Wednesday, July 21, 2021

An overdue new customer welcome!

 A very overdue welcome to liquor stores in the following cities and states that recently worked with me to put in the Cloud Retailer point of sale software for liquor stores:

  • Ocean Shores, WA
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Tulsa, OK 
  • Mountain Home, AR

I appreciate all of you!


Monday, July 12, 2021

The End of Microsoft Dynamics RMS Is Official!

 As of today, July 12, 2021, Microsoft has ended all support for the Dynamics RMS Store Operations point of sale software. If you are still using RMS, you are on borrowed time. You need to be looking at either Retail Management Hero or Cloud Retailer.

Given the ending of support from Microsoft, my ability to support RMS will be quite limited and only offered on a case by case basis to retailers in the United States.





Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Ethnic Disconnect in The Liquor Store Industry

 So - one thing that I have noticed over the years is that around 70% of the liquor stores I have been in over the last several years are owned by someone who is not Caucasian. However, when I attend various industry events, 70% of the attendees are Caucasian. 

If you are an owner or manager of a beer, wine or liquor store and are of Asian, Latino, or Middle Eastern descent, I'd enjoy learning why you don't attend industry events like trade shows, conferences, and expos.

The goal here is to make sure these industry events offer something that makes you want to attend.

You can reach me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or on my cell at 208-340-5632.



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

New Issues for Microsoft Dynamics RMS Users

 We are just a few weeks away from the July 13th, 2021 official end of life date for the very popular Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software. Based on some recent phone calls and emails that I have had with companies in the US that still plan on supporting RMS, there are a few things that retailers need to be aware of:

  1. Plan on support ending for the various plug ins and add-ons for RMS or plan on there being no enhancements to these plug ins and add ons (new versions, bug fixes, etc)
  2. Plan on paying double for RMS support - of the few companies that I spoke with, most mentioned charging a premium service rate (eg $135 to $175/hour plus an annual support contract that costs $400 to $1500 for a typical retail store)
  3. Plan on longer support response times. With Microsoft no longer offering any resources, each individual company will need to figure out support requests on their own. This could easily take longer for a tech to work through an unusual or unfamiliar support issue/request
  4. Any plug ins and add ons for RMS that will not be phased out for another 1-3 years may see a price increase if there is a monthly fee involved. It is just going to cost more to maintain and support anything related to RMS.

Soooo - the idea of using RMS past July 2021 may be less appealing you if support alone costs $1500 a year plus finding someone to support RMS will become more and more challenging over the coming years.

If this is enough to prompt you to take a serious look at replacing RMS, here is a video that might help guide you to which POS system would make a good replacement:  https://youtu.be/fzqc7gmrJ58

Questions, comments, anything that you would want me to share with RMS users in the US? You can reach me at 208-340-5632 or kevinantosh@gmail.com


 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

NRC CounterPoint users group and forum is closed

 Hi - as many of you know, the person who managed the NCR CounterPoint users group and forum passed away last year. His dedication to helping NCR CounterPoint users will be missed.

I have been asked if I would take over the forum and users group but I honestly don't have the time plus my computer that had NCR CounterPoint ceased functioning so my only NCR CounterPoint resources are all the printed technical manuals.

With NCR no longer offering support for older versions of CounterPoint and CounterPoint SQL, you should contact an NCR Partner/Reseller/Dealer to see what options are available to upgrade to a more current version of the software. 

Just like older cars, finding support for older POS systems becomes more and more difficult over time (look what is happening with the Microsoft Dynamics RMS software - over 35,000 stores using RMS are having to replace RMS or pay a big premium in support costs). 

The time has come to replace RMS and older versions of NCR CounterPoint.

Here are two NCR Dealers that I have know for years and recommend:

Retail Control Systems (RCS)

LPA Retail Systems

Of course, if anyone ends up creating a new CounterPoint users group and forum for older versions of NCR CounterPoint, please let me know and I will get the word out!

 

 





Wednesday, June 2, 2021

4 Tips for Beer, Wine and Liquor Retailers

 

Based on 30+ years of working in the retail space as well as recent site visits to over 120 beer, wine and liquor stores in the US
 
 

 
Suggestions, comments or questions: kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632.
 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Headed to BARC and TPSA This Summer?

Update: I am headed to both events - I will be attending BARC on behalf of Westside Liquor in Minnesota!

  I'm still finalizing some travel plans but am thinking about attending both the Beverage Alcohol Retailers Conference in Austin, TX as well as the Texas Package Stores Association Convention & Trade Show in Fort Worth, TX.

Here are links to the association websites:

https://bevretailersconference.com/

https://www.texaspackage.com/registration

Anyone else thinking of going? Should we make plans to meet to chat about liquor store point of sale software and liquor store operations in general? Let me know: kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632




Wednesday, May 19, 2021

What is Floor Pricing? How to setup Microsoft RMS for Floor Pricing

 The Oregon Liquor Control Commission recently passed a motion that all liquor stores in Oregon adhere to what is called "Floor Pricing". This got me thinking that not everyone knows what floor pricing is.

Basically, floor pricing is the minimum price that you can sell a product at to a customer. This is useful for not selling products below cost or below a minimum sell price set by a supplier, vendor, or manufacture.

As a retailer, you may also want to set floor or minimum sell prices to ensure that your staff does not sell a product for too low of a price (eg: minimum margin that you want to make or a popular product that should not be discounted).

Each point of sale software program is different, but here is a video showing how you set floor pricing in the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software

 


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



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Bottlenose and City Hive for Liquor Stores

 I wanted to give a quick shout out to the folks at Bottlenose and City Hive who both offer some great liquor store specific e-commerce solutions. I have met with retailers using their solutions and all had positive feedback!

If you own or manage a liquor store, check them out at https://www.bottlenose.wine/ and https://www.cityhive.net/




Monday, April 26, 2021

Point of Sale Software for Liquor Stores Who Have Both Retail and Wholesale Sales

 While speaking with many liquor store owners in Washington State, they expressed to me that their current point of sale software doesn't do a very good job of handling wholesale sales. This is fairly common with liquor stores in many states - you have both retail sales as well as wholesale sales to bars and restaurants.

The Cloud Retailer point of sale software can handle wholesale sales as well as accounts receivable if you extend credit to your wholesale customers.

Here is a very brief video overview:


 

For more information, please visit www.cloudretailer.com or contact them at 888-267-7483/sales@cloudretailer.com




Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Celebrating 37 Years in the Business!

 Yikes! No candles on this cake please. April 8th, 2021 marks 37 years of experience for me when you tally up my experience in retail/restaurant management as well as retail/restaurant point of sale consulting, sales and support.

Lord willing, I've got another decade or so to go before formally retiring.




Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Headed to Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin Oklahoma and Arkansas!

 OK - I have some retailer that have requested to meet with me at their stores so I'll be hitting the road over the coming months. Please contact me if you have a store in (or near) the following areas and want to meet in person for some retail point of sale advice:

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • St Paul, MN
  • Hastings, MN
  • Hudson, WI
  • La Crosse, WI
  • Chippewa Falls, WI
  • St Cloud, MN
  • Duluth, MN
  • Rochester, MN
  • Dallas - Fort Worth, TX
  • Austin, TX
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Fayetteville, AR
  • Mountain Home, AR

You can reach me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632 for more information.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Still Using Microsoft RMS? Just a Few Months Left Before RMS End of Life

 Just a friendly PSA that the July End of Life date for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS/HQ point of sale software is coming up quickly. You need to have a plan in place:

  • Gamble and keep using RMS
  • Purchase an RMS Maintenance Agreement to keep RMS support running through July 2023
  • Replace RMS with either RMH or Cloud Retailer or Dynamics 365

The choice is yours!

My YouTube Channel has some demo and general advice videos specific to RMH and Cloud Retailer.

 Please contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632 with any RMS or point of sale related questions.

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Aries 8 Payment Terminal from PAX Is PDC (Pretty Darn Cool)

Finally finally finally - a payment terminal manufacture has released a new next generation payment terminal that can be more than just a payment terminal (eg: run POS apps as well as processing payments).

This Aries 8 payment terminal from PAX has the potential to take off site sales to a whole new level! True curbside pickup that allows for a card present transaction and requires only one device.

I'm looking forward to getting some hands on experience with these new payment terminals. For now, a picture will have to suffice:

PAX Aries - Android Smart tablets

PAX Technology Inc. | PAX Aries8



Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Shout Out to Some New Customers!

 A quick shout out to several retailers who recently signed on with me for point of sale hardware as well as the Cloud Retailer point of sale software:

  • EZ Mart in Idaho - Upgrade from Microsoft RMS to Cloud Retailer
  • Redmond Farms in Utah - New Point of Sale Hardware
  • Natures Grocery in California - Card Defender Plug In for Microsoft RMS

I am thrilled to be working with all of you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

New POS System Advice: onsite installation or do it myself?

So this has been coming up quite a bit as I travel and meet with retailers across the US. Should I pay for onsite installation of a new retail point of sale system?

It boils down to a couple of factors but lets eliminate the iPad based retail point of sale programs as these solutions are designed for "do it yourself" setup.

For the other retail point of sale software programs on the market like Retail Management Hero, NCR CounterPoint, Cloud Retailer, and Retail Pro, you may or may not want to pay for onsite installation depending on the following questions:

  1. Are you somewhat tech savvy?
  2. Do you have the time?
  3. Do you have a local resource that could hired to help move hardware around?
  4. Are you happy trying to figure things out yourself?
  5. Is your store on the lower end when it comes to gross sales (under $1M in annual gross sales)? 
  6. Are you just upgrading software and not replacing any hardware?

Yes to most the above questions would indicate that you should opt out of onsite installation. Otherwise, you should seriously consider working with a point of sale company that it local to you and/or can provide onsite installation. 

Did I miss anything? Have suggestions or questions? Need some retail point of sale advice? Then please reach out to me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632.


 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Online Resources for Retailers Using the Micrisoft Dynamics RMS Point of Sale Software

So, with only few a few months left before RMS goes end of life in July 2021, I'm still fielding calls and emails from retailers still using RMS as their point of sale software.  Since support will be very limited after July 2021 (unless you have a support contact through me/RITE), here are some general resources for "self help":

Official RMS Forum: https://community.dynamics.com/rms

RMS Database Schema: https://static.austinhartzheim.me/files/docs/microsoft-rms/microsoft-rms-database-structure.pdf

Windows 10 and RMS: http://legacy.rite.us/Support/UpgradingtoWindows10.aspx 

RMS Tutorials: http://legacy.rite.us/Support/MicrosoftRMSSupport/RMSTutorials.aspx 

My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/kevinantosh 

Card Defender for Microsoft RMS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsjOU6jhFZM

RMS HQ User Guide: https://www.geminicomputer.com/rms/hq/RMS_HQ_Users_Guide_V2.pdf

RMS HQ Getting Started Guide: https://www.geminicomputer.com/rms/hq/RMS_HQ_GS_Guide_V2.pdf

Don't forget about the "help" option in RMS Manager as well as the user guides that came with the software. These are fairly in depth and very helpful for the average user.

RMS Replacement Options: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmvYwfJ-MeE and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzqc7gmrJ58&t=1s

 

If you have any additional resources that I should list above, please contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632.

 


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Point of Sale Software for Liquor Stores in Idaho and Oregon

So - it looks like there will soon be some more liquor stores in Idaho and Oregon who will be using the Cloud Retailer point of sale software. I'll have some more updates in a couple of weeks as to why these liquor stores choose Cloud Retailer over other POS software programs. 

You can find more information about Cloud Retailer by visiting https://www.cloudretailer.com/


Monday, February 22, 2021

Did you temporarily lose the ability to accept credit and debit card payments? This may be why.

 

WorldPay from FIS
 

Delayed - TLS v1.2 security upgrade
Express Flickering of the lights event delayed

The Express platform 'flickering of the lights' event scheduled for today, Wednesday February 17, has been delayed until Monday, February 24 at 2:30 p.m. ET due to the winter storm impacting many cities across the U.S. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Worldpay from FIS is ending support of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 on our MercuryPay and Express platforms.  

As a follow up to the communication below, Worldpay from FIS will be flickering the lights for merchants still processing on TLS 1.0 and 1.1. “Flicker the light” events, where Worldpay proactively ‘turns off’ the no longer compliant TLS 1.0 and 1.1 for a brief period will take place to identify potentially impacted merchants.

The dates and platforms impacted are:

MercuryPay: February 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET - COMPLETE
Express: February 24 at 2:30 p.m. ET - DELAYED

The flickers will last for 30 minutes and merchants using TLS 1.0 or 1.1 will be unable to process during the flicker window.

You are receiving this notice because you may have merchants that are utilizing the outdated security protocols known as Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1 to submit transaction to Worldpay from FIS on our MercuryPay or Express platforms.

The PCI Security Standards Council has declared that TLS 1.0 or 1.1 no longer meet minimum security standards due to security vulnerabilities for which there are no fixes.

Worldpay from FIS will end all support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 after February 28, 2021 on our MercuryPay and Express platforms.

Customers who are still using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 and who have not updated their system by that date will no longer be able to process transactions with Worldpay from FIS.

Worldpay from FIS will be emailing merchants who may be utilizing these outdated protocols with common steps to prepare for the end of support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1. The merchants’ required actions will vary, and these steps are outlined in the attached document.

(note from Kevin - if you were effected by this, you need to look at updating your computer and possibly your point of sale software ASAP. The quickest and least expensive solution is to put in stand alone payment terminals that do not connect to your point of sale system. I realize that stand alone payment terminals mean lost revenue due to miss-keyed payment totals but it will at least be a temporary solution while you see what hardware and software needs to be update so you are TLS 1.2 compliant).

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

State Specific Reporting Requirements for Liquor Store

In my travels across the US, I've learned that several states have specific reporting requirements for liquor stores (eg: sales by volume in Washington State, OLCC reporting in Oregon, TABC/Comptroller reporting in Texas, etc).

Obviously, a point of sale system that can automate these state specific reporting requirements would be very beneficial to liquor stores in these states.

As I am working on some technology solutions for these state specific requirements, I'd enjoy the opportunity to learn about any state specific reporting requirements for liquor stores located in the following states:

  • Colorado
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Wyoming
  • Montana
  • Texas
  • Washington State
  • Oregon

I'm available to meet in person and/or online. We would work out some sort of compensation for your time. 

Please contact me if you are a liquor store located in one of the above states (kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632). Thanks!



Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Standardized POS System for Oregon Liquor Stores?

 This was sent to me via email:

"The State of Oregon, acting by and through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, (“Agency”), is issuing this Request for Information for a Point-of-Sale (POS) software for the Distilled Spirits Supply Chain to assist the Agency’s future buy decision. The desirable solution will merge computer hardware, software and peripheral equipment with improved operating practices for managing inventory for our liquor agent’s throughout the State of Oregon. The solution will increase accuracy and improve flexibility and responsiveness through real-time liquor inventory management and revenue capture."

Basically, they are soliciting information from POS vendors for a possible standard point of sale system to be used at all of the 280+ agency liquor stores in the state of Oregon.

If you are a liquor retailer, what are your thought on this? Are you OK with being told what POS system you must use in your store by a state agency? 

I'm curious to know! Please comment on this post or contact me at kevinantosh@gmail.com

The results will be shared in a future blog post (less any personal information so there is no chance of retaliation).

 





Tuesday, February 2, 2021

One Question for Retailers

What is the biggest challenge that you are facing as a retail store owner or manager?

Please let me know by using the contact form on this blog site, calling me at 208-340-5632 or emailing me at kevinantosh@gmail.com

I will compile the results and share via a future blog post.



Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Regional Site Visits 2021

 A quick note that Q3 and Q4 of 2020 was amazing!  You folks kept me on the road for almost 6 weeks straight and we found some great solutions for your stores!

Here are the areas that I am headed to for 2021 - please let me know if we should schedule some time to meet in person at your store:

  • Twin Falls, ID
  • Pocatello, ID
  • Twin Falls, ID
  • Jackson, WY
  • Evanston, WY
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Stateline, NV
  • Battle Mountain, NV
  • Winnemucca, NV
  • Seattle, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Salem, OR
  • Eugene, OR
  • Bend, OR
  • Missoula, MT
  • West Yellowstone, MT
  • Dallas, TX
  • Austin, TX
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Denver, CO
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • St Paul, MN
  • LaCrosse, WI
  • St Cloud, MN
  • Duluth, MN
  • Chippewa Falls, WI 

You can reach me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or 208-340-5632 - no cost to meet in person if I am already traveling to your area!


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Liquor Stores: What Technology Tools Would Help You Increase Revenue and/or Save Time?

 Howdy to all the liquor retailers out there! Quick question: What technology tools would help you increase revenue and/or save time?

The floor is open for any all ideas, concepts and suggestions!

Please email them to me at kevinantosh@gmail.com or call me at 208-340-5632. This information will be used for some technology solutions that are currently conceptual but could become reality in 2021. Thanks!


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Welcome to the First new Customers of 2021!

A quick shout out to retailers that have signed on recently for point of sale hardware, software and services. I am so grateful for all of you putting your trust in me!

  • CJ Eateries - 22 location chain in Oregon - moving from Microsoft RMS/HQ to Cloud Retailer
  • Owasso Liquor - Oklahoma - moving from Microsoft RMS to Cloud Retailer
  • Total Health - Idaho -support and services to upgrade their Microsoft RMS point of sale system


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Updated for 2021: Microsoft RMS vs. Retailer Management Hero (RMH) vs Cloud Retailer

 A quick comparison of running sales transactions, inventory, purchasing, reporting and merchant services in the Microsoft Dynamics RMS, Retail Management Hero (RMH) and Cloud Retailer point of sale software programs.



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