Cash Register, Point of Sale & Credit Card Information Central

Remote Reporting at Events: What's It Worth?

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 @ 02:23 PM

ipad_wIcons_SMOne of the great things about technology is the time saving capacity associated with automating mundane tasks. Everyone is looking for ways to squeeze as much time out of the day as possible. As most event coordinators know, time really is money. When you rely on making your money over the course of a single week or maybe just a weekend, you have to breathe productivity. It has to be second nature.

When you’re up against the clock, every minute of the day, what are your options for saving time? At the end of a 14…15…16-hour sales day, the last thing you need is to spend hours going from register to register, stand to stand running reports, hand entering data into a spreadsheet, and calculating inventory numbers to do it all again tomorrow. That seems like the perfect place to implement a time saving, technological advancement.

Granted, the technology to perform remote reporting has been around a long time. A system that allowed inter-terminal communication was first implemented by a chain of department stores in 1973. The earliest microprocessor used in a point of sale system was developed for McDonalds in 1974. This allowed for price changes and reports to be performed from any terminal if changed to manager mode.  After several iterations, POS systems became much more accessible when they were integrated into a Windows platform in 1992. Until very recently, all these options required a great deal of infrastructure to operate. This left short-term, pop-up retailers with no alternatives in locations that didn’t have the necessary hard lines already in place.

In the last few years, cellular data transmission and cloud based storage have leveled the playing field for the event industry. Now, connecting a compatible wireless router to a cash register can facilitate sales data transmission. Tablet-based POS software offers an even more mobile option for making sales and consolidating sales figures in the cloud.

retail_event_SM

Now, let’s do a little real world analysis of what using a technology like this does to the bottom line for a few sample events.  These examples represent a events of differing scopes.

Scenario #1 – Merchandise sales at a 3 day conference.  Eight cash registers are used to keep track of the sales of 450 items that include clothing of various sizes and styles, reference materials, books and CDs or digital download cards. All the terminals are set up in the same store area.

Scenario #2 – Concession sales at a week-long festival. In this instance, there are a total of 120 registers in 30 locations spread out across the fair grounds. Each stand has between 10 and 50 items they are selling, with an average of 24 items. There are also 18 different vendors, some overseeing multiple stands, which need to receive their own reports as well.

To collect and record the information from paper reports, here are some reasonable estimates on the time it takes for each step.

The average travel time between locations is 2.5 min.

Printing, gathering and organizing the reports at each stand can be done in 5 min per stand.

Entering the data from each report into a spreadsheet takes about 2 minute per report.

The item report takes time to find each item on the spread sheet, match it to the printed report and record the number of items and dollar amount. Short lists mean items are easier to find and take less time, around 18 items per minute. Long lists take more time to match items and cuts productivity down to 10 items per minute.

Scenario 1  

To gather the reports, here is the time required. 2.5 min to get to the register area + 5 min to run/collect the reports + 2.5 min to get back to the office = 10 min
To enter the data from the financial reports; 2 min x 8 registers = 16 min
To enter the data from the item reports; 450 items/10 items per min x 8 registers = 360 min or 6 hours
In total, that’s 6hr 26min per day x 3 days = 19.3 hours of time spent.

You may have someone to do the running around and entering data for you, for maybe $15-20/hour. More than likely, you would want a trusted individual on the financial team or even yourself doing this type of work.

aerial_veiw_of_festival_SMScenario 2     

To collect reports for the festival, here is the time involved. 2.5 min x 30 locations + 5 min x 30 locations = 225 min
To enter data from financial reports: 2 min x 120 reg = 240 min
To enter data from item reports: 24 items/20 items per min x 120 registers = 160 min
When we total this time, we get 225 min + 240 min + 160 min = 625 min or 10.4 hours per day
Over the full 7 days of the event that comes to 72.8 hours spent on reports.

Again, who is designated to perform these tasks? To make sure they are done in a timely manner, it may take several people.  There are cases where the festival organizer needs to know overall totals and each vendor wants to know their own sales numbers. In this instance, data entry efforts would be doubled, or one party is stuck waiting for the other to pass the info along. There is also a good chance you will want to know what the sales are after the lunch rush or after a certain session lets out. That means another round of running and collecting reports.

How much more could you get done if you had an extra 6 to 10 hours a day? How much could you save if you could reduce payroll by one or more people per day? How beneficial is it to you not to add a few more hours to your already long day waiting for reports? Consider the value in tracking your inventory, and verifying you are getting paid for each item.

laptop_wBridge_SMThe alternative is using electronic data transfer and cloud based reporting. This all but eliminates the time spent collecting reports and manually entering data. At any point during the day you can get an up-to-the-minute snapshot of your sales, segmented however you like; by vendor, stand, register or the entire event. The only time involved is in pulling up the website and selecting the type of report you want to see.

The reality is, during your event, there simply aren’t any “extra” hours. Therefore, it either becomes someone’s full time job to enter all the inventory data overnight or the next day, or it doesn’t get done. The ability to continuously check your sales, see what your top sellers are and preemptively coordinate restocking means you greatly reduce the risk of customers not getting what they want. It also speeds things up when they don’t have to wait for product to be delivered. Selling more items, and selling them faster means an increase in revenue. The bottom line, you’ll save on staffing and increase sales.

For a complete analysis of your specific event, contact American Metro for a Free Point of Sale Project Profile. With just a few simple questions, we will provide you with a cost/benefit comparison and help determine the ideal point of sale solution for you.

Tags: Events, M-Box, iPad

M-Box Credit Card Processing Demo Video

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Wed, Feb 05, 2014 @ 12:46 PM

Seing is believing, right? With as often as the m-Box gets mentioned around here, it would be nice to actually see what it can do. Well, here's your chance to catch it in action. This promo video covers the basics of using the m-Box for credit card processing as well as highlighting the benefits of the online reporting component. You can even get a glimpse of what the online web portal looks like.

If you would like to know more about the how American Metro can boost the productivity of you business with a cash register and credit card processing, or to get a quote, just click the button below.

I'd Like a FREE Quote

Tags: Event Planning, Credit Card Equipment, M-Box

mBox - Wireless Credit Card Processing

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 @ 11:53 AM

We at American Metro strive to help our customers find the ideal solutions to their cash register, credit card processing and point of sale needs. With over 30 years in business, we have collected a vast knowledge of the workings of the retail world and we look forward to sharing that with you. We hope you will find this blog useful as we post helpful hints on how to get the most out of your cash register, fill you in on the lastest point of sale technology, or share our experiences from some of our on-site locations.

mBox Wireless Credit Card ModemFor instance, let's take a quick look at our newest wireless credit card modem made by Sterling Payment Technologies, simply named the "mBox". Made from military grade components and running on the Verizon network, this modem boasts consistanly fast tranaction speeds. In fact, while at a recent tradeshow held inside a convention center, credit card payments were being processed and completed within 2-3 seconds after being swiped.

This opens up viable wireless solutions even in structures with large amounts of concrete or places where the average cell phone coverage is sketchy at best. In many convention centers or large outdoor venues, getting hard lines or internet drops average $10,000 per access point. 

Online Reporting

The mBox is also equipped another major cost saving option, Online Reporting through Sterling Bridge. Think of all the man-hours it takes to collect reports, balance drawers, enter sales data into an accounting program and calculate final sales totals. With the mBox, running a report on the cash register will also upload all the data to an online web portal for instant access. This makes figuring totals from each register across multiple locations take a fraction of the time. Get a financial summary, or complete breakdown, PLU reports, time reports and more. With all this data available at your fingertips, it can easily be converted into multiple formats for import into your accounting software. 

There is also a real-time component that allows you to see sales as they happen. This information can help you stay ahead of potential changes in staffing needs or inventory levels. The best part is all this information without having to leave your desk.

For more information on whether the mBox is right for your next event, click the button below for a customized assessment of your point of sale need. You'll also get a free quote. 

I'd Like a FREE Quote

Tags: Rental, M-Box, Wireless Credt Card Processing

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.

I'd Like a FREE Quote

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