Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Survey for Liquor Stores: Increasing Revenue

As I have been working a lot recently with Liquor Stores and various liquor store associations, I thought that it might be helpful to gather some additional data on issues facing independently owned liquor stores in the US.

You are not required to provide any contact or personal information.  The data will be compiled and then the top 5 common responses will be used to communicate how to turn the issue in to a revenue increase. The communications will be monthly via this blog site.  Helping you increase revenue with no cost or obligation will be tested over the rest of 2020.

You may be skeptical but I have access to a bunch of success stories as well as process improvement information that can be passed along.

Here is a link to the survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TUHbwe3X2YawyxQapxOGwvLgxLh31ZcJR7QO0NZgqEQ/

Please complete by March 15th, 2020.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com

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 kevinantosh@gmail.com

Monday, February 10, 2020

For Montana and Colorado 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 50+ liquor stores in Montana and Colorado 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
  • There are support/maintenance plans available for Microsoft RMS that will be available for the next couple of years
  • Contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com 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 and Colorado is that at least 50 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 or Colorado, 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).  There are support/maintenance plans available for Microsoft RMS that will be available for the next couple of years - please contact me directly for more information.

Free trial versions of Cloud Retailer are available by contacting me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com (US and Canada only please). I am also available for in person or online 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 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: Microsoft RMS Maintenance Agreement
  • Grape Wine and Spirits in Oklahoma: Microsoft RMS Maintenance Agreement
Are you curious why these retailers choose myself ? Then please contact me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com for more information.