Category Archives: POS Software

Online Ordering Revolution

Online Ordering Revolution - Massive Growth Potential

Online ordering makes frequenting your restaurant easy.

How many times a day do you actually use your mobile phone to make a call? Now, balance that with how many times a day you use your phone to do an Internet search?

If you’re like most people, you spend more time on your mobile device looking for information than using it as a telephone.

According to several studies, restaurants are the most searched-for category on mobile phones today. This has helped spearhead the online ordering revolution.

Many restaurants worldwide have jumped on the bandwagon of online ordering. In this article, we look at the online ordering revolution and its massive growth potential.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of providing online ordering for your restaurant.

Increase Ticket Order Size

Mobile ordering allows you the flexibility of an interactive menu design. Your online, digital menu can suggest add-ons such as salad, appetizer or dessert. You can prompt users to order a larger meal size for “leftovers tomorrow.”

Online ordering can result in as much as a 20% increase in the average ticket price for most restaurants. (tweet this)

By offering online ordering you recognize the need your customers have to take a long hard look at your menu without feeling the pressure to order quickly.

You let them order in the comfort of their own homes, and they’ll be more likely to order more because they have time to peruse your menu.

Here are a few ways you can encourage the up-sell when it comes to online ordering:

  • You can reward your big spenders. For example, you can encourage customers to buy a little bit more because you offer a discount or free delivery at certain price levels. Let’s say you offer free delivery at $50. This helps entice customers sitting in the $40 range to order more for the sake of convenience.
  • Online ordering allows you to offer suggestions to your customers as they build their order. You can suggest appetizers, drinks, desserts, specialty breads and more.
  • Suggesting add-ons is another bonus to online ordering. You can gently encourage a higher order total by highlighting inexpensive add-ons. For example, you serve Indian food. Add-ons could be naan bread and chutney. A few extra dollars spent by each customer adds up in the long run.
  • Online ordering lets you cater to groups. You can provide special offers and complete menus for these groups with appetizer and desert add-ons as well as party platters. Offer special perks such as free drinks to encourage the larger order.

Reduce Overhead

Another huge avenue for growth potential with online ordering is your ability to reduce staffing costs.

Phone orders in your restaurant take time. This means additional staff members available to answer the phones. In addition to phone orders eating up staff time, you’ll often find order taking errors.

What’s more, your staff members are likely to forget or be uncomfortable offering additional items, so you lose your shot at the up-sell.

You can increase your daily revenue without having to change your dining room by adding additional seating. You don’t have to hire extra staff. You avoid ordering errors.

You also end up with happy customers who aren’t frustrated waiting for a staff member to answer the phone. Customers are also happier because they didn’t have to deal with a grumpy, time-crunched waitress picking up the call in-between tables.

Overall, online ordering reduces your overhead and leads to more content customers. (tweet this)

online restaurant ordering storepoint

Diners can order and eat at their convenience using online ordering.

Give Your Customers Freedom

Millennials want to be free to do what they want when they want it. They are highly protective of their time and don’t want to waste it waiting for food.

It’s all about instant gratification, and your online ordering options provide that for Millennials.

This group of the population wants everything quickly. They don’t want to come into your restaurant, order and wait to take it home.

They relish the idea of online ordering and then dropping by when it’s convenient for them to quickly pick it up.

And, it’s not just Millennials who appreciate this kind of service. Young and old, millions of people feel the same way. Blame it on the digital age, but today’s diners want the convenience of online ordering and fast pick-up or delivery.

Leverage Email Marketing

Using email marketing in tandem with online ordering provides you with massive growth potential.

Before online ordering, you might send an email with or without a coupon and then wait for the customer to show up at your door.

Once you implement online ordering, you can send an email to your customers and include an order now call to action to encourage your customers to order from your restaurant.

Online ordering enables more people to enjoy your restaurant on their own time. And, it allows you the ability to leverage email marketing to reach your customers on their phones or computers where they are immediately able to order a meal.

Build Customer Loyalty

You’ll increase customer loyalty and trust through online ordering which in turn provides you with growth potential.

Giving your customers an easy to use online ordering service helps you meet their needs and keep them coming back more often.

Since your customers spend hours on their mobile phones, you can tap right into those customers through your website and online ordering system.

You build customer loyalty by allowing customers to order when they want and on whatever device they choose. This also helps keep your restaurant top of mind when the stomach begins to rumble.

Final Thoughts

Online ordering equals instant gratification.

Why? One study shows that more than two-thirds of customers order food online using their mobile device. It’s fast, it’s convenient, and it’s easy.

Many restaurants find that online ordering is becoming a big driver of revenue, and it’s responsible for an increase in sales.

This is because your customers will spend more and visit your restaurant more often when they can order your food online or on their mobile phones.

If you’d like to send your restaurant business into over-drive, add online ordering capabilities to your website today. Don’t forget to make a plan for how to handle the massive amounts of orders as they flow in.

You might find that a dedicated to-go door works well to move your traffic flow and provide an easy way for to-go customers to pick up their online orders while keeping your front doors free for dine-in guests.

Do you have a dynamic menu on your website that can handle online ordering? At Restaurant Engine, we build responsive, mobile-friendly restaurant websites that incorporate menus that intrigue and tantalize your online ordering customers.

Contact us today for your free website consultation. We’d are here to help you stand out in the crowd and stay ahead of your competition with your restaurant website.

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Benefits of online reporting app

Category : POS Software

Dashboards provide a central location for users to access, interact and analyze up-to-date information so they can make smarter, data-driven decisions. Good dashboard software enables you to monitor and measure performance and metrics in real-time and on the go. You can visualize and analyze data and focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from across the organization on a dashboard, helping you gain valuable insight and drive quick and accurate decision making.

With StorePoint Online reporting you get a consolidated view of all your data from across your organization on custom dashboards so you can gain valuable insight into your entire business the way you want it. From there, you can immediately act or further visualize and analyze any data to answer new questions and make real-time data-driven decisions.

Increase Efficiencies with Faster Access to Business Intelligence

With StorePoint POS your data is quickly accessible and actionable. Our interactive dashboards let you monitor and measure performance and metrics in real-time. With quick self-service access, you can modify existing dashboards or create new ones using other metric sets. You can easily customize dashboards and reports to get your business intelligence faster without waiting for IT’s help.

Whether you are providing reporting and analysis for an entire organization or line of business, StorePoint POSallows organizations to go beyond their initial dashboards and continue to explore their data and find new insights via data discovery and visual data analytics.

Better Decision Making

You can analyze key data more quickly and thoroughly, improving the performance in each functional department when utilizing a well-designed dashboard. Our dashboard software provides rich interactive visualizations, making the analysis process more intuitive and performance issues easier to observe. Visualization interactivity allows you to go deeper and find more answers, serving as an effective solution to the overwhelming amount of data that business users experience every day. With built-in data animations, Storepoint POS can improve data discovery and help users better and more easily identify the true impact of their data.

POS_Dashboard

Improve Focus and Alignment to Gain Competitive Advantage

A full view of your organization’s data allows your team to focus on the most important KPIs and align business processes with your goals. Dundas BI lets you create dashboards that drive behaviour and actually improves the work habits of those viewing it. You can easily connect and access your data with the same experience and capabilities across all data sources (e.g. Big Data, OLAP, operational databases and data files), reducing the learning curve when it comes to analyzing new data. UseStorePoint POS to visualize and analyze a consolidated view of your information and actionable data needed to increase your competitive advantage.

Flexibility for Business Growth

An effective Dashboard is continuously iterated upon as your business grows and changes.

With StorePoint POs, all common BI needs to support your changing business needs are under one platform, including data connectivity, data preparation, presentation, self-service analytics and administration.

Our BI and dashboard software is designed with customization, extensibility and ease of integration in mind. The ability to adapt to your systems and workflows is key to ensure greater adoption and impact on more users. With an open and flexible platform, StorePoint POS supports many levels of customizations from simple end-user configurations. Full API support and extended scripting allow you to easily integrate and embed into existing systems, applications and administration.

As StorePoint POS is a server-based technology, it requires very little work to install, manage, extend and upgrade. It is enterprise-ready with the advanced security, governance and scalability needed for large scale deployments. In addition, the full administration and simplified management tools in Dundas BI allow for ease of IT administration decreasing the maintenance involved.

Be Mobile – Take Your POS System with You

Today, users expect more functionality on their mobile devices. They want to have complete interactivity with their dashboards and reports while on the go, they don’t want to be limited to just view an image of it. StorePoint POS provides organizations with a single application for connecting, interacting, analyzing and visualizing any data, from virtually any data source, on any device.

Storepoint POS was designed for mobile with web technology letting you view, analyze and interact with any data, on any device – all in real-time. Our touch-friendly experience for quick data discovery enables consumption and analysis of data wherever you are.

Enhance Collaboration & Communication

Collaborating with your colleagues and sharing KPIs and critical insights are critical to making smart business decisions and making sure everyone in the organization is working towards the same goals. StorePoint POS encourages collaboration and offers real-time tools to keep everyone on top of the latest data – effortlessly.

With easy to use, intuitive, built-in tools, such as notes, notifications, slideshows and scheduled reports, you have the power to interact with, monitor and share key business metrics with your team — with minimal assistance from IT. And with a uniform design and viewing experience, you can utilize the same tools and options across any data source and on all devices.

StorePoint POS helps you gain insight into your entire business by providing a consolidated view of your information and actionable data. You can visualize and analyze any of your data, on any device, so you can have everyone make real-time data driven decisions that produce results.


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The Benefits of a POS Generated Report

Reporting benefits of a POS system

If you have a cash register, there is an inherent liability that goes along with it: the cash could disappear. When money is changing hands, there is a higher risk of both theft and mistakes. That is why having a third-party review your bookkeeping is invaluable to business owners.

By having a point of sales (POS) system recording each transaction, you can have peace of mind that, yes, this is how many sales were made and here is the money in the register to prove it. Tracking the sales and comparing your cash deposits is a way to make sure that your employees aren’t stealing from you.

Having unbiased sales reports on the back-end is the best way to track what’s happening in your storefront.

1. Don’t Waste Your Time 

There are many ways you could track your daily sales activity. You could keep a running spreadsheet of the reports and update it every time a register closes out. But what happens when you want to pull a cumulative report to see how much sales tax was collected?

Yes, there are ways of keeping track of your daily sales without investing in a POS system. But based on my experience of aiding a client through a sales tax audit, their POS system was priceless. Its ability to quickly pull any reports for a date range is unparalleled when compared to making the reports yourself. Even when you are proficient at using Excel, the work required to compile reports and create V-Lookup tables by hand takes the time that you should be spending on growing your business. 

2. Automation Prevents Mistakes

There is too much human error to account for in a reporting process that isn’t automated. Whether it is an Excel formula that got altered accidentally, a sale rung up after the register was closed (which requires you to try and figure out the over & short by hand), or the numbers that were simply mistyped, the accuracy of your reporting is too important to leave to any one person.

No matter how hard we try, there are going to be mistakes. So if you are still hand-keying information into a spreadsheet, you should stop now because in the end, it will take more time and effort to fix your mistakes than if you had invested in a POS in the first place. 

3. Daily Updates On Revenue

Recording income on a daily basis through daily sales entries is a way to get a snapshot of revenues in an instant. Your data is not 100% accurate by nature, but you can get a rough estimate of where your current revenue stream is in relation to your goals. 

With the option of being able to check in on your progress, patterns in the cash flow could be recognized more easily. 

4. Prevent Problems Proactively

If you have the opportunity to notice patterns, you could be able to pinpoint areas in the business that need attention. Being able to see the patterns in the day-to-day activities as they occur could give you the information you need to proactively handle potential issues rather than waiting for real problems to materialize.

Why POS Systems Are Worth The Investment

Overall, POS reporting is the best way to get an unbiased report on what is happening at the cash register: 

  • If there is something fishy going on, you will know, because verifying the report versus what hit the bank is one of the most effective controls on cash.
  • POS reports save you the time and money you would otherwise waste going back to fix the mistakes that someone made hand-keying the information into a spreadsheet. 
  • You have up-to-date information on your cash flow, which gives you an opportunity to see how you are measuring up to short-term goals, allowing you to address problems as they arise, rather than after the fact.  

If you have the tools to assess where you are in relation to your goals, then that is the first step of keeping your business on track.

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Restaurant Online Ordering

5 reasons you should offer online ordering

Millennials, a.k.a. the largest generation in American history, eat out five times a week. Here are some other good reasons to offer online ordering.

  1. To compete with the big brands.
  2. Because customers crave convenience.
  3. To grow your bottom line.
  4. To improve restaurant operations.
  5. To collect valuable customer data.

Still not convinced that online ordering is critical to your restaurant’s success? Read on.

Benefits of an online food ordering system

Your customers are spending more and more time online — especially on their smartphones. Take advantage of the trend to see these benefits.

1. To compete with the big brands

With the growing consumer demand for faster, more convenient ways to order, independent restaurants are feeling pressure to compete with big brands that can afford to invest millions in takeout technology.

Domino’s Pizza introduced their online ordering system in 2010. At the time their stock price was $8 and the company was struggling to grow. In the last seven years, Domino’s has grown to the second-largest pizza chain in the world with a stock price at over $200 per share — that’s 25x growth!

Online Food Ordering System Dominos
Since introducing online ordering, Domino’s has grown into the second-largest pizza chain in the world. 

Domino’s has invested millions in building its own online ordering offering. Don’t have millions? Independent restaurants can compete by partnering with specialists like ChowNow which offers branded smartphone apps and website order for as little as $4 per day.

2. Because customers crave convenience

These days it seems like everyone is talking about the coveted millennial. Why should restaurant owners care about millennials? Because there are 50 million of them in the U.S., the largest generation in history. By next year, their collective purchasing power will exceed $3.39 trillion. Pleasing this demographic is a path to profits.

Last year, the percentage of restaurant orders placed online exceeded the quantity placed verbally over the phone.

My little sister interned in New York this summer, and I was shocked to learn that her morning routine consisted of a Starbucks run.

When I asked her “Why Starbucks? You live in Manhattan and work in Brooklyn, there is an incredible local coffee shop on every corner.” She explained she had the Starbucks app; she orders and pays for her coffee while getting on the subway, and it is waiting for her on the other side.

Online Food Ordering System Starbucks
Millennials love convenience almost as much as they love their phones.
Photo: madison bilsborough on Unsplash

She saves 10 to 15 minutes every morning — and her favourite coffee shop, Brooklyn Roasting Company, doesn’t offer the same convenience. Quality is paramount when consumers choose where to eat, but if you are close in quality AND offer an easier way to order than your competition, then you are going to win with millennials.

3. To grow your bottom line

Put yourself in your restaurant customer’s shoes for a minute. Imagine you are getting home on Friday night after a stressful week of work. You want nothing more than to catch up on the latest Netflix series in your PJs while enjoying your favorite ramen from down the street.

Online Food Ordering System Noodles
Adding an online ordering system can increase order size by as much as 20 percent.

Scenario 1: You give them a call

You look up the restaurant’s phone number and give them a call. On the other end is a hurried voice that asks “please hold.” The restaurant is obviously busy — it’s a Friday and what can you expect? Their ramen is worth the wait.

After a few minutes you wonder, “Did they forget about me? Maybe I should call back.” Just before you decide to hang up and redial, the same voice hops back on. It’s difficult to hear them.

Restaurant: “Pickup or delivery?”
You: “Pickup.”
Restaurant: “What do you want?”
You: “Slurpin’ ramen with chicken, spicy, no seaweed.”
Restaurant: “Anything else?”
You: “No.”
Restaurant: “30 minutes”… click.

Thirty minutes later you get to the restaurant, wait in line to pay and bring your food home.

When you begin plating your food, you are disappointed to discover seaweed in your ramen. Not the end of the world, but you will think twice the next time you are deciding where to order next time.

Scenario 2: You order online

You go to the restaurant’s website to find their phone number and see that you can now Order Online. You click “Order Online,” and are walked step by step through your order.

Online Food Ordering System Slurpin Ramen Bar
“Order Online” are two of the most glorious words in a hangry millennial’s vocabulary.

You add your ramen order and peruse the rest of the menu. You never realized they had dessert. You’re ready to treat yourself and decide to try the Macaron Ice Cream.

You review your order, add a tip and pay with your credit card. Within 60 seconds you get an email that your food will be ready in 30 minutes.

You arrive at the restaurant, and there is a long line. Luckily for you, your food is already paid for and waiting for you behind the counter — you tell them it’s yours, grab your bag and go. Everyone in line looks at you with amazement; you feel like a genius. Better yet, the order is accurate and the macaron ice cream is delicious.

Online Food Ordering System Menu

Why does this matter?

The experience patrons have ordered at your restaurant matters. An inconvenience or mistake with an order can influence future purchasing behaviour.

Orders that are placed online are 20 percent larger on average, which means more money in your pocket.

On a busy night, even the best-trained employees are under stress and go into survival mode. Instead of upselling, and providing a top-notch customer experience, their No. 1 goal is to take the order, and move on to the next customer as fast as possible. This means more mistakes, and lost profits.

Online Food Ordering System Ordering
An online food ordering system is never in a rush and is always upselling.

4. To improve restaurant operations

Implementing an online food ordering system will create operational efficiencies in your restaurant in three ways.

Improved order accuracy

The responsibility is on the customer to get their order right, and there is no opportunity to misunderstand them on the phone.

Freed-up staff

Your staff isn’t a slave to the telephone with online orders — they can process the order when they have a free moment.

Decreased processing time

Orders are already decided upon and paid for. Pre-payment removes an entire step in your process — and you won’t be stuck on the phone with an indecisive customer who wants you to read your entire menu to them.

5. To collect valuable customer data

A restaurant’s lifeblood is its loyal customer base. However, many restaurants know only their most loyal customers by face and name, and not much beyond that. Online food ordering systems like ChowNow capture your customers’ emails, purchase history and ordering preferences.

This data is invaluable since you can use it to send targeted promotions to your most valuable customers and get them coming back for more.

Starvin Marvin Restaurant Online Ordering
Starvin Marvin Restaurant Online Ordering

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The ABC of ERP Systems

ERP Systems is about managing the people, purchases products and services, sales of an organization. The way each activity is handled will vary, but every enterprise performs these basic functions. In most cases, it is more effective to handle these processes through an integrated software platform than through multiple applications never designed to work together. That’s where enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems come in.

While ERPs were originally designed for manufacturing companies, they have expanded to service industries, higher education, hospitality, health care, financial services, and government. Each industry has its own peculiarities. For example, government ERP uses Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) rather than traditional purchasing and follows government accounting rules rather than GAAP. Banks have back-office settlement processes to reconcile checks, credit cards, debit cards, and other instruments.

What is ERP?

ERP is software that standardizes, streamlines and integrates business processes across finance, human resources, procurement, distribution, and other departments. Typically, ERP systems operate on an integrated software platform using common data definitions operating on a single database.

ERP_Software
HR ERP Solution, HR Solutions, HR Software, HRM Software, HRMS, HRIS

What is an ERP system used for?

ERP systems improve enterprise efficiency and effectiveness by:

  • Integrating financial information. Without an integrated system, individual departments, such as finance, sales, and so on, need to rely on separate systems, each of which will likely have different revenue and expense numbers. Staff at all levels end up wasting time reconciling numbers rather than discussing how to improve the enterprise.
  • Integrating orders. An ERP coordinates order taking, manufacturing, inventory, accounting, and distribution. This is much simpler and less error-prone with a single system than with a series of separate systems for each step in the process.
  • Providing insights from customer information. Most ERPs include customer relationship management CRM tools to track all customer interactions. Coupling these interactions with information about orders, deliveries, returns, service requests, etc., provides insight into customer behaviour and needs.
  • Standardizing and speeding manufacturing. Manufacturing companies, especially those with an appetite for mergers and acquisitions, often find that multiple business units make similar widgets using different methods and computer systems. ERP systems can standardize and automate manufacturing and supporting processes. This standardization saves time, increases productivity, and reduces headcount.
  • Standardizing HR information. Many enterprises, especially those with multiple business units, lack a simple way to communicate with employees about benefits or to track employees’ hours and expenses. An ERP system, with a self-service portal, enables employees to maintain their own personal information, while facilitating time reporting, expense tracking, vacation requests, scheduling, training, etc. By integrating information, such as advanced degrees, certifications, and work experiences, into an HR repository, individuals with specific capabilities can be more readily matched to potential assignments.
  • Standardizing procurement. In the absence of an integrated procurement system, analyzing and tracking purchases across the enterprise is challenging. Large enterprises often find that different business units purchase the same product but don’t receive the benefit of volume discounts. ERP procurement tools arm purchasing teams for vendor negotiations by identifying widely used vendors, products, and services.
  • Facilitating government reporting. ERP systems can greatly enhance an organization’s ability to file the necessary reporting for government regulations, across finance, HR and supply chain.
erp-services
erp-services

What are the benefits of ERP systems?

  • Internal efficiency. Properly operating ERP systems enable enterprises to reduce the time required to complete virtually every business process.
  • Better decision-making. ERPs promote collaboration through shared data organized around common data definitions. Shared data eliminates time wasted arguing about data quality and it permits departments to spend their time analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and making better decisions. The most effective decision-making balances central guidance with some amount of local autonomy. Central command and control are rarely responsive to local needs while full-field autonomy precludes enterprise-wide coordination. Shared data and common business processes allow decisions to be made within headquarters’ parameters by the individuals closest to the situation.
  • Increased agility. Standardization and simplification result in fewer rigid structures. This creates a more agile enterprise that can adapt quickly while increasing the potential for collaboration.
  • Enhanced security. While a centralized database with enterprise data is a big target, it is easier to secure than data that is scattered across hundreds of servers in closets or under desks. It is particularly difficult, if the security team is not aware of the server or that it contains corporate data.

4 key features of ERP systems

The scale, scope, and functionality of ERP systems vary widely. However, most ERP software features the following characteristics:

  1. Enterprise-wide integration. Business processes are integrated end to end across departments and business units. For example, a new order automatically initiates a credit check, queries product availability, and updates the distribution schedule. Once the order is shipped, the invoice is sent.
  2. Real-time (or near real-time) operations. Since the processes in the example above occur within a few seconds of order receipt, problems are identified quickly, giving the seller more time to correct the situation.
  3. A common database. A common database was one of the initial advantages of ERP. It allowed data to be defined once for the enterprise with every department using the same definition. Individual departments now had to conform to the approved data standards and editing rules. While some ERPs continue to rely on a single database, others have split the physical database to improve performance.
  4. Consistent look and feel. Early ERP vendors realized that software with a consistent user interface reduces training costs and appears more professional. When other software is acquired by an ERP vendor, common look and feel are sometimes abandoned in favour of speed to market. As new releases enter the market, most ERP vendors restore the consistent user interface.

Types of ERP systems

ERP systems are typically categorized in tiers based on the size and complexity of enterprises served. ERP systems can be either proprietary or free and open source, though most open source ERPs are designed for small organizations or higher education and may offer little functionality beyond finance.

Cloud ERP is becoming increasingly popular, but all cloud ERPs do not operate in the same fashion. There are two major types:

For most enterprises, ERP as a service offers three advantages: The initial cost is lower, upgrades to new releases are easier, and reluctant executives cannot pressure the organization to write custom code for their organization.

ERP implementation

Most successful ERP implementations are led by an executive sponsor. This is the executive who will receive the majority of the program’s benefits when the new system is operational. At a minimum, this executive should sponsor the business case, get approval to proceed, monitor progress, chair the steering committee, remove roadblocks, and capture the benefits. With the exception of internal IT projects such as infrastructure refreshes or ITIL rollout, the CIO should NOT sponsor projects.

The CIO works closely with the executive sponsor to ensure adequate attention is paid to the integration with existing systems, data migration, and infrastructure upgrades. The CIO should also advise the executive sponsor about the challenges encountered by all major programs and should help the executive sponsor select a firm specializing in ERP implementations. Such a firm should bring specialized business process knowledge and experience with the ERP selected. An implementation firm executive should become an advisor to the executive sponsor.

The executive sponsor should be advised by an organization change management executive as well. An ERP implementation will result in new business processes, roles, user interfaces, and job responsibilities. Organization change management can help every person in the enterprise understand the impact ERP will have on both the organization and on the individuals. In most cases, an organization change management firm, rather than an internal executive, provides this support.

Reporting to the program’s executive team should be a business project manager and an IT project manager. If the enterprise has engaged an ERP integration firm or an organization change management specialist, their project managers should be part of the core program management team.

ERP implementation: The 5 major steps

Most ERP practitioners use some version of the steps below to structure their ERP implementation:

1. Gain approval

The first step is to get formal approval to spend money and direct staff to implement the ERP. The executive sponsor oversees the creation of any documentation required for approval. This document, usually called a business case, typically includes the following:

  • Problem definition
  • Description of the program’s objectives and scope
  • Assumptions
  • Implementation costs
  • Implementation schedule
  • Development and operational risks
  • Projected benefits

Once the business case is complete, the appropriate group of senior executives should authorize ERP implementation to proceed.

2. Plan the program

The high-level time line created for the business case must be refined into a more complete work plan. The following steps need to be completed:

  • Finalize team members. Key internal individuals should be identified by name. Other required staff should be identified by role. External partners need to be selected. Typical partners include ERP implementation specialists, organization change management specialists and technical specialists.
  • Complete contracts. Contracts for new software, technology, and services should be finalized
  • Plan infrastructure upgrades. On-premises ERP systems frequently require faster processors, additional storage, and improved communications. Some organizations can minimize infrastructure upgrades by using cloud ERP. But even cloud ERPs can require infrastructure upgrades.
  • Create a work plan and timeline. Tasks, dependencies, resources, and timing need to be made as specific as possible.

3. Configure software.

This is the largest and most difficult phase. The major steps include:

  • Analyze gaps. Understanding the gaps in current business processes and supporting applications helps the project team determine how to change business processes to conform to the software.
  • Configure parameters. Parameters in the ERP software are set to reflect the new business processes.
  • Complete required programming. Ideally, no changes are needed for the ERP software. However, some programming may be required for interfaces to other systems or for data migration.
  • Migrate data. The team standardizes data definitions and examines existing files for data completeness, quality, and redundancy. Finally, existing data is cleansed and migrated to the new ERP.
  • Test system. The system is tested to ensure it delivers the needed functionality and required responsiveness.
  • Document system. Required functional and technical documentation is created. Typically, the vendor has documentation that can be tailored to enterprise standards.
  • Upgrade infrastructure. Complete any required upgrades.

4. Deploy the system

Prior to the final cutover when the new system is in production, multiple activities have to be completed. These include:

  • Train staff. All staff need to be trained to operate the system and be given access rights.
  • Plan support. A support team will be needed to answer questions and resolve problems after the ERP is operational.
  • Test the system. The new system must be thoroughly tested to ensure it is secure, responsive, and delivers the functionality described in the business case.
  • Make the “Go live” decision. Once the executive sponsor is confident the new ERP is ready, the enterprise needs to switch from the old system to the new system.

5. Stabilize the system 

Following ERP deployment, most organizations experience a dip in business performance as staff learn new roles, tools, business processes, and metrics. In addition, poorly cleansed data and infrastructure bottlenecks will cause disruption. All impose a workload bubble on the ERP deployment and support team.

What are the hidden costs of ERP?

The four factors that are commonly underestimated during project planning include:

  • Business process change. Most people are content to work within the current environment unless they are a systems analyst or worked for a different enterprise with better systems. Once teams see the results of their improvements, most feel empowered and seek additional improvements. Success breeds success often consuming more time than originally budgeted.
  • Organization change management. Although process improvements make enterprises more efficient and effective, change creates uncertainty at all organization levels. A formal organization change management program reassures staff and helps them accept the changes. With many executives unfamiliar with the nuances of organization change management, the effort is easily underestimated.
  • Data migration. Prior to ERP implementation, enterprises frequently have overlapping databases and weak editing rules. The tighter editing required with an ERP system increases data migration time. The time required is easy to underestimate, particularly if all data sources cannot be identified.
  • Custom code. Although enterprises have customized ERPs for years, it remains a bad practice. Customization increases implementation cost significantly as users demand additional features. It voids the warranty; problems reported to the vendor must be reproduced on unmodified software. It makes upgrades difficult; the custom code usually requires changes every time the vendor issues a new release. Finally, most enterprises underestimate the cost; even enterprises that estimate the initial cost rarely include the cost of migrating to new releases.

Why ERP projects fail

ERP projects fail for many of the same reasons that other projects fail. The most common cause is an ineffective executive sponsor who cannot command respect throughout the organization, is not interested in the project, or is distracted by other responsibilities. Other ways to fail include poorly defined program goals, weak project management, inadequate resources, and poor data cleanup.

There are several causes of failure that are closely tied to ERPs. Specifically:

  • Inappropriate package selection. ERPs, particularly Tier I ERPs, are very complex with many options. Many enterprises believe a Tier I ERP is by definition “best” for every enterprise. In reality, only very large, global enterprises will ever use more than a small percentage of the functionality available in a Tier I ERP. Enterprises that are not complex enough to justify Tier I, may find implementation delayed by feature overload. Conversely, large, global enterprises may find that Tier II or Tier III ERPs lack sufficient features for complex, global operations.
  • Internal resistance. While any new program can generate resistance, this is more common with ERPs. Remote business units frequently view the financial or other standardization imposed by an ERP as an effort by headquarters to increase control over the field. Even with an active campaign to explain the benefits of the new system, it is not uncommon to find people in the field slowing implementation as much as possible.

Even groups who support the ERP can become disenchanted if the implementation team provides poor support or is perceived to be rude or unresponsive. Disenchanted supporters can become vicious critics when they feel they have been taken for granted and not offered appropriate support.


Choose your retail POS System

If you plan on having a retail store, you will need a point-of-sale (POS) system to complete sales, track inventory, and manage other aspects of your small business.  But deciding on a Retail POS system can feel overwhelming. Some are easier to use than others. Some give you better reporting than others. To help you narrow your search, here are three types of Retail POS systems to consider for your store.

StorePoint POS Back Office
StorePoint POS Back Office

All-In-One POS System

Some POS systems give you robust functionality in one application. Not only can you accept payment from customers but you can also get detailed reporting about your business.

These types of Retail POS systems often run quickly, saving you time both when checking out a customer and when collating your data. Because these systems are so robust, they’re often tailor-made to your specific industry. For example, a restaurant all-in-one POS system will look and react differently than that of a clothing store all-in-one POS system.

The potential downside to these systems is that they can cost a good amount of money each month. If you’re just getting started, you might want to opt for another system that’s better suited for your budget.

Restaurant POS Order screen
Restaurant POS Order screen

Cloud-Based POS System

Cloud-based POS systems are basically mobile apps your business can use on any device. This is beneficial to many types of businesses, including restaurants wanting to offer table-side checkout or retailers wanting to offer mobile checkout locations throughout the store.

If you’re using non-traditional hardware, such as tablets or smartphones, to accept payment, you’ll want to get a cloud-based POS system.

zipzap_card_processing
zipzap_card_processing

EMV Chip Readers

In late 2015, consumers started to have their credit cards switched to include the EMV chip. Store owners were supposed to do the same, yet many retailers have been slow to adopt EMV chip readers at their POS systems.

EMV chip readers don’t matter much for consumers, but they make a big difference for retailers. If there is a fraudulent charge, retailers have better protection when a chip reader is used rather than the traditional swipe-to-pay system. If you’re shopping for a new POS system, getting one with a chip reader is ideal. Soon, it’ll be the only option you have.

Which One is Right for You?

Narrowing the pool of choices to the type of POS system will help you decide which one is right for your needs. If you’re well established and have a healthy revenue stream coming in, an all-in-one might be the best option. If you’re just getting started, you’ll want to steer toward the cloud-based POS systems. And, if you want to stay compliant while minimizing your risk, you might want to limit your search to only include POS systems with EMV chip readers.


Benefits of POS Item Modifiers

Forced_POS_Item_Modifiers

One of the most overlooked functions in your Restaurant POS System is the item modifier functionality. So many restaurant pos systems claims to have food modifier functionality in their restaurant point of sale. It becomes problematic when you bought a retail pos system to be used in your restaurant or quick service restaurant.

So let us have a look what is a food modifier and what it does. A food modifier is option that pops up, when working in the menu order screen. Modifiers could be forced or could be a choice.

Forced modifiers allow you to force the server to pick from a preset list of suggested or acceptable items on the menu. They are usually added to the main entrée or a choice of food or beverage that requires specific preparation instructions. This feature forces a set number of item choices to be chosen by the server from the order screen. When Forced Modifiers are attached to a particular product, the server will not be allowed to continue the order until a modifier is chosen or they exit out of the Forced Modifier screen. Forced Modifiers will be attached at the product level.

Exception Modifiers allow you to pick from a preset list of suggested or acceptable items under Exception Modify tab on order screen. This feature is similar to Forced Modifiers with the exception of the server being “Forced” to choose a selection. The server now has options to modify an item or exit modifications and continue with the order.

Benefits of item modifiers are:

Modifiers ensure that orders are correctly placed and send to the kitchen. So cooking instructions and choices are sent correctly to the kitchen. Keeping your customers happy.

Save money as orders are placed correctly as received from customers. No more wastage.

Inventory depletion plays a vital role in the execution of choices during the ordering process.

When using restaurant online ordering modifiers ensure the correct ordering from customers, ruling out incorrect orders, and wasting stock and enhancing the customer experience.

For further information on our restaurant pos systems please visit Home StorePoint Restaurant POS



Kitchen Display System vs. Kitchen Printer?

Originally designed to handle QSR businesses, kitchen video display systems have become increasingly common fixtures in quick, casual and fine dining kitchens alike. Kitchen Display Systems eliminate steps, cut down on errors, improve productivity and speed of service, and drive increased guest satisfaction across all types and sizes of restaurants. Full-colour displays and multiple screen layouts make orders easy to read. The Bump Box is designed to make orders easy to control. And rich reporting keeps you on top of staff productivity at all times.

With a Kitchen Display System, service is faster and more accurate, reports more detailed and complete, and end-of-day closings simplified: all at a significantly lower cost than printer, paper and ink. The IT Perspective Installation and configuration is typically very simple as everything is preconfigured, no matter how many controllers you run. Every network address, device ID, the wireless connection—all the technical settings—are preset, or are configured automatically on initial startup: including integration with your POS system.

You can modify any or all of these settings—from changing the IP address of the network adapter to changing the color displayed for soft drinks—from the most familiar of interfaces. The Financial Perspective Kitchen Display Systems have a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) than Kitchen Printers For example, StorePoint Restaurant POS, there are two cost elements: all one-time, fixed costs.

1. A perpetual license.

2. Flat screen monitor(s). With printers, there are three costs: two of them go on forever. 1. The cost of the printer. 2. The annual cost of paper: R 2000-00 3. Annual cost of ribbons: R 3000-00 After four years, the cost of printing can be more than triple the cost of a kitchen display system.

Kitchen_display_System

Operations’ Point of View

A busy kitchen can struggle to maintain control in an environment driven by slips of paper. With a kitchen display system, the operational inefficiencies of the “enter-print-post” method of placing orders, fighting for a spin of the order wheels, expediting, and quality control are eliminated. The endless stream of orders coming out of paper printers— and the problems of backlog when the paper runs out unnoticed—is ended. In its place: a simple, direct connection from the point of sale to the place of preparation. It makes the last steps easier and more correct, providing both chefs and expeditors with pictures of the complete meal for garnishing and presentation control.


New Restaurant Trends 2019

Interior designer Haldane Martin designs bespoke furniture that enhances the restaurant experience and creates original spaces with bold identities. The creative genius chatted to us about 2019’s biggest restaurant design trends.

restaurant_owners

Haldane Martin with Jessica Rushmere, owner of Swan Café. Photo by Micky Hoyle.

Q: What are the biggest restaurant trends at the moment?

A: Trends are tough to define. I’d encourage people to discount décor trends in favour of considering the global lifestyle consciousness trends. Right now the overarching trend is awareness. Looking at our impact on the earth. There’s also a meta-trend, not just décor, of subcultures based on the kind of food you eat. Vegans, vegetarians, conscious carnivores, banting, etc. One can either offer all options or build your brand around one food subculture. Each subculture has an ideology ripe for expressing. It’s interesting to explore these eating [and] lifestyle trends from an interior design perspective.

Q: Which colours are popular right now?

A: Part of the success of Swan Café is the bright, happy colors. (Cape Town is saturated with dark, woody, industrial spaces prominent five to 10 years ago when we did Truth Coffee). Bold colors are quite key, but with a sophisticated slant to them.

Q: What about lighting?

A: Lighting is crucial to creating a mood in any space. First and foremost, natural lighting is important in restaurants and cafés. There’s a definite lighting trend towards LED everything because they are energy-efficient and quality of light curve is pretty good. I always use warm lighting for restaurant spaces to make space feel cozy. It stimulates your appetite, whereas cold lighting doesn’t. It makes people linger longer.

Q: Is communal eating becoming more popular in South Africa?

A: Communal eating is an interesting trend on the increase. South Africans are quite open to the communal eating layout. It suits our social, hospitable local culture where people don’t mind sharing a table. I often use it in conjunction with other seating options like two-seater tables for couples and bar seating, like at Swan CaféKunjani Wines and Mad Giant Brewery. Restaurants need flexibility. I include multiple styles of seating and multiple levels of comfort.

restaurant_point-of-sale

The bar setting at Swan Café. Photo supplied.

Q: Which materials are dominating in restaurant interior design?

A: We’ve seen a lot of eateries covered in plants and a lot of rattan or cane furniture, which ties into the South American relaxed tropical trend. Both reflect the trend towards sustainability and awareness. In terms of materials, practicality and trends can never be divorced from one another. When cleverly used, basic building material like the humble brick can be a durable and stylistically strong material in an interesting pattern. Function, comfort, trends, and budget are interwoven. If I was creating a fine-dining space, I’d take contemporary art deco references; if it’s an ice-cream shop, I’d maybe pull from the Memphis trend; or, for example, for a bar I did in Botswana, I looked at South American modernism.


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