Customizing the Counterpoint Data Filters in the Reports

Customizing the Counterpoint Data Filters in the Reports

One of the nice features of the Counterpoint software is the ability to customize the data filters in the reports. If you run the items report, for example, you will get the option to choose a range of item numbers, the primary vendor, a range of categories, and sub-categories.

If you want you can change the filters further, and select records based on any of the fields in the item table. Profile fields, alternate units, dimensions, descriptions, and many other fields. The fields can be set to have values included, excluded, or even to be empty.

In order to change the filter properties, right-click the mouse button on the white background area of the filters, and select customize. The view will change to a list of the fields selected. At this point, you have the option of adding additional fields or changing the existing ones. To change a field, click on that field, and you will get a list of all of the available fields. Depending on which table or view is being used, the list can be quite long. The same field may be selected more than once.

To change the condition, such as the item number being a range, click on the condition, which in the case of a range will be “between”. You are then presented with a list of options, such as “is (exactly)”, “contains”, “more than”, “less than”, and many others. These are all fairly self-explanatory. Also, the “and” at the end of the line can be changed to an “or”.

So, if you wanted to run the report for two specific items, you would select “Item number” for the field on the first two lines. Then click on the condition, and select “is (exactly)” on both of those lines. Finally, you would click on the “and” on the first line, and change it to “or”. This gives the result of generating the report for both of the two item numbers entered on the first two lines.

To get the screen back to the more friendly view that you originally had, right-click on the white background again, and select “simplify”. You will be back at the selection screen that you are used to, with the ability to lookup item numbers, and such.

Dave.

Importance of Updates

Importance of Updates

My daughter was flying in to visit me, and I needed directions to the newly-opened airport in my town. I decided to take a test run a few days before her arrival, so I checked out the address on the Internet and got into my car. I reached into the glove box for my road map and then realized that I had destroyed my road maps when I got my first hand-held GPS unit.

My car is older and does not have GPS installed, so I re-entered my home and got my hand-held GPS. It needed to be re-charged. After the re-charging completed, I again got into my car and proceeded to drive to the airport. The only problem was that my GPS had not been updated and the roads had changed! Of course, I got lost and had to recalculate on my own.

Why am I telling you all this? I want to emphasize how important it is to keep up with updates. Think of all of the things in your business that have been altered by our changing technology. Constant updates (and upgrades) are now needed on POS software, printers, registers, scanners, anti-virus programs, mailing machines, delivery company software, postage, credit card machines—the list goes on and on.

Don’t “get lost” as I did! Make sure that you stay current on all technology that keeps your business healthy, running, and competitive in the marketplace. If you need help, we’re here to answer your questions, give expert advice, and dependable service. Just email us at CCS.

Marlene

Speeding Up Your Computer

Speeding Up Your Computer

Have you noticed recently that your emails are not zipping out rapidly as they once did? Maybe your programs are loading slowly, or documents or pictures take forever to come up. Perhaps your most-used browser just hangs there for a while before doing its job.

It is so annoying when your computer starts slowing down, but it’s useful to know that this will happen, sooner or later, to all computers if some basic steps aren’t taken. There are many reasons why computers slow down, but here are some basic steps that you can take as a starting point to help solve the problem.

Clean out your trash bin. The items you have put there are not removed from your hard drive but kept there so they can be restored if you need them later. Check contents first, then delete those that will not be needed in the future.

Clean out your Temporary Internet Files. If you do a lot of web browsing, information accumulates rapidly here. Close all Internet browsers, open “Internet Options,” then click delete in “Browsing History” section.

Get rid of unneeded programs. Remove all programs that are no longer used, but make sure that you have completely uninstalled them, leaving no application leftovers that will slow down your computer.

Re-organize your desktop. Desktop icons are there to make it easier to navigate your system, but too many files or widgets can clutter your desktop and slow your system. Remove icons that are seldom used.

Keep your computer updated. Hardware, software, and operating system should all be in sync. New updates often have bug fixes that can improve your computer’s speed and performance.

If your business needs to purge files that are no longer needed, we can help you take care of this quickly and safely. Just give us a call at 800/425-672-4806 or email us for professional service that will enhance your business needs. Call today!

Marlene

Counterpoint Performance Tuning

The performance of your Counterpoint can usually be helped, with some tuning of the SQL server. Among the items that can impact performance, are memory allocation, file settings, indexing, and statistics.

When the SQL server is installed, the setting for memory is to be dynamically allocated, and the upper limit is way beyond the amount of memory you have in your machine. Left this way, memory swapping can occur. The upper limit should be reduced to a realistic level, at a minimum. Ideally, the lower and upper values are the same, so that no dynamic allocation occurs, which reduces overhead.

The file growth setting can have a significant impact at times.
Particularly during posting in various places, when large numbers of records are being created. When file growth does need to occur, it is better to allocate a significant new amount, rather than continually adding small amounts.

Finally, over time, as records are added and updated in a table, SQL server will eventually stop using indexes and start doing large sequential reads. This greatly affects performance! Performance can be restored by rebuilding indexes and updating statistics.

We would be happy to help you adjust your SQL server settings, to get the best performance from your system.

Dave.

Using Proper Physical Count Procedures

Using Proper Physical Count Procedures

It’s always a good idea to make copious notes about physical count configuration and usage issue and to review them prior to doing the actual work.

Typically, this process would include:

  • Making backups of current data. – Typically, this would involve backing-up the full database.
  • Archiving old count files for previous periods or years. – This would ensure that old files are not accidentally imported.
  • Making sure that PDT’s (Physical count device) batteries are fully charged, and that any old count data is cleared from the devices.
  • Training staff who will actually be doing the work to properly use both the software and hardware functions.

Taking this proactive approach is vitally important, especially if you only do inventories once a year or less frequently. Failing to do this can mean a potential disaster waiting to happen…

As an example…

An end-user who had just completed a physical count determined that ALL of the adjusted inventory levels were wrong for all of their locations.

In working with the counter staff, the following was later determined:

  • When importing the count file into the default PDT’s (Physical count device) software directory, the file downloaded was named the same as what it was last year and downloaded to PDT software’s default directory.
  • However, their default NCR Counterpoint parameter was pointing to a different import folder than the PDT software default. When the staff imported the count file, they were actually importing the previous year’s physical count file. – No one had checked the date of the file or the content before importing it.
  • After importing the count file, the user did a blind post the count data without checking any of the data, and just let the system to adjust all items not counted to zero.

To compound matters…

  • No backup of the existing CounterPoint data files was done prior to the start of the import process. – This means that they had no recourse but to restart the physical count process.
  • The count file had obvious errors in it (Barcodes scanned into the quantity field; Quantities input into the barcode field; Blank Quantities; etc.). – The NCR Counterpoint software has both a verify function that can be used prior to importing data and various worksheets that can be used for reviewing and validating data.
  • Other users had started multiple physical count snap-shots that involved many of the same items. Some of these has been open for as long as a year.
  • On detecting the initial problem, the staff repeated the exact same import/post process (using the wrong file) at least twice, before finally creating a new physical count, and without doing any imports, then zeroed-out

the entire inventory for that location.

The one saving grace here was the current year’s count file uploaded not been deleted, nor had the PDT been purged after the upload.

If you are unsure of any part of the physical count process, CCS Retail Systems can provide both training and technical assistance prior to starting the count, as well as ongoing process support during the actual count.

– John

NCR Counterpoint Supports Windows 10

NCR Counterpoint Supports Windows 10.

It is getting harder and harder to find and install the tried and true Windows 7 operating system. And like Windows XP before it, it will soon be obsolete and unsupported. In comes Windows 10, which I see as a kind of mash between the best of Windows 7 with a feel of Windows 8. NCR Counterpoint versions 8.5.2 and above are certified for use with Windows 10. As with all changes, there is a little learning curve to Windows 10, and like the previous version of the Windows OS, there’s usually more than one way to accomplish the same task. Windows 10 aims to be more user-friendly by giving the user more of an On/Off or Yes/No type options depending on where you are making changes. There is still the old Control Panel as before, but Windows 10 has added the “PC Settings” which gives you more of an explanation of what you are trying to change and an option to search for a specific setting unlike the regular control panel. There are many other helpful and useful features in Windows 10 which can be found on the Internet. Before upgrading or replacing any equipment to run Windows 10, be sure to check your other hardware (i.e. printers, network cards, devices) that they are compatible or that the manufacturer has updated drivers that will work.

As mentioned NCR Counterpoint is Windows 10 ready, and NCR is now offering both the XR7 and XR5 all in one terminal with Windows 10 preinstalled.

For any question about running Windows 10 in your NCR Counterpoint environment, please call the CCS Retail Systems Support Department at 800.672.4806 or email us.

-Bryan

Minor Changes That Make a Difference

 

Minor Changes That Make a Difference

So you’ve had your new system for a while, and everything seems to be going along pretty well. You have noticed, however, that there are a few minor changes that you would like to make, but are unsure about how to go about making those changes.

Perhaps you would like your receipts to contain more information about your return policy or your product descriptions to be expanded. Maybe your labels are printing incorrectly, or your employees have not mastered how to change passwords.

Do you need a report, but don’t know how to go about setting it up? Do you have a new user and need help adding this person into your system? Maybe you need to purge files to speed up your system.

Don’t put off fixing those little ongoing issues that can make your business run more smoothly when properly addressed. We can help you with all of these things and much more! Call us today at 425-672-4806 or email us at support.

Marlene

NCR Silver Essentials Cloud-based POS Solution

Supercharge Your Business with a Total NCR Silver Essentials Bundle Solution 

This bundle combines all the software and hardware you need – in a monthly fee, with no money down* – and will save you up to 20 percent. 

What Features are Available with NCR Silver?

NCR Silver is a complete POS system that can improve customer retention, manage your business, and help you grow

Inventory management

Know which items are selling, and which ones aren’t, to make informed decisions.

Employee management

Assign roles and track employee time with clock-in/clock-out functionality.

Consolidated reporting

Track sales and cash — for all locations — from anywhere, thanks to the cloud.

You’ve Got People

24/7 support + Silver Concierge = an entire team at your disposal

NCR Silver chat on an iPhone.
  • Unlike other POS providers, you’ll get LIVE support — every day of the week, any hour of the day.
  • Save time by letting your Silver Concierge team maintain your menus every month.
  • Experience peace of mind knowing that select hardware is supported if something goes wrong.
  • Get your back office up quicker by letting a Silver Concierge agent set it up for you.
  • Attend ongoing training sessions on new features.
  • Reach an agent by phone, email, chat or text.

NCR Silver EMV: A Chip off the New Block

EMV chip technology from NCR Silver is a cut above

When you opt for NCR Silver EMV, you can choose just about any card processor you want. In addition, NCR Silver chip readers and EMV stands are built to withstand the rigors of your restaurant, mobile environment or shop.  If that isn’t enough, you’ll also have more than 130 years of NCR financial technology know-how in your corner.

Learn More

EMV chip card reader with stand.

Have More Questions About NCR Silver?

Choosing the right POS system can be a challenge. We hope the decision is made easier with these FAQs

  • What devices does NCR Silver work with?

    NCR Silver apps work on Apple iOS 8.0 mobile devices, Apple iOS 9.0 mobile devices and the NCR Silver Quantum.

  • What’s included in my NCR Silver subscription?

    Your app, 24/7 LIVE customer support, the award-winning Silver Concierge service, regular software updates, integrated loyalty, email marketing, inventory management and more.

  • What third-party software works with NCR Silver?

    We’re constantly working with the best software providers — from accounting to mobile payments — to offer your small business or franchise an all-in-one experience. To name just a few: Xero, PassMarket, Paychex, LevelUp.

  • What is Silver Console?

    Silver Console, formerly known as CimpleBox, is an NCR-owned add-on service that offers advanced reporting and management features in one time-saving dashboard. It is fully integrated with NCR Silver.

  Silver Special Promotion For 2018.  Act NOW! 

 

CCS Retail Systems
Your Bridge With Technology  

Contact CCS Retail Sales …

 

Cost Saving Measures at the Point of Sale

Cost Saving Measures at the Point of Sale

Many retailers often focus on various cost-saving measures in their stores that could actually end up doing the opposite, generating increased costs instead of savings.

For many brick and mortar retailers, Internet competition is eating away at both market share and profit margins, as many businesses are looking for ways to reduce overall operating costs. Just one way that this is being done by many retailers is to cut down on material overhead at Point of Sale.

To accomplish part of this, one simple thing that some Retailers have resorted to is not printing or giving out receipts to customers unless they ask for one. For many of these business owners, the most often used logic for allowing this could be any or all of the following:

  • I’ll same money on receipt paper.
  • There will be less wear and tear on my printers, so they will last longer.
  • If I don’t hand out receipts, I can get more people through the registers faster.
  • If people don’t have receipts, they can’t return items. So fewer returns equate to savings.

Some of the unintended consequences of this can be:

Theft at the Till – For cash transactions, employees may not ring up the sale, and subsequently bag the items and pocket cash at the register. This is especially critical risk area in businesses that do a lot of cash transactions.

Irate customers – If the stores return policy states that you must have a receipt, and the customer was never given one, they may be angered when they find out that they can’t return the item. So this could end up actually costing you, customers. This is one such reason why I personally ask for a receipt forever purchase that I make.

Customers being erroneously charged with theft – I know of multiple situations involving Credit Card transactions where the clerk printed a receipt and charge draft for the customer to sign, but never gave the customer a copy of the receipt. Later that, the customer was forcibly detained for shoplifting by store security, and held for several hours while being berated by the security people, and is continually being threatened with arrest for theft for something that they had legitimately paid for. However, these customers were later vindicated when the security personnel reviewed the store’s video surveillance footage. The video clearly shows the customer paying for the transaction. as well as the failure of the clerk to give the customer a receipt. This scenario’s later involved the customer taking legal action to sue the store for violating their rights. The end result was a lot of legal fees and undisclosed out-of-court settlements, plus the loss of a long time, loyal customers.

Shrinkage/Inventory Control Issues– Items bagged for customers that were never rung up in the register. In these cases, the customer leaves with merchandise for which they were never charged. Since there is no paper receipt to verify what is in the bag, the customer could also end up walking out without some of what they legitimately purchased.

You got my order wrong – This I really common in the restaurant and fast food arena. You order something very specific, and you get something completely different than what you ordered. In most cases, the customer has a receipt ends the debate over what was actually ordered.

If you would like assistance in reviewing your existing Point of Sale register procedures, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

– John

The threat of Attack on Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems

The threat of Attack on Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems

In the retail world, the threat of attack on Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems is always high, as they are a prime target for the bad actors trying to get credit card information. There is always new malware being created to try to get that information. There are, however, steps that can be taken to reduce the risk, even with regards to the latest attack software.

The best thing that you can do is to isolate your servers and workstations as much as possible. In an ideal world, these would be completely isolated, and not interact with any other systems. The reality is that this is very rarely the case. With that in mind, let’s look at some things that can be done.

The first step is to make sure that your firewall is as restrictive as possible. Your POS workstations and server if needed should only be restricted to accessing what is absolutely needed. In most cases, this is only your credit card processor. In no case, should your firewall allow either the workstations or the server, unrestricted access to the internet? The firewall will eliminate the chance for drive-by downloads, or users browsing to malicious sites.

Along those lines, any computers that are used for general internet browsing, and also email, should be on a separate network. If it is not possible to implement workstations on a separate physical network, at least use a different logical network as in a different network address range. Even just the different logical network, will stop the majority of malware infections.

If remote access is needed, and it should be restricted to those cases where it truly is needed such as your support company, then it should be restricted to only those addresses that have a legitimate reason to connect. Also, any such connections should be closely monitored. One such method is to disable the remote access software, and only enable it when your support personnel is actively connecting. Of course, it is again disabled as soon as they are finished.

Those cover the basics of securing your POS system. It is a good place to start, but it is only a start. Keeping software updated, training personnel, and keeping vigilant are always key components, also.

Dave