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System Solutions Is Now A Proud Member Of The NRLA

System Solutions is proud to announce our new membership with the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association. The NRLA represents independent lumber and building materials suppliers and businesses in the northeast region of the US, having members in the six New England states as well as New York and New Jersey.

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The NRLA also runs the Lumber and Building Material Expo, or LBM Expo. This is the industry’s largest regional tradeshow, featuring new products, exciting seminars, networking events, awards, and more. The LBM Expo will be held:

Where: Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence RI
When: February 15-17, 2017
Booth: System Solutions will be at Booth 1230
Our Featured Product: Microsoft Dynamics AX

If you would like to learn more about our Business Management and Point of Sale solutions for lumber, hardware, and building materials retailers, or would like to connect with us before the event, please don’t hesitate to email us, visit our website, or call 860-781-6470.

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Retail Trends For Thanksgiving And Black Friday Weekend 2016

With Black Friday weekend quickly approaching, retailers are looking to know what to expect. While there are predictions about which department stores will attract the most traffic and lists of upcoming promotions already shared, there are also overall consumer trends and buying behaviors to consider. Here are some forecasts and trend predictions for the upcoming weekend:

Increased mobile usage
Our phones have become essential to us in our everyday lives, and this is no different when shopping. In 2016, 48% of shoppers believe it is easier to make mobile purchases than an in-store purchase. Even those who do shop in store are using their phones– 70% look for deals and promotions on their phones while they shop.

Shopping all weekend, not only on Black Friday
Black Friday is a big day in retail, and over the years has become not only a day but a whole weekend. It even prompted Cyber Monday as online sales increased. This year, Black Friday is starting even earlier, with 21% of Americans planning to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

Coupons from social media
Many retailers promote their holiday sales in-store, through email, and on social media. This year it is expected we will see an increase in consumers using coupons from social media, with 43% of Twitter users more likely to visit a store after seeing a coupon or deal on Twitter. Another interesting conclusion from Twitter’s research into mobile usage indicates that 73% of users are more likely to purchase from a small business if they see a coupon or deal on Twitter during the holiday season.

Increased gift card purchasing
Total gift card sales are expected to increase $1.5 billion in the 2016 holiday shopping season, reaching $27.5 billion in total. Shoppers purchasing gift cards will likely purchase an average of 3 of them to give as gifts this holiday season. So, if you see a customer stressing about the perfect gift for their loved one, the answer may be more simple than they think.

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What does this mean for retailers?

Most retailers start preparing for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season in early fall, but if you did not consider these forecasts and trends, here are some tips for the season:

  • Optimize your website for mobile, and keep the content updated
  • Be sure your POS system or ecommerce site can process online transactions on mobile
  • Plan to be busy Thursday evening through Sunday on Thanksgiving weekend
  • Post promotions and deals on all social media sites, especially Twitter
  • Stock up on gift cards, and suggest gift card purchases to customers

Throughout the holiday season, one thing that most retailers see an increase in is sales. Without a reliable POS or business management system, you may not be maximizing your sales opportunities. If you need a system or are considering upgrading your current system, contact System Solutions.

5 POS Features Every Retailer Needs On Black Friday

To prepare for the busiest shopping day of the year, retailers make sure to schedule enough staff, order enough inventory, and offer the best deals. While all of this is essential, many retailers neglect to prepare one more thing – their POS system. Here are 5 POS features every retailer should familiarize themselves with before Black Friday:

Special Orders
Throughout the holiday season, and especially on Black Friday, many stores run out of popular items. While this is a good sign for sales, it is not always easy to manage logistically. Some POS systems have the option to create and track special orders, allowing customers to purchase some items in store that day, ship some items directly to their house or to loved ones, and purchase items to pick up in any store location at a later date all within the same POS transaction.  This not only makes holiday shopping easy for your customers, it makes it easy for your employees as well.

Modern POS
Generate more sales and expedite the checkout process with POS on tablets, smartphones, and other handheld devices. Eliminate long lines with this functionality, as employees can tender payments with attached credit card processing, and answer questions about product availability without needing to go to the cash register area. Additionally, with more advanced systems, employees can even compare products for customers, look up items the customer has in their shopping cart online, and view the most popular products report for recommendations.

Price Changes
Anyone who has worked in retail knows the pain of items that do not ring up correctly, and needing to find a manager to correct the pricing while a customer waits. On days like Black Friday, this becomes an extra pain because not only is there more customer traffic than usual, but managers are also busier than normal. With price changing functions, such as data import, retailers can upload an Excel file listing items and their updated pricing easily and quickly before Black Friday. Then, after promotions end, then can easily change the prices back by importing another file.

Reporting
A great way to capitalize on Black Friday and holiday sales is suggesting items. With reporting, you can equip your sales team with knowledge of the best-selling products. If you are giving any bonuses or prizes to sales staff members who achieve the highest sales, reporting enables them to track their sales by the hour as well.

Email Marketing
Marketing isn’t typically something individual stores are responsible for – but if your system makes it easy, why not take advantage of that? Some POS and Business Management systems enable users to email customers right from the database. You can send Black Friday emails specific to your store, featuring products you carry and deals you are running. This feature is also great for retailers in malls or shopping centers, as you can email the other stores in your area about your promotions as well.

If retailers utilize these POS functions, their Black Friday will provide a better experience for their customers, will be less stressful for their employees, and will be more profitable for their business.

If your POS doesn’t have these features, contact System Solutions to learn about our POS and Business Management solutions that do have these capabilities.

4 Reasons Why Retailers Should Embrace Cloud POS

Many retailers either haven’t considered using Cloud POS to manage their business or are skeptical about it – but why? Our lives are managed through our phones, tablets, and other devices, which almost certainly all use the Cloud. In fact, most of us access the Cloud every day, whether we realize it or not. So why not utilize something so easy, familiar, and reliable for your business needs as well as your personal activities? Cloud POS offers many benefits to retailers:

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Mobile Friendly So much business is conducted on the go, even for brick and mortar retail stores. With the Cloud, managers can check sales data from anywhere with internet connection. Buyers can log in from tradeshows and view sales forecasts and budgets. Marketing and sales teams can attend events with any device, and tender payments on the spot within the POS instead of manually writing orders and then inputting them into the system at a later date and time.

Quick, Easy Implementation For retailers looking for a new POS system quickly, Cloud POS is the best bet. Finding the right system to fit your business needs can be time consuming, and the implementation process to install it on all of your devices may take longer than you planned for. This is not the case with Cloud POS, as it does not have to be installed on every individual device, making the implementation process is faster and easier.

Easy to Use Yes, learning the ins and outs of a new POS system can seem daunting. However, Cloud POS is hosted on the internet, which we are all familiar with. This makes it easy to use from all devices, as it is the same process regardless of what device is being used or what location it is being accessed from. Also, your retail business’ information will be stored on the Cloud, making it easy to pull multi-store reports or view data from any time frame.

Reliable Access If there is internet connection, retailers can do business. It really is that simple with Cloud POS. Every day, owners and managers can be confident that they can access their system, which means they can make sales, keeping customers happy.

System Solutions LLC Offers a Microsoft Dynamics AX Cloud Based POS Solution with all of the above benefits, and more. For more information, please email us or call 860-781-6045.

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Press Release: Microsoft Dynamics EMV Chip and Pin Integration and House Account Signature on ISC250 Released for Microsoft RMS

Glastonbury, CT, October 11, 2016 –(PR.com)– System Solutions has released software for the Microsoft RMS EMV Chip and Pin Integration. This software enables retailers with Microsoft RMS to process EMV transactions using Verifone VX805 and Ingenico ISC250, including House Account signature capture. EMV Processing is available for the following processors: Chase Paymentech, First Data, Heartland, Mercury Payments, Sterling, TSYS, Worldpay, and Vantiv. The integration now also supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and more.

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How It Works
The integration works directly with Datacap NETePay software which has been adopted by all major processors. The Datacap software communicates with the Chip and Pin device and sends the combined credit card transaction information to the credit card processor for authorization. House Account signatures can also be captured and printed on an Ingenico ISC250. The integration makes the fastest, lowest cost solution for Microsoft RMS point of sale users to immediately process EMV transactions.

Benefits
Microsoft RMS is widely used across the United States and many other countries around the world. The EMV liability transfer effective October 1, 2015 requires merchants to be able to process EMV transactions or take financial responsibility for fraudulent in-store card purchases. System Solutions is well known for Microsoft RMS implementations and integrations supporting many Ingenico and Verifone devices past and present. “The RMS EMV Chip and Pin Integration makes the fastest, lowest cost solution to become EMV compliant now, and maintain future flexibility in choosing credit card processors and devices as more processors become certified on Datacap,” says Dave Durrenberger of System Solutions, a Microsoft RMS Certified Partner.

For more information, watch the video or email us at System Solutions.

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Press Release: Microsoft Dynamics Firearms Retail Software Now Released for Microsoft Dynamics AX

System Solutions Releases Electronic Bound Book and Electronic Form 4473 for Microsoft AX

GLASTONBURY, Conn., Oct. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — System Solutions has released the Microsoft Dynamics AX version of Firearms Bound Book and Electronic Form 4473. This popular software replaces the manual Firearms Bound Book system, and provides electronic processing of Form 4473 and FBI NICS. Microsoft Dynamics AX tracks serialized firearms and general inventory from receipt through sales, holds, layaways, returns and more. The integration provides an easy solution for selling and trading firearms and ammunition in the store front, and managing inventory in the back.

Capabilities
Microsoft Dynamics AX’s Firearms integration includes electronic Firearms Bound Book and electronic Form 4473. Microsoft Dynamics AX is an end to end retail system with many more features and benefits than proprietary systems, including point of sale, procurement, service management, accounting, inventory management, mobility, and omni-channel retail. The Firearms integration allows firearms dealers, sporting goods dealers and other niche retail stores selling firearms and ammunition to process electronic: ATF Form 4473, FBI NICS background check and other forms and transactions within the Microsoft Dynamics AX point of sale. “This integration makes the fastest, lowest cost, and complete enterprise management solution to sell and trade firearms and ammunition through point of sale while staying ATF compliant,” says Dave Durrenberger of System Solutions, a Microsoft Dynamics Certified Partner.

ATF Compliance
With Microsoft Dynamics AX, dealers can create purchase orders and process ATF compliant receiving, trades, layaways, sales and returns simultaneously with other items in the store, all while managing customers and inventory. A retailer can stay ATF compliant while maintaining seamless, time saving inventory and check out processes and create a great customer experience.

Long Term Benefits
Microsoft is the leader in PC, server, and business software worldwide. Single and multi-store sporting goods, firearms, niche retail, service, and rental stores can purchase Microsoft Dynamics AX POS technology backed by an ecosystem of Microsoft trained retail professionals in every state. “With proprietary point of sale systems, retailers really have limited or no choices when it comes to available features or support options. These companies just don’t have the depth of retail knowledge, money and resources of Microsoft and it’s ecosystem of retail partners,” says Dave Durrenberger of System Solutions.

Watch a Firearms Sale Using Microsoft Dynamics AX with this integration.

For more information on Microsoft AX, email us at System Solutions.

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Why Should Retailers Use The Task Recorder In Microsoft Dynamics AX?

In Microsoft Dynamics AX, there is a unique Task Recorder function. This tool allows you to record any process within the POS system or the Back Office. Processes ranging from Adding a ship-to address for a POS transaction to Invoicing a customer account from a service order can be recorded, saved, and referenced in the  future. The Task Recorder not only automatically  generates a video of the process, but also a Word document with each step detailed and screen shots included.

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How can this tool help my business?

Training employees can be time consuming and difficult, especially when teaching the ins and outs of a POS or ERP system that a new employee has never used before. Hands on training is valuable, there is no doubt about that. But for new team members who may not have experience using POS system, remembering all of the steps for each function can seem daunting. The Task Recorder makes it easy for new or seasoned employees to view steps for any process at any time.

Standardization is hard to maintain for some retailers when managers have different preferences or ways of doing things. One manager may store information under a customer’s name, while another manager is storing information under the customer’s company title. Recording the process using the Task Recorder will show the standard way to complete the process, thus increasing standardization.

Time Saving activities are something all businesses can benefit from (time is money, right?) Let’s say you have hired a new store manager, and it is her first time completing payroll by herself. You have shown her the process step by step a few times, and have answered any questions that came up. However, while completing the task, she forgets how to do one step. Without the Task Recorder, this manager would either have to look online for solutions, call other managers and hope they are available to help, or push off payroll until another manager comes in the next day. With this recording capability, she can simply look under ‘Payroll” in the Task Recorder, and watch a video that you have recorded on exactly how to complete it, jogging her memory of the step she could not remember.

Specific to Your Business process steps are hard to find online. Sure, employees can Google how to do something within your POS system if they are in a jam, but that online explanation or online training video may show a company in a completely different industry than your business, or with different products and services. Having recorded process steps easily accessible and showing your business’s actual products, services, and customers generates more accurate process completion steps.

This function makes it easy to record and save specific business processes, whether they be complex and long or simple and quick. The records are stored within the Task Recorder itself, and the videos and Word documents can be saved to your computer, shared on your server, emailed to all store locations, etc. To watch the Task Recorder in action, see the video below:

For further information, email our team or call 860-781-6470.

   

 

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Top 5 POS Tools For Service & Repair Industry Retailers

For retailers in the service industry, keeping track of service order schedules can pose some challenges. Some repairs take hours longer than originally planned for, technicians get overbooked, and when it comes time to invoice the customers some services can be left out. Managing the service or repair processes for your business with verbal communication, pen and paper, or different software systems increases the chance of errors. It also increases labor, which, let’s face it, we could all benefit from having a little less work.

So, you should let your POS system do that extra work for you. With the right tools, service management is a breeze. The following are the top 5 POS tools every retailer in the service or repair industry should use.

Automatic Conflict Checking  First, you should be able to assign specific technicians to jobs. Then, your POS should notify you if the technician you are trying to schedule for a job is already booked for those hours. This makes scheduling easier for you, and allows your employees to see their upcoming scheduled repair jobs.

Service Stages Unique to Your Process  When tracking the progress of a service order, you should be able to see accurate stages that reflect your actual business processes. If your POS system only shows “In Progress” and “Finished”, you do not know why the item is still in repair or when it will be finished. However, if you are able to input your own service stages, then you would know that that item is “Waiting for parts”, which adds time to the process, giving you and your customer a more accurate time estimation.

Ecommerce Integration  To have an item serviced, customers can either call your location to set up a time or can simply walk in. While these methods are effective, most people these days choose to do things online when possible. Ecommerce Integration allows your customers have an online order submission option.

Invoice Creation Right From Service Order  The service order shows all of the details of labor hours, cost of parts, and other expenses associated with the service. If you use a separate system for creating and tracking service orders than you use for accounting and finance, then you will need to manually input the information from the POS system into the financial system. This process not only increases the chance for errors, but also increases labor.

Electronic Supplier Connection  For different items, you may need to order parts to complete the repair. You also probably keep some parts on hand that need to be re-ordered every so often. Connecting electronically to your suppliers though EDI Updaters allows you to see updated inventory levels at all times. That way, if an item needs a certain part, you can see how many you have on hand and then order the part quickly and easily if needed.

 

With Microsoft Dynamics AX, All of These Tools Are Available

This video shows the ease of creating, processing, and invoicing a service order using Microsoft Dynamics AX.

 

Microsoft Dynamics AX makes running your service and repair business easy by offering all of the tools listed above.

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX utilizes automatic conflict checking when scheduling technicians to jobs in the Service Management module. That way, you are never overbooking your employees and you can provide customers with accurate time completion estimates.
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX enables you to create and edit the service stage processes in the Service Management module, providing you with service stages unique to your process. This manifests more transparent communication between you and your technicians, and allows you to more accurately determine the length of time needed for jobs.
  • With the Enterprise Portal, ecommerce integration is easy. Not only does it allow you to track sales, customer history, and items left in customer carts, it also allows your customers to submit service requests online.
  • Because Microsoft Dynamics AX is an all in one system, it has Accounting, Finance, Payroll, Accounts Payable, and Accounts Receivable modules built in. With these capabilities, you can create an invoice right from a service order with a few clicks of a mouse.
  • With the Inventory Management module, electronic connection to any supplier is possible with Microsoft Dynamics AX.

To see some more capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX, watch our Business Management Overview, Task Recorder, and POS Cash Sale Features videos. You can also view Microsoft Dynamics AX on a mobile device.

If you would like to speak with a sales representative about Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email us or call us at 1-860-781-6045.

   

Congratulations to Buchheit Enterprises, Inc in Perryville, MO!

Buchheit Enterprises, Inc is the winner of our Orgill Fall Dealer Market raffle, and will be receiving a Windows 10 laptop! Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth, we enjoyed meeting everyone and had so much fun at the show. We hope to see you at the Orgill Spring Dealer Market February 16th – February 18th in New Orleans, LA.

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If you didn’t have a chance to meet us at this Orgill Market, or if we did meet there and you would like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email us or call 860-781-6045.

You can also view our Orgill Updater brochure, Service Order video, and watch Microsoft Dynamics on a mobile device. Follow us on social media for details, upcoming shows, and promotions.

   

Congratulations to Shaver Plumbing & Hardware in Salem, AR!

Shaver Plumbing & Hardware is the winner of our HDW Market raffle, and will be receiving a Windows 10 laptop! Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth, we enjoyed meeting everyone and had so much fun at the show. We hope to see you next year at the HDW Fall Market on January 20th – January 22nd in Hot Springs, AR.

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If you didn’t have a chance to meet us at HDW, or if we did meet there and you would like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email us or call Mark Powell at 860-781-6470.

You can also view our Service Order video, watch Microsoft Dynamics on a mobile device, and follow us on social media for details, upcoming shows, and promotions.