Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Top Tips and Best Practices for Selecting a Point of Sale System

A quick video in which I share some important tips and best practices when it comes to searching for a point of sale solution for your business:



Are you in the United States and in need of some free help or advice related to selecting the best point of sale system for your business?  In addition to having helped thousands of businesses find the best point of sale solution over the last 15 years, I have also secured some discounts and special offers from various trusted point of sale companies that might be of interest to you.


You can reach me via the contact form to the right, via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com or on my cell at 208.340.5632.




Monday, July 28, 2014

Best Point of Sale Systems for Museums

Right on the heels of folks asking me for advice in selecting the best point of sale system for a student store comes folks asking for advice related to the best point of sale solution for a museum.

I have worked with many museums across the United States over the years and also conducted gift shop and admissions technology solution workshops at various museum conferences. As museums vary greatly in size and operational budgets, here is what I have found to work best.
  • Medium to Large scale museum with attractions or venues like OMNI theaters have found that NCR CounterPoint is a great solution since CounterPoint has ticketing options and venue seating options. Plan on a full scale solution for the entire museum running $20,000 to $120,000+.
  • Small and Medium sized museums are also finding out that the new generation of mobile point of sale solutions work very well and are very budget friendly. Some expamples include NCR Silver or Cloud Retailer.
  • I still have multiple museums using the Microsoft RMS software who have expressed an interest in upgrading to Retail Management Hero and/or using Card Defender for RMS as an interim solution.
Extremely small museums or museums that lack revenue/funding generally have to stick with a $200.00 cash register until funding or revenue becomes available to move up to a mobile point of sale solution.

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 kevinantosh@gmail.com. There is also a contact form to the right that can be used to reach me.

Best Point of Sale Systems for School Stores

With August just around the corner, I have been asked about what I would recommend for a student store or a school store needing a point of sale solution.

I've worked with multiple on and off campus school stores in the past and here is what works best:
  • Stores in Universities or Colleges generally use the Blackbaud solution which generally interfaces with other Blackbaud solutions like student accounts.
  • Off campus stores that are not directly affiliated with an actual school tend to use NCR CounterPoint SQL or Retail Management Hero (new version of Microsoft RMS).
  • Stores in primary and secondary schools generally look at basic Windows based point of sale systems like Retail Management Hero or look at the mobile/subscription based systems like Cloud Retailer or NCR Silver - depends on whether the district wants to make an outright purchase or pay an on-going monthly fee for the point of sale software.
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 kevinantosh@gmail.com. There is also a contact form to the right that can be used to reach me.

Discounts and Promotions for Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management Systems (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).

Update June 28th, 2015 - special discount and incentive from a national NCR CounterPoint Partner for RMS and HQ users: http://retailpospondering.blogspot.com/2015/06/big-discount-and-incentive-for.html

Hello to the 40,000+ users of the Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management Systems (RMS)   Through some careful conversations, I have been able to obtain commitments from several trusted and established point of sale companies offering some very significant discounts on point of sale software and hardware.  These discounts and various promotions apply if:
  • Your business is in the United States
  • You are currently using the RMS point of sale program in your business
  • You are:
    • Looking to upgrade or refresh RMS
    • Looking to replace RMS with a similar point of sale solutions
    • Looking to replace RMS with a completely different point of sale solution 
To give you an idea - these promotions and discounts are worth anywhere from $1500 to $5000 depending on what you need in terms of software, hardware, and labor.

Best advice is to contact me and we can chat more. As always, my advice is completely free. These discounts and promotions will end at some point.  You can use the "contact me" form to the right, email me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or reach me on my cell at 208.340.5632.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recent Reviews & Feedback on Clover Point of Sale

Update July 6, 2015: no shortage of complaints against Clover specific to expensive long term contracts, costly buyout clauses, unable to transfer licensing if the business is sold, and sales reps making promises for features/functions that Clover just can't do.  I believe the overall tally is over 400 verified complaints against Clover.

In the last 2 weeks I have received a larger than usual number of calls and emails related to the Clover point of sale solution for Android devices. Since many of you appear to be considering Clover as a possible point of sale solution for your business, here is the feedback/reviews that folks have been sharing with me:
  • "Returned it (Clover) the next day"
  • "(sales rep) couldn't even demo the system"
  • "they will raise my (merchant services) rates"
  • "don't want to be locked in to a credit card contract"
  • "good step up from a cash register"
  • "missing features"
  • "went with Bindo which does more and doesn't require me to use a specific company for credit and debit card processing services"
The Bindo solution was mentioned a couple of times.  Folks noted that Bindo does more than Clover and is even offering some various incentives like free hardware currently. If you are curious about Bindo Point of Sale, check them out at www.bindopos.com.

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 kevinantosh@gmail.com. There is also a contact form to the right that can be used to reach me.
Some of you have been asking about my availability for in person visits or speaking at trade shows, conferences, expos, or small business development centers.   My schedule is flexible enough that I can travel almost anywhere with some advanced notice.

I do not charge anything for my workshops or consultations but if the location is more than 200 miles from Boise, ID then I do ask for enough to cover my travel related expenses.

There are also other options related to using online meeting tools as well to save time and money.

Best way to figure out our options is to contact me vie the contact form to the right, via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com or on my cell at 208.340.5632.

If it helps, the majority of the folks that I worked with or the locations I have spoken or conducted workshops at are:


  • Boise, ID
  • Twin Falls, ID
  • Pocatello, ID
  • Idaho Falls, ID
  • Burley, ID
  • Rigby, ID
  • Rexburg, ID
  • Jackson Hole, WY,
  • Helena, MT
  • Nampa, ID
  • Caldwell, ID
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Ontario, OR
  • Baker City, OR
  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle, WA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • St Cloud, MN
  • Reno, NV
  • Shreveport, LA
  • Spokane, WA
  • Post Falls, ID
And obviously the areas around these cities.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Things to Keep an Eye On

As we wind our way though July, here are some things to keep in mind for the next 12 months:

  • Microsoft and their various point of sale solutions - at some point we really need to hear more about the replacements for Microsoft Dynamics RMS Store Operations and Dynamics POS 2009.  
  • EMV - this is still over a year a way (Oct 2015) but will effect everyone anyone who takes credit and debits cards. Start talking now to your point of sale provider or the company that handles your merchant services now to see what the plan is and how much EMV compliance is going to cost you.
  • Keep an eye on the mobile solutions like Bindo Point of Sale (www.bindopos.com) as this latest generation of point of sale solutions are looking more and more attractive given the modest monthly fee that covers support and system updates
  • Watch out for the "fly by night" point of sale apps. I've seen a lot of point of sale companies come and go over the last 15 years.  Key warning signs that you may talking to someone who is not committed to a long term presence in the point of sale world:
    • No toll free number
    • Very basic website with limited information
    • No user reviews
    • Very small number of references
    • The program or app was written by someones brother, nephew, etc
    • They don't come across as understanding "retail"
    • They are working out of someones garage or basement
Can I help?  If you are in need of some free point of sale advice, please use the contact form to the right, email me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or call me on my cell at 208.340.5632. In addition to working with thousands of folks over the last 15 years to help them find the best point of sale solution, I have also now secured various discounts with trusted point of sale solution providers in the United States.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Point of Sale Buying Video Buying Tip - What to Choose Mobile or Computer?

Some information related to the key differences between point of sale solutions designed to run on mobile devices versus point of sale solutions designed to run on computers. Included in the video are some key reasons why you should just focus on mobile point of sale solutions and reasons to focus only on computer based point of sale solutions.

I also share how to not only obtain some free help choosing the best point of sale solution for your business but also how to contact me related to various discounts and promotions that are being offered by trusted point of sale companies that I am familiar with.







You can also reach me via the contact form to the right, via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com, or on my cell at 208.340.5632.

Please note that the information in the video is best suited for non-food service related businesses located in the United States.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Why Won't a Retail Point of Sale System Work in a Food Service Business?

With both retail and restaurant management experience as well previously providing point of sale solutions to both retail stores and food service businesses, I am often asked what the main differences are between a point of sale system designed for retail and a point of sale system designed for food service.

The reality is that there are a lot of differences but is also depends on what type of food service business you have. Here are the key differences on what makes a food service point of sale system unique (with the biggest items in bold as it would apply to nearly all food service businesses):


  • Tabs
  • Split checks
  • Modifiers (ie: extra mayo, extra shot of espresso, no pickles)
  • Tracking food cost
  • Tracking labor cost
  • Tracking food waste
  • Customer counts
  • Table map
  • Remote kitchen, bar, and prep station printers
  • Reservations
  • Tip (how the payment is processed to include letting the guest/customer add a tip)
Not a comprehensive list but enough to give you an understanding of some of the key differences.

If you are in the United States and in need of some free point of sale related advice or help,  you can reach me via the contact form to the right, via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com or on my cell at 208-340-5632.  Over the last 15 years I have helped thousands of folks find the best point of sale solution for their business or organization.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Vertical Specialties for Various Retail Point of Sale Systems

As July is not a big month for point of sale news and information, I thought that I would pass along some information related to what vertical markets various point of sale programs focus on. This is not meant to say that the program will not work in a different vertical - just that the program has an established presence in the verticals listed below.

If you recall, my point of sale workshops stress that you should focus on point of sale programs that are designed for your type of business.

NCR Silver

  • Small general retail stores and food service businesses like food trucks, counter serve restaurants/cafeterias/coffee shops, and concession stands.
  • Temporary or seasonal retail businesses
  • Mobile retail or service only businesses
  • Kiosk businesses
  • Thrift and second hand stores
  • Clothing and Apparel Stores
  • E-Cig Stores
First Data Clover
  • Same as NCR Silver 
Bindo Point of Sale
  • Wine, Beer and Liquor Stores
  • Pet Stores
  • Health and Beauty 
  • Clothing and Apparel Stores
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Museums
  • Gift Shops
  • Candy Stores
  • Salons and Spas
  • Thrift and second hand stores
  • Pro Shops
NCR CounterPoint
  • Museums
  • Thrift and second hand stores
  • Garden Centers
  • Pet Stores
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Clothing and Apparel Stores
  • Liquor Stores
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Gift Shops
  • Tobacco and E-Cig Stores 
  • Pro Shops
Retail Pro
  • Same as NCR CounterPoint
Microsoft RMS
  • Same as NCR CounterPoint and Retail Pro
  • A lot of government entities (since it is a Microsoft product) as well as government run businesses like golf courses and pro shops.
I realize this is not a complete list but I used information from the companies websites, what trade shows these companies attend, and my own 15 years of personal experience.

Can I help by offering some free point of sale advice or answering your retail or museum point of sale related questions?  If you are in the United States then please use the contact form to the right, email me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or call me on my cell at 208-340-5632. I've worked with thousands of businesses over the years to help them find the best point of sale solution and have also negotiated some pretty cool discounts as well.




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You are Not PCI Compliant if You are Processing Credit & Debit Cards on a PC Running Windows XP

Wow - so I am discovering that a lot of folks are still running point of sale programs on computers running Windows XP. If you are in this situation and processing credit and debit cards through the computer, then you are NOT PCI compliant. No gray area here.

The reason is that operating systems that have reached "end of life" can not be PCI compliant since the operating system is no longer being updated.

What you do in this situation?

  • Get with your local computer shop or the place that you obtained your point of sale system from to get the operating system updated or the computer(s) replaced
    • Make sure that your point of sale system will run on Windows 7 or 8.1 
    • Make sure all your peripherals (receipt printer, barcode scanner, etc) will work in a Windows 7 or 8.1 environment
    • Check to see if your computer has enough memory, etc to run Windows 7 or 8.1
    • Back everything (I mean everything) up before upgrading anything
  • This is also a good time to check for other PCI compliance issues with other parts of your computer network and point of sale system
What are the costs?
  • From the folks that I have spoken with, the low end estimate from their computer or point of sale company was around $500.00. On the high end was around $15,000.

This is too expensive - are there any other options?
  • You can switch to using a separate credit card terminal/machine for authorizing credit and debit cards
    • Keep in mind that you will have to reconcile 2 reports at the end of each day as part of your end of day close out procedures
    • Having a separate credit and debit card machine opens the door for lots of errors. For example, the sale amount total is $59.50. Your employee could easily enter $5.95 or $595.50 as the total on the credit card machine (and the error would likely not be found until the end of the day or when one very happy or very upset customer contacts you).
  • Look at switching to a more affordable point of sale system with a monthly fee that includes updates and upgrades in the monthly fee.  That way you will likely not find yourself in this situation again. New generation point of sale systems like Bindo Point of Sale (www.bindopos.com) not only have an affordable monthly fee but, in most cases, you can transfer your inventory, customer, and supplier information from your system in to Bindo.
Are you in need of some free point of sale advice or help?  Over the last 15 years I have helped thousands of folks find the best point of sale solution. Besides the free help and advice, I have also secured discounts with multiple trusted point of sale providers. You can reach me using the contact form to the right, via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com or on my cell at 208.340.5632.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Point of Sale Specials, Discounts, and Promo's - Oh My!

As we head in to mid-July 2014, just a quick note that I have been able to secure some point of sale hardware and software discounts from various point of sale solution providers that I trust.  At this point, just about anyone with a retail store or a museum that is searching for a new point of sale system or thinking about upgrading a point of sale system should get in touch with me.

So now you not only get free help selecting a point of sale system or answering your point of sale related questions, but you can save a lot towards the cost of a new or upgraded point of sale solution for your business or organization.


Now that is very cool!  Keep in mind that these discounts and promotions will end - I just don't know when at this point. Your business or organization must be located in the United States.

If I can help please contact me via the contact form on this blog site, via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com or on my cell at 208-340-5632. I've been helping folks find the right point of sale system for over 15 years and do not charge for my services (unless you want to pay me - I'm OK with that!).

Thursday, July 10, 2014

NCR Silver Point of Sale Review and Demo

Since I already provided a basic video review of demo of the backoffice part of NCR Silver, it was time to post a brief video showing how the point of sale side of NCR Silver looks and works.




The highlights are:
  • Very simple to setup, learn, and use
  • Flexible for both retail and food service businesses
  • Can be turned off and on for seasonal businesses
  • Monthly price includes support and updates
  • Some limited loyalty and email marketing functions

Summary: 
Affordable mobile solution for retail, museum and food service businesses who want more than what a cash register can do.
    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 kevinantosh@gmail.com. There is also a contact form to the right that can be used to reach me.

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    New Updates for NCR Silver

    Thanks to a new iPad Air, I was able to catch up on what has been happening with the NCR Silver mobile point of sale solution for iOS devices.

    There have been some significant changes in terms of an enhanced version of NCR Silver for food service businesses but the core retail version of NCR Silver remains the same.  The functionality lies between a cash register and a true point of sale system.  With newer mobile solutions like Bindo POS offering more functionality for the same price, I'm sure the development team at NCR is working to add more advanced functions and features to NCR Silver.

    Here are the update highlights:


    • Restaurant Pro Edition price starts at $129.00/month
    • A Silver 'Guru' can assist with the setup of your system for $299.00 (looks to be combination of phone and onsite service)
    • For around $30.00/month you can have integration between NCR Silver and QuickBooks Accounting

    Those are the major changes - I am working on a video demo of the sales side of NCR Silver as well.

    Can I help?  If you are in need of some free point of sale advice, you can reach me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632. I have over 15 years experience helping retail stores and museums select the best point of sale solution for their business or organization.


    Monday, July 7, 2014

    BBQ With Bindo Point of Sale

    So this is pretty cool (I've done these sorts of events myself several times via an open house or even setting up a community event with a bus and food).

    Bindo Point of Sale is hosting a BBQ in the New York City Area.  Here are the details:

    Bindo Summer Bash

    Come meet fellow merchants and enjoy a free BBQ on us!

    When: Sunday, July 20 2-5pm
    Where: East River Park grills on 10th Street
     East River Promenade, New York, NY 10019
    RSVP: events@bindo.com by July 14

    We will have a brief presentation on
    Taking Back Main Street: Easy Hacks for Mom & Pop Shops

    Be sure to stick around - at 4pm we will be giving out
    free 60 day trails of Bindo!

    Feel free to bring along fellow merchants!

    This is a great way to check out Bindo Point of Sale in a casual environment and meet some of the folks involved with Bindo Point of Sale.   Maybe they can setup a livestream for those of us not in the NYC area!

    Have point of sale questions and want some free advice or help?  Over the last 15 years I have worked with thousands of retail stores and museums to help direct them to the correct point of sale solution. You can reach me at kevinantosh@gmail.com, via the contact form to the right, or on my cell at 208-340-5632.

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    New Review of Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management Systems Store Operations (RMS)

    Updated information on Retail Management Hero as a direct replacement for RMS as of December 3rd, 2015: http://retailpospondering.blogspot.com/2015/12/updated-information-on-new-retail.html

    New video discussing options for Dynamics RMS and HQ users as of December 5th, 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evVWS7dj0Bs

    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: http://retailpospondering.blogspot.com/2015/06/big-discount-and-incentive-for.html

    Update 13.June.2015: A quick note that I have been receiving multiple calls and emails from Microsoft Dynamics RMS users looking to replace RMS due to the upcoming October 1st, 2015 EMV liability shift deadline as well as the "end of life" status for Dynamics RMS and HQ. I have personal experience with RMS users upgrading to NCR CounterPoint and would be happy to share - just visit my contact page for information on how to reach me. I can also put you in touch with a trusted NCR CounterPoint SQL partner.

    One of the things that I try to stay on top of are user reviews of different point of sale solutions.  The reviews have been the most popular posts on this site and have also generated the most phone calls and emails from folks searching for free point of sale help and advice.

    While it is easy to link to a review, I prefer to paraphrase the review for the following reasons:
    1. Over the years I have figured out how to 'read between the lines' to find the key points of each review
    2. I'm also able to easily spot reviews that may have been written from someone attempting to increase or decrease a products reputation (not truly a fake review but a review written with an intent that goes beyond just sharing personal experiences)
    3. The biggest reason is that a popular point of sale software review website exists only to sell your information to multiple point of sale companies - that's right, they make money by selling your information
    The most recent review came from a pet store. I honestly question the truthfulness in the review because the review was very negative and I know of multiple pet stores in the US using RMS and they are very happy with it. A careful reading of the review indicates two possible things that happened:
    1. The person thought that they could buy and setup the system without any help
    2. The person bought the system from a Microsoft Partner who either over promised and/or got in
      "over their heads".
    Again, I have personally worked with multiple pet stores who use RMS and it is a great fit. Hopefully, this particular pet store will find a new Microsoft RMS Partner to help fix things or the existing partner that the system was purchased from will step up and makes things right.

    If the pet store thought that they could do everything themselves then they need to pay to have a partner come in and help get them up to speed.

    Can I help?  Over the last 15 years I have worked with thousands of retail stores, museums, and government entities to help them find the best point of sale solution. You can reach me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or on my cell at 208-340-5632 for free point of sale help and advice.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

    New Bindo Point of Sale Reviews

    One of the things that I try to stay on top of are user reviews of different point of sale solutions.  The reviews have been the most popular posts on this site and have also generated the most phone calls and emails from folks searching for free point of sale help and advice.

    While it is easy to link to a review, I prefer to paraphrase the review for the following reasons:
    1. Over the years I have figured out how to 'read between the lines' to find the key points of each review
    2. I'm also able to easily spot reviews that may have been written from someone attempting to increase or decrease a products reputation (not truly a fake review but a review written with an intent that goes beyond just sharing personal experiences)
    3. The biggest reason is that a popular point of sale software review website exists only to sell your information to multiple point of sale companies - that's right, they make money by selling your information
    Bindo Point Of Sale has seen some new reviews recently, here are the key points from the reviews:
    • The functionality of Bindo is good
    • There have been some glitches but these appear to be quickly addressed
    • Some comments have been made related to adding more accounting functions to the software (believe that the users mean A/R and having an interface to QuickBooks accounting which I know Bindo is working on both items)
    • It appears that Bindo is doing a good job of keeping the software app updated
    • A couple of reviewers mentioned problems related to Bindo locking up (tough to know if this is related to Bindo, the hardware, or even an ISP issue)
    • Many reviewers had high praise for the support that they receive from Bindo
    For a "newish" point of sale solution, it looks like Bindo is growing a happy customer base. More reviews on Bindo POS can be found here: https://bindopos.com/reviews

    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 kevinantosh@gmail.com. There is also a contact form to the right that can be used to reach me.