Have a review of your current EPOS system now. Do you think it can support your growth plans?
No matter what industry you're operating in, your EPOS should always give you that competitive edge on business operations, inventory management, accounting and customer marketing without affecting your ability to process a sale.
When brothers James and Thom Elliot launched their first Pizza Pilgrims restaurant in Soho in 2013, they did so using an iPad-app based EPOS system, which apparently, "only just did the job". However, being fully Wi-Fi dependent and completely cloud based, it was very unreliable; the duo knew that as they scaled to more sites, they would need to upgrade to a more sophisticated EPOS system. Another great example is Camerons department store. They needed an EPOS solution that had the capability to encompass their whole multi-site, multi-business operation including all their various departments. Something that would of been hard to achieve with a simple iPad-app based EPOS system.
The above examples demonstrate the right attitude retail business owners need to have when it comes to reviewing their current EPOS system. The burning question that should be asked is "Is this scalable?". If Pizza Pilgrims or Cameron's department store had not asked themselves, "How can we do this better?" or "Am I getting all the customer information I need", they may not be survived the following years. We don't want to hear the phrase "We've always done it this way" and we agree, at one time, your EPOS system was your holy grail. However, the market is changing and changing fast. As it gets tougher retailers need to understand that in order to grow and remain competitive, they need to think about upgrading their legacy systems.
The future of your retail business is your EPOS
There is a long list of questions we could ask you about your current EPOS solution. When was the last time you upgraded? is your EPOS out of date? Is it time consuming? Do you encounter a poor user experience? Is it meeting all of your retail requirements? Can your EPOS system be scaled with you growth? While we ask these questions, here are some questions you should be asking yourself.
Is my EPOS easy to use?
The first question you need to be asking yourself it, is your EPOS system intuitive and easy to use? Does it require much training to get up and running? Or can junior staff become competent quickly? We beleive that any EPOS system should be so intuitive that any new employees can immediately starting using it to process new sales. This includes everything, whether its the features or the UX/UI design, everything should be seamless.
It's easy to get caught up in multiple different features and quirky design packages. We are finding many EPOS providers out there are forgetting the real reason the customer is using their EPOS systems. They want to pull reports, track their inventory, provide in-depth insights to customer data and ultimately process sales. Your EPOS system should be built for ease of use with plug and play technology to get you up and running quickly, and the user-friendly interface to make taking payments straightforward and simple. It's as simple as that. It should never be complicated.
Does my current EPOS deliver fantastic customer service?
If you're reading this article, there is a high change you are considering upgrading your EPOS system. It’s no longer enough to only offer efficient payment processing. A good EPOS system will have customer-centric features that allow you to integrate with your website, issue loyalty programs, run marketing promotions, set up customer profiles, and connect all your sales channels. Store associates should also be able to look up transaction data, including past purchases, for a more personalized shopping experience.
If your EPOS is currently out of date, slow or lacks retail features, there this will be reflected the overall service you are providing your customers. With an seamless user experience, sophisticated Opus Retail Manager software, POSXPress3 tills, offline access and cloud capabilities, you never have to deal with a faulty system in front of customers again. Don't forget, Opus Retail Solutions invests £100k pa in R&D to ensure it’s software remains world-class.
Does my EPOS system rely on Wi-fi or the the cloud?
Sure, Cloud EPOS and mobile payments have become the buzz word in the retail market. However, they aren't all they have cracked up to be. We are often asked why we don’t make our solution cloud based. Cloud systems are ideal for certain markets. For example, a cafe with a relatively small number of products. Their requirements can be met with tablet, receipt printer and drawer in conjunction with a Cloud system, all for a relatively low cost.
We know that the more complex the retailers requirements are, the less suitable Cloud systems become. The basis of any Cloud system is that it requires a connection to the internet. If the internet connection is lost for any reason, then the system must go into ‘local’ mode to allow the users to trade. Then it must revert to normal mode once the internet connection is available again. From our experience in speaking to users of these iPad-based EPOS systems, this process is rarely seamless and is continuing to be troublesome for many.
Referring to the above scenario, Opus Retail Manager takes the opposite approach. Each till is fully self-sufficient in that it doesn’t need an internet connection or even a Local Area Network connection in order to operate. Even if the whole business has gone offline, the tills will function and the retailer can continue to trade. In our experience this is the logical way for an EPOS system with multiple tills to function. Sales data is stored locally and transferred seamlessly to Back Office and then up to Head Office in a multi-location environment.
Is my current EPOS system fast enough?
Speed is also a critical factor for any EPOS system. Cloud systems can be sufficient where the number of products is relatively small but, in a scenario, where a retailer has 10 shops, 100,000 product lines, 1 million stock lines, with potentially several million lines of sales history; the Cloud will won't be able to keep up. Our Retail Manager system runs on SAP Sybase database technology. This gives an extremely fast database performance which is critical in any large and busy retail environment. From our experiences in dealing with clients who have used Cloud systems, speed has been a major issue in larger environments such as the example above.
We want to give our customers the benefits of both worlds. The speed and reliability of our SAP database system with the flexibility that Cloud systems undoubtedly provide. So, we have produced a “hybrid” system where the customer’s data continues to be stored locally but where they can securely access the data from a standard browser.
Can I access my EPOS information anywhere?
Retail Manager's innovative point-of-sale (POS) systems offer you more control over your business. The power of cloud technology ensures you can access your own detailed business analytics, on any device, from anywhere in the world. You are no longer bound to one location should you want to access the metrics you need.
The system can be accessed from a specific brand or through a head office and integrated with your existing systems such as accounting and/or warehousing software. Reporting can be accessed from anywhere at any time through the cloud. However, we don’t rely on the cloud. To mitigate any risk when the internet goes down, we make sure Opus Retail Manager System is not “cloud based”, only your reporting, therefore you cannot be affected by the internet being down.
Opus Retail Manager offers the benefits of Cloud Reporting with the transaction speed of a SAP Database. It is the only hybrid EPOS system currently on the market. Your sales, product and reports are always available, safe, and up-to-date in the Cloud while the data is held securely in your home database.
Can I request an additional features to better suit my requirements?
Is your EPOS holding you back or giving you freedom? Does it allow you to work how, when and where you want? Does it allow you to work with vendors and companies you know and trust?
One of our major selling points is that we provide bespoke software customizations at an affordable price for our clients. In our market we typically find that customers do not have the budget to invest in a bespoke system but nevertheless have their own “unique” requirements. We offer an “off the shelf” system but also, we see ourselves as providing a solution for the customer rather than simply selling them a system. Over the years we have developed many add-ons for customers in the form of additional modules and interfaces etc. We believe we can provide much more flexibility in this regard than Cloud systems would be able to-(as we own all IP on the software).
Above all, make sure your point of sale provider gives you the freedom to choose. The best EPOS systems are: hardware agnostic, platform agnostic and payment gateway agnostic, meaning you can curate your point of sale system to work best for you and your business.
Ready for your point of sale to work for you instead of against you?
Does my EPOS system support Omnichannel?
Can your customers complete their shopping using both digital and physical channels? In a tougher retailer market, customers are expecting a most consistent brand experience, across every channel. They want what they want, when they want it. You EPOS system has to be ready to meet these expectations. It’s unacceptable for associates in stores to not know real-time inventory across the chain. Can your current EPOS handle orders in store or online, complete consistency in service and price, and seamless connectivity from browsing on mobile, to purchasing in store, to arranging delivery online?
With Opus Retail Manager, you benefit from complete visibility about what's in stock and get an accessible overview of sales across all channels on a daily basis. With omnichannel EPOS, there's no longer a need to perform time-consuming reconciliations between multiple platforms. This allows you to create new sales strategies from your customer's purchase history. Best of all, omnichannel EPOS makes your business accessible to both you and your customers 24 hours a day.
About Opus Retail Solutions
Opus Retail Solutions specialise in providing Retail, Wholesale, & Integrated e-Commerce Solutions through its Software suite Opus Retail Manager. The entire EPOS operation is managed from Opus’s Headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland, along with regional development and support offices in the UK. Opus has been developing software for over 30 years and was one of the first Windows based EPOS systems in 1997. Opus Retail Manager is hardware independent and we offer hardware depending on client requirements, policy or budget.
The key to Opus’s success lies with its ongoing investment in Research and Development and Training to keep our Software products and services and staff world class. Services range from specifying client requirements to providing custom modifications, system implementation, training with a special emphasis on after-sales support so our customers can get the most from their system. The Company invests c £100k pa in R&D to ensure it’s software remains world-class.
The entire Opus operation is managed from Opus’s Headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland, along with regional development and support offices in the UK and Russia. Opus has partners all over the world and currently ships the software in five languages. Please contact us if you would like to discuss a partnership.
Although our Retail Manager Software and services procedures have evolved over the years from DOS through Windows enabling us to stay ahead of the curve, our core objective is still to provide innovative, best in breed, easy to use and robust EPOS solutions, no matter what the industry, the size or the individual need.