It's efficient business all the way with an EPoS system
By it's very nature an EPoS system delivers efficiency - efficiency of customer service, stock management, staffing levels. You name it, and it'll be efficient.
Much of its effectiveness comes from its ability to instantly save a business time through the simplification and automation of everyday tasks, and therefore redirecting any saved energy into other business activities. Following this, if your business is working in a way that it isn't as resourceful as it could be, with an EPoS system to guide you, you'll quickly become aware and able to make any crucial changes. What's more with omni-channel selling accelerating within the retail space, EPoS can also be relied upon to bring all selling channels together into one central, management system. So, rather than thinking of a website and store, for example, as separate departments of your business utilising different staff and selling tactics, you can instead join up the thinking. EPoS encourages you and your employees to combine resources and bring all channels of a business together to create a single selling concept and business strategy that then filters across each department. Therefore, no matter what type of business you run, retail, hospitality, leisure, etc, best practice will operate throughout.
Once an EPoS system is installed, efficiency will come in many forms :
Recognising where your business is lacking is a first port of call when trying to improve efficiency. Using EPoS reporting tools it is far easier to spot the weak points in your operation, as well as the ones that are clearly working, in order to get an understanding of how to replicate this elsewhere. For example, if your online platform is benefiting from higher sales through marketing then perhaps the techniques used here can be applied to in store as well.
These days not everything needs to be hand written and filed, taking up precious minutes of your day and space in your work place. With an EPoS system, most traditional paper-based items like orders, sales reports and receipts can be managed and stored digitally. Not only will this give you a more orderly working environment, but the items kept on file will also be available at the click of a button anytime and anywhere.
One of the great perks of EPoS is that it can automate common, everyday tasks, whether it's serving a customer, doing the stock check, placing an order, planning the next marketing campaign or creating a business report. Thanks to inbuilt tools like a handheld scanner, barcode producer, an in depth product database or multichannel overviews, any operation will generally be much faster when managed by an EPoS system.
Complicated, manual and time consuming activities are a thing of the past once EPoS gets involved. Staff of all abilities generally find tasks a lot easier to complete without assistance, such as large stock counts or till point sales and returns. Plus, with everyone finding it easier to do their jobs it's often the case that focus and productivity levels go up. You'll probably wonder why you didn't get one sooner.
If only you had more hours in a day. Well, with EPoS helping you to manage your business, you'll have just that. Automated, faster and simpler operations all lead to more free time for you and your staff. So, while your employees get round to doing all those things on your to do list and focus on more profitable activities, you can make a start on that business plan or perhaps you can just finally afford to take a day off.
Do you ever wish that you could get a single overview of your business, without having to spread several folders and documents out across your desk or floor even? Or, perhaps you always find that item that you need to review isn't where you left it, preventing you from getting on with that pressing task. Fear not, EPoS is here yet again to make life simpler by compiling all your business data in one single, central and digital location.
Keeping all you work related items at the ‘office' so to speak, be that a convenience store, restaurant or charity shop, clearly makes good business sense. Doesn't it? Of course that means that you can only get things done when you are on site, and isn't that frustrating? If you had an EPoS system, this wouldn't be the case at all. Instead you would have much of your management information available to you through a central network that you or any other manager can reach remotely, 24/7; affording you the convenience of working in a way that suits you.
With EPoS on your side is won't take long before your business is running in a smooth and consistent manner. With staff and stock management working to best practice, all your departments will be able to perform to their full potential.
Dustan Steer, IT Director at Ted Baker the fashion retailer, sees EPoS as a route to "equip the business with the right tools and processes to streamline operations and reduce people-intensive activities". A great example of how retailers and service businesses can use technology to improve operations is e-retailer Amazon. In order to make its system as efficient as possible all of its products are listed and managed by one central product inventory that stores all data and guides staff accordingly, much like with any EPoS system. This approach can work equally as well for a small-scale retail outlet or a chain of restaurants that need to track goods coming and going from stock. In Amazon's case, as soon as a product is delivered to Amazon's warehouse area it is sorted, scanned, checked in and stored. A central system identifies where there is storage space, and then staff place products as directed and scan them once again so their location is recorded. This set-up could easily benefit an assistant that needs to store a new arrival of stock. Of course Amazon, the technology superstar that it is, is able to go even further with this and when a product picker later receives an order to collect, the system works out the most efficient route to do so and a hand held scanner works as a sat nav to direct them to the product.
A smaller sized business probably wouldn't need to go to this extreme to locate goods, but with EPoS it's a possibility. The next step is relevant to both Amazon and a smaller business, whereby once an item is collected it is then scanned again to provide shipping instructions such as the correct packaging to put it in, or in your case it might advise how to display in store or where to place it in the bar. Finally an automatic, system managed label machine then labels each item and it goes on to one of Amazon's carriers, or in your case perhaps on the shelf for sale. As Amazon has adopted the principle of continuous improvement to help it achieve its aim to get products to the customer perfectly, any problems are logged on the system for review and solving by management - a source of communication that EPoS would also be able to provide to your business.
As we have just outlined, the great thing about EPoS is that it is beneficial to both large and small businesses. Not everyone needs to operate on such a mass scale as Amazon, and yet the advantages found within EPoS are just as relevant to a smaller company. Andrew Howson, owner of Sitka Surf shop and retail clothing store in New Zealand, likes the simple, digital side of EPoS providing the ability to run most of his business without paper. Like amazon he uses it in several areas of his business; all sales, customers and purchases can sync seamlessly with his online accounting tool and to build stock orders he only needs to walk around his store with an iPad, adding items to a consignment, that is then emailed to suppliers.
Meanwhile, Asda one of the 'big four' supermarkets, introduced a new EPoS technology to a specific area of its store. In order to speed up its till sales and provide a calmer purchasing process, the store used an EPoS system to automatically scan products on a conveyor belt using a 360-degree scanner. The idea behind the technology is that it provides a method of hands-free shopping that has the potential to increase scanning speeds by up to 300% by cutting queue time in half and preventing customers from feeling rushed. According to the store's website: "You just stick your shopping on the conveyor belt, watch it pass through the 360-degree laser scanner and then pack it all up in the bagging area." To make the process even faster, the till point has two bagging areas so that it can be used by two shoppers at once; while one person is loading their shopping to be scanned and paid for, the other customer can bag their shopping. Mark Ibbotson, Asda retail director, said: "Mums tell us one of the main things they want us to do for them is save them time. We're always looking at ways we can improve their shopping experience – and Rapid Scan is a technological triumph in that area".
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.