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

To Purge or not to Purge? – The data migration dilemma

To Purge or not to Purge? – The data migration dilemma

When anticipating an upcoming Data Migration, here are a few things that you should consider in making purge decisions.

  1. The Time Crunch.

Depending on the application, a typical Data Migration can take at least several days to complete, if not longer.

Depending on the amount of data that one currently has, the entire process can be artificially extended. and cause you to have extra support expense and unwanted downtime.

As the amount of data that you have increased, more disk space is used and so exponentially does the number of resources required to do various tasks. This situation puts more resource pressure on your server and increases the amount of time that it takes to complete tasks. As an example, running history reports could end up taking a considerable amount of time, which may end-up reducing overall staff productivity of people are constantly waiting for something to complete. Generally, this scenario is true whether you are doing a data migration or not.

  1. Do I really need to migrate all of the data?

Typically, most Retailers only keep about (2) two years of detailed history. I have found many instances over the years where companies have decades of detailed history on file. However, with some industries, it may be necessary to retain more history, as examples of this might be if there were extended product warranties or high-priced items with serial numbers (e.g. Water Heaters, Pool and Spa Equipment, Wood Stoves, Tools, Farm Equipment, Electronics, etc.).

  1. What kind of time constraints do I have regarding the purging operations?

Normally, it is best to schedule purging related work for times when there is no one using the application software. Generally, there are at least (3) three good reasons for this as follows:

  • Purging operations usually require a lot of CPU and memory usage. So if this should normally not be done during peak hours, as it can bog-down your server.
  • Some historical purging operations will hang and wait if it encounters records within the selected range that are in use. This artificially extends the amount of time required to complete the purging operation.
  • Smaller databases generally mean faster backup times.
  1. What is the general condition of the source data?

Most purging and data migration operations require that the data be in good shape, otherwise separate and extensive work may be required to accomplish complete removal of the data or the ability to migrate it.

Some examples of this kind of issue would be.

  • Historical sales data that references sales reps or users that are no longer on file.
  • POS ticket history that involves sales data for customer and items that are no longer on file, or that have corrupt ticket lines.
  • Set-up and supporting data for features that are no longer used, such as sales prices, discount codes, and other pricing schemas.
  • Old customers that haven’t purchased anything for many years. This could include customers with invalid or obsolete contact data.
  • Items that are obsolete/discontinued or haven’t been used for many years.

In many cases, some of this kind of data can be cleaned up ahead of your data migration date,

If you have questions about purging, file utility usage, and data migrations, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department

John

Keeping Systems up-to-date

Keeping Systems up-to-date.

Everyone should know the importance of keeping your operating system, and software, up-to-date. Even with the amount of information on the subject, there are still many that allow this task to slide for excessively long periods of time. That is a very, very, bad thing to do, given the volume of malicious software that we are constantly bombarded with.

While I am not personally a fan of automatic updates, that is a far better choice than not installing updates at all. If you find that you are not taking the time to apply the patches and updates, then, by all means, configure automatic updates, and let the system do it for you.

While automatic updates involve an amount of risk, it is much less than the risk run by not having current fixes and patches applied. My preference is to periodically (and frequently) manually install the updates. Manually installing allows me to check for known issues regarding those updates, and make the decision to install a particular patch, or not. This approach does take some dedication on your part, though, and as such is not for everyone.

Whichever method you choose, be sure that your systems are updated with the current patches and fixes. Otherwise, you are running the very big risk of waking up to a nasty situation, in which your computers have been compromised, or are being held for ransom.

Dave.

Spring Cleaning Time!

Spring Cleaning Time!

Most of us think of spring as a good time for thoroughly cleaning and airing out our home. It’s also a good time for cleaning our computers and peripherals! To remove dust accumulation inside your computer that can clog heatsinks and fans, overheat components, and throttle performance. If this persists, performance is affected, and lifespan of the system can be reduced. Shorts may also result, causing damage to parts.

As to peripherals–keyboards, mice, and headphones can harbor volumes of bacteria from constant use. The number of bacteria is multiplied when computers are shared with other users. Remember, not everyone washes their hands as frequently as they should and often leave behind lots of unhealthy, gross stuff on the surface of whatever they touch!

Many good websites give step-by-step directions on how to safely clean computers and peripherals. One click is all you need to find out how to do the job the right way.

While you’re at it, why not clean out some of those old files that are no longer needed and free up some space on your computer? Removing old will also help speed up performance.

Need some help doing this? CCS is here to assist you! Call us today at 425-672-4806 or email us to get that spring cleaning done by experts!

Marlene

Testing Updates and Changes

Testing updates and Changes.

With the recent changes in requirements for credit card processors, NCR Retail Online going away, and others, there are a large number of people going through updates and changes. Many of these changes are quite significant. With that in mind, a word about testing those changes is in order.

The most common thing that I see is a lack of sufficient testing. For example, if you are changing your web store provider, there will be changes in how orders flow in and out of your ticketing system. It is not enough to test that orders come into your system. You also need to check that you can process those orders. It does not do any good to receive orders, and then not be able to process and complete them. The testing process needs to incorporate all aspects of the workflow.

  • Does the order come in with the correct information?
  • How about taxes?
  • Are the tax amounts correct when appropriate?
  • How about when taxes do not apply so that there is a zero
  • tax amount?

Those are all important, but that is just the beginning.

If that information is importing correctly, what about going forward.

You should test printing picking tickets, generating invoices, and everything all the way through posting those invoices. When that all goes through without a hitch, there is still more to do. Test canceling orders, and partial shipments. If you ever edit orders to add or remove lines, change a line quantity, or anything else, then those functions need to be tested also.

It takes some time and needs to be included in your schedule for everything else, but the more time spent testing changes and updates ahead of time, the smoother it will be when it comes time to implement those changes in your live system.

Dave

Staying Current on Your NCR Counterpoint Software

Staying Current on Your NCR Counterpoint Software.

With all the changes to security and PCI Compliance, it is a good idea to be and stay current on your NCR Counterpoint software. One example of why has just came to light recently.

To be PCI Compliant, the gateway which helps you process credit card transactions is being updated to support the latest encryption technology. With that update, your NCT Counterpoint software will also need to be updated. Not all version will be updated, but the latest version is almost always updated with a small patch or Service Pack which take only a few minutes to install. The older version of NCR Counterpoint (except two versions) will not be updated and will need to be brought up to a currently supported version of the software.

If you are running an older version of Counterpoint, there are a few things to consider. The first is to find out if your hardware and operation system will support both the updated version of Counterpoint and the new encryption technology being implemented. Second is time. Depending on what your current version is, the time it takes to upgrade can vary from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on how many workstations you have, how big of a jump from version to version you are going, and when you will be able to get the work done.

Although it is not always recommended to be on bleeding edge of technology, being somewhat current will save you time (and in return, money) on your next update.

-Bryan

The Disadvantages of Using Duplicate Document Numbers

The Disadvantages of Re-using Document Numbers

They are numerous reasons for not doing this as follows:

Typically, in most software applications, a document number is considered a Primary Key, so it should be considered “Unique” and would not be duplicated. However, there are some programs where it might be a Secondary key where multiples might be allowed, such as using a sequence Number, such as when using duplicate entries and historical tables such as Check History (e.g. checks, voids for the same checks, or manual payments, EFT transactions, etc.).

Even in situations where the programming might allow for this sort of thing, a duplication might cause other issues with software functionality, As examples.

  • GAAP – According to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practice) document numbers should also be considered unique. This also makes auditing easier. If an auditor sees a lot of duplicate documents, it may prompt the auditor to dig deeper looking for other accounting irregularities, thereby artificially extending the length of the audit.
  • The same Ticket/Invoice number exists in history multiple times – A user runs a report on ticket #20324 without having specified a date or date range. The subsequent report returns eight documents created over a period of 10 years.
  • Problems posting – I have seen examples where end-users have used the same invoice number dozens of times. When they try to post a new voucher using the same invoice number, the program may hang or crash while it attempting multiple times to create a “New” document for one that already exists to previously. As an example, the program might attempt to write the same document into history 10 times, and then just stop the attempts to write the new data.

The worst example of this that I have seen so far, is with one vendor that 21 manual payments on file using an invoice and check number of “SUPPLIES” – In this case, a better example would create the numbers would be something like “SUPMMDDYY” (e.g. SUP031518).

If you have any questions or need assistance with the creating your own document number assignment schema, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support department.

– John