Aid staff management with an EPoS system
Keeping on top of employee reviews, training, incentives and general communications cost you both time and money. Yet, they remain crucial to running an efficient practice, and can therefore not be ignored or missed. They can however, be simplified by an EPoS system that is designed help you manage your team more effectively, and also provide your team with the tools they need in order to make good business decisions on a daily basis.
Victor Lipman, a recognised management journalist and frequent contributor to Forbes, has recognised three very common management problems, all of which can be softened through the support of EPoS. These are accountability, setting the bar and career development. “Firm accountability often involves conflict…which may well lead to a dispute or at the very least an unpleasant interaction,” Lipman explains. “Employee objectives…are often non-existent, unclear, out of date, hard to measure, or subject to interpretation, etc. all of which lead to significant management problems,” he adds. “Employee development is a widely neglected function…frequently leading to employee disengagement and retention problems,” he concludes.
In all of these cases EPoS can arm you with the facts and figures to make meaningful employee objectives that are both clear and measurable. It provides the opportunity for you and your staff to see exactly what activity has taken place, the performance and results of such activity as well as the progress that has been made on a business and personal level.
The following tools found within an EPoS system all work towards aiding staff management:
Using your EPoS system you can give every member of staff a unique login, and with this you have the ability to track their actions, both positive and negative.
Sales - With all staff operating under the EPoS system you will be able to run sales performance reports which can help you to recognise your most reliable team members. Or perhaps more specific actions such as wastage reports which can reveal any trends in staff wastage. The reports can also provide a heads up on additional training that may be required or the best shift patterns to adhere to so that if you have any weak players you can team them up with someone who can help to raise their standards.
Time keeping - EPoS systems are a useful way to keep an eye on employee time keeping. For example, you will be able to see the times that they log in and out of each shift, and also how long it is taking to complete certain tasks. Being aware of the time is taking to complete a task is particularly useful in order to keep efficiency levels high and also to judge what can reasonably be done in a day.
With the assistance of an EPoS system you can fulfil staff level requirements accurately rather than making presumptions. The odd busy or quiet day is to be expected, but by referring to your past sales figures you will be able to predict how many members of staff will be needed on each day to the hour, such as the weekends or seasonal holidays. With this added support you will be less likely to find yourself short of staff or having to send people home early.
Holidays and sick leave
Keeping track of staff pre-booked or last minute absences throughout the year can be difficult, particularly while having to make sure each shift is suitably covered. An EPoS system can store all this information for you and present it in a easy to read way, so that when a member of staff calls in sick you know instantly whether you have enough staff on to manage that day or need to call for cover.
What area of your shop is busiest? The till point, the floor, customer service? Or maybe you own a restaurant and bar. How many people should be serving in the dining area compared to the main bar? And, what items should they be pushing? Impulsively pulling staff left, right and centre as you try to judge where best to place them is likely to lead to poor service levels. An EPoS system can highlight which items sell best and those that make more profit as well as which departments need the most support, giving you an insight as to where your staff’ focus should be.
Ease of use
EPoS systems are designed to work intuitively with your staffing needs making day-to-day work straightforward and hassle free. For example: on the sales screen the most popular products will be clearly highlighted along with the most frequent methods of payment. In addition to this, the screens have a tendency to prompt the user through the action they are completing such as scan, complete sale, select payment, print receipt, so that errors are less likely to happen.
If you have several product promotions happening at once, it may be hard for staff to remember them all. However, with an EPoS system all special offers are already built in so that as a member of staff enters a promotional product the system will automatically adjust the prices according to the offer. In addition, if the customer has missed the offer, such as 2 for 1, the EPoS system can remind the user that this item is linked to a promotion.
If you have a particular message that needs to be communicated to all staff, a simple way to do this is through an EPoS system, where such information can be relayed to staff on a group or individual basis. You may also need to remind staff to follow certain procedures when particular items are sold, such as alcoholic drinks, medication or cigarettes. An EPoS system can be programmed to alert the user to ask a question or check for ID as and when necessary.
Access by department
Accounts, store managers, sales, warehouse or distribution staff can each have access to information that its relevant to the running of each department via an EPoS system. With the ability to make informed and instant decisions, your team will be more equipped to do their job to the best of their ability without the need constant guidance from multiple sources.
It is often the case that employee’ objectives are based on insufficient and inaccurate information. As a result businesses have been known to create a combination of unreasonable or uninspiring targets that have no real business value. With the assistance of an EPoS system you can motivate staff by setting goals that are both relevant and good for business. For example, knowing last years Christmas sales figures in terms of product and also sales by store or staff member, gives you an automatic new goal for the new year that is realistically possible to beat and in addition brings with it a comfortable level of competition among staff.
Lush, international cosmetics retailer, adopted a technology platform that can support decision making in order to drive in store profitability and deliver savings. Its employees throughout the business use its system. “It is very easy for all of our staff to use, even with varying levels of technical experience,” said Scott Silverthorn, head of data services at LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. “It is used by many different parts of the business, and allows us to continually make insights into our company. Some of the shop managers have told us they have had their most profitable year ever because the system has brought together the data they need to manage their sales, their stock and their staffing. By pulling it together in one place for analysis, it allows them to make the right decision.”
The system is deployed across the entire LUSH organisation. The retail accounts team is aware of sales by store as well as ledgers, petty cash and so on. Shop managers and employees on the shop floor have live access to their sales information and stock position. The manufacturing department can facilitate orders between the factory and the shops, and can keep an eye on stock position around the country. In addition, the payroll department also uses the technology to combine all of the data from timesheets and pay systems where they can view absences, staffing costs and where profits are made. With 70% of staff accessing the system every day, LUSH can also promote a healthy sense of competition across retail sites. “At LUSH, our colleagues are naturally very inquisitive people and giving them access to data means they can find ways to improve performance to do a better job,” added Silverthorn.
If you’d like to find out more about the advantages of an EPoS system or upgrading your existing solution, expert help is available. Contact us for advice on the right EPoS system for your environment and receive a free quote.