Wednesday, April 30, 2014

POS Comparison Guide - Updated

Update November 9th, 2014. I can confirm that Bindo, Clover, and Silver have now added the following:

Bindo POS: basic invoicing and quoting functions

First Data Clover (still restricted to using First Data for merchant services): Item attributes, modifiers and barcode label printing.

NCR Silver: Barcode label printing and QuickBooks Accounting interface.

Note that some of the added features may require paying an additional fee and/or using third party software.

As I try to stay on top of the more popular solutions on the market, here is an updated overview and chart showing the more popular retail point of sale solutions for computers and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. This is a great 'snapshot' but be sure to contact me directly at or 208-340-5632 for more detailed information/questions (no charge for advice/help) or if you spot an error.

Retail Solution Comparison
Cash Registers – variety of models from $500 to $2000. Optional programming, training and installation services. Designed for retail stores and restaurants of any gross sales volume.

NCR Silver – iOS Based (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) point of sale system for single location retail stores and restaurants. $29-$79/month plus hardware costs. Designed for businesses that need minimal inventory tracking (ie. Kiosks, 2nd hand stores, thrift stores).

Microsoft RMS Store Operations - $6000+ for a complete point of sale system (includes software, hardware, computer, hardware, installation, training, and ongoing support). Designed for single to multi-location retailers with only basic technology needs (no built-in email marketing, no integrated online shopping cart, no smart phone/tablet needs). Designed for gross annual sales of $400,000+.

NCR CounterPoint - $9000+ for a complete point of sale system (includes software, hardware, computer, training, installations, and on-going support). Designed for single to multi-location retail stores with high technology needs (integrated email marketing, integrated online shopping cart, use on a smart phone/tablet computer, automated email or texts on store activity). Best for retail stores generating $750,000+ annually per location.

Bindo POS - iOS Based (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) point of sale sale system for single and multiple location retail stores. $79-$149/month plus hardware costs (free hardware offer – contact me for details). Designed for specialty retail stores who want a full functioning tablet based point of sale system.

Clover – Android tablet based point of sale system for single and multiple location retail stores and restaurants. Unknown pricing at this time due to product acquisition by First Data. Clover is designed for retail stores and restaurants who only need basic sales tracking information but would rather have a tablet system versus a cash register.

Retail Pro Prism- $7K-$9K Browser based Modular POS Application. Deploy on iOS, Windows, Android or even mini-devices. Market first Mobile 2.0 Solution, Real-Time, Scalable to tie to back end RPRO or an ERP solution. Lower demands on hardware. Database Neutral – Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL. Fully customizable User Interface (UI). Automated email reporting for store. Best for retail stores generating $750,000+ annually per location.

Retail Pro v9- $9000+ for a complete turnkey point of sale solution (includes software, hardware, computer, training, installation, and refundable support). Scalable single to multi-location retail stores with high technology needs (Near Real time communication, Customizable Screens and documents throughout, integrated online shopping cart, automated email reporting, Franchise capable, Mobile POS options iPhone, iPod touch, Prism POS ). Best for retail stores generating $750,000+ annually per location.

Tabby from Samsung – Unique solution that runs on any device with a web browser (PC, Mac, tablet, smartphone, computers, etc.). Purchased, installed, and supported by Samsung dealers. Designed for retail stores and restaurants. More information coming soon.

Update June 2044 - Clover now has a barcode label printing app which has a monthly cost of $5 to use
No – Not Available
Yes – Available and Included
Third Party – Available through third party and additional charges may apply
n/a – Not Applicable
Some Models – Only available in some models
Available – Available and additional charges may apply
-Kevin Antosh: or 208-340-5632

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

More Information for Microsoft RMS Users

A quick reminder that sales of Microsoft Dynamics RMS and HQ to new users as well as mainstream support ends next year (2016) so please keep that in mind if you are thinking of purchasing RMS or HQ as point of sale software for your business or organization (not a wise investment at this point).

Another great article related to the recent 2014 Retail Realm conference and the future of Microsoft RMS Store Operations point of sale software:

Again, the advice that I am passing along to the folks that I have provided RMS to in the past is to consider these options:
  1. If you are current with your annual maintenance agreement, then you can wait and see if switching to Microsoft Retail Essentials makes sense or if you want to look at other point of sale solutions.
  2. Aside from support for RMS ending in 2016 or 2021 (depending on your agreement with your Microsoft Partner), there is nothing that would prevent you from continuing to use RMS unless RMS will not be EMV complaint (which would mean that you have until Oct 2015 to replace RMS).
  3. If you are not current with your maintenance agreement, then now is a great time to start exploring other point of sale options. 
Note that I am in the process of negotiating some point of sale software and support discounts for all RMS users - whether you continue to use RMS or not. 

Are you  in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice?  I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (I am on Mountain Time) or via email at There is also a contact form to the right that can be used to reach me.

At What Point Can You Afford a Tablet or SmartPhone Point of Sale System?

In the past, there was a general rule of thumb that your business should be generating $350,000 or more in annual gross sales to justify investing in a point of sale system. No so anymore. Tablet and smartphone based point of sale systems have made point of sale available to a business of just about any size. Even better, the next generations of tablet and smartphone systems (like Bindo) have many of the features and functions of a more expensive point of sale system. No longer are the tablet solutions just fancy cash registers with limited capabilities.
Looking at the businesses that I worked with over the last 15 years, tablet and smartphone point of sale solutions are perfect for businesses generating under $750,000 in annual gross sales like:
· Specialty Retail Stores
· Small Museums
· Gift Shops
· Small Golf Courses and Smaller Pro Shops
· Mobile or Kiosk Style Businesses
· Businesses that are Seasonal
· Business that sell at markets, trade shows, expos, etc
· School and Student Run Stores
This means that a whole new group of businesses have multiple options beyond just a cash register. Some folks have already purchased the early tablet systems like Clover and Silver (which have some limitations) while others will be very interested in solutions like Bindo which is a more complete solution.
Everyone has a unique situation but my personal experience would advise that the tablet solutions are best suited when your annual gross sales fall in to the $100,000 to $750,000 range. If you are generating under $100,000 in annual gross sales then it would still work if your business has very low overhead costs (ie: no rent, low cost of goods sold, service only, etc).
Confused? Perplexed? Have Comments/Feedback?
You can always email me at or call me at 208-340-5632 (I am on Mountain Time)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Microsoft RMS Store Operations Update

A quick reminder that sales of Microsoft Dynamics RMS and HQ to new users as well as mainstream support ends next year (2016) so please keep that in mind if you are thinking of purchasing RMS or HQ as point of sale software for your business or organization (not a wise investment at this point).

Update 28.June.2015 - special discount and incentive from a national NCR CounterPoint Partner for RMS and HQ users:

Quick update - I have mentioned that there are 40,000 users of the Microsoft Dynamics RMS Store Operations point of sale software - the actual number is 60,000.

So, the conference has ended and Microsoft made public their plans for the RMS POS software. The good news is that some of you will be eligible for some new software while others will need to invest in a new solution.

Since I have worked with nearly 500 stores and museums across the country that use the RMS solution, I will be doing my best to contact each of you to explain your options. Any and all RMS users are also welcomed to contact me at or 208-340-5632 for free advice on your different options. I will break things down in to two different scenarios:

Currently using RMS but Not Current on an Annual Maintenance Agreement:

  • Support for RMS will end in July of 2016 (no word on whether RMS will be updated for the EMV requirements coming up in 2015).
  • With no maintenance agreement, you need to consider the following options:
    • renewing your maintenance agreement
    • explore investing in a different point of sale solution
Currently Using RMS and Current on your Annual Maintenance Agreement:
  • If you are happy with your system then keep running as normal - you will be eligible for an equal numbers of licenses for newer point of sale software from Microsoft (but will still have to likely invest in costs related to labor and possible replacement hardware and peripherals).
  • If you have been thinking about upgrading, then it is a good time to look at other POS solutions on the market - you can always contact me for some free general advice.
Bottom Line: there is no sense of urgency at this point but it would be good to start looking at your options and have a plan in place before things get busy this fall.

Here is a link to a great article summarizing Microsoft's announcement related to RMS: 

Again, I can be reached at or 208-340-5632 if you want some free advice related to your specific situation.

Note to those of you needing to renew your annual maintenance agreement and/or need help with your RMS solution: I have a meeting with a national RMS Partner in a few weeks and hopefully they will be able to offer some more detailed options after we meet.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Onsite Installation and Training Options

Due to feedback from calls and emails received via this blog site, I wanted to pass along that there are some options related to onsite setup/installation and training with the purchase of the Bindo POS solution. The initial focus for the area that I cover will be Southern Idaho. Since I have former clients in the states of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming, I may look at expanding the onsite setup and training service based on client needs.

The cost for this will depend on travel time and complexity of the setup and training. In most cases this will fall into the $99 to $199 price range.

Since this is something fairly new, you can always contact me at or 208-340-5632 (email preferred as I have limited availability during normal business hours) for more details.

Ada Cash Register to Offer Supplies Nationally

I wanted to pass along that Ada Cash Register has negociated some new pricing on cash register paper, cash register ribbons, barcode or shelf tag labels, receipt paper, and receipt/kitchen printer ribbons that beats just about every price that I have seen online.

Whether you need a small or large amount of supplies, as long as you are in the US, Ada Cash Register can provide you with the supplies that you need. 

I  realize that this sounds more like an ad but I wanted to make folks aware of a great source for quality cash register and point of sale supplies at very comptative prices.

You can reach Ada Cash Register at 208-407-2202.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

VEND Receives Investment Funding to Expand

Auckland, New Zealand based Vend has received $8,000,000 in funding to expand operations in the United States and Australia. Note that the amount is in New Zealand dollars.

I haven't heard much about Vend other than it is a monthly fee based retail point of sale system designed to run on tablet computers (appears to be iPad based for sales functions and PS/Mac browser based for management functions).

Vend appears to offer the core point of sale functions along with some additional add-ons for more specific needs.

Since I have no personal experience with Vend, I can't pass along any detailed comments related to the functionality, satisfaction, reliability , or user satisfaction with Vend. I would make a general comment that there are already 100+ point of sale systems to choose from in the US so hopefully Vend will find the niche to differentiate what they can offer specialty retailers in a point of sale solution.

Note: I have asked Vend to schedule a demo of Vend and offer more details of what makes Vend different from the other POS solutions designed for mobile devices. I will let you know if I hear anything from them (24.April.2014).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Future of Microsoft RMS and RMS HQ

Updated information on Retail Management Hero as a direct replacement for RMS as of December 3rd, 2015:

New video discussing options for Dynamics RMS and HQ users as of December 5th, 2015:

A quick reminder that sales of Microsoft Dynamics RMS and HQ to new users as well as mainstream support ends next year (2016) so please keep that in mind if you are thinking of purchasing RMS or HQ as point of sale software for your business or organization (not a wise investment at this point).

Update 28.June.2015 - special discount and incentive from a national NCR CounterPoint Partner for RMS and HQ users:

For the 38,000 users of Microsoft RMS Store Operations (of which I know many of you personally):

Just a quick reminder that the Microsoft Retail  conference is this weekend (25.April.2014 - 26.April.2014). Microsoft has indicated that information will be shared related to the future of RMS and HQ.  This will finally allow the 35,000+ users of RMS to start planing for any upgrades or migrations that will need to be made over the next year.

I will post any and all information related to RMS as quickly as it becomes available to me (so please ignore any spelling and grammer errors).

I have also scheduled a meeting with a national RMS partner in May so I can also pass along information related to how a Microsoft Partner can assist both my personal former client base as well those of you using RMS and/HQ that I have not had a chance to meet yet.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Free Point of Sale Workshop in Boise, Idaho

Speaking of point of sale workshops...

Details of my next free workshop coming up on May 14th in Boise, ID.  I want to stress that this not a sales presentation but a valid informational workshop with a budget worksheet take-away.

Here is a link to more information:

Register soon - we ran out of chairs at my last workshop! I am available to conduct this workshop at other venues and events as needed.

You can also email me at or call/text me at 208-340-5632 (I am on Mountain Time) if you have any questions.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Factor in Comparing Monthly Fee's vs Outright Purchase

I have touched on the topic of outright purchasing a point of sale system (which will realistically run $6,000 - $12,000 per store) versus buying a system that charges you a flat monthly fee.  It appears that I may have skimmed over one critical difference between the two purchase options.

Traditional point of sale systems like Retail Pro, Microsoft RMS, and NCR CounterPoint charge an annual fee for keeping the software updated. A check of some of my records indicates that the annual "maintenance" fee runs around $200 - $500 per location. On top of that fee is the annual support (or help desk) agreements that usually run around $400 - $700 per year. 

If we average these costs out, and divide by 12 (for 12 months), we get around $75/month. That is a monthly or annual fee that you pay on top of the original purchase price!

Now, if we look at systems that charge a flat monthly fee (HarborTouch, LightSpeed, RICS, Bindo, Clover, Silver, etc.) - you just pay the flat monthly fee which normally includes updates and support.  Given that the monthly fee's start right around $49/month, that makes the monthly fee solutions very attractive.

Note that I am comparing only one aspect of a point of sale buying decision and the monthly versus intial purchase price is just one item to factor when finding the best point of sale solution for your business.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why This Blog Site Exists...

Many folks have asked me why this blog site even exists - especially since the site generates no ad revenue and as I am not currently employed full time within the point of sale industry.

When DirectPOS/RVP Business Systems closed back in September 2013, I initially intended to stop posting point of sale news and information on this site. However, with over 58K in views, a YouTube Channel and near daily calls or emails from folks having point of sale related questions, it became clear that this blog site still had a purpose.

That purpose is to provide free and unbiased point of sale advice, news and information. Please visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Looking to Expand Your Point of Sale Business?

A quick note to any point of sale partners/var's/dealers that might be looking to expand. I do have a list of ~3800 contacts with the majority of them being located in the states of Idaho, Utah, Montana, Oregon and Washington.  If you are thinking of expanding in to any of these markets with a true local presence for support and sales, please contact me at so was can set up a time to talk more.

I know that a lot of these contacts would enjoy having a local source for point of sale solutions!

Please note that I am not able to provide you with the contact list itself as these are clients and customers who are used to personal contact and do not want to end up on a telemarketing list.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Point of Sale Company or Provider has Been Sold, Bought Out, Acquired - What Do I Do?

One of the things that I have come across from working in the point of sale industry over the last 14 years is that companies do merge, go out of business, or are acquired by other companies. The biggest events that I can remember is when Sales Management Systems (QuickSell 2000, QuickSell HQ, and QuickSell Commerce) was acquired by Microsoft, Clover being acquired by First Data Corp, and DirectPOS selling off their customer list to other companies.

While this can't always be prevented or predicted, here are some things to ask or plan for in case this happens to you. Note that this information applies to both the company that you purchased your point of sale solutions from as well as the company that actually developed the point of sale software or app that you are using.

  • Always make sure that you always have full access to your customer, inventory, and vendor information in case you need to switch point of sale programs
  • Ask what will be happening related to support and related services
  • Have a contingency plan in case you need to switch point of sale programs
  • Find out the timeline for when things will be changing
  • (if you are being switched to a new company/partner/dealer) Look at references and reviews for the new company
  • Be aggressive in obtaining any information that you can find (don't wait and see what will happen)
  • Keep running your business!
  • Talk to the manufacture, if possible, to see what all your options might be
  • Don't let yourself be talked into having to purchase additional services or products
  • Talk to other customers in the same situation - you may be able to band together to look at all possible options
  • Don't follow blindly - again, check all your options 
This is not a complete list so please do comment or email me ( your own personal experiences and suggestions.

I know that I would have told customers to avoid One Step Retail Solutions (when DirectPOS sold their customer base to One Step Retail Solutions back in September of 2013) if I had known how poorly the customers would be treated by One Step Retail Solutions.  In many cases, you can choose who supports your point of sale system and can not be forced into choosing one company over another.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Point of Sale Buying Tip: Dealing With New Products

It can be time consuming to find just the right point of sale solution for your specialty retail store, restaurant, bar, or similar business. A recent websearch shows that there are well over 100+ point of sale apps and software programs to choose from!  A websearch also shows that there are a lot of new programs and apps available.

Over the last 14 years I have seen multiple point of sale solutions come and go (anyone remember Regit2000?). The most common scenario is that someone develops a point of sale solution and then loses interest in continuing to support and develop the solution. Orphaned customers using discontinued solutions made up a good portion of my business when I worked in the point of sale industry.

Here are some things to consider/ask when dealing with newer point of sale programs and apps:

  • What sort of funding does the company have?
  • Staffing levels for support and development (stay away from 1-2 person operations working out of their basement or garage)?
  • What is the timeline to product updates, new features, improvements, etc.?
  • How is technical support handled and what are the average response times?
  • When possible, see a live demo of the software to look for how quickly the software functions. Slow response times within the software (or app) are signs of poor coding within the software.
  • Always get 2-3 references to contact as well as any valid reviews to read.
  • If available, a free trial or demo of the solution is good as well since it allows you to take the program for a test drive and shows confidence on the companies part in the solution that they are offering.
  • Will I always have access to my information (inventory items, customer information, etc.)?
This is not a comprehensive list by any means - feel free to comment or email me ( with your own suggestions.