Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Since there will likely not be anything "blogworthy" between now and the end of the year, I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

As you celebrate Christmas do keep in mind that He is the reason for the season!

-Kevin

Monday, December 21, 2015

This Christmas, Retailers Should Give the Gift of Security

EMV cards that contain a silver or gold computer chip have made their way into the wallets of U.S. consumers, but far too many retailers have chosen not to accept the more secure payment technology. This decision, apparently made for the sake of convenience, is short sighted and puts consumers and businesses at risk. This holiday shopping season, the greatest gift retailers can give themselves and their customers is the gift of payment security.

EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, is an electronic payment technology that has been used successfully to prevent fraud in Europe for years. In fact, since EMV was introduced in Europe, credit card fraud has fallen by 80 percent. Meanwhile, fraud in the United States has increased by 47 percent.

Unfortunately, a Newtek Business Services survey found that nearly 25 percent of small businesses that accept electronic payments have no intention of upgrading to EMV. Furthermore, only 20 percent of EMV-ready terminals have been switched on to accept chip cards, according to a Mercator Advisory Group EMV migration research note.

What these small business owners don’t seem to understand is that in addition to compromising their customers’ security, they are putting themselves at great risk as well.

Losses from counterfeit credit card fraud reached $3 billion in 2014, according to the Aite Group, and is expected to hit $3.6 billion by the end of this year. The advent of EMV technology in America has come with an important liability shift and there is now an onus of responsibility on retailers to keep customer information safe.

Businesses that fail to use EMV chip-enabled payment terminals can now be held responsible for the costs of counterfeit card fraud. While some business owners cite the cost of new terminals—typically a few hundred dollars—as a deterrent for upgrading their payment security, the costs associated with fraud could be enough to shut a small business down for good.

In my nearly 30 years working in retail management and with retail technology, I have seen the consequences of irresponsible data handling time and again. Deciding to put customers’ financial information at risk is not just bad business—it’s wrong. This holiday season, retailers should give their customers the gift of payment security. It may not bring peace on earth, but it will certainly allow for financial peace of mind.

If you are interested in a website with free resources, events and tools related to payment processing and EMV, check out Master Your Card at https://www.masteryourcardusa.org/ which is provided to you by MasterCard.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Few Changes

Since starting this blog site and via my YouTube channel, I've been contacted by over 600 businesses searching for point of sale advice, technical information, and general advice. Due to a schedule change, and based on feedback, I am currently only offering on site paid consulting services for businesses located in the United States.

I've found that these are the businesses most in need of the type of services that I can provide. It has also become a bit of a gamble recommending any of the tablet and cloud based point of sale systems designed for smaller single location businesses as these tablet and cloud based point of sale systems having been going through various growing pains and just about all of them have various user complaints.

So, if your organization has between 5 and 300 stores in the US (or a single location with more than $1M in annual gross sales) and is in need of unbiased paid point of sale consulting, be sure to get in touch with me by visiting my contact page for information in how to reach me.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

New Videos: Options for RMS/HQ Users and Consulting Process Overview

A couple of new videos that may be of interest to you.  First up is some updated honest advice for stores using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS (and HQ) point of sale software programs.  General advice related to the end of life status with RMS and HQ and how the new Retail Management Hero plays in to your various options:



By request, I have also created a video that highlights in a bit more detail the process that I use when offering unbiased paid point of sale consulting work for larger organizations with between 5 and 300 locations:



Information on how to reach me for more information can be found on my contact page.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Updated Information on the New Retail Management Hero Point of Sale Software

Update January 18th, 2016: Quick note that I've now had 1,102 stores using Microsoft Dynamics RMS contact me - I am doing my best to keep a list so you can be connected with a Retail Management Hero (RMH) Partner no later than March - hopefully I may even be able to show you RMH and explain your cost options - we'll see what happens as Partners become certified to sell, install, and support RMH.

Just attended a webinar about the new Retail Management Hero (RMH) point of sale software which is both a new point of sale software program and a direct replacement for the soon to be retired Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software.  Lots of great information to share!

According to Retail Realm, there are still around 50,000 stores using the RMS software of which around 80% of these stores have between one and five locations which is the target audience for RMH. Here are the highlights and details for RMH (subject to change of course):

Features and Functions:
  • Just about everything that RMS offers with an updated user interface and new enhancements like role based security
  • API's for add-ons
  • Wide support for different merchant services/platforms/hardware
  • Support for existing RMS peripherals (cash drawers, receipt printers, etc)
  • SQL database
  • Ability to migrate all data (even historical data) from RMS to RMH
  • More in depth reports
  • HQ option by late 2016
  • Interface to accounting software is in development with plans to interface to QuickBooks Accounting as well as third party options for other ERP and accounting software programs like Dynamics GP and Dynamics AX
  • Touch screen friendly
  • Can work on some mobile devices with plans to support more mobile devices at a later date
Release Date:
  • Beta testing through March 2016
  • Initial deployment to select customers in April 2016
  • Full deployment in May 2016
  • HQ module by late 2016
  • Enhanced mobile device support by late 2016
Costs:
  • Same pricing structure as RMS 
  • Free licenses for RMS users current on a maintenance plan
  • $250 license cost per terminal for RMS users not current on a maintenance plan
  • $400 license cost for RMH manager above 2 users
  • All users must buy one year of maintenance (will extend your current maintenance if the user is current already on a RMH maintenance plan). This will be at 18% of the software list price
  • Strongly advised to stay current on a maintenance plan as there are penalties for letting your software maintenance lapse
  • RMS users who are current on software maintenance will receive up to 10 RMH back office licenses at no cost.
Other Stuff to Know:
  • End user installation, training and on-going support will be provided by RMH dealers/partners who have completed RMH certification
  • There will not be end user support for RMH via Microsoft
  • I expect there will be a lot of companies selling and supporting RMH by May of 2016
My Advice:
  • Single location RMS users, RMS users who don't need HQ, and stores searching for a point of sale system: plan on taking a look at RMH come summer 2016. I don't see any reason at this point why you would not want to consider RMH as a replacement for RMS or as a new point of sale solution
  • Small stores whose annual gross sales are under $250,000 may still want to look at the tablet based point of sale systems which are less expensive 
  • Multi-location stores who need HQ functionality may want to hold off until late 2016 before looking at RMH when more information will be available on the HQ module for RMH
  • RMS users with more than 5 - 10 locations or chains searching for POS system may find that RMH is not a good fit and should look at other solutions like NCR Counterpoint, Retail Realm Essentials, Dynamics AX, Compass or Salespad
Note to RMS and HQ users who already switched to a different point of sale program:

I know several RMS and HQ users have already switched to other point of sale programs like Bindo or NCR Counterpoint SQL.  There is no need to feel buyers remorse as you were likely in a position that required switching away from RMS/HQ sooner than later. In some cases, it was likely that your costs would have been about the same in the end anyway. Point being that, no matter what POS system you have now, you have likely found something that you will continue to use for the next 5 to 7 years.

So, to the 1100+ RMS users that I am in contact with, it looks like you have a great migration path with RMH.  I'll pass along more details as they are shared with me and will hopefully have a RMH dealer/partner that I can recommend to you come 2016.

Contact me if you have questions or visit the new RMH website at http://www.rmhpos.com/

How to obtain a 30 day trial version of Retail Management Hero: http://www.pospondering.com/2017/01/how-to-obtain-30-day-trial-license-of.html

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.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cloud Based Point of Sale Systems: Things to Keep in Mind

2015 has really been the year for cloud and mobile point of sale systems for retail stores, restaurants and museums. About 65% of the businesses and organizations that contact me are only considering point of sale systems that work on mobile devices and are cloud based.  A few things to keep in mind if you are looking at the cloud based point of sale systems like Clover, Vend, Lavu, Shopkeep, Lightspeed, or Silver...

  1. In most cases the cloud based point of sale systems will only cost around 10%-30% less than a point of sale system that you lease to own or purchase outright (eg: Retail Pro, Sapphire, NCR CounterPoint, Retail management Hero, Etc.).  This assumes that you plan on keeping your point of sale system for 5-7 years and that you pay an ongoing monthly fee to use a cloud based point of sale system (which normally also includes support and updates).
  2. You lose some control when using a cloud based point of sale system. Best example is that a traditional point of sale system puts all the hardware, software, and data onsite within your business or organization. If a router fails, you simply replace it.  With the cloud based point of sale systems you have no control if their router breaks or if their server goes down. Look at the reviews for any cloud based point of sale system and see that users mention outages lasting several hours. The point of sale companies tout off line modes or similar features but the reality is that system wide failures are possible and there is nothing you can do about it when it comes to cloud based point of sale systems.
  3. Ownership: most cloud based systems are rented so you never actually own anything - very easy on your budget but you have to be comfortable with this pricing structure.
  4. Hidden fees and contracts: I've been very disappointing with several of the cloud based point of sale systems who require long term contracts with early termination fees and limitations on who you can use for your credit and debit card processing services. As with any point of sale system, due diligence is required on your part when it comes to reading and signing any agreements or contracts.
Now, this may all sound somewhat negative but I actually do feel that some of the cloud based point of sale systems are great solutions (I've previously used, sold, and supported several).  However, they are only good solutions in one or more of the following situations:

  • Single location or less than 10 locations with annual sales of less than $800,000 per location.
  • OK with never owning the actual software but paying an ongoing fee each month.
  • Low technology needs: OK with canned reports and don't have complex  inventory needs.
  • No internal IT person or "computer geek": cloud based systems are generally very easy to learn and use and do not require internal IT resources.
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, November 24, 2015

Update on Release Date for the New Retail Management Hero Point of Sale Software

Update November 29th, 2015: There is an online webinar this week that I am attending which will provide more details about Retail management Hero. I'll pass along any new information as it is shared with me.

As many of you know, mainstream support and sales of the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software to new users ends July, 2016. We are all anxiously awaiting the new Retail Management Hero point of software which will be offered as a direct replacement for RMS.  At this point, it appears that Retail Management Hero will not be available for deployment (sales) until some time in early to mid 2016. I'll pass along more information as it becomes available.

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, November 17, 2015

Support and Hand Holding

A few thoughts and comments specific to differences in support options for point of sale systems as well as a trend that I have noticed recently specific to support.

When it comes to choosing between the newer generation of mobile point of sale systems like Clover, Silver, Lavu, Shopkeep, Bindo and Vend, it is not realistic to expect the same level of support that you would get by going with a point of sale system like Dynamics AX, Retail Pro, NCR CounterPoint or Retail Management Hero.  Even if you purchase a mobile point of sale locally, the partner/dealer/VAR can't afford to provide the same level of support on a $79/month POS system as they would on $12,000 POS system - the revenue just isn't there.

Of course many businesses do offer annual paid support options but the point is that you need to be a bit more self sufficient with the mobile POS systems (or have someone on standby) than the more expensive POS systems which normally include more personalized training and on-going support.

That being said, I have noticed a trend across all types of POS systems to outsource initial support to a help desk in an unknown location.  It pays to call the support line for any POS solutions that you might be considering to see what the response time is and how well the support works (thanks to Linda in Indiana for passing along that idea!),

Information on how to reach me for more information can be found on my contact page.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bindo Point of Sale Reviews

Update 6/12/2016: I've been called or emailed by three businesses currently using Bindo POS concerned about the future of Bindo as a company. These businesses cite employee turnover and customer attrition at Bindo as being cause for concern.

I will post more updates as they become available.


Update 11/18/2015: I've seen some recent valid positive reviews of Bindo Point of Sale so hopefully the issues have been corrected and are just part of some growing pains.

Original Post:

I've been made aware of multiple recent negative reviews specific to the Bindo point of sale software. While Bindo POS has proven to be very popular and I know of over 25 stores happily using Bindo POS, the recent complaints (of which 3 are businesses that I have personally spoken with) have me somewhat concerned.

Until Bindo can correct the situation and produce more positive reviews, I've archived all my Bindo related blog posts and videos. I will give Bindo credit for responding to the reviews and hopefully this is part of some growing pains.  If you are curious, here is a link to the reviews and the response from Bindo: http://www.softwareadvice.com/retail/bindo-profile/

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.

Tied up with a Special Project

Just a quick note that I am going to be tied up with a special project and other obligations through the end of this month. You are still welcomed to contact me but it may take me longer than usual to respond back.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Holiday Shoppers Start Early Online, Spend to Increase 3.5 percent - Brand Keys

Virtually all consumers interviewed (98%) indicated they would buy holiday gifts online again this year, which has become the default venue for browsing for gift options, price-checking, and buying.
cid:QnJhbmQgS2V5cyBsb2dvLmpwZw$2511702$251786@visibilitypr

Brand Keys 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey
Finds Smarter Consumers, Earlier Shopping
and Sales Up 3½ Percent


NEW YORK, NY October 26, 2015 – “A combination of increasing positive consumer sentiment, accelerating consumer learning curves, and increased mobile outreach via mobile apps have resulted in an anticipated 3½% increase for the 2015 holiday spend,” noted Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, Inc. www.brandkeys.com, the New York City-based brand loyalty and customer engagement research consultancy.

Welcome to a Re-defined Holiday Consumer Shopping StageInsights from 15,850 consumers participating in Brand Keys’ 21st annual national holiday shopping survey (conducted September 25th through October 10th 2015) reflect a re-defined stage consumers have reached when it comes to holiday shopping.

“A combination of positive consumer sentiment, cheaper gas, but mostly consumers having learned that holiday shopping definitively does notbegin on Black Friday,” said Passikoff, “has resulted in much earlier consumer shopping with a projected individual 2015 holiday spend of $885.00, nearly 4% higher than last year.”

The shift in the holiday shopping paradigm has been a long time coming. “We saw dramatic shifts to when consumers were starting to holiday shop half a decade ago,” said Passikoff. “Some of that was due to retailers, fearing the loss of any sale to a competitor, running ads, deals, and price promotions earlier and earlier. But savvy consumers, more market-adept and armed with more mobile devices have shifted spending patterns for the holidays.”

Nearly 84% of Consumers Are Shopping Before Black FridayWhen it comes to when consumers started shopping for the holidays, shoppers reported the following:

Before September: 11%
September: 10%
October: 22%
November
(Before Black Friday): 41%
December: 16%

“The trend for holiday shopping starting earlier and earlier was something we commented upon in 2010, and is conclusively proving itself out,” added Passikoff. Part of the trend is rational; consumers have realized that low-lower-lowest prices are always to be found. Other parts of the trend are driven by emotional values: gratification in finding the perfect gift, no matter what time of year it is, and a reduction in the stress of having to deal with all other elements of the year-end holidays.

Only 16% of consumers – 9% fewer than 2014, and 19% fewer than 2013 – indicated they were going to wait until Black Friday to start holiday shopping, although some consumers (4%) did indicate that they would make an effort to support local businesses on Small BusinessSaturday.

But ultimately it comes down to the fact that 84% of consumers are planning to shop before the traditional Black Friday, Small BusinessSaturday, Sofa Sunday, and Cyber, all of which confirms that the reality of retail life is timing,” noted Passikoff, “And consumer timing is also critical when it comes to research. When you interview a consumer is an enormous determinant of the accuracy and reliability of the findings. Consumer mind-set matters. As does method.”

More Exacting Measures, More Precise Holiday FindingsBrand Keys, a leader in the field of emotional engagement, utilizes a combination of traditional interviewing techniques and validated, psychological measures that correlate very highly with consumer behavior in the real marketplace. That ensures the results are an accurate accounting of, what Passikoff calls, ”what people think, and not just what they say they think.”

Where They’ll Shop Virtually all consumers interviewed (98%) indicated they would buy holiday gifts online again this year, which has become the default venue for browsing for gift options, price-checking, and buying. Even in light of the mobile shopping movement, which has grown into a $100+ billion industry, brick-and-mortar retailers still rank high on consumers’ list of places they intend to shop:

Store Type 2015 % change from 2014
Discount Department Stores 90% - 6
Traditional Department Stores 85% +7
Specialty & Apparel Stores 45% +5
Price Clubs 22% +2
Sporting Goods Stores 20% +5
Outlet Stores 10% NA

Catalogues (19%), are down again from last year by 6%. “It appears that if a consumer can pull up the same content on a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone they regard hard-copy as redundant and unnecessary,” noted Passikoff.

What They’ll Buy
Consumers indicated the following categories were where money was going to be spent. Changes from last year appear in parentheses):

Clothing and Accessories 75% (-3%)
Electronics/Phones/Computer 52% (-1%)
Personal Care Products/Spa 40% (+7%)
Kitchen/Cookware 39% (-7%)
Jewelry 24% (+4%)
Food and Wine 20% ( ---- )
Sporting Goods 18% ( ---- )
Toys 15% (- 5%)
Books 11% (+5%)
Home D├ęcor 7% ( ---- )

All other gift categories remain relatively unchanged from 2014. “Apps and downloads have replaced CDs, DVDs,” said Passikoff, “although video games are still a gift-of-choice.

Gift Cards for All
Gift cards have become as universal as greetings cards, with nearly everyone indicating they’ll buy at least one this year (96%). That could turn out to be a $33 billion windfall for the industry.

Value and Convenience RuleValue is paramount for all platforms and consumer expectations regarding outreach and convenience, particularly for mobile, is up again. Shopping experience for bricks-and-mortar retail, are all up again too,” said Passikoff. Free shipping and returns, order online-pick up in store, or ship-to-store options have holiday shoppers’ attentions this year too. “But ultimately retailers that are able to better emotionally engage consumers will see larger shares of what looks to be an upcoming $635 billion-holiday sales period.

Brand Keys (
www.brandkeys.com) is the only research consultancy that specializes in customer loyalty and consumer emotional engagement metrics that accurately predict future consumer behavior. These measures enable companies and brands to anticipate shifts in what has become a more digitally driven and rapidly changing marketplace.


Contact: VISIBILITY
Len Stein
cel 914 527 3708
Lens@VisibilityPR.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Blog Site and YouTube Channel Value

I quick note that I am open to offers specific to someone interested in buying my blog site and YouTube Channel. While I'm happy to continue offering free and unbiased point of sale advice, news, reviews and information, someone with more time would likely be able to expand the content and create a more professional look (as well as more professional videos).

To give you a general idea, about 5 - 7 people contact me in a typical week. The folks that I have helped have then gone on to spend about $2M annually in point of sale hardware, software, and related services.

Visit my contact page if you are interested - you and your business must reside in the US or Canada.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Year End Physical Inventory

Amazing how quickly 2015 has gone by and I am sure that many of you are thinking about performing a year end physical inventory count.  Some quick tips:
  1. Be sure to reserve any equipment needed for your physical inventory early - I know that demand can be high to rent equipment for the last half of December.
  2. Take some time to review the correct way to perform a physical inventory count within your specific point of sale system - nothing worse than having to redo a count or having the count overwrite quantities on hand when you are not ready.  Your point of sale partner/dealer/VAR might be able to help as well with some basic refresher training on physical inventory counts.
  3. Depending on your point of sale system and accounting method, you may also way to consider performing physical inventory counts by department or category using a monthly rotation or similar process. This is a great way not to be overwhelmed by trying to count everything at the end of the year.
  4. Don't forget to count stock that is not out on the floor but has been received.
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, November 3, 2015

NCR CounterPoint, Ads and RMS/Retail management Hero Updates

A couple of quick updates specific to the NCR CounterPoint SQL, Microsoft Dynamics RMS, and Retail Retail Management Hero point of sale software programs:

  1. I was partially successful in finding a reputable NCR CounterPoint partner to offer the NCR CounterPoint SQL point of sale software in the states of Idaho and Utah (as well as the surrounding areas - basically within 250 miles of Boise, ID or Salt Lake City, Utah).  You can always visit my contact page for information on how to reach me for free and unbiased point of sale advice - depending on my work and travel schedule we may even be able to meet in person!
  2. I am allowing Google to place ads on my blog site below my posts so please don't consider any ads to be an endorsement by me that the ads are for a POS solution that is right for your business or organization.
  3. I have some meetings coming up specific to the Retail Management Hero point of sale software as a direct replacement for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software.  As I am now in contact with over 1,100 stores and organizations using RMS, I'll be sure to pass along information quickly via this blog site, email, and social media.
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.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Another Award for Bindo Point of Sale

Congrats to the folks at Bindo Point of Sale for winning the The Tiger's Lair: Entrepreneurship Challenge award!

More details on the challenge can be found here: http://www.economistinsights.com/content/tigers-lair-entrepreneurship-challenge

Not too shabby!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Point of Sale Tips and Tricks Videos

I'm going to try creating a series of tip and tricks videos specific to the following point of sale systems:

  • NCR CounterPoint SQL
  • Microsoft Dynamics RMS
  • Bindo Point of Sale
  • QuickBooks Point of Sale
  • NCR Silver
  • Aldelo
These will all be very brief videos and cover just one tip or trick at a time.  Best advice would be to subscribe to my YouTube Channel or check my YouTube Channel on a weekly basis for uploads if you happen to use any of the above point of sale programs.

My YouTube Channel can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/kantosh

Information on how to reach me for more information can be found on my contact page.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Few Updates

A couple of quick updates to pass along:

  1. I'm getting quite a few calls from folks looking for technical support on their point of sale systems. While I do have some technical skills, I'm not certified to support any point of sale programs at this point. You are more than welcomed to contact me but it is likely that I will have to refer you to someone else for technical support.
  2. Over the last couple of weeks I have also been asked about my availability for speaking engagements, onsite consultation, and help with deployment of POS systems.  I'm more than happy to help with all of these items but I do ask that my travel expenses be paid for as well as a flat fee of $100/day if the commitment will last more than 3 days (including travel time).
  3. Tuesday Tips are returning!  I'm in the process of creating some videos with weekly tips specific to Microsoft Dynamics RMS, NCR CounterPoint SQL, and QuickBooks Point of Sale. Obviously these videos take some time to create but I hope to upload at least one per week - these will be short videos that cover only one tip or trick at a time.
Visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Retail Management Hero as a Replacement for Microsoft Dynamics 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 video highlighting what we know about the new Retail Management Hero point of sale software as a direct replacement for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software. Subject to change of course!  Also included is my advice for Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software users who have made it past the EMV deadline and are now planning for the end of life of Dynamics RMS.



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, October 13, 2015

Tis the Season for Seasonal Businesses

It is already that time of year when temporary and seasonal stores open up across the US in shopping malls and random parking lots.  I've actually worked with a lot of seasonal businesses in the past like Hickory Farms stores, Christmas tree businesses, Halloween and Costume Stores, etc and we have found that the newer iPad solutions work great for these type of businesses.

Even better is that a few of the iPad POS systems also offer seasonal pricing so you only pay to use the app as needed on a month to month basis.

Visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Video Overview of Bindo for Restaurants

The folks at Bindo have taken over the retail industry with an awesome feature rich retail point of sale app and have now set their sights on the food service industry with a new version of Bindo point of sale for restaurants, cafe's, and bars.

Here is a link to a video overview of Bindo POS for Restaurants: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP4SaxiqTKQ

Looks like an awesome new option!

Visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

EMV Adoption Rate is Slow in the US

So October 1st, 2015 has come and gone. For something that has been several years in the making, I am surprised how slowly EMV credit and debit cards are being sent to cardholders, the backlog of EMV ready hardware, and the number of businesses who have actually implemented EMV terminals and hardware.

I've seen numerous communications from multiple point of sale companies referencing backorders for the hardware as well as short term options for business owners.

The folks over at creditcard.com recently published a poll related to EMV which not only covers how many cardholders actually have EMV cards but also provides some detail on how to use EMV cards as well as general insights related to the October 1st, 2015 EMV Liability Shift date for card present transactions here in the US.

A good read for both consumers and for business and organizations that accept payment for goods and services via credit and debit cards. Here is a link to the poll: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/emv-chip-card-survey.php

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.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Point of Sale Systems - Idaho and Utah

A quick reminder that I am available as a free and unbiased resource for business and organizations searching for point of sale systems in all states but especially for those located in Idaho and Utah due to my current location about 22 miles outside of Boise, ID.  In addition to working with business and organizations directly, I'm also available to help you find the best system for your client or customer.

Visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Using Me and My Sites as a Resource for Your Chain, Franchise, Association, or Organization

Just a quick note that you are more than welcomed to use myself and my sites as a source of unbiased point of sale information as needed. This works well for the following:
  • Franchises
  • Chain Stores
  • Organizations (non-profit and government)
  • Retail Associations
  • Retail Conferences
  • Retail Trade Shows
I'm actually already a point of sale contact for multiple businesses and organizations (representing well over 5,000 retail stores in the US) whose members/stores/leadership need any or all of the following:
  • Free and unbiased point of sale advice
  • Unbiased in-depth onsite point of sale consultation
  • Speaker for events
  • General point of sale advice
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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Take Aways from the 2015 Envision Retail Conference/CounterPoint Users Conference

I was honored to be a guest speaker at the 2015 Envision Retail Conference/NCR CounterPoint Users Conference in Denver Colorado and wanted to share some observations from the conference:

  • CounterPoint users are champions for both NCR CounterPoint as a point of sale systems and Retail Control Systems as their CounterPoint Partner
  • NCR is very dedicated to supporting and growing the CounterPoint software
  • Retail Control Systems has a "rock star" staff that is very dedicated to providing the best point of sale solution and growing your business or organization
  • EMV adoption is slow in all aspects (banks, processors, software companies, hardware companies and in stores)
  • There are a lot of companies that offer enhancements for NCR CounterPoint that I was not aware of. These include:
    • Avalara for tax calculations and tax compliance
    • Vend Lease for funding and financing
    • 2B Solutions for warehouse inventory management, hand held mobile inventory, and mobile order picking
    • Outbound Software for ticketing, performance seating, and tour groups
    • Red Rock for CounterPoint and Magento integration
    • Clutch for customer profile and markting
    • NCR Merchant Solutions for merchant services (debit and credit card processing)
  • There is a need to have more of these conferences across the country so more NCR CounterPoint users can take full advantage of their point of sale systems. I'm pushing for similar events to be held in other areas like Salt Lake City and Boise
  • There is a need to allow attendance for business and organizations searching for point of sale systems to attend these conferences. What a great way to interact with other business owners and learn more about NCR CounterPoint in a non-sales environment!
I'm sure that I have more thoughts to share.

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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Thanks!

A quick thanks to everyone that attended my most recent free and unbiased point of sale workshop at the Boise, ID location of the Idaho Small Business Development Center!  It was great that we had a chance to interact!



If you are in need of unbiased point of sale advice, paid in depth on-site point of sale consulting, or a point of sale speaker for your event that is completely vendor neutral, please visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Unbiased Consulting for Goodwill Stores

***2018 Update***

I started offering a 10% discount to all non-profit organizations plus some very large software license discounts if you happen to be using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software. You can reach me at 2208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com for more information (and references as well).


A quick note that I have a great deal of experience providing in depth (but unbiased) point of sale consulting services for Goodwill stores. This also applies to thrift stores in general. As this normally involves some travel, there are some fees involved (unless you are only in need of some general advice which is free) but the outcome is solid recommendation of the next steps your organization should take.

Here are some videos that highlight my processes for in depth consulting. As always, visit my contact page to learn more and to see whether I can help you chart the best course for point of sale, warehouse management and/or inventory control software and systems.

Process Overview:


Cost of Using an Outdated POS System or No POS System:


Advantages of Using an Unbiased Consultant:


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Envision Retail Conference/CounterPoint Users Conference

Getting ready to speak at the Envision Retail Conference/CounterPoint Users Conference.  #Rcsenvision#Redefineretail #pos


Another Option for Microsoft Dynamics RMS Users: eMobilePOS

I recently had the opportunity to learn more about eMobilePOS who actually offers an option allowing businesses and organizations using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software to use mobile devices like tablets while still using the core RMS SQL database.

eMobilePOS has multiple different options and solutions available depending on what type of business you have. You can learn more about eMobilePOS by visiting: http://www.emobilepos.com/

Monday, September 14, 2015

Advantages of Using an Unbiased Point of Sale Consultant

A brief video highlighting the advantages of using a unbiased point of sale consultant for point of sale consulting services.



Visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cost of Using an Outdated Point of Sale System or No Point of Sale System

Video explaining how using an outdated point of sale system or no point of sale system could be costing your business or organization 3% to 5% of your annual gross sales in lost or unrealized revenue.  This is based on real world data and professional experiences having worked with over 4400 business and organizations.



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.

Speaking at Envision in Denver, CO and SBDC in Boise, ID

A quick reminder that there a couple of speaking engagements coming up rather quickly that you are welcomed to attend and even coordinate a time for us to meet in person if you so wish.

First up is the Envision Conference taking place in Denver, CO on September 17th - 18th, 2015. Here is a link to more details and registration information: https://www.retailcontrolsystems.com/envision-conference/

Note that Envision has multiple sessions to cover the following:

  1. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced CounterPoint SQL point of sale software users
  2. Retail Marketing
  3. EMV Information
  4. Unbiased workshops for businesses and organizations searching for a new (or first) point of sale system
After Envision, I will be conducting a free and unbiased workshop designed for businesses and organizations searching for a POS system. This will also be the last workshop that I will be speaking about EMV at.

The workshop location is at Boise State University in conjunction with the Idaho Small Business Development Center in Boise, ID and will take place on September 22nd, 2015 from 2pm to 4pm. More details and registration information can be found here: https://business.idahosbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=40350090

Visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Friday, September 4, 2015

More Big News at Bindo

(my thoughts appear below the press release)
Bindo to Unveil New Restaurant POS Solution with $2 Million Investment
Leading retail technology company secures $2 million for its bridge round to develop an iPad POS solution for brick-and-mortar merchants in the F&B industry
NEW YORK, Sept. 3, 2015 - Bindo, a leading cloud-based business management solution for brick-and-mortar merchants, today announced it has debuted a beta version of its new iPad POS system, Bindo POS for Restaurant. The company also announced it has secured $2 million in funding from strategic investors eager to see the POS solution expand into new verticals.
Bindo will use the investment to launch the new POS system globally, enabling restaurant owners to have one complete and holistic business solution that can integrate telephone orders, online ordering, table management, reservations, and ingredient-level tracking all in one platform. Bindo POS for Restaurant is now available in beta at a few select restaurants, and will become publicly available in mid-September.
Bindo POS for Restaurant provides a simple way for restaurants to easily manage their inventory and sales from a centralized back-office dashboard, whilst also allowing them to accept and schedule reservations from a centralized cloud-based platform. Restaurants are given the tools to better forecast inventory and supply needs by accurately recording the ingredients that go into each dish. Bindo POS for Restaurant will also maximize seating capacity and table turnover by enabling front of house to seamlessly schedule bookings through an integrated CRM and floor planning system.
“We wanted a mobile and elegant POS solution to complement our modern restaurant theme and came across Bindo,” said Ivan Yeh, Owner of Shoku Bar and Restaurant and first-time user of Bindo POS for Restaurant. “Since deployment, Bindo has helped us cut down on excess inventory and vastly improved the way we run our operations. Best of all, Bindo’s integrated mobile credit card processing allows our servers to take orders and payments at the table, making way for that ‘wow’ factor and allowing for a better dining experience for our customers.”
“We met with so many restaurateurs who were fed up with the choice of POS systems available (both iPad & traditional POS). The iPad POS systems in the market were not sophisticated or robust enough for their needs, and the traditional systems were expensive, inflexible and difficult to use,” said Brad Lauster, Co-founder of Bindo. “Bindo POS for Restaurant fills that gap in the market with a solution that’s powerful, customizable and a pleasure to use.”
The investors that led the new funding round have decades of operational expertise in the F&B industry, and played a pivotal role in fine-tuning the customizations needed for the many restaurant-types supported by Bindo’s solution. Bindo POS for Restaurant will be available for use in private beta by signing up on bindopos.com or calling 1-800-MYBINDO.
A quick demo of the Bindo POS for Restaurant technology is also available upon request.
ABOUT BINDO
Founded in 2011, Bindo is the one-stop iPad Point-of-Sale (POS) solution that connects local brick-and-mortar merchants to their customers, giving businesses a more cohesive and competitive technology solution that complements the ever-changing and dynamic needs of their consumers. With Bindo POS, businesses will be able to better manage their stores, keep track of their customers and have access to sophisticated tools to allow their business be run more efficiently. Coming soon, the Bindo Market iPhone app will allow everyday consumers to make on-demand delivery purchases directly on their smartphones, thereby closing the Online-to-Offline loop for merchants.
For more information about Bindo POS, visit https://bindopos.com
For more information about Bindo Market, visit https://bindo.com
SOURCE Bindo
Bindo
CONTACT: Catherine Lowe, North 6th Agency, Inc. (For Bindo), +1-917-916-2609, bindo@n6a.com
Web Site: https://bindo.com
My Thoughts on the Above:
Obviously the funding and  restaurant specific version of Bindo is pretty cool news given the popularity of Bindo on the retail side.  Even though there are a bunch of mobile POS systems for restaurants, Bindo brings that right balance of price/feature/function as well as not being a company that has outgrown themselves to the point of having to outsource technical support to India. 
Bindo also has the drive to win customers and clients one at a time versus 'turning and burning'.
There is some other big news related to Bindo that is very positive as well which I hope to be able to share in a few more weeks.  

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, September 1, 2015

Envision Retail Conference/NCR CounterPoint Users Group Conference in Denver, CO

A quick note that I will be speaking at the Envision Retail Conference in Denver, CO on September 17th-18th, 2015 at the Marriott City Center.   A schedule and more details will follow but this is an excellent opportunity for unbiased advice related to choosing and selecting a point of sale system for your business or organization.

Envision will focus on offering the following:

  1. In depth sessions for users of the NCR CounterPoint point of sale software
  2. Sessions for retail marketing, social media, and EMV
  3. NCR CounterPoint Lab staffed with CounterPoint technical specialists
  4. Sessions offering free and unbiased advice and information for businesses and organizations searching for a new (or first) point of sale system
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, August 25, 2015

Retail Management Hero Point of Sale Software Brochure

Update July 2016, Retail Management Hero demo and overview: http://retailpospondering.blogspot.com/2016/07/new-version-of-rmsretail-management.html

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

Below is a link to a brochure related to the new Retail Management Hero point of sale software which is targeted as a direct replacement for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software. Looks like a great solution for single location RMS users and smaller chains that use RMS and HQ.

No word on a release date or which companies in the US will be certified to sell and support Retail Management Hero (please contact me if your organization plans on becoming certified to sell and support Retail Management Hero - I have a lot of RMS users who are interested but it depends on the final timing when the software will be ready for deployment).

Here is the link: http://www.rrdisti.com/_literature_141375/Retail_Management_Hero_Brochure

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.

Retail Realm Essentials Point of Sale Software Brochure

Here is a link to a brochure with more information about the new Retail Realm Essentials point of sale software. Of note, I have yet to find anyone in the United States that is actively selling and supporting Retail Realm Essentials (please contact me if your organization is located in the US and certified to sell and support Retail Realm Essentials):  http://www.rrdisti.com/_literature_128529/Retail_Realm_Essentials_Features

Visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Point of Sale Company Reviews

Over the last 17 years not only have I been able to use and review multiple point of sale programs but I have also gotten to know the companies actually selling point of sale systems in the United States. In my travels I have had a chance to spend some time visiting many of these companies in person (commonly referred to as Point of Sale VAR's, Partners, or Dealers).

If you are in need of a referral or just want to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company, please get in touch with me and I'll be happy to pass along brutally honest feedback if it happens to be a company that I am familiar with.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Goodwill Easter Seals of Minnesota

Just wrapped up a week of meetings at Goodwill Easter Seals of Minnesota related to their search for new retail, warehouse, and e-commerce technology.  I had a great time meeting with them and making some final recommendations which they will hopefully be moving forward on.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

True Cost of Payment Gateways

Update July 2016: Since many Microsoft RMS point of sale software would like to keep using RMS for another couple of years but still need to deal with the EMV Liability Shift Date, visit this post for more information on the Card Defender EMV add-on for Microsoft RMS versions 1.3 and higher (and HQ as well): http://retailpospondering.blogspot.com/2016/06/card-defender-emv-add-on-for-microsoft.html

One of the various options for Microsoft Dynamics RMS users to meet the upcoming October 1st, 2015 EMV Liability Shift Date for card present transactions in the US is to use a payment gateway to process chip based credit and debit card transactions. While this may seem like an easy fix, here are a few things that you need to be aware of:
  1. Cost Over Time: As an example, if the payment gate costs 2 cents per transaction, your business averages 500 transactions per day, and your business is open 300 days per year, then your cost over 5 years for using the payment gateway is $15,000 (2 cents X 500 transactions per day X 300 days open per year X 5 years).
  2. Note that there are variables with #1 as the payment gateway provider may discount your merchant services rates for credit and debit card processing - you have to to the math and see what works be for your business in the long run (5 to 7 years).
  3. You are still investing in a point of sale system whose sales end in July 2016 to new customers and extended support ends in July of 2021. What other new requirements will come out in the upcoming years that will require an additional investment?
While payment gateways in general are secure ways to processing chip cards, meet the EMV Liability Shift Date, and use added security like tokenization, some businesses and organizations may find the costs to be too high versus investing in a new point of sale system.

Confused? Have Clarifications or Questions? In need of free and unbiased point of sale advice? Then please visit my contact page for information on how to reach me. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Local Retail POS Installation Help - Idaho, Utah, and Oregon

As I am now part of the RITE team, I am happy to let folks know that local sales, installation, training, and support for retail point of sale systems is again available to businesses and organizations in the states of Idaho, Utah, and Oregon (Montana, Wyoming, Washington State, and Nevada can be coordinated as needed).

This is great as these states lacked companies that focused on retail point of sale solutions ever since DirectPOS/RVP Business Systems closed their offices in Boise, ID, Spokane, WA and Salt Lake City, UT.

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.

New XR7 From NCR

While NCR has been known for providing tough computers to be used in specialty retail situations like garden centers and nurseries (which I have personally worked with in the past), these computers looked like something out of the 1980's in size and design.

NCR recently released the new XR7 computer which looks more like a sleek tablet but retains the functionality of a computer. The XR7 also has gone through durability testing to ensure that the computer can handle tough retail environments.

More information about rhe XR7 can be found on this webpage: http://www.retailcontrolsystems.com/the-all-new-xr7/

You can also visit my contact page for information on how to reach me if you have questions or are in need of some free and unbiased point of sale advice.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Age of Posts - Outdated Information

While I do my best to keep all my blog site and YouTube Channel content updated, some of the posts contain information from more than 2 years ago and the information may be outdated.  I'm working on cleaning up or adding notes if the information is outdated.

You can always contact me directly if you want to make sure that the information is correct and current. Visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

POS Tip for Long Term Success

From time to time over the years I have been contacted by organizations and businesses who have had one employee with complete ownership of the POS system.  While this may seem like a good idea from a security and procedure standpoint, when that employee moves on, these organizations and businesses realize that no one else knows how to run the POS system and now they have to spend some money on training.

I've also found that this encourages bad habits as the sole employee in charge of the POS system may not be using the POS system correctly when it comes to inventory control, security, etc.

Point being that when you invest in a POS system, make sure that cross training takes place so more then one employee knows the entire POS system and then these employees can also cross check each other to ensure that proper procedures and security measures are in place.

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.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hosted Version of NCR CounterPoint SQL

So I had the opportunity to spend some time recently with one the largest NCR CounterPoint SQL point of sale software partners/dealers in the United States recently. The partner has come up with a way to help reduce some costs related to NCR CounterPoint by hosting the software's database on their own servers.

This helps reduce some of the initial costs related to technology costs for the computer used to host the database. Very helpful not only in reducing costs, but also helpful for businesses and organizations with multiple locations and/or that do not have technical expertise.

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 14, 2015

Why Bindo Point of Sale is so Popular

Over the years I have sold, supported or reviewed well over 40 different point of sale programs designed for retail stores, museums, and restaurants. Over the last year, a large percentage of folks who contact me for free and unbiased point of sale advice are already considering Bindo Point of Sale (POS) or go on to select Bindo POS as the point of sale program for their business or organization.

So, it made me wonder, why is Bindo POS so popular?  Here is what I uncovered:
  1. Bindo "Gets It": from the leadership to sales staff to support and admin staff, they all understand retail and point of sale systems. You can see this in Bindo POS as well as when you are talking to anyone that works at Bindo.
  2. Scale-able Solution: whether you have 1 location or 500 locations, Bindo POS can be sized accordingly with no need for expensive servers.
  3. Right Mix of Features and Functions: Bindo has the best mix of features and functions that businesses and organizations want in a point of sale system. 
  4. Merchant Services Agnostic: Unlike many point of sale programs, Bindo does not force you to use one company for merchant services which lets you avoid costly long term merchant services contracts.
  5. Helpful but not Aggressive: I've found that the sales and marketing team at Bindo is focused on helping you choose the best point of sale program and are not the type of people who will be calling and emailing every 4 hours to see "if you are ready to sign up".
  6. Steady Growth and not "Turn and Burn": Bindo has proven to be focused on building long term relationships and not quickly closing sales just for the sake of increasing the number of Bindo users.
  7. Rock Star Support and Development: The customer service staff, support staff, and programmers all know they play a critical role in Bindo's success and the success of those using Bindo.
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.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Upcoming Events and Speaking Engagements

A quick update on my upcoming speaking engagements specific point of sale and EMV workshops:

Boise State University location of the Idaho Small Business Development Center.  September 22nd, 2015, 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Registration link and more details: https://business.idahosbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=40350090

Envision Retail Conference - Denver, CO. September 17th and 18th at the Denver Marriott City Center.  I will likely have a workshop designed for businesses searching for a new point of sale system or wanting to replace and older system on both days. Time and further details to follow. Link to more information about the Envision Retail Conference can be found here: https://www.retailcontrolsystems.com/envision-conference/

I'll post more details  on other events as they become available.  

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.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

National Retail Point of Sale Solution Provider Expanding to Utah, Idaho, and Surrounding Areas

Update April 10th, 2016: this is still a work in progress but I am doing some ground work for the rest of April to see if this can be finalized by the end of May, 2016.  I've tallied around 600 businesses in the areas mentioned below that would benefit from having a local company for point of sale software, hardware, installation, training, and on-going support.

While Idaho and many of states surrounding Idaho contain multiple local companies that specialize in Restaurant point of sale systems, no one has stepped up to replace the local sales and service void left by the closure of DirectPOS and RVP Businesses Systems when it comes to a local company providing point of sale systems for retail stores and museums.  There are a few local companies in these areas that offer some retail point of sale solutions but it is not a primary part of their business.

To early to say for sure but it appears that a well respected  national retail point of sale solution provider is considering some level of expansion to offer sales and support to retail stores and museums located in Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Northern Nevada, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington State.

I will pass along further details as they become available as this would be welcomed news to retail stores and museums located in these areas!

Please visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What are Support "Incidents" and How Do They Work

With some Microsoft Dynamics RMS and HQ partners fading away, I've been contacted by several businesses searching for support related to RMS and HQ.  While I am happy to assist as best I can or arrange for a certified RMS/HQ support person to contact you, I wanted you to know that you also have the option of obtaining support direct from Microsoft.

If you have stayed current on your annual software maintenance for RMS/HQ then you normally receive a limited number of free support incidents directly with Microsoft. If you are not current on your maintenance then a fee per incident applies.

So what does an incident mean?  In my experience it means that one issue per incident will be dealt with until all parties agree the issue is resolved.  So if you need help reconnecting your database to a POS station, that counts as one incident. If you need help reconnecting your database to a POS station and need help installing a OPOS driver for a receipt printer on the same POS station then that counts as 2 support incidents.

You can contact Microsoft for RMS and HQ support at 888-477-7877 for Dynamics RMS and HQ support. You can also visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thank-You for Your Patience!

Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone for your patience in waiting for me to call or email you back with information and advice related to point of sale systems. In June 2015 I had over 40 businesses and organizations contact me for unbiased point of sale advice and information.

Between this blog site and my YouTube Channel, the sites are averaging over 150 unique visitors a day (not counting people from obscure countries raiding content).

As a reminder, I do my best to respond within 4 business hours to all requests unless I am traveling. Best times to reach me via phone are 9am-3pm Mountain Time. Otherwise, texts, emails, and using the contact form to the right can be done at anytime.  You can always visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Big Discount and Incentive for Microsoft Dynamics RMS Users

Wow, so I have been made aware of a special offer from a national NCR CounterPoint SQL point of sale partner. As you know, many Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software users are looking at different point of sale options due to the upcoming EMV liability shift date as well as the end of life status with RMS (sales of RMS to new customers and mainstream support for RMS and HQ end July of 2016).

The offer is a 20% discount on licensing costs as well as a free transfer of your inventory, customer, and vendor data.  This is a very large potential cost savings - especially as the majority of the 725 stores using RMS (and HQ) that have contacted me for advice have indicated that they plan on switching away from RMS sooner than later.

Please contact me for more information and I'm also happy to share my personal experiences having helped a few stores upgrade from RMS to NCR CounterPoint back when I was selling and supporting a large variety of point of sale systems for retail stores, restaurants. and museums.

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.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

NCR CounterPoint SQL as an Upgrade or Replacement for Microsoft Dynamics RMS

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.

April 3rd, 2016, new video review/overview of the NCR CounterPoint SQL point of sale software: http://retailpospondering.blogspot.com/2016/04/updated-review-of-ncr-counterpoint-sql.html

With the EMV Liability Shift Deadline looming as well as the "end of life" status form Microsoft Dynamics RMS and HQ, I wanted to revisit NCR CounterPoint SQL as a logical upgrade from RMS.

I've had direct experience in the past with retail stores and museums replacing RMS with NCR CounterPoint and overall the experience has been positive. It is easy to transfer the data from RMS to NCR CounterPoint SQL and users appreciated the additional features and functions that NCR CounterPoint SQL offers. The user interface for NCR CounterPoint SQL is very different from the user interface in RMS but is also more customizable.

As NCR CounterPoint SQL offers a lot more than RMS, dedicated training sessions are a "must have" as is allowing for time to transition to a new point of sale system. Another bonus is that NCR CounterPoint SQL works with most of the same peripherals (barcode scanners, cash drawers, etc) as Microsoft Dynamics RMS.  NCR CounterPoint SQL is also much better suited for multi-location environments that using Microsoft Dynamics HQ.

About the only complaints that I heard from businesses and organizations who upgraded to NCR CounterPoint SQL from Microsoft Dynamics RMS is that the reporting in NCR CounterPoint SQL is not as robust as the reporting in Microsoft Dynamics RMS. In most cases this was overcome by writing custom reports using Crystal Reports.

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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

EMV Options for Microsoft Dynamics RMS (and HQ) Point of Sale Software Users

Update July 2016: Since many Microsoft RMS point of sale software would like to keep using RMS for another couple of years but still need to deal with the EMV Liability Shift Date, visit this post for more information on the Card Defender EMV add-on for Microsoft RMS versions 1.3 and higher (and HQ as well): http://retailpospondering.blogspot.com/2016/06/card-defender-emv-add-on-for-microsoft.html

Video explaining the different EMV Liability Shift Date options and offering advice for users of the Microsoft Dynamics RMS (and HQ) point of sale programs in the United States. Covers all the options from doing nothing, using separate credit card terminals, using a payment gateway, or switching to a different point of sale system.

Between EMV and the 'end of life' status with RMS and HQ, just about everyone using RMS (including HQ) has to take some course of action.

I have already been contacted by 1102 stores and organizations using RMS (with about 12 also using HQ) for free and unbiased advice and direction so this is real word advice and not sales fluff. If you are in need of free and unbiased advice - including trusted contacts at any of the solutions that I mention in the video of which many are offering significant discounts to RMS users - please contact me via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com or on my cell at 208-340-5632.  You can also visit my contact page for other ways to get in touch with me.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

In Addition to EMV...

Since just about everyone is looking at hardware and software costs related to the upcoming EMV Liability Shift Date of October 1st, 2015 in the United States for card present transactions, this is a perfect time to look at other "housekeeping" items related to the point of sale system used by your business or organization.  In no specific order:

  1. Make sure that you have the latest version of your point of sale software
  2. Check to see if your annual maintenance contract is current for support and updates to your point of sale software
  3. Look at a system "refresh" to see if any hardware, computers, or network equipment needs to be updated or replaced
  4. Compare merchant services rates - never hurts to check and see what you could save by paying lower fees for credit and debit card processing service
  5. Look at other point of sale systems before you commit to spending any money on your current point of sale system - a lot has changed recently and you may find that it is better to switch to a new point of sale system than continue to invest in your current point of sale system
Please visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sales of Retail Management Hero

If anyone out there is planning on selling and supporting Retail Management Hero in the US once it becomes available, could you please get in touch with me?  I have several hundred RMS users that need more information on Retail Management Hero plus new leads coming in each week asking about Retail Management Hero.

Here is a link to my contact information: http://retailpospondering.blogspot.com/p/contact-me.html

Monday, June 15, 2015

Microsoft Dynamics RMS and HQ Buying Group

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.

Update July 5th, 2015:  I've now had 731 stores using RMS contact me and, while the "RMS buying group" sounds great, it is proving to be too cumbersome to coordinate.  What I have done instead is work out some discounts for RMS users with various point of sale program that have already proven to be popular replacements for RMS and HQ. Visit my contact page for information on how to reach me for more details and to see how I can direct you to the best resources.

I wanted to pass along this idea: since I'm now in contact with over 720 stores in the United States that currently use the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software (with around 17 also using HQ), would it be good for all of you to connect with each other?

Based on my records, none of you are in competition with each other but all of you are seriously considering replacing RMS/HQ with a different point of sale solution. 720 stores approaching a vendor who can offer a solution to replace RMS/HQ would mean huge buying power (think along the lines of the buying groups that many of you are members of). While its likely that one point of sale program will not meet everyone's needs, the potential for cost savings is huge even if some of you go with one solution and others choose a different solution.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or want to get on the "list" - please get in touch with me using the contact form to the right, via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com, or on my cell at 208-340-5632.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Want to Meet in Person?

While its awesome to speak with so many of you over the phone or chat via email, I really enjoy traveling as it gives us a chance to meet in person as well the opportunity for me to visit your business or organization in person. Here are some of the areas that I will likely be visiting for the rest of June and into July 2015:
  • Utah - Salt Lake City and surrounding areas
  • Washington State - Seattle and surrounding areas
  • Colorado - Denver and surrounding areas 
Of course, I'm always available to meet in person for anyone in Idaho as well as Eastern Oregon. I can arrange other travel as time and budget allow or if you are able to reimburse my travel expenses.

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.