Thursday, October 30, 2014

Microsoft RMS/HQ End of Life and EMV

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):

Update July 2016, Retail Management Hero (RMS version 3.X) demo and overview:

Updated information on Retail Management Hero as a direct replacement for RMS as of December 3rd, 2015:

New video discussing options for Dynamics RMS and HQ users as of December 5th, 2015:

Update August 8th, 2015: Blog post and video covering all the options available for RMS users related to EMV:

Updated information on the upcoming Retail Management Hero Software (or what I am coining "RMS 3.0 for 2015 and beyond") can be found here:

Update January 1st, 2015:

Based on recent conversations with Microsoft and Retail Realm, use of EMV hardware with Microsoft Dynamics RMS Store Operations and HQ will only be available via third party software add-ons (subject to change of course). While this does provide a way for RMS/HQ users to comply with the EMV liability shift, it also means that you will need to pay to use the third party EMV software.

Of course, RMS and HQ are end of life so it make more sense to start planning to replace RMS/HQ with a new point of sale program.

Confused? Contact me for free and unbiased advice.

Since I have been receiving multiple calls and emails related to Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management Systems Store Operations (RMS) and Headquarters (HQ), I wanted to pass along some updates based on what I know so far related to RMS and HQ 'end of life' as well as EMV compatibility.

First, on EMV compatibility:

A forum response from a Microsoft Representative states that there are no plans to upgrade RMS to work with EMV hardware.  However, there is a good chance that a third party will step in and offer some sort of add-on so RMS users can use EMV hardware.  I have heard of some third party RMS EMV apps becoming available but they take a percentage of each transaction.

It is starting to look like RMS and HQ users need to start looking at other options as I question whether it makes sense to invest in a point of sale product whose end of sales and mainstream support date is July of 2016.

Which brings up another possibility related to RMS and HQ:

Given the sheer number of users, as well as all the companies that sell RMS and HQ or offer various enhancements for RMS and HQ, I am hopeful that someone might acquire the rights to coding and database design for RMS and HQ.  I have not heard anything but it seems really strange that a point of sale program used by 40,000+ stores would just be completely retired.

Like I said, I've not heard anything yet but a companies like Retail Realm and New West Technologies stand to loose a lot of revenue if RMS and HQ are retired.

The upside (if a company acquired the rights to RMS and HQ) would be an extremely large existing user base - the downside is that a lot of RMS and HQ users are pretty upset with Microsoft and already making plans to switch to different point of sale programs before October of 2015.  And I don't just mean small single stores but stores with hundreds of locations in the US.

So - anyone interested?  Of course, Microsoft may not be interested in selling the coding and database information for RMS and HQ so this could be a mute point in the end...

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bindo Point of Sale Announces a Free "Forever" Version of Bindo

Bindo Point of Sale has now released a free version of the Bindo point of sale solution designed for iPads and other iOS devices.  The free version has limitations related to how many employees and products you can have in the app but would work well for very small businesses that only offer a few products or services.

This would also work well for concession stands with limited offerings, food trucks, seasonal businesses, or mobile service only related businesses.

You can find out more by visiting or . More reviews on Bindo POS can be found here:

On a personal note - this is a nice alternative to Square as Bindo does not require you to use a specific company for merchant services (credit and debit card processing) which would save you upto a 1/2% in merchant services fees when compared to Square.  You still have to purchase the hardware for both Square and Bindo so that is not a factor but a 1/2% savings on merchant services fees can add up to savings of several hundred dollars per year for even very small businesses.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Best Practices Advice for Public Sector Agencies Search for Point of Sale Systems

As I have worked with a lot of State, City, County, and other public sector entities over the years, I thought that it would be helpful to create a 'best practices' video specific to point of sale systems and public sector organizations.  This would be geared towards the following that are operated by a state, county, city or similar government organizations:

  1. Museums
  2. DMV's
  3. Golf Courses
  4. Gift Shops
  5. Retail Stores
  6. Restaurants
  7. Thrift Shops
  8. Permits
  9. Payment Recording and Collection
  10. Fish and Game/Hunting
Here is the video:

I ran through a lot of information very quickly in the video so please contact me for more information (I do have a slightly more detailed document that I would be happy to email you or we can chat more to see if I can help you in any way - this is completely unbiased information).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Workshop Update

Had to cancel todays point of sale workshop but the good news is that a free "on demand" video version of the workshop should be ready soon!

Point of Sale Buying Tip: Avoid "Vapor Features/Functions"

A quick buying tip specific to what I like to call vapor features or vapor functions.  Over the years I have come across companies that advertise functions or features within their point of sale programs that don't yet exist (thus the term "vapor").

The warning here is that your demo of a point of sale system should include real world testing of any specific features or functions that you require of the system. If the vendor tells you that something is "in development" then that means that a particular feature or function could be months away from being released.

A good example would be gift cards. While you can write out paper gift certificates, life is much easier if your point of sale system tracks the gift cards for you.  If the point of sale company tells you that the gift card feature is not yet available for the point of sale program but is "in development" then you may still be writing out paper gift certificates for awhile (and yet have paid for a new point of sale system that was supposed to reduce manual processes and make your life easier).

The point being is that if you need the point of sale program to include a specific feature or perform a specific function, make sure that the program can do this now. Otherwise you may be waiting some time for an update to be released.

As a side note, I question the ethics of any company that advertises a feature or function that is not yet available.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Buying Tip: Best Practices and Top Tips for Choosing a Point of Sale System

By request, a video sharing my top tips and best practices to use when searching for a point of sale system. This applies to anyone and everyone who is searching for a point of sale system to track sales, inventory/food, and customer/guest information.

I cover quite a bit very quickly (tough to compress 15 years of experience in to an 11 minute video) so be sure to contact me for additional unbiased point of sale advice.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Next Free Point of Sale Workshop

Just a quick reminder that my next free Point of Sale workshop is being held on Thursday, October 23rd from 2pm to 4pm at the Idaho Small Business Development Center in Boise, ID.

If you are interested in free and unbiased information on selecting a point of sale system for your business or organization, then visit this webpage for more information:

Can't make it? Contact me for other options.

POS and EMV - Questions You Should be Asking Now

EMV compliance is less that one year away so I've been keeping tabs on which companies and which point of sale solutions have announced how they plan to upgrade their point of sale systems to work with EMV compatible hardware.  So far, only Bindo Point of Sale ( is offering EMV compatible hardware.

Square, which is popular with very small businesses (under $60,000/year in gross sales), does have a sign up form for those using Square as well as some general information on EMV. No word yet on whether the new EMV hardware will be free or will have to be purchased.  Here is a link to the the Square sign up form to be notified when EMV hardware for Square will become available:

As a side note, anyone thinking about purchasing a point of sale system should be asking about EMV. It makes no sense to purchase a point of sale system now and then have to spend more money in 2015 for EMV hardware.  If the place that you are working with doesn't have a solid answer then that is a major warning sign that their solution may not be the best solution for you and your business or organization.

All point of sale companies should be able to tell you the following regarding their point of sale systems and EMV:

  • Will a software/app update be required and will there be any costs?
  • When will any EMV software/app updates be available?
  • Which EMV products (ie. readers or terminals by name and model number) will the software/app work with?
  • When will the hardware be available?
  • What will be the hardware costs?
  • Are there any other costs (ie. labor to help with the upgrade or changing my merchant account information)?
  • Will I still be able to use my existing merchant account?
Again, if you can't get a definitive answer for the above questions, then you may want to talk to a point of sale company that can provide you with the answers.

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

More Customer Reviews of One Step Solutions in Phoenix, AZ

As much as I don't like posting negative information - I have received more complaints specific to One Step Retail Solutions in Phoenix, AZ who sells and services a variety of point of sale systems.  The complaints are specific to overcharging and no-show issues for sales and service appointments.  If the service is bad enough that folks are contacting me for help and advice then it is obvious that One Step Retail Solutions has some sales, service, and support issues to resolve.

Of note - the more unusual complaints relate to no-shows by sales representatives so that is a huge warning sign that One Step Retail Solutions may not be the wisest choice for as a point of sale partner/dealer to work with.

Since these complaints have been on-going, it would be great if someone from One Step would contact me so we can figure out what is going on.

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Who is the Target Audience for Mobile Point of Sale Systems?

Folks have asked me to better define what type of business would benefit from using a mobile point of sale system (one that runs on a tablet or smartphone) versus businesses that should only be searching for computer-based point of sale systems.  While it is tough to create some hard and fast rules, mobile point of sale systems are generally geared towards the following:
  • Businesses or organizations whose annual gross sales are under $500,000/year
  • Single location
  • Businesses that move from location to location
  • Seasonal businesses
  • Businesses with low technology needs
The last one is tough to explain - basically if your business has simple inventory, reporting, and customer tracking requirements, then a mobile system should satisfy you. However, if you have more complex needs - especially when it comes to reporting - the the mobile point of sale systems may not be in depth enough for you and your business or organization.

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Next Free Point of Sale Workshop

Due to demand, I have been asked to squeeze in one more of my free point of sale workshops before we head in to the holiday season.  These workshops cover a variety of point of sale related topics covering the entire purchasing cycle, offer a great deal of unbiased advice, and are geared towards anyone who is thinking about purchasing a point of sale system for their business or organization.

Even if you are just curious about point of sale systems, there is some solid advice offered that would be beneficial to you.

I may also conduct this workshop in a couple of different locations but this is the only workshop confirmed at this point.  Again, these workshops are free and unbiased - no sales presentations at all!

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014 2:00 PM TO 4:00 PM

More info here:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What if My Business is Seasonal?

I'm often asked what folks with seasonal businesses do when it comes to cash registers and point of sale systems.  Having worked with various businesses that operate from just a few days each year to several months out of the year, as well as venue operators at fairgrounds and event venues, here are my thoughts and advice (assuming that the business generates enough revenue to require more than just a cash box and square):

1) Cash Registers
Obviously you can buy a cash register and use it as needed. Just keep in mind that some models will lose all programming if left unplugged for too long. Advantage: low cost and you own the equipment. Disadvantage: they are just cash registers - not much in the way of detailed information.

2) Computer Based Point of Sale Systems
Believe it or not, I have worked with companies that buy full blown point of sale systems that run on computers. Its a big investment but the cost might be justified via extremely high volume and gross sales. Advantage: you own the equipment. Disadvantage: up front costs and sheer size of the equipment (ie. setup and tear down).

3) Mobile Point of Sale Systems
A third option has become available which involves some of the mobile point of sale solutions like NCR Silver and Bindo Point of Sale. The equipment is easier to move around and you likely have other uses for some of the equipment between events or seasons.  What NCR Silver and Bindo Point of Sale allow you to do is to set up seasonal payment plants. You still have to buy the equipment but the monthly software and support fee can be turned off and on as needed.  Advantage: better business data and mobility of the hardware. Disadvantage: durability of the equipment in extreme conditions is not yet proven.

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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Headed to Oregon

Looks like my travels are taking to the Portland, OR and Sutherlin, OR areas. Should you happen to be in those areas, and wish to meet in person, please get in touch with me so we can compare schedules.

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