Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Why Do I have to Pay Monthly or Annual Fees with my POS System?

I have been hearing this almost daily now for the last few months: "Why do all of the new point of sale software programs have a monthly or annual fee to use the software? I have been using Microsoft RMS for 7+ years and never paid for anything once I purchased the software. I want a POS system without any monthly or annual fees.".

The short answer is that times have changed. Do we still see leaded fuel at fuel stations? Cigarette vending machines in bars and restaurants? Of course not.

The same is true with point of sale technology. Aside from Y2K, there was little change in the POS industry from 1995 to 2010.  For retailers using stand alone payment terminals, there has been little to no change until Windows 7 support ended.

Aside from the credit card processing/merchant services changes coming out every 5 months or so, computer operating systems and hardware are changing which may or may not create issues with an older point of sale software program.

With technology changing, and retailers using POS technology to increase revenue, you need to be using a POS system that can be updated on a regular basis.

Also, if you are using stand alone payment terminals, you are likely loosing around $40/week per terminal in mis-keyed transactions based on a survey that I did last year.

A good percentage of retailers need point of sale software that can be continually improved to match changing technology and a competitive marketplace. To get this type of point of sale technology requires paying an annual or monthly subscription - no matter what point of software program you use.

Now - there are exceptions:
  • Retailers who are operating the store as a hobby
  • Retailers is smaller towns with no competition
  • Retailers who offer something unique and don't foresee local or online competition
  • Retailers not looking to grow - just maintain status quo until retirement or the business is sold
  • Retailers willing to gamble that nothing will ever happen to their POS system (eg not having to pay $500/year for 7 years equals $3500 which would get me at least a basic new POS when the current system dies),
In these situations, it may be possible to put in a POS system like Retail Management Hero or NCR CounterPoint and never pay a dime once the system is up and running. Of course, if something does happen, the expense could be quite significant. Think of it like car insurance - you can pay $90/month for car insurance or gamble and then pay $12000 for a new car if your car is totaled.

If you go the route of not paying for software maintenance, then I'd recommend having a plan in place should the POS system crash and also having at least $5000 set aside to pay for a POS system or repairs to the existing POS system.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Then please contact me at 208-340-5632 or

Monday, February 10, 2020

For Montana Liquor Stores Using Microsoft RMS

30 Second bullet point summary if you don't have time to read further or watch the videos:
  • End of Life for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS software is July 2021
  • There are 30+ liquor stores in Montana still using Microsoft RMS
  • First video covers facts around RMS End of Life, what other retailers using RMS are doing regarding the RMS End of Life Deadline, and general advice
  • Cloud Retailer is both a low direct replacement program for RMS and is designed for beer/wine/liquor retailers as show in the remaining videos
  • We do plan on supporting RMS/HQ past July 2021 but not indefinitely
  • Contact me at or 208-340-5632 to chat more about your specific situation. No sales pitches - just a conversation.
My understanding from speaking with liquor store retailers in Montana is that at least 30 of you are still using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software.  To help you with the whole Microsoft RMS End of Life deadline, a few resources are below:

Video about RMS End of Life (facts, what other retailers are doing, advice):
In addition to being a direct low cost replacement for Microsoft RMS, Cloud Retailer is also specifically designed for liquor store retailers.  Feature/Function examples include:

Age Verification:
Automatic Cash Discounts:
Supplier Purchase Planning:

Unit of Measure:

Detailed Product Attributes:

If you own or operate a beer, wine or liquor store in Montana, and use the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software, then it is worth taking a look at Cloud Retailer.

A quick reminder that 1) Cloud Retailer is a direct replacement for RMS (keep your existing data, possible discounts for RMS users, etc) and that 2) We will continue to support RMS past the July 2021 End of Life date (but will end support at some point). 

Free trial versions of Cloud Retailer are available by contacting me at 208-340-5632 or (US and Canada only please). I am also available for in person meetings as my travel schedule permits.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Welcome to the first Customers of 2020!

As we wrap up the first full month of 2020, a hearty welcome to the following retailers that selected myself and RITE as their point of sale partner:
  • Sage Brush Trading in Arizona: Retail Management Hero support and training
  • JD's Market in Washington State: Card Defender for Microsoft RMS
  • Noble Spirits in Washington State: Card Defender from Microsoft RMS
  • Pet Adventure in Washington State: New Point of Sale Hardware
  • Station Wine and Spirits in Oklahoma: RITE Microsoft RMS Maintenance Agreement
  • Grape Wine and Spirits in Oklahoma: RITE Microsoft RMS Maintenance Agreement
Are you curious why these retailers choose myself and RITE? Then please contact me at 208-340-5632 or for more information.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Resellers/Dealers/VAR's/Partners Ending Support for Microsoft RMS

As the July 2021 end of life date comes closer specific to the Microsoft RMS point of sale software, more and more Microsoft RMS Partners/VAR's/Dealers/Resellers are setting firm dates on when they will stop supporting Microsoft RMS and RMS HQ.  So far, the following has been reported to me:
  1. Positive Technologies: January 2021
  2. Compass/Interdyn: Already ended
  3. Retail Technology Experts: Already ended
  4. New West Tech: Pending
  5. RITE: Will support past July 2021 - no near term plans to end RMS/HQ support
If I come across others - I will be sure to pass along. If you are in need of Microsoft RMS/HQ support and/or are looking for a POS software program to replace RMS, please contact me at 208-340-5632 or Besides the consulting services that I offer, I also work for a Microsoft Dynamics RMS Partner that will continue to support RMS past July 2021 (but not forever given the resources required to support RMS/HQ once Microsoft officially ends RMS/HQ support).

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Honest Feedback on Retail Management Hero (RMH)

As we start a new decade, I wanted to pass along my personal experience in working with retailers who are using the Retail Management Hero point of sale software. I have been onsite with many of these retailers and/or spoken with them via phone and helped with installation and training.

First, the negative reviews:

I can vouch for almost all of those reviews as being valid (these retailers did not acquire RMH through myself, or RITE, but I am familiar with their stores).

As for retailers who did acquire RMH via myself and RITE, there seems to be a 50/50 split between those who love RMH and those who are struggling to use RMH. These are retailers across just about all industries and are located across the US.  The biggest concerns to note about RMH are:
  1. Needing to use add-ons for credit card processing
  2. Differences between Microsoft RMS and RMS as covered here:
  3. RMH Central is NOT ready for general release
  4. Not being able to see cost at the POS screen
  5. Not being able to add new items at the POS screen
  6. Lack of a manual or users guide
  7. Too many releases and cost to install each new release
  8. No support is included with annual software maintenance
The retailers who love RMH have expressed the following to me:
  1. POS is really easy to train cashiers on
  2. Liked that they could move their data from Microsoft RMS to RMH
  3. Plenty of third party plug ins for e-comm, and accounting software interfaces
  4. Uses fairly standard point of sale hardware and peripherals
  5. The built in customer loyalty program is a nice feature
  6. Physical inventory counts are easy to do using the built in tool
There also seems to be a trend of various RMH re-sellers abandoning retailers mid-deployment which myself and RITE have done our best to help clean up. Never an ideal situation but it seems to have gone well 90% of the time in fixing what the RMH re-seller promised but never delivered on.

Are you considering RMH and/or have RMH feedback? Then please contact me at 208-340-5632 or

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New Page: Client Map

Idea is to pin retailers on the map who contact me for on-site or remote point of sale advice, consulting, sales or service.

Want to appear on the map? You can contact me at or 208-340-5632 for point of sale related advice, consulting, sales and service.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Cloud Retailer POS for Beer/Wine/Liquor Stores

Over the last few years, the folks at Cloud Retailer have been working on including specific features and functions within the Cloud Retailer point of sale software that are vertical specific. Recent examples include the following retail verticals:
  • Gun and Archery Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Convenience Stores (no fuel sales)
  • Cannabis Retail
  • Corner Markets and Specialty Food Stores
  • Mobile Retailers
  • Trampoline Parks
  • Gift Shops and Tourist Attractions
  • and more on the way...
This post will focus on the Beer, Wine and Liquor Store vertical.  There is a lot that Cloud Retailer offers for the Beer, Wine and Liquor retailers.  Specific examples include:

Age Verification:

Automated Cash Discounts:

Supplier Purchase Planning:

Unit of Measure:

Detailed Product Attributes:

If you own or operate a beer, wine or liquor store, it is worth taking a look at Cloud Retailer. Free trial versions are available by contacting me at 208-340-5632 or (US and Canada only please),.