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  • Keith Bateman: How can EPoS reduce your costs?

     

    Keith Bateman explains how EPoS can reduce the costs of your business.

    One of the most obvious reasons for garden centres to use an electronic point of sale (EPoS) retail management solution is to handle customer sales at the tills and provide great customer service in store. However, EPoS can bring much wider benefits to your business, helping you control costs and become more efficient so you ultimately improve profi s and your bottom line

    Real-time information

    For quick and confident decision making, you and your team need real-time information and retail intelligence at your fingertips.

    An EPoS solution can capture sales and stock information at the tills in your store and make this information available to your entire team in their day-to-day roles.

    Information regarding products, stock and availability can be accessed by the shop floor team, cashiers at the tills and those on the customer service desk.

    Meanwhile the management team and those in the back office will have everything they need to know for buying, stock control, admin and marketing.

    Knowing how you?re performing in a given month, season or year helps you and your team focus and take action without delay.

    Likewise, having accurate sales, costs and margin analysis allows you to address key areas that are costing the business money or underperforming, whether you own a garden centre with a single store, multiple stores or a large destination centre.

    Controlling your stock

    An EPoS system also provides control over the other key cost for a garden centre ? stock. Through its real-time stock information and reports, you can easily monitor sales and stock holding and react accordingly. Key lines can be

    Reordered without delay and slower moving items can quickly be identified. This will enable you to reduce stock holdings and release working capital.

    With the ability to work closely with your suppliers, forecasting future demand is also much easier. Stock taking can be transformed with EPoS.

    Mobile devices allow for stock takes to be carried out quickly at rolling intervals to avoid the major annual stock take, making the information you have more accurate and meaningful.

    Traditionally when stock taking a given range such as gifts, one method for valuation was to calculate the stock holding?at retail price and apply an average margin percentage across the range.

    This didn?t take into account the individual margin levels for a product or range and could result in stock being over or undervalued.

    With EPoS, the correct margin is shown so you know the stock you hold and its value accurately. Using the data provided, you can further control costs by identifying levels of wastage, theft and pilferage.

    VAT management

    VAT is an area where EPoS really comes into its own. For every item you sell, the applicable VAT rate is held against the record on the system, removing any guesswork.

    When using cash registers this can be a very different scenario whereby cashiers may apply the wrong VAT rate in error and result in an over or understated VAT liability.

    Using technology, the total cost of an EPoS solution can now be reduced compared to more traditional methods.

    Previously, you the retailer had to hold your data on an on-site server, involving considerable costs throughout its life for purchase, power and cooling.

    In addition you needed skilled IT technicians to maintain it, take care of updates, backups and troubleshooting to keep you operational. Now, thanks to cloud technology, the EPoS provider takes care of all of this, reducing downtime, cutting costs and leaving you free to focus on retail.

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