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Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Duck Dynasty and Windows XP. One of them needs to go and it’s not the beards.

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They are both very popular and loved by millions.  The difference – Duck Dynasty gives great straight up advice that is useful and promotes a better world.  Windows XP leaves you and your customers at risk for data loss, identity thief and lots of heartache.

First let me say I too, love Windows XP.  I still have a virtual machine running Windows XP for some of those programs that just don’t work on newer operating systems due to the manufacturer not keeping them up to date or going out of business, however, it should not be used for any computer with sensitive data.

Why?  Let’s look at it like this.  Windows XP was released toward the end of 2001, in computer years this is centuries ago, and is the most popular version of Windows.  The problem with this is hackers have had 12+ years to find ways to get data off computers running Windows XP and it is a favored OS by hackers, due to Microsoft not releasing any more service packs and soon no longer releasing any more security fixes.  In all honestly, I feel Microsoft will extend the release of security patches a bit longer, but not forever.

Let’s make this a bit more personal.  You want and expect your identity to be kept safe and secure by any company you are doing business with.  Would you rather they protect it with 12 year old software that has not been updated in roughly 4 years (service pack 3 was around 2008) or would you want them to use more current, up to date software which is being actively developed and patched?

Hackers love Windows XP too.  They love it for the same reason duck hunters like a shotgun (also known as a scatter gun).  One bullet, lots of shots, better chance of hitting something.  One virus program, lots of Windows XP users, better chance of getting in to steal some data.

As much as we love Windows XP, let’s at least treat our customers as we would want to be treated and upgrade to Windows 8.  Windows 8 is a great OS despite all the bad press.  It is a bit of a learning curve especially if you are migrating from XP, however, it is worth the move for you and your customers peace of mind.  I would recommend, you verify your hardware and business critical programs work with Windows 8.  There may also be some other changes needed if you are still clinging to old hardware and software.

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Merchandising/POS Software-Mobile and Secure, On or Off Premise

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ProphetLine was doing Cloud Computing before there was a Cloud. We came out with our first thin client product in 1996, an Application Service Provider (ASP) Model.

The first implementation of The ProphetLine Hosted ASP Model was 70 locations for Southwestern Bell Communications in the Houston, San Antonio and Austin areas.  In 1996, bandwidth was an issue for most retailers, but SBC put a T1 line in all locations.  Problem solved.

We were a bleeding edge technology and SBC was a no-fear company moving into retail.  We both learned a lot from the venture: SBC did not like retail and ProphetLine had a tough time getting traction in the hosted model environment because of the many security and downtime objections retailers had.

We licked our wounds and returned to our flagship product, which had won four Retail Developer of the Year awards and was as solid as a rock.  We knew that security and location of a retailer’s data was always going to be an issue and mobility was essential.

The security of an in-store database and the convenience of mobility is our product model.

ProphetLine Secure and Mobile POS Software features:

Networked workstations that can go off-site and re-sync to the server.
In-store tablets or laptops running Windows 7 or 8.
Secure FTP multi-store communications.
Built-in Web Shopping Cart
Web-based gift card and loyalty card programs.
iPhone, Android and Windows Phone access to company data.
PCI DSS secure Internet credit and debit card processing.

ProphetLine for Windows is rock solid, robust, mobile and secure.

ProphetLine stored and transmitted data securely before it was a requirement. Security you can trust.

ProphetLine’s ‘offline’ mode and tablet friendliness make mobility a built in function, not a feature you have to pay extra to have. Mobility you deserve.

ProphetLine: mobility and security, because you deserve it.

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Good Merchandising/POS Software Can Help Entrepreneurs Show Their True Colors

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An entrepreneur’s distinguishing quality may not be the willingness to take risks, but his ability to put the past behind and seize new opportunities in the future. You have probably had your head caved in over the last year with this horrible economy and it might not get any better, but that entrepreneurial spirit is still shining and if your business is still holding up, you are probably doing things right. I believe now is the time to start the push for better retail performance through improved inventory selection, POS/Retail management software and a new optimistic outlook.

It’s the same old story; it has to get better because it can’t get any worse. While all your competitors are hunkered down in their bunkers, you do the unexpected, and come out firing. If you need help in your POS Software selection, call and we can make it affordable and give you the big gun you need.

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Working Directly with the POS Software Developer

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There is a reason I put my email address and direct number on all the correspondence I send out and on our web site.  That is to make sure all your needs are taken care of.  Being able to contact the POS software developer directly means faster, more efficient and more reliable service when you need it most. Our support staff can be called immediately when an issue arises and you need to have an answer now. Nothing can be more frustrating than needing to know how to perform a certain task and not getting a knowledgeable answer. If you don’t get your support from the people that develop and work with the POS software every day, are you really getting the reliable answers you need?

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The Best Business Improvement Starts At The POS

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There are many new buzz words in the retail technology arena that are changing the way retailers are looking at system upgrades at the store level.  Cloud, mobile and social media are a few words that are thrown around, but today’s retailers are still faced with the problem of creating more revenue out of the existing square footage they occupy.  Information gathered with point of sale software is a vital part of the process of generating business opportunities by making available information allowing you to open new markets, attract new customers and find new ways to optimize revenue. Most POS systems can manage to do the basics, like perpetual inventory, billings and compile various lists.

To succeed in today’s business climate, you have to have a system that gives you the ability to build your business around processes that generate more revenue out of existing customers, services, products with better margins and utilize the Internet as an extension of your POS software. The reports you generate from your POS software must be precise accounts of your customers buying habits in the past, an accurate projection of their future purchases and the inventory levels required to satisfy their needs. Buying more inventory than necessary or purchasing the wrong piece selection is a formula for disaster. Prior to purchasing extensive amounts of inventory or investing in new fixtures or equipment, a store must review their sales performance by department, by vendor and formulate a sales plan or revise an existing plan. Based on trends, the sales plans are adjusted upward or downward so that the right amount of investment is made in each department

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A minimum return for your investment with quality POS Software.

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A minimum return for your investment with quality POS Software.

If taking a long overdue vacation or just a little R&R and having peace of mind is not enough, try the following equation:

If your Retail Store did $500,000. in yearly sales, you could, according to industry averages, add 15% to your Bottom Line with quality POS Software.

  POS Software Stops Theft and Shrinkage 2% $10,000
  Prompt and accurate statements with POS Software 1% 5,000
  POS Software for Accurate inventory pricing At time of Sale 1% 5,000
  POS Software with Built in sales prompts 1% 5,000
  POS Software Helps in mishandled & inaccurate Inventory counts 2% 10,000
  POS Software with Retail Stock Ledger reporting for Better turn rates, sell through & margin comparisons 2% 10,000
  Targeted Marketing in your POS Software {know the Buying habits of your customers And target market} 1% 5,000
  POS Software with Web Shopping Cart 5% 25,000
      $75,000

For a $250.00 per month investment, you receive POS software, support, upgrades, web shopping cart and web hosting.

*All figures are based on industry averages and may vary with each retailer.
 

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POS Software With Direct Credit, Debit & Gift Card Integration

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Most retailers have experienced slow credit card processing at peak periods.  ProphetLine for Windows Payment System, a partnership with Mercury Payment Systems, uses your Internet connection to produce extremely fast and reliable credit and debit transactions.  PLW Payment will give you low rates, quick approval and all card types are supported.  Faster transactions can reduce lines and afford better service to your customers.  Gift Card functionality is also available with no transaction fees. The web reporting system allows you to see all the transactions for all your locations—organized by date, batch, card type or in dozens of other reports. In a recent survey by a major bank about credit card merchant services, which was rated most important?

      1) Lower Costs
      2) Faster Transactions (If you chose this one, you were right!)
      3) More Features

Of course merchants want all three.  PLW Payment Systems delivers.

Lower Costs:  Costs can be lower, especially on low ticket purchases where transaction fees make up a larger portion of overall credit card costs. PLW Payment is an ideal solution for retailers with high volumes and demanding customers. 

Faster transactions:  PLW Payment is roughly 400-500% faster than conventional dial-up.  2-3 seconds instead of 10-30.

More Features:   
     • Ultra Fast IP Payments
     • Full Integration with your POS Software 
     • Web Reporting  
     • E-Commerce  

The startup costs are low, the opportunities for increased customer satisfaction are high.  ProphetLine for Windows Payment System is a virtual no-brainer!

Is there any other choice?
 
 

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POS Software+Smart Retailer=Well Managed Inventory

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Controlling inventory investment is a primary reason retailers purchase POS software. Properly "timing" inventory means gaining control over cash flow. A well-planned Open-to-Buy built into your POS software lets sales revenue pay for incoming merchandise rather than having to borrow money.

An Open-to-Buy serves as the "budget" for inventory, sales and purchases. The Open-to-Buy report is the "financial statement" for your inventory.

Open-To-Buy has helped many retailers gain financial control of their businesses. With ProphetLine’s Open-To-Buy Module added to your POS software, you will be able to develop and execute your buying plan easily and accurately. With a properly managed buying plan, you can improve your stock turn rates, cash flow, gross profits and return on inventory investment. At the end of each month, you can identify and respond to trends as they develop. You can achieve optimum stock turn rates, while keeping inventories at the proper level to support expected sales. Isn’t that better than kicking yourself at the end of the year for not buying the POS software with the merchandising built in?

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Don’t Neglect the Store POS Software

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In-store POS Software is still the backbone of running your retail business correctly.  All of the great apps and mobile devices still can’t overcome the failings of poor in-store retailing.  Why neglect the store to enhance your web presence?  A well run web store will not instantly double your business, but can add an additional 10% to your sales in the first year. This figure represents a small portion of your overall sales and pouring in excessive dollars is senseless. Because you have a minimum investment with the ProphetLine Web Store, a smaller sales result can still mean good profits. Best of all, a web site markets your products 24/7 and can be leased inexpensively.  You need to keep your POS software updated and current to maximize your merchandising ability. 
 

 

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ProphetLine POS Software is your Retail Consultant.

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Small business owners have lost faith in any sort of government solution to the country’s economic problems.   Small businesses are the ones that have traditionally grown us out of every recession and they have to realize that they are going to have to do it on their own without any help from Uncle Sam or local banks.  We have built POS Software that is easy to use, easy to set up and gives you Retail Easy reports.  These Retail Easy reports give you department-class-vendor breakdowns to improve your productivity and survive in this tough environment.

No controller for a business would close off an accounting period and then begin analysis by looking at the general ledger entries for that month. Yet, this is the focus of many POS Software systems. A controller starts with the financial statement. Then when they discover a problem with perhaps a revenue or expense account out of line, they drill deeper to determine why. For example, advertising may have skyrocketed over last year or over budget, so the controller would look at the expense entries related to advertising to determine why.

The ProphetLine Retail Stock Ledger built into the POS Software can function in the same manner. A retailer reviews Department-level sales for a period of time and can analyze sales, turn rates, performance gross profits, etc. and then drill deeper, first to classes, then vendors, then specific product to further define the problem.  The report can be run at the Department – Class – Vendor – SKU levels and in any order. For example, a retailer can run a Vendor – Department report and view one vendor with activity for all departments in which that Vendor supplies products.  All of the analytics are run behind the scenes all you have to look at are easy to understand roadmaps to success.  ProphetLine POS Software is your retail consultant.
 

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