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!


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
  • 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.