection is stable, users will be notified. If the user is accessing CPLocal for an event, or sidewalk sale (also see NCR CPMobile Options), most regular NCR Counterpoint functions will be available. Features that require updates from main database (server), such as posting tickets and transactions, gift registry, editing items or vendors, and the CP Message Center, may not be accessed until the POS unit is reconnected to server. After a new connection is established, any new data from each individual POS unit, will be communicated back up to the server, or main database.

 

Want to know more detail about how CPLocal can benefit your business? Contact us!

Written by: Molly Michalenoick, Retail Solutions Advisor, RCS

How to Convince Your Manager They Need a New POS system

How to Convince Your Manager They Need a New POS system

Restaurant, Retail, Technical Tip

Whether you’re a store rep, server, bookkeeper or buyer – not having an up-to-date point of sale (POS) system means you have to grapple with issues you’d just as soon avoid. These may include inventory shortages, customers irked by transaction delays, lost receipts and excessive paper documentation (complete with coffee stains). Unfortunately, a lot of retail and restaurant managers are resistant to change because of the perceived expense and difficulty of switching to a modern POS system.

Here are a few selling points for upgrading to a touch screen, cloud-based POS system. If you’re an employee, you know they’ll make your life easier. Now to convince the boss.

Make inventory management one of your biggest strengths.

NCR Counterpoint has the ability to generate over 160 reports, provide real-time stocking levels, create barcodes and automate purchasing. For businesses with multiple locations, it allows managers to easily transfer inventory between branches. All that amounts to reduced stock outs, spoilage and other snafus.

Say you miss out on $400 a month in revenues due to stock outs. If improved inventory management can reduce stock outs by 80%, you’re looking at $320/month in additional revenues. That’s $3,840 a year in additional sales—using conservative assumptions—from just one dimension of inventory management! Inventory reports that NCR Counterpoint runs can also help reduce surplus inventory, which will further improve cash flows. As a manager or business owner, you can select which inventory reports are most relevant to your business, which ones you wish to view personally and which ones to assign to other managers.

Quality point of sale systems like Counterpoint and, Toast (for restaurants) can generate reports to help guide all sorts of managerial decisions including inventory replenishment, pricing and merchandising.

Prevent theft.

It’s tempting to gloss over the topic of employee theft, but it’s all too common. This is especially true when taking into account non-malicious theft like “discretionary” discounts and freebies to friends and family. How much does it add up to in your business? You can’t manage what you don’t measure, but with modern point of sale systems, the task is much easier.

Say stolen inventory amounts to 3% of Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). If COGS is $50K a month, that means theft amounts to $1,500 a month or $18,000 annually!

With POS systems, Counterpoint or Toast, a business can help flag things like large discounts, excessive “no sale” transactions, voided tickets and other concerning things. Even at more conservative figures than those discussed above, it will pay for itself many times over.

Staff sitting around a table with notebooks and a laptop

Optimize staffing.

Avoid over- or understaffing with point of sale analytics that identify peak hours. If you can eliminate a single eight-hour shift (or two four-hour shifts) at $12/hour, that’s a savings of $96 a week – nearly $5000 a year! Furthermore, ensuring that you have adequate staff during peak hours keeps lines moving, reduces cart abandonment and helps retain customers.

Similarly, employees can clock in and out with Counterpoint, which improves time tracking for payroll. Even honest employees are unlikely to round their hours down, yet many businesses still use manual timecards and rounding. Those minutes at the beginning and end of each shift add up.

Marketing and customer engagement.

According to Hubspot as well as Search Engine Journal, email marketing has an average ROI of 4300% – but only if it’s done right. A good POS system allows customers an easy opt-in and keeps lists up-to-date. You’ll never import another email spreadsheet! A POS system with email marketing integrated can also help segment customers by purchasing history and preferences to deliver relevant, individualized offers. Organized, accessible customer data is integral to effective marketing and systems like Counterpoint make it easy.

Electronic receipts delivered by email also allow businesses to send customer feedback surveys and additional offers with ease. Further, it’s just one additional POS feature that eliminates unnecessary equipment and supplies.

New message about your POS system

Discount and loyalty programs.

Point of sale analytics can inform your company’s discount strategy and manage loyalty programs so they not only make people feel good, but make financial sense. Are there low-margin items you should avoid discounting? Are loyalty programs difficult to manage because you’re tracking them on paper or using spreadsheets? Eliminate guesswork, save time and ensure that loyalty programs actually drive customer retention by upgrading.

If you’re a retailer, data provided by point of sale systems can also identify customers who abuse return policies. You aren’t an equipment rental company, so don’t get taken advantage of.

Stay relevant.

Convenience is everything in an era where it’s “sooo cool” to be busy. Make it more convenient for customers to order from you than an online competitor. Or just add ecommerce to your operations. It’s not as much work as you may think, and we’re here to make it as streamlined as possible! You can place an order from a tablet for a product you may not ordinarily stock, based on a customer’s preferences, and spare her both time and shipping costs.

But as with the above examples, that can only happen if you have a smart POS system.

Modern, cloud-based point of sale systems offer a few other perks. These include the user-friendly touch screen interface, increasing counter space (by eliminating clunky old monitors), reduced human error, shorter lines and other intangibles that make customers and employees just a little happier day to day.

The bottom line is that point of sale software systems improve margins and customer retention, identify low-hanging fruits and eliminate guesswork with managerial decisions. Select one suited to your business—it will pay off in spades.

Why Your Liquor POS Gets Better With Age

Why Your Liquor POS Gets Better With Age

Wine & Liquor

Congratulations! You have just finished shopping for the best point of sale system (POS) for your liquor store. You’ve done your due diligence and have made sure that you are purchasing a system that meets all of your business’ needs. You’ve spent hours researching the perfect provider to implement your system, consulted with them about how to best use it and provide ongoing support.

So now what? Well, the good news is that you have just made one of the best business decisions since you decided to build your website. But the work is just starting, one of the hardest parts of the whole process is getting your new system set up, building your inventory and making sure that all of the settings are properly configured. You also need to make sure that your staff is trained to use the system, new labels are printed, hardware is installed and more! All of this also needs to happen while you continue to run your business.

shaking hands

This is where having the right partner comes into play. A great partner will walk you through all of the steps, and make sure that the transition to  your new system goes off without a hitch. A poor partner will try to hurry you through the sale of the system, without ensuring that it is a good fit for you. They will then ship you the system and wish you the best of luck.

Once you go live, it’s time to dive in and learn about all of the power that your new system provides. As you and your new liquor POS system get to spend more time together you will both become more proficient. Your inventory will be more accurate, promotions will go off without a hitch, and you’ll start to unleash the real power that a liquor POS system provides.

Many people are under the assumption that a point of sale system is just a way to cash out customers at the register. Once you realize that a liquor POS system can do much, much more you will be able to use it in almost every part of your day to day operations. A point of sale system is like the brain of your business, it stores and analyzes information about your sales, inventory, staff, and customers. By tracking trends, it can assist you in making better purchasing decisions to ensure you never run out of product when you most need it.

Just like a human brain, the decisions and recommendations from your liquor POS system rely on accurate and complete data. Accurate data starts when you and your team are first creating SKUs in your system, and continues as inventory is purchased, received, and sold. RCS regularly encounters businesses that chose a less expensive liquor POS system, but were never provided the proper training on how to set it up and properly use it. This causes a wide range of issues and can even negatively impact your whole business. A great example of this is when you spend weeks preparing for a large promotion at your store. After weeks of promoting it, creating signage and creating customer buzz. All to have it create poor customer experiences when items don’t ring out correctly at checkout. This feature should be easy to set up in most POS systems, but if you and your employees are not properly trained it can be a headache which can lead to frustrated customers and employees.

Red WineMuch like a nice bottle of red wine, your system will start to age- and in both cases, age is a good thing! An aging point of sale system is full of actionable data including detailed sales history, inventory information and customer sales history. This information is the lifeblood of your business, it allows you to see, and act on, purchasing trends, customer demographics and buying habits  and then use that information to ensure you have just the right amount of inventory to handle the next holiday rush.

POS systems come in many shapes and sizes and knowing the right one to fit your business is a decision that could change the way that you do business moving forward. Much like you are an expert on running your business, RCS is an expert at the selection, customization and deployment of point of sale systems. We can help you select the right system to fit your needs and make sure that you are trained how to get the most out of all of your retail technology.  

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.

Read about a current RCS customer, Curtis Liquors, and how they use their liquor POS!