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RSPA - Retail Now 2014
August 4-6, 2014

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions are listed questions and answers, all supposed to be commonly asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic. "FAQ" is usually pronounced as an initialism rather than an acronym, but an acronym form does exist.


Should I choose a retail software package that was designed specifically for my industry?

Answer: Not necessarily. While there are many industry-specific software packages available, many of them don't offer all of the features available in a general retail software package. Often times, a general retail software package can do everything that industry-specific software can do, plus a whole lot more. Ask yourself what features you need now and in the future. Do you want a customer loyalty program? Do you need faster credit card authorizations over the Internet?

Should I buy the point of sale hardware or the retail software first?

Answer: The single biggest mistake retailers make when choosing a new retail POS system is buying the point of sale hardware before the retail software. The retail software you choose to run your retail business may not be compatible with your new point of sale hardware. Not all scanners, weight scales, or card readers will work with all retail software packages. Buying both the point of sale hardware and the retail software from the same vendor can reduce or eliminate compatibility issues and can often reduce your overall technology costs.

How will a retail POS system help me make more money?

Answer: A retail POS system can help you increase your profits in many ways. Quicker, more reliable checkouts mean less manpower is needed. Sales reports allow you to maximize you inventory levels and control costs. Built-in loyalty programs encourage higher ticket averages and repeat business from your customers. Ask about cost saving strategies from credit card processing that amount to large savings at checkout.

How can a retail POS system help me run my business more efficiently?

Answer: A good retail POS system increases your efficiency by eliminating unnecessary work. Choose a retail POS system that increases your speed of service with faster ticket entry, on-the-fly data entry, and data-driven lookups.

Make sure that the retail software you choose can automate all of your process-oriented tasks, such as physical count, purchasing, label printing, and customer loyalty.

Do I need a software subscription service?

Answer: Yes. When you purchase new retail software, you get the latest software release that's available on the date you purchase it. As new features are added to the retail software in subsequent releases, only those users with active subscription services will receive those updates. And no matter how good the retail software is, it may have a few bugs in it all.

Your subscription service will provide you with product updates, new features, and bug fixes for as long as your subscription service is active. Subscription services also encourage software companies to continue to invest resources in improving their retail software.

If my server goes down, can the clerks continue ringing up sales?

Answer: If you want your clerks to be able to process sales without a server, choose retail software with lane redundancy or an offline mode. When point of sale workstations are 'offline' (i.e., not connected to the server), clerks can continue ringing up sales. When the connection to the server is reestablished, data from the local workstation is synchronized or replicated with the data on the server.

Offline POS systems can also work well for sidewalk sales, portable kiosks, and scheduled network outages.

What is PCI DSS and why is it so important?

Answer: PCI DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, is a strict set of standards designed to protect the cardholder's data from credit card fraud and misuse. The PCI Security Standards Council is an organization dedicated to the development and implementation of security standards for protecting credit card data. PCI Data Security Standards are developed and implemented by a collaborative effort from American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa International.

If your retail software isn't compliant with PCI DSS, you may be subject to hefty fines. It's critical that you choose PCI-compliant retail software that will protect your customers' credit card information as well as your business.

How important are backups?

Answer: Backups are critical. They protect your valuable business information from the unforeseen. Disasters—from hurricanes and floods to system failure or theft—can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. Choose a retail POS system with easy-to-perform backup procedures. Keep a running log of your backups and make sure that someone is responsible the backups. It's also important to store your backups off site.

I already have an electronic cash register, why should I spend the money for a retail POS system?

Answer: While an electronic cash register is a suitable way to track money, installing a retail POS system will simplify your life as well as your customers'. With a retail point of sale system, you'll streamline operations, increase checkout times, make more money, increase efficiency, keep better inventory records, and have the most robust reporting capabilities right at your fingertips. The right retail point of sale system will pay for itself over and over again with its functionality.

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B.C. Moore originally purchased REF Retails Systems POS software to run on an NCR 7058 platform in 1992. Dave Mears was very involved in the original development and support of our custom REF software. We were always pleased and impressed with Dave's work.

After REF sold their operations to Premis Systems Canada, we acquired our source code from Premis in 1998. We contacted Dave, at that time, to support our application and perform necessary Y2K work.

Over the years, we have established an ongoing trust with MRS in their retail knowledge, quality software releases and timely software updates. Their customer commitment is shown time and again with the work they have performed for us.

Thanks Millenium for the excellent work!

Guy Penegar
Store Systems Manager
BC Moore and Sons, Inc.

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