Work $marter, Not harder with backOffice Software™

July 20, 2017

An interesting read from NACS Daily as it speaks of Wal-Mart stores using a “machine” to count their currency as opposed to an employee. Nobody wants to see lost jobs, however our ‘machines’ can greatly improve the bottom line. Running a business is hard. Running a small business is even harder.  

“Small Business” is a term that I believe is relative.  I remember years ago my friend owned a 79′ Chris Craft Yacht and his young son felt oh so proud that his daddy had such a HUGE boat.  But when my friend took his boat to Miami the young son said,

“Daddy!  Look at that boat – it’s so BIG”.

Mr. H said “Son, there’s always a bigger boat”.  

This is true for so many things.  There’s always a bigger business, a bigger store or a bigger budget.  The goal is to be successful no matter the size of your business. 

So, what’s the point in all of this?  Like Wal-Mart, don’t pay an employee to do a job that can be done [in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost] by a machine.  The machine you need for your business is backOffice™ Software from Insight Retail Software.   

Do NOT have an employee spending hours………..

  • receiving an order from your vendor – use our EDI Module.
  • entering and attempting to submit data to Altria for Scan Data Incentive – use our Scan Data Service
  • entering and attempting to submit data to RJR for Scan Data Incentive – use our Scan Data Service
  • changing 100’s of Cigarette prices one at a time – use our GROUP CHANGE feature
  • wondering if your margins are correct – use our backOffice™ Software Reports

……. and the list goes on and on.

Our backOffice™ Software [AKA The Machine] will pay for itself in a very short time. Remember, Wal-Mart started with one store in Newport, Arkansas. They were a “Small Business”.

Chief

 Call Chris @ 518-633-4111 x 108 for more information.


Article from Nacs Daily – click here

 

SO MAYBE THE ROBOTS REALLY ARE COMING

Increasingly, more retailers are automating certain workplace tasks.
July 20, 2017

​NEW YORK – When a Walmart store began using the Cash360 machine to count currency, and digitally deposit the money at the bank, the retailer also replaced a task previously assigned to a human, who made $13 an hour counting cash and tracking the accuracy of the store’s book, writes the Wall Street Journal.

“They think it will be a more efficient way to process the money,” the employee, who has worked with Walmart for a decade, told the news source.

Nearly 4,700 of Walmart’s U.S. stores have a Cash360 machine, notes the Journal, which is making thousands of positions obsolete. Employees whose job function has been replaced by the machine have moved to other positions or left the company. “The role of service and customer-facing associates will always be there,” Judith McKenna, Walmart’s U.S. chief operating officer, told the news source, adding, “there are interesting developments in technology that mean those roles shift and change over time.”

Meanwhile, some economists say that many retail jobs can and should be automated. A 2015 Citi Research report found that two-thirds of U.S. retail jobs are at “high risk” of disappearing by 2030. “The primary predictor for automation is how routine a task is,” said Ebrahim Rahbari, an economist at Citi Research. “A big issue is that retail is a sizable percentage of the workforce.”

The Journal writes that self-checkout lanes “can replace cashiers. Autonomous vehicles could handle package delivery or warehouse inventory. Even more complex tasks like suggesting what toy or shirt a shopper might want could be handled by a computer with access to a shopper’s buying history, similar to what already happens online today.”

Automation is filtering through the retail industry. For example, Home Depot has self-checkouts in most stores and is testing handheld scanners for larger items like lumber. “We want to simplify the stores so that we can free up our associates…so they can focus on selling,” Carol Tomé, CFO of Home Depot, told the Journal.

CNBC also reports that half of American jobs are at risk from automation, according to a new study by Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research. “How Vulnerable are American Communities to Automation, Trade, and Urbanization?” combines several recent studies on employment trends to present a stark view of the future job situation for certain parts of the United States, notes the news source.


Scan Data Services: Your Key To Higher Tobacco Profits

July 19, 2017

Altria’s PM USA 2017 Retail Leaders Program and RJ Reynolds Scan Data Reporting Program offer quarterly rebates to retailers who submit transaction-level scan data (“Scan Data”) from their Point of Sale on a daily basis. Enrollment in these programs also entitle you to take advantage of other programs such as multi-pack discounts and loyalty incentives.

InsightRS is offering the Scan Data Service that will allow you to take advantage of this great opportunity for more profit from your tobacco sales. Using our automated daily process, we submit the necessary data for you to comply with the program requirements. We collect either 25% of your quarterly rebate or $25/month per store for providing this service.

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Compete In Your Market

Gain Access To Multi-Pack Discounts And Loyalty Funds

  • Inclusion in Scan Data Program enables you to offer Multi-Pack Discounts
  • Optional Loyalty Program entitles you to offer addition discounts to your customers

We Do All Of The Work

Our Fully-Automated Service Does All Of The Work

 

Call Chris today – 518 633 4111 x 108

Visit our website for more information:  Click here!

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Budweiser Unveils New State Packaging featuring 11 States.

July 12, 2017

Budweiser announced it’s NEW STATE PACKAGING!  11 States will see their state name on Budweiser cans and bottles!  How cool is that?  Well it’s awesome for retail sales but the back office person may be thinking……..

“OH NO – Will these products have a NEW BARCODE?  

If so, this will take forever to enter!

What about my inventory?  This is a nightmare!”  

Nope, backOffice Software™ makes this task easy with our alternate PLU feature.  Although Budweiser doesn’t always change their PLU with a packaging change, this is a good reminder that you don’t have to fret over new products –  enter it, sell it, profit from it!  backOffice Software™  will handle these changes smoothly and report your sales accurately.

To our customers in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia, enjoy your cool cans!

Here’s the press release from Budweiser!


Budweiser Unveils New State Packaging Inspired by its 12 Local Breweries Across the Country

America’s Favorite Full-Flavored Classic Lager Extends its Patriotic Summer Packaging Lineup to Include State Bottles and Cans

NEW YORK (July 6, 2017) – Beginning today, 11 states will see their namesake on Budweiser bottles and cans as part of the brand’s latest evolution of its iconic summer packaging. Available today through the end of September, Budweiser’s newest look celebrates the local states Budweiser and its breweries call home.

Since 1876, Budweiser has been proudly brewed across America and its new state packaging pays tribute to the 12 breweries that relentlessly produce America’s No. 1 full-flavored classic lager. The packaging will be specific to California (featuring two Budweiser breweries), Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.

“Our new state bottles and cans celebrate the homes of our breweries and the communities that support them,” said Ricardo Marques, vice president, Budweiser. “Since 1876, Budweiser has been proudly brewed across America, and this summer, we’re inviting local consumers to raise a cold one with us.”

On shelves from July to September 2017, 11 different states will enjoy their own custom packaging, each featuring custom copy changes as inspired by each local backdrop, including:

  • “Budweiser” on cans and bottles being replaced with each state name
  • The center medallion “AB” monogram updated with  state initials
  • “King of Beers” swapped to include  each individual state motto
  • “Anheuser-Busch Inc.” replaced with each state nickname

 

Read the entire Press Release from Budweiser here. [if you are over 21]

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GETTING CRAFTY WITH BEER SALES

July 11, 2017
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July 11, 2017

 

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The craft beer segment is a healthy category for U.S. convenience stores, posting double-digit increases in both sales and units last year, per the recently released NACS State of the Industry Report of 2016 Data.

Craft beer also offers great opportunities for c-stores to grow sales and be more local.

“There’s a lot of beer being sold these days and people want to drink what they know and really feel passionate about,” says Van Orden. This idea resonates with convenience retailers who are always looking for new ways to engage with their local communities.

 

Read entire NACS Online article by clicking here.


As the C-Store offerings change and products are expanded, backOffice Software™ continues to be the perfect fit for your changing needs.  Don’t let price changes bog you down.  Our EDI Module makes receiving orders a breeze compared to the long hours of data entry of the past.

edi smarter not harder


It’s summertime, it’s travel time. Tips for traveling with kids.

July 10, 2017

We are full into our summer and travel time is at it’s peak. As you travel our wonderful country  here are a few tips for success with kids.  Thank you Sarah Martin Hood for this great article.  sarahmartinhood

Don’t forget to stop into your favorite C-Stores along the way!  C-Stores are the key to successful travel!


Are your kids carrying their own weight when you travel? 

Summer vacations are in full swing and it’s high time the youngest travelers in your party start carrying their own weight, don’t you think? If you’re committed to traveling with your kiddos, it’s a good idea to start as early as possible and find ways for them to help out from Point A to Point B and all the adventures between. Where do you start? How do you get your littles to be helpers as you travel?

 

Make kids carry their own bag.

This may require some patience on your part, but kids can maneuver a suitcase on wheels younger than you might think. They’ll need help with escalators and trains and such, but let them try. And even before they’re able to help with a full-size suitcase, they can be responsible for a carry-on. A water bottle, book, and a snack is really all they need to carry in a small backpack. When you’re out for the day add a camera and a rain jacket.  None of it weighs much, and it will introduce them to the concept of packing smart — and light!

LAX - May 2017

Give them a job to do.

Find tangible ways for kids to be helpful. One of our go-to jobs for Colt is “Outlet Check!” Before we leave a hotel room, he’s responsible for sweeping the room and checking every single outlet for charging cords. We donate far fewer chargers to hotels since he took up this job!

Packing is tricky for kids because they’re not sure where to start. If you want their help packing, be very specific. They won’t know what to do if you say “Pack your suitcase.” But they can help if you break it down to “Lay out your swimsuit and goggles.” and give them one step at a time.

In general, be on the lookout for things they can do themselves. Let them hand their own boarding pass to the gate agent before a flight, encourage them to order for themselves off the menu, and if they have a question during a tour — have them raise their own little hand and ask. Let them be a traveler instead of just a passenger.

 

Make it a game.

Yes, they can even help entertain themselves! If your kids are collectors or writers — keep your eyes open for kid-friendly projects as you travel. One of my favorites is the passport offered by the National Park Service that lets kids collect cancellation stamps from park rangers and it gives them an incredible keepsake of their travels. (This is not just for kids! I’m actually super jealous and wish I’d started myself a passport years ago!)

Another example we discovered was at Mount Vernon last fall.  On the iPod touch that served as our audio tour guide, there was an app for Colt to play a spy game — he collected clues all over the property and answered trivia questions about the area. He was into being there anyway, but the spy game was a nice cherry on top of the experience. It kept him engaged from start to finish.

Statue of Liberty - July 2016

Give your kid a camera.

On top of the benefits they will enjoy by having their own way to document the trip, this is a sneaky way to get a fresh perspective on your destination. I have been amazed by the photos on Colt’s camera at the end of a day of sightseeing — the details he noticed and the perspective he captured. Sometimes he snaps away and other times the camera stays in his bag, but giving him the responsibility of his own camera has taught him about storytelling and even given us opportunities to talk about tourist etiquette a few times.

The earlier the better when it comes to teaching kids that travel is a fun adventure but there are ways for everyone to chip in so the trip is safe and fun for the whole group. Think of your kiddo as a fellow traveler and he will rise to the challenge.

 National Mall, Washington D.C. - September 2016

Important Information: SAN FRANCISCO BANS SALE OF FLAVORED TOBACCO, MENTHOL

June 23, 2017

The city’s board of supervisors approved the legislation unanimously. The ban will take effect in April 2018.

June 23, 2017

​SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a bill that forbids the sale of flavored tobacco products in retail stores, the San Francisco Examiner reports. The ban encompasses flavored chewing tobacco, flavored liquids containing nicotine for e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes.

“We want to enhance our prevention strategies,” Supervisor Maila Cohen, who introduced the legislation, said. “The goal of this ordinance is to keep people from smoking in the first place.

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The ban, which will go into effect April 2018, will impact more than 700 local retailers, mostly convenience stores and gas stations, that sell tobacco products. To counter the lost revenue, Cohen supports more city funding under the Healthy Food Retail program to assist small stores during the transition.

The California Retailers Association opposed the ban because it failed to take into consideration how it would affect businesses and the decrease in the amount of sales tax the city collects. “This ordinance also ignores the fact that there are comprehensive state and local laws, that anti-tobacco advocates support as a means to curb youth access to tobacco, that are currently enforced,” wrote Angie Manetti, director of government relations for the association in a June 8 letter to the board.

The ordinance would not prohibit the use of flavored tobacco in the city. The City Controller’s Office of Economic Analysis estimated that 35% of cigarettes sold in the city are menthols, which will translate into lost sales of around $50 million yearly.

The Minneapolis City Council is also considering a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes, having already prohibited the same of flavored tobacco products two years ago.

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7 Reasons Why Merchants Want to Change Their POS System

June 13, 2017

Over the past few years, many merchants – regardless of what kind of businesses they operate or how big their companies are – have come to reconsider their previous ways of handling purchases. Many decided to buy point-of-sale devices for the first time, while others were led to think about the ways modern payment technologies may be able to help their businesses take a big leap forward when it comes to security and customer engagement.

To that end, it’s worth thinking about the most common reasons businesses – and smaller ones in particular – may want to adopt or change their POS options these days, as a means of keeping up with changing preferences and security standards. The better they can keep up with industry-recommended best practices for point of sale security and adoption, the better off they’re likely to be going forward.

1) Staying on Top of the Latest Trends

While many managers have at least thought about making the switch to a point-of-sale device that can handle EMV or mobile purchases, some may still be on the fence, according to Digital Transactions. But the fact is, these new purchase types are the way the whole payments ecosystem is now heading, and merchants may need to consider such a move for themselves.

The vast majority of businesses nationwide now accept EMV, and most consumers also have at least one EMV card in their wallets these days. As a consequence, simply having the ability to accept such transactions can be a boon for any business, in addition to providing themselves and their customers with greater security.

2) Navigating Affordability

Many businesses may shy away from payment card processing of all kinds simply because of the cost involved, according to Shopify. For this reason, it may be wise for companies to look at their options for finding POS resellers who can meet their needs both in terms of technology and ongoing costs. This is especially true for first-timers who may not have as much operational knowledge when it comes to dealing with these issues.

In general, when resellers can explain what they do for merchants – and why it costs what it does – in plain language, that can provide a big boost for those getting on board with modern payment processing.

3) They Want to Branch Out 

For many smaller businesses that want to find a new revenue stream, the ease of modern e-commerce provides a crucial option, according to Business News Daily. The good news is that modern POS can meet both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar needs for just about any business, and all it may take is working with a reseller to determine the best path forward. Having the ability to handle both real-world and online transactions through the same POS can go a long way for any small business.

4) Getting Better Data 

Another key benefit of modern POS is that it comes with more tertiary features than ever before, which give merchants the power to collect and harness more information than ever from a single source, Business News Daily added. Now, POS platforms collect all kinds of data on every transaction to help merchants identify areas where they can potentially improve their operations, from managing the supply chain to better catering to evolving consumer preferences in real time. That kind of knowledge can really empower better decision-making for years to come.

5) Saving Time and Impressing Customers Simultaneously 

Another big innovation in point-of-sale technology in the past few years has come for restaurants specifically, according to PointofSale.com. Tableside POS devices are all the rage among chain restaurants, which favor the devices for their ease of use and help in increasing the efficiency of any operation. Now, smaller restaurants are taking the same step because of both that ease of efficiency and people are coming to expect this kind of ease in ordering.

6) Keeping Up with Consumer Expectations 

Indeed, the idea that larger merchants are taking steps to innovate on POS – often because they have the budget to do so somewhat freely – is something that should give reluctant small business owners pause, according to Payments Source. As consumers become more accustomed to ubiquitous next-generation POS technology at the big stores where they shop frequently, it’s vital for smaller competitors to do what they can to keep up. After all, if consumers already expect to be able to pay with EMV – which is a technology that’s still relatively new to them – just about anywhere, the need to keep up with those trends quickly becomes self-evident.

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7) Being Ready for What Comes Next 

Upgrading to modern POS isn’t just a good idea for the present, but also for the future, according to Silicon NYC. Having the ability to upgrade now allows merchants to familiarize themselves with the latest and greatest options in payment processing before the next generation of options arrives. “Skipping” a generation isn’t likely to be a wise move, because merchants could find themselves in the dark about where they should turn, and how best to take that next step.

Focusing on smaller steps to meet ever-evolving needs will be crucial for any merchant as they try to navigate the POS environment today. After all, if the goal is to simultaneously make owners’ lives easier and provide more options for their customers, the wide variety of options now available is just waiting to meet those needs.

 

Article from Sterling Payment Technologies June 2017 Newsletter “The Edge”

 

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