Blog Posts

Stay Technologically Current to Increase Sales

Stay Technologically Current to Increase Sales

We’re into the holiday season already, and it’s quite obvious that shopping is not like it used to be. Computers and cell phones have changed the traditional method of just visiting a brick and mortar store and making a purchase. Greatly expanded options give purchasers an edge over retailers if they are not keeping up with current technology.

As a retailer, are you able to:

  • Sell both online and in your store?
  • Sell remotely inside your store?
  • Track your customers to offer sales and promotions to those who are buying your products?
  • Offer a loyalty program for your customers?
  • Offer frequent buyer rewards?
  • Update your inventory to prevent shortages of best sellers?
  • Offer online sales that can be picked up in your store?

NCR’s Counterpoint POS Software allows you to do all of these things and much more. What better time than now to call CCS Retail Systems to get set up with great Counterpoint options? You can reach us at 425-672-4806 or email us. Don’t miss out on holiday sales—call today!

Marlene

Counterpoint V7 to SQL Yearend Discount Special!

Counterpoint V7 to SQL Yearend Discount Special!

 

 Happy Holidays

It’s Time to Think About Migrating to Counterpoint SQL!

Considering New Hardware and Windows10 Packaging? Remember CPSQL Supports Windows 10!

Here’s Our CPSQL Upgrade Special for You!

SPECIAL BUNDLE AND PRICING, INCLUDING TWO EXTRA BONUS ITEMS

Limited Time Special of 25% Off the List Price of Counterpoint V7 Upgrades to Counterpoint SQL.
1 Month of FREE Smart Alerts Counterpoint System Monitoring and Alerting to Your Mobile Devices.
1 Month of FREE Customer Connect Integrated Counterpoint Email Marketing.

NCR Smart Alerts is a mobile alerting tool allowing you to keep track of what happens in your store at all times We know the world is a stage, but that doesn’t mean you can be everywhere at once. Like your own personal assistant, our software makes you feel like you’ve got everything covered. Our mobile alerting system informs you of all store operations across your locations, keeping you up-to-date on sales information, any fraudulent activity, or day-to-day operations.

NCR Customer Connect is a powerful integrated email marketing system helping you grow your business by driving sales. The show’s not over yet—get them asking for an encore! Send follow up emails to connect with your customers after their experience. Our integrated, automated email marketing system enables you to use customer data and preferences to send them personalized offers.

More …

Don’t Miss This Limited Time Offer. Special Pricing Ends December 22, 2017.

Call CCS Marilyn at 800/425-672-4806 or Email sales@ccscentral.com

Counterpoint v7 migration to Counterpoint SQL Special

Counterpoint v7 migration to Counterpoint SQL Special

It’s Time to Think About Migrating to Counterpoint SQL!

Considering New Hardware and Windows10 Packaging? Remember CPSQL Supports Windows 10!

Here’s Our CPSQL Upgrade Special for You!

SPECIAL BUNDLE AND PRICING, INCLUDING TWO EXTRA BONUS ITEMS

Limited Time Special of 25% Off the List Price of Counterpoint V7 Migration to Counterpoint SQL.
1 Month of FREE Smart Alerts Counterpoint System Monitoring and Alerting to Your Mobile Devices.
1 Month of FREE Customer Connect Integrated Counterpoint Email Marketing.

Don’t Miss This Limited Time Offer. Special Pricing Ends December 22, 2017.

Call Marilyn at 800/425-672-4806 or Email sales@ccscentral.com

Purging Distributions

Purging Distributions

As you use your Counterpoint SQL system, you will accumulate data. Sales history, purchasing, and receiving, all of the history is accumulated, and these tables can grow to be quite large.

One table that can grow very fast, is the distributions table. Everything that is posted will create distributions. Depending on the settings used, it can be many records for a single posting. In a short time, this can build into thousands, or millions, of records. Moreover, most people do not need most of the data in this table. If your interface to another accounting system, once the distributions are sent to that other system, one really has no need for them in Counterpoint. Also, many do not use the accounting function, either within Counterpoint, or interfaced to another accounting system. In that case, those records are never used and are just taking up space.

Fortunately, distributions are one of the areas that Counterpoint has a purge function. From the main menu, it is under System -> Accounting -> Utilities -> Purge Distributions. Under the event tab, select the Post Date range that you want to purge. You may have to use the customize function to find the post date option. Make sure that you select a range that will leave any records that you may want. In a lot of cases, leaving 30 days of distributions is appropriate. However, that will vary, depending on your use of these records, and your needs. You may be able to purge all records (for example, if you do not use any of the distribution information within Counterpoint).

Once you have selected the purge range and selected the purge option, you will get a report of the records that will be purged. Also, you will be asked for confirmation that you actually wish to purge the records. Once you confirm that you want to purge, the records will be removed. This can take several minutes, depending on how many records you are purging at a time. That is all there is to it.

Dave.

.STORE Domain Names Now Available for Retailers

 You can now Register a Domain Ending in .store,  for example, MyRetailSite.store or MyRetailOutlet.store. ‌ ‌

Any Domain Registrar such as name.com can help you select and register your choices. ‌ ‌ ‌.STORE Domains are a handy tool for making a simple connection with your shoppers.    ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

 Tis the season to be stormy…

 Tis the season to be stormy…

With the fall season upon us, so comes the inclement weather. This month has been a reminder of just how volatile these storms can and just what kind of havoc power issues can wreck on a business.

Why are proper system shutdowns important?

While using the proper system shutdown commands during power events, or when otherwise required, may seem to be Computer 101 level procedures to some, to others, especially the untrained it is not.

Based on my experience, this seems to be a bigger issue with retailers than any other group. The core issues seem to reside primarily in the following four areas:

1. Lack of written plans and/or procedures for shutting-down and restarting servers and POS systems.

2. Lack of a training program for employees working in the stores, so that they know what to do when the power goes out.

3. High employee turnover. – New staffers are either not familiar with the system, and who have little or no training.

4. Insufficient security authorizations – some of the staff at the store have a level of security access that does not allow them to login to the server and properly shut it down.

What happens when equipment is not shutdown properly?

When an application server or POS workstation is shutdown improperly, very serious issues can result, such as:

  • Loss of active unsaved data. – This might mean incomplete, and un-editable tickets, or orders.
  • Critical damage to application databases that can require having to restore data from backups.
  • Damage to the operating system, which might require having to restore part of it or having to go as far as restaging the entire computer. This would be especially true if a downloaded Windows Security Service Pack was to schedule to be installed on the next system shutdown, as it could cause the update to fail to be properly applied.
  • Physical damage to critical components in the computer, such as the hard drive, motherboard, memory, required the machines) to be down for an extended period of time Proper Power Protection

One common oversight regarding computer installations is not having proper power protection for the systems. Normally, one should have UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) battery backups that are adequate to protect your Servers and PC’s, as well associated hardware such as modems, network switches, etc. CCS also recommends this for both new and existing systems.

Most current UPS systems allow for line conditioning, surge and brownout protection, as well as automated Server/PC shutdown capability (in the event of a complete power failure). One historical example of this involved the following:

With a new system purchase, where the customer opted not to purchase a UPS for the primary CP SQL application server. This was mainly over budgetary concerns. During a particularly bad seasonal winter storm, they were having both erratic power fluctuations combined with complete outages for extended periods of time. The staff chose to leave the server running during this time period. At one point, the power went out several times while the server was powered up, causing the server to crash and then reboot repetitively. These events resulted in damage to some critical operating system files. The resulting support work required to recover the damage was almost equal to the cost of the originally quoted UPS.

Being a firm believer in this technology, I also have my home Computer, Monitor, External Hard Drive, DSL Modem, Alarm System, and Telephones protected.

Recommended Power Protection Updates

One common oversight regarding computer installations is not maintaining power protection for a network, location servers or registers/PC’s. The following are some often neglected things.

  1. Old and Damaged Power Strips.

Often while on-site at various companies, I find power strips that have no power or surge protection. Often there are many that have surge protection, however, the surge protection components have failed. The normal indicator of a damaged power strip is that the rocker switch light and/or the surge light is flickering off and on or burnt out completely.

  1. UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) maintenance.

Under normal circumstances the battery in a UPS battery backup needs to be replaced every 3 – 4 years. Failure to do this can result in systems crashing because the battery won’t hold a charge or the battery drains before the machine can be properly shutdown (in wither automated or manual fashion).

Despite its design and intended use, a UPS is not damage proof. Since it is an electronic device under heavy usage or extreme power events, it can sustain damage or fail completely.

I have seen some instances of where the UPS charging circuit has been damaged causing the UPS to overcharge the battery, both damaging the battery, and causing the unit to overheat. A common indicator of this is the UPS is extremely hot to the touch (enough to warm coffee, a pastry or burn you). This is also a fire hazard, so this situation could be putting much more than just your computer at risk.

Also, If PC’s and peripherals have recently been replaced, the older UPS may not be adequate for the job because it doesn’t have the proper wattage and amp rating to support the new equipment.

An example of this: A user had a PC connected to and older 180 Watt/230 VA UPS, and the new equipment that was installed used a combined total of 500 Watts. When the power to the UPS was disconnected, the UPS couldn’t handle the load, and immediately terminated the power before anything could be shutdown, resulting in damage to both data and the operating system.

While you can purchase a UPS for a relatively nominal fee, cheaper retail UPS units are inadequate for the job of protecting most business systems. Most new business class “Smart” UPS systems allow for line conditioning AVR (Automated Voltage Regulation), surge and brownout protection, as well as automated Server/PC shutdown capability (in the event of a complete power failure). This takes the burden of doing this away from your staff, and ensures that equipment is properly shut-down

With the fall storm season already upon us, right now is the best time to address these issues before they become critical. CCS can evaluate your needs, make recommendations, and make sure that the proper equipment is both ordered and properly installed. Please call the CCS Retail Systems Support Department to schedule your power review.

– John

Everett’s place for costumes is hanging it up after 25 years

Everett’s place for costumes is hanging it up after 25 years.  The costume and party-supply store on Evergreen Way will close for good on Nov. 30.

By Julie Muhlstein
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 9:56am ❙ LOCAL NEWS EVERETT JULIE MUHLSTEIN

A plastic muscle-man torso, masks of John F. Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, pirate hats, voodoo dolls, wedding goblets, graduation decorations, professional stage makeup and fake blood, it’s all up for grabs at Everett’s Party@Display & Costume store — but not for long.

The costume and party-supply store at 5209 Evergreen Way will close for the last time Nov. 30. Two other Display & Costume shops in the family-run company, a large Seattle store on Roosevelt Way NE near Northgate and another in Issaquah, will stay in business.

“We’re definitely known for our unique products,” said Angie Durham, manager of the Everett store. On Monday, the store still had racks of costumes for children and adults, paper products for parties, Halloween decor and many other goods for sale at discounts, some as much as 70 percent o . Most props, along with Christmas trees and decorations, have been sold or moved to the Seattle store.

Since 1992, when Dallas and Susan Carleton opened Display & Costume in Everett, it’s been more than a retail outlet. At Halloween especially, it’s been a family-friendly destination.

Kids — my own included — have spent hours in the store making up their minds on wacky Halloween costumes, and then changing their minds when they nd something wackier on another aisle. During the Halloween season, an outdoor gargoyle display has been a smoke-blowing, wing- apping attraction, entertaining shoppers and scaring little ones with its spooky sound effects.

“This is definitely a relocation, not a closure,” said Durham, the Carletons’ niece.

The family has deep roots in Snohomish County. Durham’s father Reid Carleton, Dallas’ brother, owns Carleton Farms near Lake Stevens. William Carleton, the father of Dallas and Reid, lived in what’s now known as the Carleton House, an 1898 Victorian on Avenue D in Snohomish.

The costume business has long been a family affair. It began as Display and Costume Supply in 1952, when Tyler and Merry Kaune opened their first store at Westlake Avenue and Denny Way in Seattle. It specialized in costumes, makeup and other theater items.

Susan Carleton is the Kaunes’ daughter. She and husband Dallas became second-generation owners. Their daughter, Margaret McGowan, runs the company today as the corporate manager.

Now 76, Dallas Carleton started with the company in 1977. He had a drama background and once worked with Arden Flom, the longtime Everett Community College theater director who died in 2010. Carleton now works part-time with the business. “Margaret keeps me employed,” he quipped.

“Times change,” he said. Tra c, the internet and other factors have affected business at the Evergreen Way location, he said. Raised in Lake Stevens, Carleton and his wife live in Everett not far from the store. The 20,000-square-foot space, leased from David Chen, “is twice as much as we need,” Carleton said.

Times change, indeed. When I visited the store for a 1998 Halloween article, the “Monica L” wig — perfect for a Monica Lewinsky getup — was a hot seller. This Halloween, “Trump sold out fast,” Durham said.

Durham won’t be moving to the Seattle store. “We’ve had a good run,” she said. “After more than 20 years, I’m ready for new adventures.” Other workers are also losing jobs. “It’s been a fun place. It’s very sad,” said Nina Juarez, who has worked 19 years at Display & Costume.

Customer Codi Villalobos, of Marysville, said she has often shopped at Display & Costume for stage makeup and other items for her son, who’s involved in middle school theater. “It’s the only local spot,” she said at the store Monday. “It will be Amazon now.”

And that scary gargoyle? “He watches over us,” Durham said. “He’ll reappear every year at the Northgate store.”

Full Article …

 

XR7 And XR5 Terminals

 XR7 And XR5 Terminals

Ready for a sleek new look to your retail cash wrap? Look no further, The NCR XR7 and XR5 Terminals are here!

Here are some of the features of the XR7

The NCR RealPOS XR7’s sleek, modern appearance—with its slim profile, zero-bezel design, and elegant styling—sets it apart from other point-of-sale solutions. Powered by 4th-generation Intel® Core™ processor technology, the NCR RealPOS XR7 delivers amazing performance and future-proofs your investment. On-board “odometers” capture vital health and usage statistics to help us keep you up and running.

The NCR RealPOS XR7with its rugged die-cast aluminum chassis, long-life LED display, projected-capacitive or resistive touchscreen, and enterprise class solid state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD), the RealPOS XR7 is built to last. Our comprehensive environmental and compatibility testing, along with stringent manufacturing standards, ensure years of dependable operation.

The NCR RealPOS XR7 represents the latest evolution of NCR’s design and usability thinking around point-of-sale terminals. The product form, materials and user interface builds on over a century of knowledge and global experience. The result is a culmination of design, functionality, and quality that goes beyond any point-of-sale solution in the market.

The XR7 comes Pre-loaded with Windows 7 Pro or Windows 7 Embedded (64-bit)

Here are the XR5 Features

The NCR RealPOS™ XR5 is powered by the latest Quad core Intel® Celeron® processor-based system-on-chip (SoC) technology to give you high energy efficiency, lower operating temperature, and uncompromised performance. This means lower power cost and higher reliability. The associate display provides support to boost associate productivity and lets them interact in a way that is familiar to them.

Like our NCR RealPOS XR7, the XR5 was With its rugged die-cast aluminum chassis, long life LED display, resistive touchscreen, fan-less design, solid state drive, and long life components, the RealPOS XR5 will provide years of reliable operation.

The XR5 comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 (64-bit)

Both terminals were designed to offer the sophisticated elegance of the latest consumer technology, but with the robustness and reliability of industrial grade, purpose built POS technology – giving you the best of both worlds.

Both terminals also offer built-in encrypted card swipes (P2Pe) to further enhance the security of your environment. Along with NCR Secure Pay payment gateway, your customers data is safe and secure.

For more specs and information, please contact the CCS Retail Systems sales department at sales

-Bryan

 

 

Training – a Time and Money – Saving Investment

Training – a Time and Money-Saving Investment

At CCS, we often get calls from customers who proclaim, “Our system isn’t working right!” When we probe for details, it turns out that a cable was unplugged, an employee failed to log out properly, the default printer wasn’t set for the right printer, something was posted on the wrong date (or for the wrong year), or an incorrect password was being used.

A recent issue involved a person manually imputing data (for days) that could have been accomplished quickly with the push of a button! Imagine the time spent and the money wasted from a situation like this one.

It’s not the system that’s at fault—it’s improper use of the system that’s often causing the problems. Many of these issues could have been prevented if the employees involved had the right training to use the software and hardware correctly. That’s where we come into the picture.

We offer training in our computer-equipped classroom, on-site at your place of business, or remotely. Hands-on instruction is provided by a qualified technician with years of experience. Manuals are supplied for use in the classroom, and for further reference on the job.

Employers may choose a complete system overview, or just specific topics for their employees’ training. Questions brought up during the classes often get answers to problems that others have had, also.

If you’re interested in saving time and money by getting the proper training for your employees (or yourself!), give us a call today at 425-672-4806 or email us. The holiday season is about to begin, so don’t delay!

Marlene

 

NCR Ranked #1 in Global POS Software by RBR in Second Year of Market

NCR Ranked #1 in Global POS Software by RBR in Second Year of Market Report

New RBR “Global POS Software 2017” report identifies NCR as leading point-of-sale software provider in the retail and hospitality industries for the second consecutive year

Duluth, Ga. – October 31,2017NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a global leader in omni-channel solutions, remains the leading point-of-sale (POS) software provider for the retail and hospitality industries according to a study published by the strategic research and consulting firm RBR.

RBR’s research “Global POS Software 2017” is an in-depth international study of this dynamic market, analyzing more than 1,400 projects, by more than 60 vendors. The report shows that major retailers and hospitality operators account for 7 million POS installations worldwide, with NCR as the market leader for the 2nd consecutive year.

Additionally, nearly 300,000 new POS installations occurred from June 2016 to June 2017, and NCR led this growth with 14% global share.

“Retail and hospitality businesses are increasingly turning to our Omni Channel Decision Support Solutions and capabilities as NCR delivers proven value to our customers as a critical partner in shaping the customer experience,” said Dirk Izzo, senior vice president and general manager Industry Solution Group, NCR Corporation. “Our point-of-sale software delivers a consistent consumer experience across all touchpoints.”

The NCR software portfolio is leading transformational change across the entire retail and hospitality ecosystem, as these markets will increasingly rely on omni-channel platforms that can capture and provide actionable customer insights. NCR’s cloud-based infrastructure and APIs, combined with NCR point-of-sale software, will enable integration of third party applications and various types of data analysis to drive smarter, faster business decisions. This enables businesses to select and easily integrate different types of technology with their current systems, ultimately helping to save them money, time to market and helping them future-proof their business and transform at their own pace.

About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in omni-channel solutions, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With its software, hardware, and portfolio of services, NCR enables nearly 700 million transactions daily across the financial, retail, hospitality, travel, telecom and technology industries. NCR solutions run the everyday transactions that make your life easier. NCR is headquartered in Duluth, Ga., with about 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries. NCR encourages investors to visit its website which is updated regularly with financial and other important information about NCR.

Website: www.ncr.com
Twitter: @NCRCorporation
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ncrcorp
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/ncr-corporation
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ncrcorporation