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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.

staffing

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.

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!

Top 10 Restaurant Trends for Restaurateurs to Keep in Mind

Top 10 Restaurant Trends for Restaurateurs to Keep in Mind

Restaurant

The dizzying number of restaurant industry trends can be exciting, inspiring, anxiety-provoking or just confusing,depending on your perspective.  Tech and economic trends, changing consumer preferences, new regulations and supply chain challenges all influence how restaurants will fare in the months ahead.  Here are ten of the most relevant restaurant trends of 2017.

Pile of peppers
  • Hot menu items. A recent National Restaurant Association survey of over 13,000 chefs provides helpful insights about shifting demands for ingredients and menu items.  A few new hot commodities include new cuts of meat, heirloom vegetables and fruits, and ancient grains like spelt, amaranth and kamut.  African spices like harissa are also becoming more popular.
  • “Yesterday’s news.” The same survey flagged a few menu items that are waning in popularity.  These include quinoa, flatbread pizza and sweet potato fries (Say it ain’t so!).  The survey is a great source for market info and new ideas.
  • Social restaurant platforms and apps. Consumers are increasingly relying on mobile apps to decide where to dine.  These apps feature reviews, location-based restaurant searches, and menus.  Some apps, like Hooked, provide flash discounts and a great way to discover local restaurants,others allow you to book reservations, view menus or place carry out orders most allow people to post reviews.  If you’re a restaurateur, you’ll definitely want to have a presence on Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor and at least one additional social platform.  Yelp Check-in Offers are a proven way to bring more people in the door, while OrderUp provides homebodies extra delivery options.
  • Street-food inspired dishes. Chefs and diners somehow figured out that street tacos, arepas, dumplings and kabobs taste just as good when you’re sitting down in a restaurant.  No complaints here!
  • Better restaurant software platforms. Business-facing software has changed dramatically in the last few years.  To succeed in today’s market, a restaurant needs more than a reliable point-of-sale system.  Although reliable and well-known, Square is best suited for smaller cafes and quick service restaurants.  Platforms like Toast, which RCS  offers, can track inventory and customer data, manage loyalty programs, and allow quick menu modification and tableside ordering. It even generates in-depth reports to help guide managerial decisions.  Different systems have different relative advantages depending on whether you’re running a full-service restaurant, bakery, or restaurant with multiple locations. Using the right consumer- and business-facing applications is essential for driving referrals, improving rankings, attracting Millennials and preventing snafus.
Wontons with dipping sauce on wooden table

We think Toast is top-notch, but don’t take our word for it—check out the reviews here, or over here, and even here.

  • Healthful kids meals. Today’s chefs are finding it important to offer more healthy kids meals.  All those 30-somethings that grew up on burgers, fries and chicken fingers are pickier than their parents were about their children’s diets.  It sounds kind of cruel until you realize they have more and tastier options.
  • Doing more in-house. More and more restaurants are making condiments, pickles, artisan cheese and artisan meats in-house.  They’re also growing more herbs and produce on-site, and restaurant patrons love it!
  • Local sourcing. Consumer preferences for locally-sourced ingredients are still on the rise.  Many restaurants have capitalized on this by highlighting local farms and artisans on their menus.  Farm-to-table restaurants epitomize this, also catering to consumer sensitivities about sustainability.
  • Chef-driven fast casual. According to the National Restaurant Association, this is the number 1 restaurant concept trend.  In the last decade this category has vastly outpaced traditional fast-food growth.  Chipotle, Panera and a couple others led the charge, but every city has their own small chains or stand-alone restaurants.  Wing Shack in Fort Collins is a great example.
Food truck with woman and child ordering at night
  • And finally, The Food Truck Thing. In case you just escaped captivity after a decade on a remote island, the food truck industry has been growing dramatically.  Yet as the Economist recently reported, “counties that have experienced higher growth in mobile-food services have also had quicker growth in their restaurant and catering businesses.”  The industry has grown faster than the rules and etiquette addressing it, so there will still be some head butting.  Even so, food truck openings will continue to outpace restaurant openings. Interestingly, food trucks are increasingly opening brick and mortar restaurants.  If you’re able to piggyback off the success of a food truck and open a sit down restaurant, you’re probably going to fare well.  Time will tell.

What are some food service trends you’ve noticed as a consumer, chef or restaurant manager?  We’d love to hear from you whether you’ve had success with any of these trends or other insights to share!

Leveraging Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience

Leveraging Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience

Retail

By Molly Michalenoick

Let’s talk about retail in today’s world. Large corporations, like Walmart, are using self-checkout, customer kiosks, interactive displays, buy online and pickup in store, and the list goes on! New Google apps will let online shoppers even try on clothing virtually so they never need to leave the couch. Many retailers are now asking themselves where the value of human contact went! Gone are the days where the cashier will not only help you find the garment, but share the knowledge of where it came from, the type of fabric, and how to care for it. Nowadays, just Google it!  But, some may be surprised to learn that 86% of buyers would be willing to pay extra for better customer service (Forbes). How can we use this ever-changing technology to not only offer the convenience that it is meant for, but to also form closer relationships to our customers?

Many consumers will tell you, “It’s the little things”. Why are we driving the extra couple miles go to CVS, instead of a competitor, like Walgreens? Many customers drive the extra mile, because the retailer goes the extra mile. When I shop at CVS, I know I can return any items that I am unsatisfied with, I know that the inventory manager (who has been there for years) is great at matching foundation to my skin tone, and I know that my CVS Extracare card can earn me rewards, and incentivize me to shop there next time I need to stock up on soap. Customer retention is a major contributor to the success of CVS, and any other business looking to grow. This is a great example of technology, and the human factor coming together for an overall improved customer experience.

Now, back to reality. Most small business owners do not have the horsepower to become the robust service/marketing-machine that is CVS, or Walmart. However, there are a number of tools available to you today that can help establish your presence in the marketplace.

The first step to getting your customers to come back is to offer products and/or services that are relevant to them, specifically. If you go into your local coffee shop every morning and order a latte, you’re not going to appreciate a coupon for green tea. Tom Lamb, CMO of Lowe’s writes “good relationship marketing meets the consumer on their terms by getting to the point where a company can anticipate their needs” (Forbes, 2013). Having the ability to segment your customers, and target them based on their buying habits is crucial to successful customer relationship management. This will let your audience know that you care about them, personally, and you want to educate and incentivize them based on their interests.

I recently heard a brilliant example of this practice in action. A small-town garden center used their email marketing program to send out a follow up email for all customers who purchased a rose bush within this season. The email addresses were captured in order to send receipts for a “going green” initiative (no pun intended) that the garden center was having. The follow up email consisted of care instructions, and best practices for the plant; more importantly, a coupon for special soil that had recently arrived in the shop, specifically for rose bushes.  The savvy shoppers, of course, came back to redeem their coupon on the soil.  Surrounding the location of the soil, the new watering hose attachment for gentle plant watering awaits, 15% off with purchase of soil! The consumers are now educated by their trusty local garden experts on how to care for their recently purchased rose bush, and recognize that they are special because they’re getting coupons on just what they want and/or need.  

Now let’s say I’d love to shop at this garden center but can’t find it, what do I do? Get on my smartphone and search for it on the internet, of course!

The next step to engaging your customers, involves making sure they can find you anywhere. This means in store, online, social media, sidewalk sales, and relevant events. Promoting your brand, and making it easy for customers to find you, and buy your products is critical.  Trust me, if you aren’t doing this, your competition will be. Sure, it could just be as easy as a phone call to find your address and store hours, but most millennial these days will skip to the next option if they are not able to find you on the internet (especially if you’re not on the first page).  According to CNB Marketing, ‘half of potential sales are lost due to people not being able to easily find information on a website’. For those of you who may be lingering on the second or third page of Google, or have an outdated website, this fact is for you, “40% of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a retail or travel site”.  This means it is not enough to simply have an ecommerce site; it must be maintained, updated, optimized for mobile, and integrate with social media. Following these practices will help build your organic ranking on internet searches, improve SEO, and ultimately promote sales.

Now that you’ve gotten customers in the door, it’s up to your staff to convert these visits into sales. Empowering your employees to educate your customers will result in up-selling, more items sold per ticket, and an overall increase in customer satisfaction and engagement. Even a seasonal shop, or other retail store with high inventory turnover can easily educate their employees can easily educate their employees, on-the-fly, by offering product notes (upon item scanning), up-selling questions and product kits, and detailed descriptions. A great example of this is something that I often see in liquor stores. College students coming to work part-time during the summer and holidays to get their boozy discounts, may not know that a Pino Noir is a red wine. However, to help their employees, the liquor store created custom  buttons on their point of sale (POS) screen.  

Wine POS Buttons

Categories or filters can be created as ‘hot buttons’ in order to educate customers per their request. If a customer comes in looking for an Australian wine, this can be quickly suggested by utilizing a simple filter at the POS screen. If a customer wants suggestions based on taste, price, or age- this can also be searched to bring up all inventory matching that search (as long as these characteristics are recorded in the item record).  

Items may also have tag-alongs for upselling, which can be especially important for a low profit margin industry. For example, “would you like to purchase a wine opener with that?” or “are you going to need batteries for this item?” Questions such as these can have a surprising impact on your bottom line if not asked consistently by your staff. Don’t worry, there is technology available that will be there to remind them.

Overall, technology should not be feared, but embraced by the retail market. New opportunities exist around every email address captured, every drink recipe that can convince a customer to buy the orange juice with champagne, and every Facebook post featuring the cocktail of the week. Using technology in new, and creative ways can increase your presence, and influence your customer’s buying habits.

For more information on any features mentioned in this blog, contact the Retail Control Systems Sales team at 800.417.3030 option 1.

RETAIL CONTROL SYSTEMS AND BILTMORE ESTATE: LIVING COMFORTABLY IN AMERICA’S LARGEST HOME

RETAIL CONTROL SYSTEMS AND BILTMORE ESTATE: LIVING COMFORTABLY IN AMERICA’S LARGEST HOME

Museums Attractions

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

Biltmore is the largest, privately owned, home in America. The Estate was built in 1895 in Asheville, North Carolina and sits on an almost 8,000-acre self-sufficient estate, with roughly 1.5 million visitors annually. There are 2 hotels and 6 different restaurants on the property. Biltmore hosts concerts, weddings, clay shooting, river rafting, fly fishing, and many other activities.

RCS has had the pleasure of working with Biltmore for ten years, they joined the RCS family in 2007. Boyd Winchester, Computer Systems Analyst, at Biltmore Estate states, “RCS has helped me with a wide range of problems, they support us with everything from creating custom reports to troubleshooting issues within Counterpoint. I appreciate the fact that no matter the problem, RCS is ready with an answer or they find a solution quickly. And, if the answer isn’t exactly what I’m looking for, they are always able to provide alternatives.”

Working with Boyd at Biltmore is gratifying for RCS.​ As a power-user, Boyd loves to push Counterpoint to new limits and we enjoy the challenges he brings to the table.  From discussions on the best way to slice-and-dice data for reporting, to consulting on the API design for his wine club integration, every day is an adventure and we truly enjoy being Biltmore’s trusted Counterpoint advisor.

With 13 distinct retail stores on the estate, Biltmore certainly keeps RCS on its toes. These retail shops sell a wide range of products including plants, apparel, jewelry, books, home furnishings, wine, and many other products. The Estate also boasts the most visited winery in America, with a wine club that currently ships wine to 37 states within the continental US.

NCR Counterpoint helps Biltmore keep their retail inventory on track. By utilizing Counterpoint’s inventory control tools, they have been able to reduce overall inventory holding costs and their risk of inventory shortages all while accounting for various sources of seasonality. This ensures that their customers are always able to find the perfect purchase to commemorate their visit to America’s largest home. After recently upgrading their Counterpoint Software to the newest version 8.5, they are able to utilize the new user interface. Read more about NCR’s newest Counterpoint Release. Biltmore also uses NCR’s CPMobile devices mostly for their specialty sale events.  Recently, they had a local event off-site event where Biltmore wanted to sell their wine. The store utilized their CPmobile devices at the event to sell the wine.

“RCS doesn’t just provide hardware and software, they also create numerous enhancements and provide the training needed to run a point of sale system.”
– Boyd Winchester, Biltmore Company

 

 

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 Biltmore Company, their products, and services, visit biltmore.com.

Thinking Outside the Box: An Omni-channel Retail Experience

Thinking Outside the Box: An Omni-channel Retail Experience

Retail

By Jack Oxton

Omni-channel. It’s a term thrown around with reckless abandon in today’s fast paced, digitally driven world, but what does it really mean?

Omni-channel is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “denoting or relating to a type of retail which integrates the different methods of shopping available to consumers (e.g online, in a physical shop, or by phone)”

This is very different from “multi-channel” retail, and the difference lies in a company’s approach to digital channels. Essentially, every revenue stream through a digital platform (selling on ebay, amazon, a website, etc.) is a digital channel. Multi-channel retailers treat each channel as an individual revenue stream, each being fine-tuned and optimized separately from each other. Each channel has separate revenue goals, strategies, and reporting hierarchy.

A true omni-channel approach removes departmental silos, allowing companies to put the customer at the center of their strategy, as opposed to treating each revenue stream as a separate entity or project. The result is a united, consistent message across all platforms.Counterpoint Mobile in use at Garden Center

The omni-channel approach acknowledges that consumers are often times utilizing several channels at once—for example, many customers will look at items in-store while at the same time checking product reviews on your ecommerce store. Your customers view every interaction, whether it’s in-store, on your ecommerce site, or when purchasing your items through a third party as a representation of your brand. An omnichannel strategy helps to shape all of these interactions into one cohesive customer centric strategy.

The true goal is to create a consistent message and branding across all platforms, focusing on a more tactical, consumer-oriented approach to digital channels that integrates with any existing systems in brick and mortar locations. Loyalty programs, customer recognition efforts, or marketing should be integrated across all platforms, so that a customer is rewarded the same regardless of ordering online, through an app, over the phone, or in-store.

In today’s world, a customer views your entire organization as a single relationship. It’s more important than ever to ensure that your customers are receiving targeted, personalized messaging regardless of how they interact with your brand.

Retail Control Systems is uniquely positioned to help retailers of all sizes move towards a true omni-channel strategy. Whether it’s integrating an existing e-commerce site, creating engaging automated marketing campaigns, or if you’re launching your first brick and mortar store, we would love to speak with you!

 

Read more about one of our customers who utilizes and omni-channel experience with RCS.

Streamlined Inventory Management + Awesome Service at The Cupboard

Streamlined Inventory Management + Awesome Service at The Cupboard

Gift Stores, Specialty Retail

By John Garvey

I’m pretty sure the feeling many adults get walking into The Cupboard is like the thrill children feel inside toy stores.  The specialty retail store in downtown Fort Collins, CO offers eleven product categories for everything you could possibly need in a kitchen.  While department stores may be struggling to compete with e-commerce, The Cupboard hasn’t skipped a beat.

Casey, Jim, and Dave at The CupboardIf the kitchen is the heart of your home, as the expression goes, The Cupboard’s staff is like a team of cardiologists.  Everyone on their team has a unique role and several are responsible for specific product categories—not just store management.  Phoebe buys the store’s Japanese ceramic ware and cast iron accessories.  Cherie’s in charge of coffee & tea accessories, Asian pottery and pepper mills.  And so on.

To me, the mere thought of managing the store’s phenomenally diverse inventory is almost paralyzing.  Not only are there hundreds of products within arm’s reach, but over a half dozen buyers are ordering separate product lines that compete for shelf space.  Even so, store owner, Jim Hewitt, says buying and tracking merchandise has been manageable and even fun since onboarding NCR Counterpoint.

“The buyers love it. It really makes ordering efficient, and counting inventory more efficient.  It’s been a lot easier to track. We can now place orders for a shorter amount of time because it used to take so long to do inventory by hand.”

Asked about his favorite thing about retail, Jim’s response is … pretty much everything:

“I think it’s the variety.  You know, it really is fun to find new products, the right products that hopefully will enhance people’s lives or make them more fun or easy in the kitchen.  Also the relationships with the customers that we have.  We get to see customers come in on a weekly basis, often for coffee or just to walk around.  Training staff as far as customer service and buying and ordering merchandise.  It’s never a dull moment.”

What is fundamental to continue prospering as a brick and mortar retailer?  Jim says it comes down to customer service, expertise and creating an experience.

You know, you can go online, you can research, you can buy a peeler, but you can’t come in and have an experience, sample coffee and learn about the products from  knowledgeable staff.

Jim has been delighted to have had NCR Counterpoint the last couple years. RCS has provided a streamlined inventory management and point of sale platform, training and reliable support.

The Cupboard, first opened in 1972, is one of 70 family run businesses that RCS supports.  That’s a point of pride for RCS, which is itself family-owned.  As I was walking out the other day, the store rep was having an animated, friendly conversation behind the counter with a little boy.  His mom, appraising the chocolate truffles nearby, shot her a smile.  No wonder The Cupboard is practically a centerpiece of Fort Collins commerce.

Specialty brick and mortar retailers offer warmth and familiarity that makes them indispensable.

Read more about the Cupboard in a press release about when they first implemented NCR Counterpoint.

Shorter Buying Cycles.
Fewer Stockouts.
Less Surplus Inventory.

Our services can help you with security, digital marketing, point of sales and other needs.

RCS Wins NCR Award for Top Volume Partner in 2016

RCS Wins NCR Award for Top Volume Partner in 2016

Awards & Recognition

By Casey Albert

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 retailcontrolsystems.com 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 ncr.com

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.