Cash Register, Point of Sale & Credit Card Information Central

Cash Register Training: Equipping Cashiers for Success

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

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Is your staff going to be ready to handle the rush of customers when the doors open? When it comes to making sure customer interactions run as efficiently as possible, the majority of the work falls to the cashier. When working events, the cashiering staff may include dozens or even hundreds of people over the course of a multi-day event. It makes sense to give them every advantage available in order to prepare for the sales situation they are facing. This is where training plays a key role. There are several pieces that can affect how well trained your staff will be when the doors open.

1. Programming - The first line of defense against frustration at checkout is to make sure the register is programmed logically and efficiently. Translating the sales elements needed for each transaction to setting them up on the system can be a tricky procedure. It helps to have someone with plenty of experience on how to best utilize things like employee sign-in, discounts, vouchers, size modifiers, etc. 

2. Keyboard Layout - One of the things that takes the longest to learn is where each item is located on the keyboard or screen. The more items you are selling, the bigger the keyboard gets and the more time it takes to learn. On more complex touchscreen applications, you may be looking through multiple tabs to find the correct item. After your point of sale system is programed, you can provide your cashiers with the keyboard layout or screen shots. If they can have a couple days to familiarize themselves with what they will be looking at, they will be much more prepared for actual sales.

youtube3. Video Training - It seems just about everyone has a smart phone or tablet these days. With YouTube just a button away, another pre-emptive measure you can take, is to share our online training videos. Since the basic functionality of the Sam4s line of cash registers stays consistent across most models, these training videos will cover about 95% of what the cashier needs to know to run a register.  

4. Cheat Sheets - Much like a security blanket, a cheat sheet with written instructions covering everything you may have forgotten help you feel safe. These short instruction guides are provided with each event rental. They will often get emailed ahead of time and are included with each register.

5. Phone Training - After your equipment arrives, and you've had a chance to press a few buttons and perform a few test transactions, you may still have some questions. Calling the support line will get you the help you need, anytime of day. 

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6. On-site Support - Nothing beats the personal touch. When the cashiers are finally able to stand in front of the equipment and try it out, they move from knowledgeable to comfortable. An on-site technician will cover everything from the basics of processing transactions, to specialty programming and is available to answer any questions along the way. Whether you want this service just for setup and the first day of sales or throughout the whole event, the service tech will be there to keep you up and running.

At American Metro, our training and event services can to increase your event's profitability. Being prepared is a great way to start. If you have questions on how much time and preparation is needed to get the staff prepared on your cash registers or POS systems, we would be happy to assist you.

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Tags: Training, Event Planning, Cash Registers

How many Cash Registers do I Need?

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Wed, Jan 08, 2014 @ 10:33 AM

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Have you ever wished there was an easy way to accurately calculate your equipment requirements? We’ve had many requests to help answer this question over the years.

Why this question is important:

  • Guests don’t want to wait in long lines.
  • You need enough equipment to get you through the crunch times.
  • Spending more than is necessary for equipment or personnel is counterproductive.
  • There is a limited amount of counter space available.
  • Accurately completing a transaction saves time and money.
  • A percentage of your customers prefers to use a credit/debit card instead of cash

Our team of on-site managers and technicians has been personally involved in events covering all ends of the spectrum. We’ve identified over 20 factors that can greatly influence the checkout process.

Where to start

The first thing we look at is the expected attendance or expected revenue from your event. If you know this, you’re well on your way. One or both of these numbers are generally available from historical data or new events can be estimated based on similar events.

A few of the other factors we use to complete the calculation are:

  • How many days is your event?
  • What are the hours each day?
  • Are there sales spikes during your event? (i.e., When a concert lets out; At the end of a session)
  • How many sales areas (vendors) are at the venue?

The rest of the questions are equally easy to answer. When the right questions are asked and answered, the correct result is achieved.

Additional benefits

Another positive outcome of going through this exercise is identifying a handful of procedures that may cost you valuable time at checkout. Having done thousands of events, we’ve seen
the impact of these small variables; each makes a difference of perhaps only a couple seconds. When you multiply it out, two or three seconds times 20+ variables can double or triple the amount of time it takes to perform a simple transaction. With a slight modification, you could speed up your lines and require fewer cash registers.

Bottom line: happier guests; lower expenses.

For more information or a needs evaluation, contact Tim Mueller at American Metro using the button below.

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Tags: Events, Event Planning, Cash Registers

American Metro Commercial #3

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 @ 03:45 PM

Happy Friday! We have reached the final week for posting our new commercials. This last installment features a situation most of us are familiar with because of all the prime-time police dramas out there. Today, we are taking a look at stake-outs, so it's time to ask, what would it look like if American Metro made surveillance easy?

Well, that's the last one. We'd love to hear what you thought and which was your favorite. For a more practical approach of how American Metro can simplify the point of sale challenges at your upcoming event, click the request a quote button below.

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Tags: Cash Registers, M-Box, Wireless Credt Card Processing

American Metro Commercial #2

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Fri, Apr 05, 2013 @ 03:45 PM

Happy Friday. As promised, we have the second in our series of our commercials covering how we take the complex world of event management and point of sale logistics and make it easy. With all the attention being given to the national budget, we thought that would be the perfect situation to which we could draw a parallel. So here it is; what would it look like if American Metro made balancing the budget easy?

We will have one more commercial for you next week, so come back again and cast your vote for which commercial was your favorite.

Tags: Cash Registers, M-Box, Wireless Credt Card Processing

American Metro Commercial #1

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 @ 04:45 PM

At American Metro, we make selling stuff easy. A lot of people don't realize how complicated it can be to make an event run smoothly without professional involvement. To help explain how much the point of sale process can be simplified, we created a series of commercials demonstrating how activities people might be more familiar with would be different if American Metro was involved.

The first commercial covers what it would be like if we made boxing easy. We will be releasing the other commercials over the next two weeks. Check them out and let us know which one is your favorite. 

Tags: Training, Cash Registers

2012 Cash Register Rental Statistics

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 @ 04:02 PM

With the steady growth we have experienced over the last several years, it's hard to say what an average year looks like at American Metro. Nonetheless, we do like tracking our register rentals each year. Here's some of the stats from 2012.

2012 Register Rental Stats

As you can see, American Metro deals in all types of events spread across the country. To further break down the distribution, we shipped registers to 24 states, plus the District of Columbia, and Brittish Columbia, Canada.

The majority of events (51%) fell under the Pop-up Merchandise category. This type of event averaged 8 registers per rental. 

Sporting events comprised the second most frequent type of event at 20% of our rentals. They tend to use more registers with an average of 36 per event.

The numbers listed only include those events that used registers. When factoring in events that just used credit card equipment, the final event count is over 300 with total equipment reaching over 5,400 units rented.

If you would like to find out how the experienced team at American Metro can help with your event, click the button below. 

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Tags: Events, Cash Registers, Rental

Key attributes to consider when reviewing a cash register system:

Posted by Haley Kavanaugh on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 @ 02:37 PM

There are many things to be considered when choosing the right cash register system for your business or event. Some of these attributes are often over looked or forgotten about by many individuals. As a solution, we have provided a list of things to consider and help make your decision an easier one.

Raised or flat keyboard?Keyboards: Raised or Flat? A number of people use a raised keyboard for the traditional button “feel”. Raised keys have more moving parts and tend to wear out faster. The flat keyboards provide a more modern look, are easier to update and are dirt and spill resistant, which is ideal for environments in the food/beverage/concessions industry.

Plastic or Steel base?Register base: Plastic or Steel? While plastic is initially more cost effective and most commonly found in registers, the steel base will be more durable after multiple uses and last over the years. A steel base is ideal if needing transportation because plastic bases tend to break or crack. At that point you would simply need to replace the register since there are little to no options in ordering parts for plastic base registers.

Ink or Thermal PrinterReceipt printing: Ink or Thermal? Ink printing has become obsolete in most cash register printers.  Thermal printing has become the standard because they are clean, quick and quiet. Ink printing is still the better option for restaurant kitchen printing however, because thermal paper reacts to the heat lamps.

Paper or Electronic Journal?Journal: Paper or Electronic? If you're an accountant at heart and like holding on to hard copy data, a paper journal is the way to go. However, they are more likely to get lost or ruined and takes up valuable office space storing and organizing the information. An electronic journal tends to be easier to organize and store.

Stand-beside or Integrated Credit CardsCredit Card: Integrated or Stand beside? Registers capable of integrated credit card processing have a higher cost than those without. Integration allows for faster and more accurate transactions with the entire sale being performed on one machine. End of the day settlements are also streamlined.

Replace or Internal BatteriesBattery Backup: Replacable Battery or Internal Rechargeable? Registers with replacable battery backups tend have a lower purchase cost, but have a maintenance cost. If you forget to change a dead battery and the register loses power, you end up losing all your programming. Now, you will need to pay or learn to do it all again, which is expensive and takes up valuable time.

Singular setups or networked together?Communication: Inter-register communication (IRC) or not? Having the option to network registers together is vital for most businesses which use inventory tracking, make global program updates, or gather consolidated reports. If you're only using one register, the IRC feature is not needed.

If you are looking through cash register options and run into something that could use some clarification, leave a comment and we would be happy to explain. You can also check into pricing using the request a quote button.

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Tags: Cash Registers, Service

Maximize Profitability at Your Festival with a Cash Register

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Fri, Feb 01, 2013 @ 04:01 PM

Cash registers at the Red Bull Air RaceHow do you ensure the revenue generating areas of your festival are running efficiently?  It may seem like a daunting task to manage the ticketing, merchandise and food vendors, but it can be easier than you might think. Here are a few tips designed to enhance the experience of the customer, vendor and event promoter by using the right point of sale system; a win/win/win situation.

1. Increase transaction speed

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The ability to serve more customers in less time has the most direct impact on bringing in more revenue. Even the basic functions of a cash register make taking orders much faster than operating out of a cash box or apron.

   a. Orders are taken faster with preprogrammed item buttons or scanning. 
   b. Calculating and recording totals is instant

2. Improve accuracy

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In addition to being faster, many benefits of a cash register are designed to increase accuracy. The less often people do math in their heads, the less likely errors will occur. This is particularly helpful when coming up with sale totals as well as giving change.

3. Prevent theft 

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The value of having a secure cash drawer can drastically reduce cash being pocketed. Coupled with a system that records not only every transaction, but also every time the drawer is opened, greatly increases accountability.

 

4. Incentivize purchases 

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Offering an incentive to customers has its benefits. Implementing an offer like “Get your meal for free if we don’t offer you a receipt” serves multiple purposes. The lure of free stuff brings in more customers, the vendors will welcome increased traffic, and the festival organizer keeps vendors accountable knowing they now must record every transaction. 
 

5. Identify hot sellers

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Running out of product can lead to slow lines, or worse, lost customers. Analyze peak selling times and identify the best-selling products through detailed reporting options. This level of preparation will help meet the demands of the customer.

 

6. Simplify vendor settlements 

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In environments where festival organizers settle with vendors on a commission-based system, the final accounting process can be very time consuming. Wireless data streaming allows the festival organizer to monitor each vendors’ sales. No more pouring over a mountain of paperwork or buckets of soggy tickets.
 

7. Diversify payment options 

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Making payment options as simple and accessible as possible for the customer impacts the bottom line. Giving the customer the ability to pay with a credit card only provides more opportunity for sales. Studies have shown that the average customer will spend up to 55% more when they pay with a credit card.
 

8. Minimize downtime

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Professional expertise can make a huge impact should problems arise. A proactive approach by getting training and a general knowledge base can help. Having the added support of a professional available by phone 24/7, or a dedicated on-site support technician to handle any issues provides peace of mind.
 

9. Streamline ticket counting 

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The benefits of tracking tickets exchanged in a transaction are just as important as cash. Fortunately, a cash register can provide an accurate count of tickets used as currency. Make the uncertainty of counting or weighing tickets more concrete with corroborating sales data. 

10. Avoid high purchase costs 

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Why worry about the large investment required to the purchase the point of sale equipment required operate an entire festival?  Why waste the hours it takes to program the registers? Rent cash registers from American Metro and get a quality product that is pre-programmed and ready to use. You will have access to the nation’s largest cash register rental company. 

To download this list or get more information about renting a point of sale solution that fits your festival or event, click the button below or contact American Metro directly.

Download Tip Sheet

Tags: Events, Cash Registers, Point Of Sale

Point of Sale for Sporting Events

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 @ 01:47 PM

American Metro is no stranger to supplying point of sale equipment to sporting events. In fact, it was because of the 1991 U.S. Open at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN that the Metro Rental Division came into being. Since that time, American Metro has provided cash registers, credit card equipment and point of sale systems to hundreds of sporting events to handle their ticketing, concession and merchandise needs

Merchandise Sales National Finals RodeoThe key component to making vending for sports successful is speed.  No one wants to be stuck in line when there’s a risk of missing a game changing play, so the best way to keep your customers happy is by helping them get back to the action. There are 3 things that can make all the difference when it comes to pleasing the masses.

  • Preparation
  • Confidence
  • Reliability

1 – Preparation: Making sure you have the right equipment at the right quantities to keep lines moving is a necessity. Analyze your point of sale needs and be sure to factor in things like expected attendance, high traffic bursts, physical store/stand layout, etc. to make sure you run at peak efficiency. Another aspect of being prepared includes ensuring each unit is programmed and ready for sales upon arrival.

2 – Confidence: The biggest factor in maintaining a smoothly flowing checkout experience is centered on the cashier. The cashier needs to be familiar enough with the system to quickly process orders as they come in. This is achieved with a combination of having user-friendly equipment, thorough training, back-up reference guides and professional support. With a comprehensive system like that in place, your cashiers will feel like experts.

3 – Reliability:  Once the systems are in place and the staff is ready to go, the final hurdle to overcome is downtime. To keep downtime to a minimum, have professional technicians perform regular maintenance on each piece of equipment. Thermal, drop and load printers reduce paper jams and paper refilling time. Wireless credit card processing is performed over the Verizon network for maximum coverage and the m-Box technology transmits data in as little as 2 seconds.  Together, this makes for a consistently reliable experience.

If you would like help in any of these areas for your next event, the staff at American Metro is ready to assist you.

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Tags: Cash Registers, Wireless Credt Card Processing

Cash Register Security

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Mon, Nov 05, 2012 @ 03:18 PM

The cash register has always been a great way for merchants to protect themselves from employee theft.  In fact, that is the original purpose of the cash register when it was invented in 1879. Recording each sale allows a store owner or manager to verify that they have what they are supposed to have. Reducing the opportunity for theft is the definition of security.

mounting progressionHow do you reduce the opportunity for outside security threats? In today's rental environment, where cash registers need to be easily transported for quick setup and removal, these benefits for the merchant are also potential opportunites for thieves.  What's to stop someone from coming up to a counter, grabbing the whole register and walking away with a drawer full of cash? How about a custom built, steel case that's mounted to the counter and locks the register in place.

Well, that's the solution we at American Metro develped for Experient who was setting up some seasonal mall kiosks. A metal case was sent with each register. During setup, the metal case was screwed to the counter. Then the register was slid into place from the front of the case. A security arm was then lowered over the front of the registerand locked closed. This provided security for the contents of the register and kept the point of sale equipment safe as well.

As an added precaution against equipment damage, we recommend that any time there is no cash in the register, the drawer be left open. In times where any would-be thieves get access to a register, it's better they see nothing inside and move on rather than breaking into a register that has nothing for them anyway.

For more information about how American Metro can help keep your hard earned money secure from internal and external threats, contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Tags: Cash Registers, Rental