We explain what is it? How does it work? How will it benefit your business?
All your questions answered.
What is EPoS?
EPoS is a tool to make the running of your business more efficient, and generate information to help you make better decisions.
EPoS enables efficient computer stock control and reordering information as well as offering a wealth of knowledge about turnover, profitability, stock ratios, and other important financial information.
How does it work?
It works by scanning product barcodes (products can be selected onscreen or weighed too) at the Till. That barcode is then cross referenced in the database to find out the product details which are then displayed on the screen. Once the sale is completed, stock levels of the items just purchased are reduced, sales totals are increased. It’s that simple.
The customer is issued with an itemised receipt while the computer removes the items from the stock balance.
This is EPoS at is most basic, and it’s important to fully understand this before moving on to much more advanced features.
What is EPoS going to do for your business?
Benefits Of EPoS
- Variable security settings – For example, senior staff can refund, part time staff cannot.
- End Of Sale Vouchers – Printed after the customer receipt with offers to entice the customer to return.
- Fingerprint scanner – Logon to the till this way for 100% accountability.
- Customer accounts – apply discounts for give credit to certain customers. Also generate invoices and payoff outstanding balances.
- Stock Control – Never run out of your best selling line. Convert slow selling lines back into cash.
- Sales – Monitor turnover, profit and margins accurately.
- VAT – Run VAT reports as often as you need to. No need to record figures daily.
- Promotions – Let the Till automatically detect and apply as many promotions as you see fit to run.
- Loyalty – Easily control loyalty balances and use accrued points.
- Over stocked – Find out if you are over stocked based on your trading history.
- Scale Integration – Place items on the scale, select the correct product, charge the correct price based of price per kg or per 100g.
- Weigh Label Integration – Weigh meat, fish, cheese or similar items at a counter, bag label and then scan at the till and charge the correct price for the amount of produce.
- Mobile Dashboard – View sales figures on your phone anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
- Labeling – Integrated labeling saves time. Link the product description, price etc to the database.
How to choose an EPoS Supplier
Write a list of everything you want your EPoS system to do
Sounds simple but lots do not know what they want it to do, they just think they should be going EPoS. Think about the problems you have in your business and how EPoS could solve them.
Implementing an EPoS system will massively change the way your business operates, and will mean training most members of staff.
Choose 3 EPoS companies, and choose carefully
There are a vast array of people offering EPoS system to all kinds of different businesses. Find providers who specalise in your retail sector.
Systems who claim to be able to do any kind of retail often can’t, and are unaware of sector specifics for example if you are selling carpet, you need to record the size of carpet the customer is ordering, food retailers will need sell by date information etc.
Buying a system which has not enough features can cost your dearly in the long run. We have had plenty of occasions when prospective customers have bought the cheapest system they could find and regretted it 12 months later, and are left we no money and a system that does not work for their business.
Arrange a demonstration
See the software and hardware working together in the flesh. Think of as many scenarios as possible which occur at your business and test them. Quiz the person doing the demonstration for as much information as you need.
Not only should you use this time to judge the system, but also to judge the people you are going to be working with. For this reason we always demonstrate onsite. Other companies choose to only offer remote demonstrations to save them money, not give you good service.
An EPoS system isn’t a one off purchase, it’s an ongoing partnership which will involve lots of communicating to get the most out of any system, so be sure you are happy with the level of skill and knowledge, especially relating to your sector you get from the people you have contact with.
Arrange a site visit to an existing user
Seeing a solution working in practice in a business similar to yours is a great way of getting a feel for how a system works in practice. It’s also a great chance to speak to someone using the system everyday, and get a first hand account of what the EPoS company is like to work with.
At Open Retail Solutions we are more than happy to arrange site visits to an existing customer.
Get quotes and compare
Getting quotes is easy. Deciphering the details to make a fair comparison is much more difficult.
Hardware is easier to compare. Make sure to get specific models of all hardware being provided. For example our hardware comes with a 3 year guarantee. You can get cheap barcode scanners, but they will break within 12 months, so we choose not to supply them.
Software is much harder to compare, as different systems will be capable of doing different things.
How to choose
If you have several companies who could all provide solutions to the issues your business is facing, then I would say the two main areas to look at are price, and to have confidence in the people providing the software.
This is big decision which is going to have an impact on the way your business is going to operate. Do you have confidence you will get the support you need, when you need it? If the till stops working on a busy Sunday afternoon, are you confident you will be back up and running within a few minutes of calling?
It’s easy to assume a basic system will cover all your bases, and certain features you are not going to need. Businesses change, and having a system that can grow with your business will save money in the long run.