Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2021 Point of Sale Resolutions

 A list of 2021 Resolutions for Retailers:

  • I will make a definitive plan to replace Microsoft RMS
  • I will ensure that my data is secure and being backed up daily
  • I will compare my rates for credit card processing/merchant services at least every 6 months
  • I will learn one new thing about my point of sale software program at least every 3 months
What else would you include on this list? Send suggestions to me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or by calling 208-340-5632.

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You Safe in 2021!

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Blessings Everyone!

 As you take time to celebrate the birth of Jesus - whether that be in person and/or virtually - please take a moment to pray for the Persecuted Church that they be kept safe from harm from those doing the persecuting (and that the Gospel Message be placed on the heart of those doing the persecuting). Amen!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Get Google Pointy for Free!

If you happen to be using the Retail Management Hero (RMH) point of sale software, then the folks at New West Technology are offering Google Pointy for free! 

While Pointy is not a e-commerce or shopping cart site, Pointy does allow you to showcase your inventory online by syncing your RMH inventory with Pointy.  This is a great way to allow customers to browse your store online before coming to the store to make an actual purchase.  Pointy sounds like a nice solution for retailers who have products that cant be sold online.

Pointy is completely new to me so I don't have a lot of additional information at thus time. I'd suggest heading over the New West Technology for more information which can be found here: https://www.newestech.com/pointy-for-rmh

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Point of Sale Software Options for Liquor Stores in Oregon

I've spent several weeks in Oregon over the last few months helping retailers find the best point of sale system for their store and found there to be some confusion about which POS software programs are available to liquor store retailers in Oregon.

After meeting with several liquor retailers as well as multiple calls and emails with the OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission), I was given the impression that KMDS (Kelly Myers Data Systems)  POS was the only approved option for liquor store retailers in Oregon.

This is not true as the Cloud Retailer POS software is also available in Oregon. Here are some comparisons between KMDS and Cloud Retailer:

Similarities

  • Both are designed for liquor retailers
  • Both are approved by the OLCC
  • Both are in use by multiple liquor stores in Oregon
  • Both provide OLCC specific reporting

Pro Cloud Retailer

  • Integrated processing (no errors due to manual double entry on payment terminals)

Pro KMDS

  • Based in Oregon and well established user base
Note about Point of Sale Software Programs:

I did not include Retail Management Hero or NCR CounterPoint in the comparisons as I was focused on just liquor store specific POS software programs that included OLCC reporting integration. I have not come across any liquor stores in Oregon that use RMS, NCR Counterpoint, Vend, Bindo, Clover, etc.

If you are a liquor store retailer in the state of Oregon, I would encourage you to look at both Cloud Retailer and KMDS.



Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Retail Management Hero or Cloud Retailer: Which is a better replacement for Microsoft RMS?

Designed to help you decide whether Retail Management Hero (RMH) or Cloud Retailer is a better replacement option for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software.

One Update: RMH is available globally while Cloud Retailer is designed only for retailers in the United States.





For questions or suggestions, please contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Microsoft RMS End Of Life: Replacement Flowchart

 OK - I know - another post (and video) about Microsoft RMS end of life. This is due to the sheer number of RMS point of sale software users that have been contacting me over the last few weeks.  

I am also working on a video that shows some of the feature and functions in Cloud Retailer and Retail Management Hero that should help you decide whether Cloud Retailer or RMH is a better option for your store.

For now - a flow chart to walk you through the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software replacement decision:



Quick update that the folks at Retail Management Hero now offer Age Verification and similar features and function for liquor retailers. Contact them at sales@rmhpos.com for more information

Questions? Please contact me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com



Tuesday, November 17, 2020

RITE Extends Microsoft RMS/HQ Support Through July 2023

 OK - so with everything going on with the US economy and COVID 19, it is clear that there are still several thousand retailers using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS/HQ point of sale software that plan on using RMS/HQ past the July 2021 end of life date set my Microsoft. If you are one of those retailers, I have good news to pass along to you!

RITE, a Microsoft RMS/HQ Partner with over 12 support techs, will continue to support the Microsoft RMS/HQ point of sale software past July 2021. Of course, there are multiple stipulations as there will be zero assistance from Microsoft itself.  Keep in mind that this is subject to change.

  • Must be in the United States
  • New or replacement RMS lane or HQ store license keys are not available
  • Must be current on a RITE RMS Maintenance Agreement. The cost for a RITE RMS Maintenance Agreement starts around $810 to $1025 for 12 months of support for a typical single lane store. This price includes up to 5 hours of support. Lower pricing is available for retailers who already have a support package with RITE. Price could be as low as $215 for some retailers using Microsoft RMS who are already on a RITE support plan.
  • Only common and current hardware is supported (eg: name brands like Epson, Symbol, MMF, Metroligic, Star, Honeywell, Windows 10, ELO, etc). A good rule of thumb is that, if the hardware or software is more than 5 years old, it will not be supported.
  • You must being using Card Defender or stand alone payment terminals. Credit card swipes that are USB, serial/USB pin pads, or payment terminals that connect to RMS using plug ins (aside from Card Defender) are not supported.
If I haven't completely confused you, RITE can be reached at 888-267-7483 for more information and clarification on the above information.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Tis the season for Tax Deductions!

OK - So I am no way a tax expert so be sure to validate this information with your tax professional. I do have experience as a business manager as well as a degree that included 300 and 400 level accounting and finance course work).

For the last 20+ years, I am always asked about deducting point of sale system expenses from your taxes as an expense.  For most retailers, the answer is yes - an outright purchase of point of sale hardware and software can qualify as a deduction. The requirements are that the hardware is being used in the business and not for personal use.

Some gray areas include if you can deduct point of sale hardware that you are leasing as well as point of sale software that you pay a monthly subscription on.

At any rate, if you have not used up your computer hardware deductions for 2020, now is a great time to look at investing in a new POS system. At this point, you should expect that you will pay for the point of sale system now but not have the new system installed until 2021.   

One last thought - don't wait until the last week in December to try and purchase a new point of sale system for tax purposes - I've had lots of folks call me on December 31st and generally it's too late with most staff (and most companies) closing early on New Years Eve. A good deadline (depending on what you need) is having everything finalized by Dec 15th, 2020. This allows time to process payments and get you that much needed invoice/receipt showing that the POS system was paid for in 2020.

Thoughts, comments and suggestions on the above are welcomed! You can reach me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632.  






Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Welcome to some new customers!

I wanted to give a quick shout out to the following retailers who recently signed on with me for point of sale related products and services:

  • Terra Casa in Oregon: upgrade from Microsoft RMS to Cloud Retailer
  • The Caring Place in Texas: POS hardware
  • Sticker Planet: POS hardware
  • Jordan Taylor in Texas: Card Defender for Microsoft RMS
  • Pets West in Texas: upgrade from Microsoft RMS to Cloud Retailer
  • Martin Bruni Liquor in Washington State: upgrade from Microsoft RMS to Cloud Retailer
  • La La Liquor in Texas: upgrade from Microsoft RMS to Cloud Retailer
  • Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat: upgrade from Microsoft RMS to Cloud Retailer
  • Bedrock Comics: Microsoft RMS hardware and software for new store location (congrats!)
Thanks to all of you for your trust when it comes to retail point of sale hardware, software and services!





Wednesday, October 21, 2020

In Need of a Ride Along with a Supplier Sales Rep

 Hi!  If you happen to be a route/field rep for a supplier that serves the liquor store industry, I would like to discuss a way that I could ride along with you for a half or full day?  I am working on some research for supplier ordering technology and how the technology ties in to the liquor stores POS system.

If you are open to this, please contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632 - I realize that we may have to wait until the COVID 19 situation is under control but would like to at least discuss coordinating a ride along with you.


Monday, September 21, 2020

Heartland Letter about Oct 20th 2020 Deadline for Backend Change

Letters and emails have been going out to Heartland customers about a change they are making that could effect the retailers point of sale system.

I can not speak on behalf of all the POS systems but indications are that Cloud Retailer, Retail Management Hero (RMH), and Microsoft RMS users should be OK. This assumes that retailers using RMS or RMH are also using the Card Defender payment processing plug in for RMH and RMS. 

If you are concerned, be sure to contact your point of sale provider and your Heartland Rep for assistance.


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Did You Receive This Postcard from RITE?

Did you happen to get this in the mail from RITE?


This was sent out to the majority of Microsoft RMS users in the United States as full support for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software ends in July 2021. RITE will be offering some limited extended support past July 2021 but you need to contact them at 888-267-7483 or sales@rite.us for more details.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Limited Extended Support Offered for Microsoft Dynamics RMS and HQ Version 2.x

While July 2021 marks the end of all support from Microsoft for the Dynamics RMS and RMS HQ products, support will still be available for a few more years from RITE. RITE has 14 support techs and offers 24/7 support to retailers using the Microsoft RMS and RMS HQ point of sale software programs.

Of course, there are a few restrictions:

  • You must be located in the US or Canada
  • You must stay current on a maintenance agreement (prices start at only $214 a year)
  • You must be on version 2.0 or higher of RMS
  • New or replacement lane license keys are NOT available 
  • EDC is NOT supported - you must be using Card Defender, a supported RMS payment processing plug in, or stand alone payment terminals
Since each retailers situation is unique, please contact RITE at 888-267-7483 for more information.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Alcohol delivery service Drizly hit by data breach affecting 2.4 million accounts

 

RITE "Bottoms Up" industry news
Rite logo
Keeping you up to date on everything BWL
Dear Kevin,

For over 15 years we have been on the edge of relevant information and offerings within the Retail Alcohol Industry to help guide your interests and decisions. In testament to this, we received the 2019 "Friend of the Retailer" award from MN's Licensed Beverage Association (1st POS company to win the award).

The Industry is changing and we are changing right along side it to better suit your needs (scroll down to reminder about RMS end of life).

*If you think a friend may benefit from this content, feel free to forward it to them.
Sales at Utah’s state-run liquor stores top half-billion dollars a year for first time
(estimated read time 2-3 minutes)
"Sales at Utah’s state-run liquor stores topped a half billion dollars in a year for the first time ever.Numbers released by the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control this week show the state took in $500,324,118 in fiscal 2020, which ended June 30. Sales were up even though the overall number of bottles sold for the year was down 3.5 million or about 7% from last year.
Moving heavy beer to grocery stores last November might account for the drop, officials said."
Alcohol delivery service Drizly hit by data breach affecting 2.4 million accounts
(estimated read time 1 minute)
"Drizly confirmed it suffered a massive breach earlier this month, saying data from 2.5 million accounts may have been stolen.
The alcohol delivery service confirmed Wednesday that a hacker acquired some of its customer data, including emails, date-of-birth information, passwords, and in some cases, addresses. The breach was first reported by TechCrunch."
Coca Col
Re-enters the Booze Business
estimated read time 3 minutes
"Look out liquor world: Coca-Cola is getting back into the booze business. And unlike 40 years ago, this time the soda giant is playing to its strength.Coca-Cola announced last week that it will create a Topo Chico hard seltzer, which it plans to debut in Latin American countries this year. The plan is to launch the cans into the US market in 2021. This comes a year after Coke successfully dipped its toes back in the liquor market for the first time in decades, introducing a lemon-flavored canned cocktail called Remondo in Japan.”
Best of the Rest
RMS goes End of Life in one short year from now
This may be an opportune time for you to evaluate CloudRetailer.
  • A year will go by very quickly
  • Tools to keep you viable and in business (curbside module for example)
  • Built by people who know RMS inside and out
  • "Very happy with the switch to CloudRetailer. It has been a huge upgrade in every way. Anyone who is still using RMS should move to CloudRetailer." - N. Beers
Do you have comments, suggestions, or feedback about this newsletter?
Questions about liquor store point of sale systems - including the low cost replacement program for Microsoft Dynamics RMS, or other legacy POS systems?

Then please contact RITE's sales and marketing team at 888-267-7483 or sales@rite.us
Retail Information Technology Enterprises
(888) 267-RITE (7483)
Fax: (320) 230-1795
Retail Information Technology Enterprises | 1001 2nd Street SouthSuite 100Sartell, MN 56377

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Great YouTube Channel for Independently Owned Liquor Stores!

 This is a great YouTube Channel for anyone who owns a liquor store! Solid advice on operations and how to increase revue from someone who operates an actual liquor store: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjOX6qualo7rBlb9b5COdPA



Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Beverage Alcohol Retail Conference (BARC) Top 100 Retailers for 2020 Released

 With trade shows being cancelled through the end of 2020, the folks at the Beverage Alcohol Retail Conference (BARC) have released their Top 100 Retailers for 2020. Congrats to all the retailers who made the Top 100 for 2020!



Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Back in Business: Welcome to Some New Retail Clients

While not up to 100% of what it was back in March of this year,  retailers are feel better about the future and signing on for new products and services. I wanted to pass along a "thank-you" to the following retailers for working with me on point of sale related products, services or support:
  • Island Liquor -Montana - Microsoft RMS Support
  • Seattle Shirt Company - Washington State - Replacing Microsoft RMS with the Cloud Retailer POS Software
  • Little Rock Zoo - Arkansas - Replacing Microsoft RMS with the RMH POS Software
  • Santa Cruz Market - California - Card Defender for Microsoft RMS
  • Midtown Spirits - Arkansas - Replacing Microsoft RMS with the Cloud Retailer POS Software
  • The Learning Tree - Georgia - Microsoft RMS Support
  • Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat - Replacing Microsoft RMS with the Cloud Retailer POS software
Please contact me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com for more information on the solutions that I offer.

Monday, August 3, 2020

4 Questions You Should Be Asking Merchant Services Companies

A video sharing the 4 questions that you should be asking when searching for a merchant services/credit card processing provider. Suggested answers are included as well!


Questions, suggestions or comments can be sent to kevinantosh@gmail.com / 208-340-5632. Please note that I do not provide or represent any merchant services companies. I am able to refer you when possible (US only please).

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Searching for Retail POS? 9 Questions to Help You Get Started

By popular request from multiple retailers over the last few weeks, a list of nine questions that you should be asking yourself as you start searching for a retail point of sale system. With 200+ POS systems currently available, your answers to these 9 questions will help you quickly narrow down which POS systems will be of interest to you.



If you have questions or would like me to review your answers, please contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632. Note that this information is only designed for retailers in the United States (it might also be slightly helpful to retailers in the UK and North America as well).

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Upcoming 2020 Changes to the Retail Management Hero Point of Sale Software

Wanted to pass along some important upcoming changes the the Retail Management Hero (RMH) point of sale software. Most of this will take effect in September 2020 unless otherwise noted.
  1. Retailers using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software can take advantage of a 10% discount on RMH licenses through June 30th, 2021. You do not have to be current on an RMS maintenance agreement to take advantage of this discount.
  2. RMH Central is officially in general release now. Cost is $8/month per user plus $30/month per store.
  3. Perpetual pricing for RMH will be made available in September 2020. Plan on a lane license to cost around $65/lane per month ($3900 over the course of 5 years).
  4. How payment processing is handled in RMH will change. Newer versions of RMH will require a MAX Pay license and staying current on an RMH Enhancement Plan. Sounds like the cost for MAX Pay will be $8/lane ($480 over the course of 5 years) with the first year being free for RMH users on an Enhancement Plan.
The perceptual pricing will help retailers who are looking to put in a POS system (or replace RMS) at a low up front cost. However, the up front cost works out to be a better value over time - even with the annual cost for the RMH Enhancement Plan.

As always, the above information is subject to change - be sure to contact an RMH Reseller for more information.

 PS - I'm feeling much better about RMH and the future of RMH thanks to some positive feedback from retailers who put in RMH over the last month or two. Hopefully the new update in September 2020 will solidify RMH as a solid POS solution for RMS and Non-RMS users.

Monday, July 6, 2020

RITE Waives Contactless Payment Change Fees for Cloud Retailer and Card Defender Customers.

July 7th, 2020: RITE (Retail Information Technology Enterprises) is now waiving change fee's for customers who want to adjust their Cloud Retailer POS software or their Card Defender for Microsoft RMS software to accept contactless payments. This is a great way for retailers to reduce a common touch point in their store to help mitigate the spread of COVID 19.

Retailers using Card Defender or Cloud Retailer can reach RITE tech support at support@rite.us or by calling 888-267-7483. Note that RITE is only able to assist retailers whose payment terminals are under RITE's control.

If you want to learn more about Card Defender for Microsoft RMS or the new Cloud Retailer point of sale software (including what contactless payments are accepted), please contact RITE at sales@rite.us or by calling 888-267-7483.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Letter from Retail Realm About RMS End of Life

I've had multiple calls and emails this week from retailers who received an email from Retail Realm about the July 2021 end of life date for the Microsoft RMS point of sale software.  

There are a few comments and clarifications that need to be shared about the email:
  1. That was a great video - well done! I remember the days of QuickSell 2000 and QuickSell HQ very well!
  2. Only Microsoft is ending support for RMS in July 2021. RMS will not cease to function come July 2021 and you will still have support via various RMS Partners across the US for several more years.
  3. What will end is the ability to issue new or replacement license keys for RMS. If you lose your license key - you will likely not be able to obtain a new license key.
  4. Using native EDC in RMS for payment processing is no longer supported. You need to be using stand alone payment terminals or a third party plug in like Card Defender.
  5. Over the next 2-4 years, it will become more and more difficult to fully support RMS. As I have recommended multiple times, you should look at RMS replacement options even if you want to keep using RMS for a few more years.
  6. The email mentions Dynamics 365 (D365) as a potential replacement for RMS. Keep in mind that D365 has a monthly software cost starting around $70/month per user (that adds up to $4200 for one user over the course of 5 years).
  7. Another replacement program, Retail Management Hero (RMH), is potential RMS replacement and RMS to RMH discounts have been extended through June 2020. I've personally upgraded around 20 retailers from RMS to RMH and you are welcomed to contact me for personal experiences in working with RMH.
  8. There is also the Cloud Retailer software that is designed as a direct replacement for RMS and carries a much lower cost than D365 or RMH since the licensing is lane based (not per user and no charge for manager licenses like D365 and RMH require).
  9. Here is a video comparing RMS, RMH and Cloud Retailer:
That about covers the questions that retailers have been asking me about RMS end of life and the email from Retail Realm. If I can be of further assistance, please contact me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com

Monday, June 29, 2020

Yes Microsoft RMS Users - Card Defender is Still Available (and fully supported by RITE)!

With Microsoft RMS coming up on the end of extended support, I wanted to let retailers using the Microsoft RMS point of sale software know that the Card Defender plug in for RMS is still being actively sold and supported by RITE (approx 1700 installations as of 6/2020).

A general overview video can be viewed below:



If you would like more information about Card Defender for Microsoft RMS, please contact RITE at sales@rite.us or 888-267-7483.

If you would like a Card Defender quote/proposal, please complete this questionnaire.

Note that Card Defender is only available to RMS Users with stores in the United States.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Retail Terminology Explained: What is "Line Busting"?

A few retailers have recently contacted me asking what "Line Busting" is and how it works within a typical small retail store. Hopefully I can explain this in a way that makes sense!

Many point of sale systems like Microsoft RMS, Retail Management Hero, Cloud Retailer and NCR CounterPoint offer the option to use a mobile device (like a tablet or phone) to start a sales transaction.

This is helpful in multiple ways to both the retailer and the customer:
  1. A mobile device used for line busting is generally less expensive that a full point of sale station with a computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, etc.
  2. Line Busting can be used for special events, peak sales periods, etc as needed versus having a additional point of sale station sitting around that is rarely used.
  3. This is also helpful with retailers that have a drive through window to keep the line moving or allow for order prep time.
  4. You can capture the customers purchases (and initiate the sales process) on the sales floor versus directing the customer to a check out stand.
  5. Keeps the check out line/queue moving.
There are a few disadvantages:
  1. You generally can not bag product or disable security tags since you are on the floor and not at a checkout stand.
  2. You can not fully tender the sale (there are exceptions but we are focused on Line Busting and not mobile check out).
  3. There has to be an easy way for the sale to be recalled at the point of sale checkout station that the customer can remember (eg: use their name).
  4. The mobile devices used rely on WiFi so you do need to ensure that you have a strong and secure WiFi signal (no publicly accessible WiFi should be used).
Typical Process:
  1. Whether in the checkout line or on the sales floor, a store employee would approach the customer and ask if they are ready to checkout.
  2. Customers items are rung up as a new sales transaction.
  3. Customers name is added to the sales transaction (if you track customer information/customer purchase history)
  4. Sales transaction is put on hold and assigned a name or number for recall.
  5. Customer then goes to the point of sale checkout and gives the cashier the name or number used to put the sales transaction on hold.
  6. Cashier recalls the sales transaction and tenders out the sale.
I've seen this in action at several retailers and it works quite well. Retailers like the lower expense and reduced lost sales due to long lines/queue's. Customers like being helped early and seeing that checkout line is moving quickly.

Here are some videos showing a few of the options available:

CP Mobile for NCR CounterPoint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt8ZFoBYDPk

RMS iPOS/RMH iPOS for Microsoft RMS and Retail Management Hero: https://youtu.be/yPz7KpQNTxU

Mobile Device for Cloud Retailer: https://youtu.be/f6hVPkXipzg

As always, please do contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632 with any Line Busting or related retail point of sale questions.