Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How To Choose the Right POS For Your Business

...Whether upgrading to a brand new platform, updating an existing one, or playing catch-up and implementing your first POS system, evaluating the options can be daunting. With so many competing platforms, how do you know which one is right for you? Taking inventory of your business needs and considering the capabilities of each solution will get you a long way toward making the right decision.
An upgrade may be the best way to go
Updating an existing platform is certainly the simplest solution for outdated technology. That makes it the logical place to start -- if a simple update provides the functionality you need, why go through all the trouble of shopping around and going through an implementation that can be expensive and time consuming? If a quality vendor was selected for the initial system, chances are good that an available update will address any business need with few to no associated headaches.
But in the real world, this isn’t always the case. An update may not have been developed yet, or even worse, the platform has been completely abandoned by the developer. When that happens, the only choice becomes selecting a new platform.
It probably goes without saying that the vendor who left you hanging should be left out of consideration, but take to heart the lesson that you just learned: Selecting a POS vendor that provides frequent updates is always preferable to one that doesn’t. As tempting as it may be to be penny wise but pound foolish, understand that the useful life of any POS iteration rarely exceeds three years. Think ahead to what you’ll be faced with then..
Evaluating features:
At first glance, all POS solutions are pretty much the same. They all handle cash and credit transactions out of the box, they all accept returns, and they can all handle pricing changes; but feature lists go much deeper, especially for omnichannel functionality. The trick is knowing what capabilities will help sales and service versus those that will sit dormant despite the fact that you paid for them. This requires a detailed and honest look at how you conduct business and where you see the future..
We can similarly engage in some forecasting for the coming years. More consumers than ever are completing purchases using mobile devices, and that trend is only accelerating. Therefore, even retailers that have not yet launched into m-commerce should know that they will likely need to optimize for this channel in the near future. RFID technology is also becoming more cost effective, and many retailers are continuing experimentation with it or trying it for the first time.
No matter what new innovation or trend comes into play in the future, don’t let your retail management platform be the limiting factor to growth. Since the past is the best predictor of the future, look for a vendor with a rich history of proactive updates that support the newest approaches to retail. Also, seek a provider that actively partners with clients to ensure their needs are met swiftly, developing updates and modules quickly to serve the evolving consumer market. By Ian Goldman (

To place your order for POS supplies go to

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Going green and saving money, A perfect match in a POS printer

If there are two phrases that business owners hear everywhere, it is these:
1. Go green
2. Save money
Ideally, we’d all like to do just that (go green and save money), but the relationship between saving the earth and saving a few dollars is one that defines the idea of “taking things slowly.” While many industries are working hard to make strides so that all parties are happy, the changes usually don’t happen quickly enough. Of course, business owners would prefer to cut costs while cutting out non-green practices, but cost savings usually emerge victorious, in a way serving up the old adage it’s not you, it’s me to the other, planet-friendly choice.
 Leave it to Epson to find a way to marry the environmentally conscious with the budget-watchers. Long known as a company committed to both reducing costs and meeting environmental goals, Epson has a long history of achievements in protecting the environment and is now one of the leading environmental companies in the world—it’s no wonder that this company would be the one to develop a cost-saving, advanced technology that automatically saves paper. Small business owners always look for ways to run an efficient, economical operation while still offering customers the best quality products. Sometimes it pays to cut costs on the items that do not really matter in the end, but what about your receipts? How could you even go about doing that without comprising the information contained on said receipts? Receipts are valuable to both you and your customers—how else would customers be able to return or exchange purchases or have a record of payment? The truth is this: there’s a way to use less receipt paper and still manage to include all pertinent information on a receipt of sale: the Epson TM-T88V Printer. The printer comes with a built-in setting that allows you to save receipt paper. Here’s how it works: the printer eliminates useless white space above and below your text and graphics (including margins) and thus decreases the overall size of your receipts without decreasing the readability of the receipt. The quality and readability of the information remains intact because with this paper-saving setting, the size of your graphics and font doesn’t change (unlike other so-called space-saving printers that condense and decrease text and images). The TM-T88V was the first POS thermal printer to be ENERGY STAR qualified and is the most energy efficient in its class. Epson conducted power consumption tests on single-station printers sold in the United States [including Epson, Star, IBM, NCR, Citizen, Bixolon, and Ithaca] and found that the TM-T88V used between 13% and 89% less power than other printers in its class did. The printer also reduces the creation of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the printer. As far as printers go, this printer offer the greenest option available to date.
And there’s even better news yet: you may already have this printer, and if you do, it is only a matter of changing your settings for you to start saving paper (and saving money). You don’t need to make any application changes at all since the paper-saving settings are easy to use and can be done right out of the box without changes to your application. Plus, all of the printing can take place on standard 80mm receipt paper, which means that there’s no need to go out and purchase 58mm receipt paper or any other kind—you can use what you’ve already purchased. So, how much money can you save with this printer setting, exactly? Assuming you set the printer at 75% reduction mode, you can estimate $300 in savings/printer within five years—and that translates more than two hundred fewer pounds of paper that you will need to buy. Following this idea, businesses that use 1,000 printers can stand to save more than $300,000 in five years. By Charlotte A. F. Farley (
To place your order for Epson TM-T88V Printer and paper rolls go to

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Antitrust lawsuits come to California restaurants

Recently, restaurants have been finding themselves dealing with a type of lawsuit not commonly seen in the restaurant industry.  While attempting to deal with the rising costs of doing business with increasing minimum wages, paid sick leave, and mandated health care, some restaurants have found themselves accused of violating California and Federal Antitrust laws.  To prepare for these new accusations, we want to provide restaurants with some basic information about antitrust law.  This will help you identify potential issues that arise in this area of the law and provide an opportunity to plan to meet these challenges.
Basic Antitrust Offenses
Antitrust law, at its root, is the law of competition. It is argued that antitrust laws seek to promote fair competition and protect consumers and wronged competitor businesses from anti-competitive business practices.  The practices are viewed as being undertaken to undermine the competitive nature of a free market.
Therefore, the antitrust laws target the wrongful acquisition or preservation of monopoly power and concerted restraints of trade (i.e., business practices undertaken by two or more restaurants to improperly stifle or suppress “competition on the merits” in a given market).
Antitrust laws are concerned with wrongs committed against competition in a free market.  Therefore, a plaintiff cannot simply allege he or she has been harmed by two separate businesses exerting monopoly power or restraints on free trade.  Instead, an antitrust plaintiff must show that the defendant or defendants have undermined competition in a distinct market, and that this injury to competition in general has specifically harmed the plaintiff in particular.  This is called a showing of “antitrust harm” and the ensuing “antitrust injury” to the plaintiff.  While this sounds like someone having to eat a 57 ounce steak to win a T-Shirt, the vague language of the laws make this meal more like eating a summer salad.
In the cases we have seen being filed against restaurants, the plaintiffs have alleged that restaurants in certain geographic areas have gotten together to add a common surcharge that restrains the free market.  The plaintiffs claim this is price fixing under California state law.  The legal dispute pointed to a common surcharge added to menu prices at various restaurants; the application of the alleged violation expands to restaurant groups that own a number of restaurants in a small geographic area or even franchise model relationships.
Where Can I Find These Antitrust Laws?
The antitrust laws can be found in various federal statutes, most notably the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act. The federal statutes use vague and general language to prohibit “monopolization” and “restraints of trade,” leaving the interpretation of these terms up to the courts.  California has its own statute that adopts the federal prohibition of restraints of trade, but do not prohibit monopolization.  The California law is commonly referred to as the Cartwright Act. The two principal antitrust offenses are “monopolization” and “conspiracy to restrain trade.”...
How Do I Defend An Antitrust Case?
Modern day antitrust cases, in many cases, come down to emails and texts.  Restaurants should be very careful regarding non-general industry communications sent or received by competitors so they avoid being accused of engaging in restraints on trade.   Antitrust defense litigation requires careful consideration of the theory of the case and the elements the plaintiff must prove.  Ultimately, antitrust trials boil down to who can tell the better story.  Working with legal counsel to ensure the defense story is backed up by the facts is the best recipe for a successful defense.  Just like presenting a meal to a customer, plating the facts in an easily digestible layout will lead to better results.  When considering changes to your restaurant, you now need to add to the menu of risks: the Federal and State Antitrust laws. By Alden J. Parker (

To place your order for POS supplies go to

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Heartland:Credit Card Fraud At Small Business About to Soar

The frequency of counterfeit or stolen credit cards being used at small business is ready to jump, I was told, in an interview with Heartland Payment Systems Chairman and CEO, Robert O. Carr. Credit card fraud migrates to the weakest points, and since the larger retailers and restaurants have (by and large) already installed the needed equipment for the October 1st shift of liability to merchants, those who are unprepared are mainly the small merchants.
Assorted studies in the last few weeks have said that only 25% to 42% of small business owners are properly prepared for the EMV shift.  The number that Heartland provided was 40% readiness among retailers. Another area, according to Carr (and others), that will be subject to a higher level of fraudulent transactions is e-commerce/online sales.    Many online sellers are not using AVS (Address Verification Service) when they accept a shipping address.   These sellers are going to be targeted by thieves.  The benefit of AVS is that it allows the seller to know if the merchandise is being shipped to the billing address of the card holder.  If the card holder is in Iowa, but the merchandise is being shipped to Miami, that ought to raise a red flag.   But, if a seller is not using AVS then it’s an easy way to ship merchandise to a temporary address.  Sometimes crooks will ship merchandise to a neighbors house, who is not home during the day, and then go pick it up from the porch after it has been dropped off by UPS or Fed Ex. Those losses are going to be borne by the seller.  AVS has been around for many years - there is no good excuse not have it implemented. Some areas of the US already experience a high rate of credit card fraud.  On a recent visit to Las Vegas I used my credit or debit card frequently. On every occasion, whether it was for an ice cream cone, or a dinner tab,  I was asked to produce a photo ID when I provided my credit card.  While that might seem extreme, it offers a basic level of protection. If I were a small merchant and not prepared for the EMV shift in October, I’d have a sign in the front window of my business that said  “Due to new regulations, and for our mutual protection, we may ask for a photo ID with a credit card purchase.”   And then I would stick with that until I had upgraded my equipment to comply with the new laws.   During the interview, Bob Carr said to me several times that "merchants have no idea how many counterfeit credit cards they take, and starting in October they will find out.“ (

To place your order go to