|★ APPLICATIONS ★ COMPTA, BOURSE, BUDGET ★ POINT OF SALE|8000Plus) ★|
|Point of Sale||Applications Compta, Bourse, Budget|
Jealous of those Sainsbury's computer checkouts? Avon's new package gives shopkeepers the chance to go it alone
It is now time for your PCW to meet the public. At least that is what Avon Business Computers suggest to 851 2-owning shopkeepers by launching a new Point-of-Sale package. The idea is that instead of leaving your PCW to languish in the back of the shop it should be out on the counter being put to work.
A businessman using an 8512 (Avon P-o-S needs both drives) for his books and stock control would probably find it sensible to have the PCW where the sales are actually made. It can carry out calculations, print out VAT receipts and keep track of stock in one operation.
At the end of the day instead of poring over till rolls and checking stock levels for re-ordering before a long session on the books, you just tel the PCW to balance up what has been sold and print out all the details you need.
Avon have turned their attention to what they see as one of the last major gaps in the business microcomputer software market. Until now small businesses could only look on enviously at the big stores with their point of sales systems costing thousands of pounds.
The main advantage is that it gives a sensible method of stock control - a tortuous time consuming process for many businesses but one that is vital for survival. POS provides quite sophisticated stock records. As well as telling you how many Mink Stoles you have in stock it gives an average price, works out profit margins and suggests what you should re-order - according to the minimum stock levels you set. You type in full details against each stock items so that you get a re-order list complete down to the suppliers phone number.
But most important, every time you sell a Stole the stock record is adjusted immediately without any effort. Avon have made a point of operating an 'infinite stock' system which means that you can keep selling particular items even if, according to the stock record, there are none left. This, they explain, is to overcome the ridiculous situation where a customer cannot buy an item they see on the shelf because it is not in the stock record. The program takes the number of 'phantom' items sold into account when suggesting purchase orders.
This might not suit a warehouse, for instance, where stock is not on display and they would want a check on stock availability. You can check stock levels but it is only by printing out a complete list - virtually every list is printed out rather than displayed on screen.
When entering a sale "ou are asked for a product number which automatically provides the name of the product and the correct price. Unfortunately if you don't remember the exact number there is no way of getting a list displayed on screen so it is worth while putting coded labels on each item and keeping a printed product list beside the machine.
One major advantage is at the end of the day when by printing out all the lists from the End of Day Routine you will have complete record of the day's trading with sales reports, stock details and suggested purchase orders. It will even update your accounts automatically . There is advice in the manual on how to tie up POS with Sage accounts and you can approach Avon for details of other proprietary accounting systems.
It is important to keep these lists because you don't keep records of an individual day's business on disc. When you run the 'Start of Day' routine you wipe these details to make room for the new day (or whatever period of operation can comfortably be accommodated on the disc space available).
The major worry with having your PCW packed with essential information in the middle of a shop is that anyone (including the tea boy) could pry into your business. Avon have got round this effectively with a system of passwords.
As each person records a sale they have to type in their own password. They can only enter the parts of the program that they are authorised to access and the program keeps them within their set limit for cash sales and refunds. It also means that an effective track of sales by cashier can be kept.
Only the manager's password accesses sections dealing with pricing, course the setting of passwords. Mind you it is important for the manager to remember his own password. If forgotten it would not be possible to “reconstruct" the rest from the disc.