American Metro Blog

Get a PhD in POS

Posted by Tim Mueller on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 @ 11:02 AM

Learn from the Point of Sale Professionals

Our unique area of expertise is Special Event Systems (such as temporary fireworks stands). In the Special Event environment, speed is king. The more people you can get through the line, the happier your customers are and the more money you make. It really is exactly that simple.

Because our emphasis is on Special Event Systems, we ask ourselves these 3 questions every day:

How can it be faster? How can it be simpler? How can you get better information?
1. How can we make it faster? 2. How can we make it simpler? 3. How can we give you better information?

In 2008, when we really made fireworks our focus, our efforts were on increasing speed and simplicity. The best way to increase speed at checkout we learned from the grocery industry back in the 70’s. Scanning was and still is the single greatest way to increase speed. Back then, almost no one was scanning fireworks. Having all products barcoded in the fireworks industry was the bigger challenge. The term Universal Product Code (UPC) wasn’t very universal in China in 2008. Creating an accurate product database was a little like sorting snowflakes. Today’s cloud based solutions allow you to add or edit products in seconds. Whether you select individual terminals or 100 at a time, the ability to do so just multiplied your efficiency.

The next hurdle was how to accept credit cards in the middle of a cornfield? The answer was simple, the implementation was not. Cellular technology made it possible, however it was very cost prohibitive. There were systems out there costing thousands of dollars. For a very short selling season, it just wasn’t feasible. When we introduced the M-box system, which made it possible to do it with a system integrated into simple, inexpensive cash register, it was a complete game changer. No internal connectivity required! No re-entering amounts. People that hadn’t previously accepted credit cards saw increases in sales by as much as 26%.

Along with integrated processing, the sales data was sent to the cloud for you, so you didn’t have to visit the middle of the cornfield any more. Way better information at the touch of a button. Reporting from anywhere you can get on the internet. Financial Data, Item Data; by register, by location or your entire operation.

2 years ago, brought about a big shift. E.M.V. Chip card technology. We in the industry called it a giant step backwards. We all remember the early adaptors; transactions taking 30 seconds or more. It was about a death sentence in our Special Event environment where speed is king. Today’s EMV devices are nearly as fast as a swiped transaction. We now have wireless (cellular) systems that processes a chip card in under 3 seconds. You have the security of the chip with the speed of a swiped transaction.

About the same time, tablet technology really began to snowball. And for good reason. The third question got answered in a big way; How can we give you better information? With an app that addresses the unique requirements of the retail fireworks industry, the information is all there. Unfortunately, very few apps fit well into the fireworks mold. Make sure whoever you decide to partner with for your point of sale needs really understands the retail fireworks business. There are some unique elements to your business.

Tracking all the different discount types:

  • Mix and Match
    • Buy 1, get 1 free
    • Buy 1, get 2 free
    • Buy 3 of these, get 1 of those free
    • Buy 1 of these, 1 of those and get 1 of the other free
  • 10, 20, 30, 50, 100% off an individual item
  • 25, 50, 75, 100% off an entire sale

Inventory Tracking

  • Tracking product from the warehouse to each location
  • Tracking product movement between locations
  • Knowing current stock levels at every location
  • How much is due back at the end of the season

Tablet technology is here to stay. The reporting is amazing in many ways and helps your business be much more efficient. We will continue to look for ways to make it faster all the time.


Tags: Event Planning, Cash Registers, Rental, Credit Card Equipment, iPad

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