By now you have probably heard a lot of talk about “going green” with your business, at home and just about everywhere. Sure “going green” is great for the environment but what you don’t often hear is how it can save you time, money and create a better customer experience.
Imagine if you could make a few small changes that could add up to big long-term savings. After all, who wouldn’t want more money in their pocket? We all know that by design a point of sale (pos) system is the hub of your business and can make you significant profits. Just like the hammer and nail was made in to a more efficient version, the nail gun, why not tweak the hub of your business to be more profitable? Lets take a look at 4 easy ways your point of sale system can help you go green while saving you some green.
Today there are many energy efficient hardware options available that reduce power consumption, ultimately saving you money. Companies such as IBM, NCR and HP have developed energy saving terminals and back office computers that are as, if not more, powerful and reliable than traditional models.
For example, The IBM SurePOS 500 Series contains a highly efficient power supply and energy-saving Intel® processor to help significantly lower power consumption. The NCR RealPOS 25 is 50 percent more energy efficient than prior-generation terminals in part by using fanless and solid state drives. The HP ap5000 All-in-One is ENERGY STAR® qualified. Using these or other energy efficient hardware can reduce your energy costs significantly over the life of your system.
Some POS software, such as LOC Store Management Suite, offers a paperless receipt option. These electronic receipts can be sent to your customer via email as opposed to printing out a physical copy. This can offer a variety of benefits to both the merchant and the customer.
Most merchants would agree that cutting costs is always a benefit. Paperless or digital receipts allow you to save money by reducing the amount of receipt paper used. This can add up to big savings over the lifetime of your POS system.
Digital receipts also give you the opportunity to gather useful marketing information and connect with your customers. You can use this information to directly market to people you know frequent your store. Send them email blasts or fliers detailing sales, limited time promotions or special offers to keep them coming back.
Gain even more marketing power by implementing a loyalty program.
Your customers will also find benefit in paperless receipts. Today’s consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious. By offering them the option of receiving their receipts digitally, you can show your customer that you are interested in their concerns and give them something interesting and “new” to talk to their friends about, your store.
Not ready to go digital? There are still money saving options you can explore. Double-sided receipt printing can drastically reduce the amount of receipt paper used. Some stores, such as PCC Natural Markets cut paper costs by 25-35% according to the Seattle Times by printing on both sides of the receipt.
You have probably been in stores where after swiping your card you digitally sign on the POS pad using a stylus instead of signing a receipt. Wasn’t that easy? Sure everyone’s signature looks absolutely terrible on those things, but it is quicker and more secure. It also provides your customer a better experience at the point of sale.
Have your customers simply sign on the POS Pad and go instead of waiting for the cashier to print two receipts, find a pen, sign the receipt, hand it to the cashier and then place it in the cash drawer. This helps reduce the amount of time your customers will have to wait in line, making for a better in store experience.
In addition to improved customer experience, digital signature capture also saves you the time, costs and waste associated with purchasing and storing receipt paper as well as sorting and storing signed receipts.
Imagine how easy and how much time you would save if you could do away with paper documents for inventory, purchasing and reporting. This saved time can amount to large savings over time via reduced labor costs. Not to mention it reduces the use of paper which can also provide savings.
Programs like LOC Store Management Suite and Microsoft Retail Management System allow you to digitally make and send purchase orders to supplier. Not only is this quicker than filling out paper forms, it is more accurate because you can use data directly from your inventory counts and sales to make sure you get the appropriate amount of product. You can then send this purchase order electronically to your warehouse or supplier. But what about inventory?
Inventory can also be paper-free, reducing the amount of time and labor needed to perform the count. Combine programs like LOC SMS or Microsoft RMS with a hand-held device and you can leave the clipboard behind next inventory count. With the hand-held you can send item counts directly from the aisle to the backoffice. Click here to read more on how hand-helds can make your business more efficient.
Do you fax reports? Save time, paper and money by sending your reports digitally. Most POS software applications allow you to export reports in a digital format. Use this option to send your reports electronically via email. Looking for an even quicker option?
How about letting the head office pull reports directly from your system? Software such as LOC Store Management Suite offers a head office module that allows the head office computer to pull reports directly from any of your stores.