Integrate Video Surveillance with POS to Curtail Employee Theft

The chief reason for any business — of any kind, size, location and age — was, is and will be to generate revenue. Profits don’t always have to be in the form of cash or money — they can consist of anything deemed to be of value to the proprietor. And on a side note, the IRS is just as interested in bartered transactions as it is cash, but that’s another story, for another time. Because revenue generation is at the forefront of all business ambition, it makes sense that anything stopping its progression or otherwise detracting from it would be regarded as counterproductive, and unfavorable. Among the most frequent revenue-reducing issues that businesses today face are:

  • Being closed
  • Being understaffed
  • Decline of traffic/purchases
  • Products or services becoming obsolete
  • Competitors offering better deals
  • Increase of overhead
  • Theft

Surely, ever since the dawn of retail, some kind of theft has been an issue. In many ways, it’s one of the most personal affronts a business owner can face, and because of its prevalence, most large corporations actually factor in a certain amount of loss by theft into their budgets, along with monies allocated toward loss prevention.

The Classic Employee Lift

Most employee theft occurs during the checkout process, by artful manipulation of a transaction, whether it be to the cashier’s advantage or the purchaser. Among the methods most commonly practiced you’ll find register/cash drawer totals reduced by surreptitiously-entered refunds, discounts and voided sales. They can modify prices, cancel completed transactions and report the purchase’s inclusion of nonexistent coupons. In restaurants, it’s estimated that billions of dollars are lost annually from food, alcohol, cash — supplies, equipment and more are taken by employees.

POS Technology Promises Theft-Reduction Solutions

Among the myriad of benefits derived from POS-transacted theft prevention is just how affordable it is. And according to statistics, it’s not so much shoppers (or in this case, shoplifters,) who are doing the pilfering, but employees. This particular discrepancy exists exclusively in the U.S., where employees minimally more than double their percentage worth of the world’s stolen stuff from businesses. The loss gets passed along to shoppers, who must pay more for their purchases, averaging around $400 per American household on a yearly basis. While no method of total eradication exists, POS technology is quite promising in reducing those numbers.

Video Surveillance with POS

From the moment employees know they’re being observed, employee theft will be significantly reduced. With your POS system, you can integrate security cameras and video recorders that record food and drinks being delivered, sales as they’re rung up, with the exact identifying details of each transaction superimposed in print onto the recording. These are stored in chronological order, for easy access when needed. Cameras can be set up to record anywhere staff handles cash, the traffic to and from all establishment portals, inside walk-in coolers or where other valuables are stored.

Beyond Video

Compare log-ins and server activity against the inventory control feature of your bar POS to find out which employees are giving away drinks or charging less for top shelf brands. By reviewing employee paid-outs and discounts, and auditing staff time and attendance records, you’ll have easy access to any theft-related inconsistencies. There is so much more you can do with your POS system to bring that bottom line to a much happier place.

How to Streamline Your Food Truck With POS

During the last decade or so, food trucks have been burgeoning on city landscapes everywhere, showing up at some of the most odd yet ideal locations to deliver a respite of nourishment and drink in spots where no such fare is available. They take a higher grade of fast food to practically anywhere, ratcheting up the venue to an improved level, just by being there. Food trucks offer for many people, a viable way to get into the restaurant business that doesn’t involve the expansive (and expensive) commitment of opening a traditional brick & mortar establishment.

There’s a Restaurant inside of Practically Everyone

The proliferation of food trucks provides perfect evidence of how inside of surprising number of people there lives a little chef, just waiting to get out to reveal his or her talent to the world. Does this describe you? Whether you have already invested your money and time in a food truck biz, or you’re calculating the prospects, you’re wise to include using a POS system. Having this amazing technology to operate, manage, organize, prioritize, execute and advertize your endeavor will be its lifeblood and the key to your sustained success. The caveat is – and this is everything – it’s got to be the right one for you, and best suited for a food truck business.

Understand Two Parts of a POS System

While this may sound a bit laughable, where it matters is in order of purchase. Before rushing into the purchase of a system, look at what you want one to do, then research all the tasks you didn’t know one could do, but you’d love to have (software,) and then put together a shopping list that is formed around the software, next finding the hardware to run it. If you were envisioning a single or small range of best POS options for food truck operations, sorry. You’ll find some consisting of high-functioning, state-of-the-art computers that will store and impeccably manage and track even the smallest of details, and provide options for how you can use a surprising number of them to streamline operations and even increase business. Particularly as a food truck entrepreneur, your best goal will be to keep your POS system on the simple side, in many ways, mirroring the manner in which a food truck simplifies operating a restaurant.

Getting Started

Each of the following items will require you to assess options and operating methods. One issue rather unique to a food truck POS will be size – as you already know, or will soon learn. In exploring each option, keep hardware and software compatibility in mind. In consideration of the more basic components, look at the following:

  • Standard computer
  • Pin pad
  • Cash drawer
  • Printer for receipts, as well as a standard printer – inkjet or laser
  • Display screen for customers
  • Credit card processor – can be the mobile variety, that can be attached to a tablet or cell phone.

Software – the Heart of Your System

Find out whether or not the hardware you’re considering will limit you to strict use of their proprietary software only. There are plenty of options that allow use of third-party solutions. You may prefer to put all your POS marbles in one cannister, so to speak, or your best choice might be to be more specific and comprehensive in choosing your own There is no right or wrong choice, here, only what works for you. The following are some of the most prevalent POS-managed tasks:

  • Record food orders successively and even process customer-customizing requests.
  • Print out each order, chronologically, for the cook.
  • Process multiple orders, all at the same time.
  • Manage and track inventory – including notifications when an item is running low, and temporarily removing a menu selection when key ingredients are depleted.
  • Process payment transactions – cash, check and plastic – and even authenticate and process gift cards and specials extended by you, such as customer rewards programs (includes discounts and coupons.)
  • Compute sales tax, and even create options for adding gratuity.
  • Split a bill in any manner, as requested by customer.
  • Split payments made by multiple methods
  • Generate invoices
  • Manage customer accounts, vendor accounts and manage employee scheduling and employee profiles.
  • Manage vendor accounts
  • Track your business via social media.
  • Allow you to keep up, in real time, with every aspect of your business from anywhere, meaning you don’t have to be on site to manage operations and know how they’re going.

Mistakes You Shouldn’t be Making

Mistakes are not anything we want to spend time on, and even when we realize one has been made, most people would prefer to just acknowledge it and move on. There is a way you can avoid ever making another mistake again. All you have to do is nothing. that’s right, the only way you can make a mistake is by trying. In other words, mistakes come with the deal of all productivity. Some are more significant and some are nominal. What lies waiting on the other side of every mistake is a chance to start over or regroup, and within every mistake there’s an excellent lesson to be learned, which becomes easily committed to memory, due to the pain of the mistake. Most people would prefer to be the one to discover their own mistakes, as it’s not as painfully embarrassing as when a coworker happens to point it out to us. A lot of important information we use in technology comes from costly mistakes that our predecessors made in paving the way for us. We have no more immunity than they did, when it comes to other mistakes we might be likely to make. And so it goes.

The Big Reveal

Of course, the worst kind of mistakes are the ones that cost money, and a horrible truth to face is when you’ve invested in equipment and/or technology for your business, only to find out too late that you purchased the wrong stuff. It’s unlikely that anyone purchasing a POS system for their business doesn’t experience a degree of prepurchase and postpurchase fear. It would seem unnatural to not have a little tug of your conscience or self doubt. These are actually healthy, and show our humanity. The problem would be if you let such feelings prevent you from moving ahead with integrating this important technology into your operations. Buying POS software is a sizeable investment, capable of greatly impacting the future of your business. Most consumers have no idea of just how many POS systems there are to choose from. Each one is different, and there can be so many considerations for so many components that anyone could become overwhelmed and confused. No matter what – Don’t allow anxiety to force you into a hasty purchase. Take your time, and make sure you know what you’re buying, and that it is what you need. The following are some of the mistakes you should not make.

Never Buy POS Hardware First

Entering into POS technology is unlike most other ventures. It would be perfectly warranted and acceptable to go out shopping for a Sony Playstation 4 and then later going shopping for games to play on it. You could buy a house first, before buying furniture for it. Buy a vacuum cleaner before you buy accessories to go with it. Buy the bed before you buy the bedding linens and spread. Not so, with transitioning to a POS system, as the area where you’ll find your operational needs best addressed will be in the software. If you conduct the proper search and study up on the different forms of software for your particular needs, finding hardware to support it will be a breeze. Choose your hardware first, and then, you will be met with wall after wall, a pitiful limit to what you can accomplish and the way it’ll be used. Additionally, each different software program will offer restricted compatibility to a specific type of printer, scanner, card reader, cash drawer and more. Most software is designed for a specific version of Windows, MAC Linux, Unix, etc. Buy your POS software, then get the most highly recommended hardware and operating systems you can afford.

Who You Talkin’ To?

Don’t make the common mistake of confusing a computer consultant with a POS technology wiz. Most are NOT. They’re unqualified to make decent recommendations for your business. Not to undervalue computer consultants, who are excellent resources when it comes to computers, hardware and even networking. That’s what they do, and what they’re trained and authorized to do. Talk can be cheap – especially when someone stands to lose and gain nothing. Try asking one to tell you how many different types of POS systems there are, and you’ll get a good idea as to his or her scope of POS knowledge. Even someone with their own POS experience is not qualified to direct your purchase for the specific needs of your business.

Inside the QR Coding

What began in 2002 as a Japanese collaboration among network carriers to come up with some innovative hacks for the newly introduced mobile phone cameras. What emerged was the top impressor of a method that turned the camera app of a mobile phone into a scanning device that would ferry encoded info, like URLs straight to the mobile Internet. Shift forward 14 years to the universal recognition of QR codes by Japanese mobile phone users and others, the world around, currently opting for their mobile phones over any PCs for web-surfing. And if you have not noticed, QR codes R us – being in that they are prominent fixtures everywhere, on labels, signage, packaging and vending machines, just to name a few locations. And truly, the modernday direction in which we are rapidly ascending is set to be a QR code user’s insider way to know the dirt anything and everything, with a quick scan of the odd looking square, always somewhere present within the graphics.

Contained Within the Coding

The Insider info contained in QR coding conveys an unlimited array of info, based on details built into the design. With a mindset to seek QR codes out, anyone will be amazed by exactly how many have been out there, going virtually unnoticed to the masses – till now. These little buggers are inclusions on pages, packages, insides, outsides and on the machines and other vending vessels used to supply them to consumers. It’s quickly becoming a scanner’s market, where without QR scanning capabilities, the scanless few will simply be left with untold questions – and not sufficient info to even begin to know how to interpret and respond to the info within the coding.

Where QR Coding is, but Not Where it Will Eventually be

With easy add-on mobile software to transform most mobile devices into scanners, the distinctive QR codes can be found everywhere there is human traffic. Take the posters advertising events, goods and services that you encounter everywhere you go. Scanning the QR code might link you directly to showtimes, locations, specials and directions to theatres showing certain movies. Included within the coding could be an almost infinite array of facts and connections regarding the movie or the theatre. And there is just something so way far beyond 2D-evoking power when it comes to QR technology that is marvelously brilliant by design, alone. Simply put, it works.

The Journey

It all began with those linear barcodes we all accept and expect, though there was a time…well, regardless, they have become “old school” now. Next, 2D symbols included two versions, with more efficient data encoding using less space. These are PDF417 and QR, or “Quick Response” coding, utilizing dark elements against a light background. Surprisingly, QR Code was introduced in 1994. It can encode over 7,000 characters in one symbol, around 1/10 the size of a barcode.

Distinctions

There are distinguishing marks at three corners of the QR symbol, making it easy to find and decode by a special reader from any angle and rapidly dubbed iQR Code offers greater capacity within less space.

QR Code as Art

With imaginative colors and attractive symbols, now QR coding can include a link to the designer’s info. And what’s to come? Only the most imaginative minds can venture, but the possibilities could include clothing, housing, vehicles and accessories that, when scanned, would communicate the unspoken to those with scanners and access.

How Thermal Receipt Paper Can be One of Your Best Marketing Tools

Now, before you move your cursor back to the subject line bar, take some time to fathom the possibility that there could be some spot-on insider tip contained and shared here, that just might represent unfathomable progress for your business, in the seemingly oddest of ways. Regardless of how you arrived here, consequently presented with such a unique (go ahead and say it: “crazy”) title, you would be remiss to simply disregard the value of a read. Pass it by, or take advantage of a hidden, but highly effective marketing tool which you can tap into directly, for stupendous rewards and longevity! Got a minute? Read on.

More Than Before

There might have been a time when thermal receipts were presented to consumers as their guaranteed “proof of purchase” for all the possibly necessary reasons. Such limited receipt capabilities were set prior to our modernization, with POS printers that are able to print out fully-customized everything – from text, to images and messages. There is a whole world of possibilities awaiting savvy business owners, for a somewhat subtle, yet profoundly effective (and virtually free) marketing resource. Surprisingly, most business owners are unaware of the power contained within that little roll of thermal receipt paper to advance product marketing, engender customer loyalty and take profits to new levels.

Color Matters

There has always been an unspoken power attribution with color that – when employed with conceptual understanding – speaks to consumers on a level that will draw them and increase any associated product awareness, immediately. Talk about branding – with the dynamic of color printing for the receipts your business presents to customers, there is a huge opportunity for taking simple transaction receipts to a game-changing powerhouse of promotion for your business, your brand. In the most effective advertising, color is combined with print to evoke instantaneous, selling connection-enhancements that trigger recall ability. Product recognition happens on a subliminal level, and value retention is impressively engendered. The most current studies regarding the effect of color vs. b&w on memory alone reveal that there is an inherent draw that color produces within the human brain. And in a powerful sympatico dance, the right brain processes colors while the left brain interprets the written word. When presented in unison, there is a subliminal connection made against which all the late night infomercials cannot stand.

Choose Your Receipt Colors Effectively

Although there are always exceptions, the psychology of colors and their influence upon receptors is pretty standard, as studies reveal, with the following findings:
Red. Evokes hunger, appetite and strong emotions. (Note the prevalent use of this color in so many places.) Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, KFC, Wendy’s, Domino’s, TGIFriday’s, Dairy Queen, Coca Cola, Pepsi, IHop, Burger King, Chili’s, CNN and many more…

Orange. Associated with warmth, enthusiasm and passion. A frequently included sale color. Enticing for young children. Fanta Soda, MasterCard, Fedex, Harley Davidson, Shell Oil Co. + others.

Yellow. An optimistic and warm color that is attention-drawing and promotional. Best Buy, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Hardee’s, Popeye’s, Shell Oil Co, Bojangle’s and Nerf.

Green. Evokes ecology, health and tranquil living. A popular color for natural and health food products. Animal Planet

Blue. Conveys serenity, trust and dependability. Most loved by members of the male population. Know who relies on this particular color? Facebook.Intel, Flickr, HP, American Express and HBO.

Purple. Associated most with wealth, royalty and achievement. Connotes high quality. Hallmark, Yahoo, Fedex, Cadbury, VIVO and SciFy

Pink. Youthful, lighthearted and the prime color for businesses appealing to women. (ok, no comments,) Barbie, Breast Cancer, Mary Kay, Baskin Robbins, T Mobile, Victoria’s Secret PINK, and many more.

Black. No doubt powerful, black is also quite trendy and elegant. KFC, Puma, Peugeot, Kiss, Adidas, Cartoon Network and Linkedin.

Brown. Find comfort, maturity and dependability. A common color associated with outdoor living, organic well-being and wholesome products. All things coffee, UPS and Hershey’s

Color the Paper

Colored paper rolls are a unique way to make your business stand out, too. They offer a distinctive brand-identifier for your business that offers a more affordable option than color printing, and this concept is so new that you will be a leader, for sure. Make sure you refer to the color table above, to convey the image that best represents your image.

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