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Where Should Retail Numbers Come From?

The ProphetLine POS/Retail Management Company spent much time and money using some of the best retail minds to give retailers reports that make sense. Our primary consultant was Alan Fisher of Retail Business 101. A report should be a concise summary of easy to understand data to make positive decisions from, not just a list with hard to understand information. All of the Point of Sale information is aggregated into the comprehensive Retail Stock Ledger. ProphetLine then takes this information and builds quick view reports that allow you to identify problems in your inventory and the necessary actions needed to correct the problem. Click the Retail Stock Ledger link to get a better understanding of what goes on and why. You can drill as deep as you want into the Retail Stock Ledger or build Open To Buy Plans with confidence your numbers are correct.

Small Retailers Need Quick, Concise Reporting

Good POS Software should have some reporting views that allow you to look at the overall health of your business at a quick glance. ProphetLine is constantly finding ways to make available valuable information for the busy small business person. All of these new reports are based on the comprehensive Retail Stock Ledger. My favorite is the Compare Sales, Profits, and Inventory Percentages. This report gives you a quick view of a department or class contribution to a retailer’s revenue and inventory value. For example, if a department has 20% of your inventory value and only accounts for 5% of your overall revenue, you have a problem. You can then drill deeper and find the problem in the Retail Stock Ledger.

Controlling Your Business from the Point of Sale View

– Alan Fisher

I have always been astonished to watch salespeople from some software companies review reports with retailers. They seem to assume that quantity of reporting and level of detail sell systems. Unfortunately, many retailers also equate quantity with quality. Once the software is installed, faced with thousands of combinations of reports, the retailer runs no reports, using the computer system simply as life-support for a series of procedures. The same uninformed decisions are made, maybe just a little faster.

There is NO doubt about it! Customer service is the most important thing…

– By Jeff Haefner

Here are 15 quick and easy tricks that I’ve noticed other
successful retail businesses doing to keep their customers coming back for more. This works because when you let your customers know that you appreciate them, they’ll show that they appreciate you by purchasing more of your products and will
become a loyal customer, guaranteed.

Some of these tips require retail technology and some don’t.

Here you go:

1. Always say hello. Your sales people, your cashiers, and
all your employees must always say hello.

2. Acknowledge your customers children.

Adapt your business to fit your new POS Software

The make it or break it of a POS implementation is not so much the function of the software as the willingness of the client to change and adapt their business processes to fit the new retail management software. All POS software products have strong points which made you select them in the first place and small deficiencies you were willing to overlook in the selection process to get the new and improved functions. To try and have the new software work just exactly like the old is a recipe for disaster. By the time you program for the old functionality, de-bug and go way over budget, the gains in productivity are mostly negated. The POS software you select to improve your business should be 95% of what you are looking for, straight out of the box and return on investment must be your top priority.

Growing Your Business from ‘The Other Side of the Counter’

Many businesses offer their customers a lot of benefits, but do the customers know about them? From time to time, it is a good idea to step on the other side of the counter and see your business from a ‘customers’ perspective.


This takes a different mindset, as employees and owners of a business ‘see’ the ‘store’ more frequently than an average customer, but do they really see the ‘store’ as a customer does. Take a step back, walk outside, maybe drive around the block and park your car as if YOU are the customer. Now take the time to ‘see’ what your customer sees…

Business Procedure or Enhancement

As with most software companies, we get many request for software enhancements when it seems the Point Of Sale (POS) software is missing some function, report, etc.

Prior to requesting an enhancement to a software package, it is always a good idea to go over your business procedure in detail to see if the procedure itself can be adjusted and because any time a software enhancement is requested, the change will require detailed information on the Who, What, When, Where and How it should work. Getting this information before hand by going over your procedures will better document it for your internal needs and get a jump start on clarifying the enhancement if it is still needed.

The Dieting Approach to changing POS Software

Most businesses looking for a new Point Of Sale (POS) system are looking for some reason, but often fail to follow through with some of the advantages they could gain from the new software due to the mentality “Ëœthat is the way it has always been’. Changing Retail Application software systems such as Point of Sale is much like going on a diet. Unless you identify the problem areas, outline what you want to accomplish and devise a plan to reach your goal, it will typically fail. By the same token, a diet should start with a trip to your doctor. Changing retail software should follow the same paths. You should identify the problem areas of your current POS (or lack thereof), decide what you want to accomplish with a new system and devise a plan to reach your goals.

As with a diet, your business diet should also include a trip to a doctor. Although not a typical doctor, the software manufacture, retail distributor or agent should assist you in your plan. With this stated, how would you feel if you went to a doctor, simply told him you wanted to go on a diet and he quickly wrote you a prescription, gave you a bill and sent you on your way? Although it might seem just what you want, typically it will not give the results you expected. You may be back in the doctor’s office with “Ëœproblems’ such as high blood pressure, mood swings, etc. The same is true for your business software purchase. If you get a quick “Ëœprescription’ (were a perfect fit), a bill and sent on your way, you will most likely be back with the same type of unexpected results from you diet. High blood pressure (I am working twice as hard after the change), mood swings (some days it seems to work and some days it doesn’t), etc.

Another cause of software “Ëœgrowing pains’ is due to a lack of commitment to follow needed steps in order to achieve your goals. Like diets, changing software can be a little painful in the beginning. The pain should go away, however, if you did your homework, created a plan, consulted a doctor/vendor and asked/answered the right questions. The hard step in both a diet and changing software has to be following through. Change is hard, especially when “Ëœit has always been this way’. A change in diet often results in a slight change in lifestyle (fewer trips to fast food restaurants). A change in Point of Sale software also can result in lifestyle changes (new business processes). Both are easy to “Ëœgive up on’ and fall back into the “Ëœold way of doing things’ and both will achieve the same results if that happens: time wasted, money lost and more frustrations.

If business processes are well thought out and examined, the good productive ones can be kept and new streamlined ones added in. Take UPS and FedEx as an example. Do you think they would train drivers on which foot to enter their truck with if it didn’t make a difference in the long run? Sure it may not make a big difference in the split second it takes to step in the truck, but multiple that times the number of times he is in and out of the truck each day, week, and month. The time saved quick starts adding up which means money saved, faster deliveries, happier customers, more repeat business, etc. The same can be true with your business processes. Imagine if you saved a customer 15 seconds when they came to your business. Now 15 seconds is not a lot, but think about the number of customers you have in a day, a week a month or a year. How much time have you saved? How much time have you given your customer? More time allows you to devote more time to your customers giving them a more friendly experience in your business making them want to spend more time (and money) with you.

Although business processes can be a bit painful to change, if done correctly, they can give more benefits to you, your staff and your customers than staying with “Ëœthe way it’s always been’ could ever do.