Why some retailers excel with their software

Brett Luft Business, News

We have been installing retail software for a long time now, and we have had the pleasure of working with many companies during our 20 years in business.

During that time, we have seen companies thrive with their software while others barely use theirs. Here are 5 ways to excel with your software.

  1. Retail Software Training
    Nothing can replace the power you gain, when you know your software. Not only knowing your retail software, but also understanding how it relates to your daily operations. We offer training during the initial implementation, as well as on-going training via webinars, one on one sessions, or by training videos. The ongoing discipline to continue to learn the software also makes a huge difference. In summary, our successful stores understand their software and how to use it. They continue to learn during the upgrade cycles of the software. They get the most from their investment.
  2. Designated staff
    Often the job of managing the retail technology is the ‘hot potato’ of the operations. Many times we are pulled into an installation by an owner who recognizes they need point of sale software. Once installed, the ownership of the software, operations and training is lost. Our successful stores have staff that understand who the retail software expert in their operation is, and who to turn to when they have internal questions.
  3. Quality of data
    The wonderful thing about computers is that they mirror the amount of work and attention we give to them. If you put in your data in non-standard ways, and pay little or no attention to the quality of the data your reports and experiences will reflect this. Our successful stores understand that they need to have excellent data quality, to get excellent report quality. If you pay attention during the entire data cycle in a store, you reap the benefits at the end. The time saved in ‘just getting it done’ is not worth it, and will cost more time in the future.
  4. Managed technology
    Computers, printers and scanners are all devices that are made of moving parts. Parts which break down. Add onto that the complexity of retail software and the operating system, and you have a complex environment on which your business operates. Our successful stores understand that computers are not family heirlooms, and need to be replaced pro-actively. This means every three to four years at maximum. Also, they put into place security measures, anti-virus protection and backups. There is a budget for replacing systems so that it does not come as a surprise, when that 8 year old computer ‘just died’ with no backup.
  5. Retail Consulting
    We use accountants, lawyers, doctors and other professionals because they have knowledge and experience which benefits us. The same holds true to our team of retail consultants. It can be really hard to work ‘on your businesses’, and not ‘in your business’. It is also common for retailers to get used to how they do things, even when that process is not maximizing their profits. Our successful clients leverage our experience and work with us as a team, to help their business grow.

Shawn Dillon is the Chief Technical Officer at CRS. He has been involved in hundreds of retail installations and has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years, with independent companies as well as government agencies.

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