Here is a blog from a year ago that did not make it over from our blog hosting switch over. I thought I’d repost!
I originally wrote this blog because I have seen a number of “newer” point of sale companies posting these fantastic statistics on how much data, customer records, reporting etc they can handle. I’ve always taken it for granted that you “over program” based on customer needs.
We originally wrote SP-1 using a C-Tree database that supports incredibly fast indexing of data files. This allows us to be incredibly flexible when designing software. The main programming is done in C++, .NET and Assembly for some of the routines.
To satisfy our curiosity I thought I’d check the statistics on what we can handle in our database!
Customer File and Tracking:
999,999,999 Total number of customers. Yes just shy of one billion.
10 email addresses per customer. Or 9 billion or 1.42 email addresses for each person on the planet.
10 phone numbers per customer. Or 9 billion or just shy of one per every phone number possible in the U.S.
4 addresses per customer. Or 12.8 addresses per person in the U.S. – 314 million at last count.
How about order taking?
9,999 Total tickets per day – That is 6.94 tickets a minute for 24 hours. Or 13.88 tickets a minute in a 12 hour day.
Menu items? I think we have you covered. . .
9,999 Total Menu Groups. Coffee, Pizza, Ice Cream, Smoothie, Sandwich etc.
999 Active specialty or signature items per menu group. Examples would be Latte, Mocha, Meat lovers, Veggie etc.
999 Active modifiers per menu group. Examples are Vanilla, pepperoni, wheat, hot, cold, extra shot etc.
99,999,999,999,999 Inventory or retail items. (That’s Trillion with a ‘T’ and probably the only thing bigger than our national debt).
Yes – 9 million specialty and 9 million modifiers! By the way that’s just active at any given time.
Pricing options? Other than flat pricing of $1.00, $2.00 etc. . . We handle 195,000 unique price tables. Each price table can be setup with 9 different prices per day of the week. That’s 45 different prices that change based on the time and day.
Coupons, discounts, total tickets, customer history, reporting – these are all based on the size of your physical hard drive.
99,999 Total employees or one new employee added to the system every day for 273 years!
9,999 Active employees at a time.
5 Cash drawers per workstation.
30 workstations per store.
We have been selling POS for over 25 years.
We have stores that have been using our products for over 20 years continuously!
Updates? SP-1 has gone through over 87 version releases (free when you are on support) and over 500 minor program revisions since 1994.
Stability? Over 6 of our employees have worked for us over 10 years. Total combined SP-1 experience through Customer Service & Tech Support is over 80 years!
Order confirmation monitors are becoming more and more popular with our customers that are looking to up grade that old pole display into something more effective and exciting.
OCM is fast becoming the way to promote your products from the counter top. With a 9″ or 17″ monitor, this system allows you to promote your products through a slide show of pictures while the customer is thinking about their order.
Once the customer starts to place their order, the screen changes to show them, clearly, what the employee is entering. This way you have a very exact understanding that the customer will get what they ordered. Further, the side of the screen will still show three up-sell pictures and a scrolling message.
This is a great way to help cut theft as well as the customer knows what the change should be.
Ok, maybe just cool to us. I know most people don’t give a second thought to the cash drawer that the POS system is using. That’s where we are a little different. We know that every piece of equipment that goes into a store has to work properly.
So what makes the cash drawers cool? Let’s start with the technology side of things. . .
These drawers are all steel construction and not plastic or aluminum. The drawers are solid. You are not opening this one by smacking it on top ala Fonzie. Additionally, they have a three position key lock that can be set for manual open, electronic open or locked. These drawers do not have the cheesy button on the bottom that opens the drawer without a key either. The cables are routed from the bottom and not the back.
These drawers have a number of options available and come in two sizes. Media slots are available so you can place credit card slips in the drawer without having to open it. Additionally, there are extra inserts and locking lids available!
So, what about the software side of things? This is where we try to cover all the bases. The cash drawers are setup to only open electronically through SP-1. This insures that the drawer is only open when it is supposed to be. If you need multiple drawers, each station can have up to five that open independently. I know that’s a lot of cash drawers but we always like to over design. Typically a store will use two at a time so they can have the employees accountable for cash. Finally you can assign specific drawers to an employee so there is no question as to where the cash shortage came from.
1) Labor. This is a huge expense in most coffee shops. The owner should work to put together some guidelines on where labor should be and then stick to it. SP-1 can help by showing the labor cost both on the Business Summary and on the Dashboard screen. This gives your coffee shop manager the ability to know where they stand on an hourly basis. If your manager is not in the store all the time, then consider adding them to the MobilDash system so they get alerts on their smartphone.
2) Hourly Sales and Ticket Totals. Using the Hourly Recap By Week report, your manger can make sure that they know when the busy times are based on how many tickets were created. Better yet, this report can be organized by menu group so you know what to plan for during those hours.
3) Voids by Employee. Our Employee Summary report is designed to show you, by employee, the total sales and voids. This is a great way to spot red flags and see what may be happening in your store!
1) Don’t leave cash in the drawers! Those signs you see stating that no cash is left on the premises are there to help discourage break ins. Make sure your staff knows that you don’t keep cash on hand as well.
2) At the end of the night, make sure that potential thieves can see that your cash drawer is empty. Leave the drawer open and set the inserts on top of the counter. This lets people walking by see that you have nothing in the drawers. Seriously, we sell a few replacement drawers a month because thieves rip the drawers out.
3) When handling cash, make sure that the bill the customer hands you is not put in the drawer until the change has been handed back. There are a number of scams involving money exchanges (as well as legitimate mistakes). Doing this will help eliminate the potential for confusion regarding what bill was handed to you. If you have a camera system at the register or POS station, then make sure it captures the denomination of the bill as well.
4) Use the POS for counting back change. I know we all joke that kids today can’t count back change but this is important. If the employees enter the tendered amount onto the POS screen then you will see less mistakes and confusion on the change going back to the customer.
5) Watch where employees store their personal items. Employees should not have easy access to jackets or purses right next to product. It’s just too tempting for some people to slip product into their jacket when leaving the store.