Point of Sale & Order Entry
Our success with this module rests in its ability to process all types of sales orders easily and rapidly to ensure your customers are serviced as efficiently as possible. After all, the cornerstone of any business is sales, and if they are not handled well, the negative ripple effect will quickly become apparent throughout every aspect of a business.
This program is fully integrated with the Service Dispatch, Rental Management, Inventory Management, Quotations, Contracts / Special Sale Pricing, Sales Analysis, Accounts Receivable and General Ledger modules. This cross-module integration means that entries posted through this module will automatically update inventory levels, customer account balances, sales analysis information and, after interfacing, the general ledger.
Creating Cash / Charge Orders
The system handles cash and/or charge sales extremely fast. For cash sales, you can enter inventory items after just 1 keystroke. The order number, date, salesman number and other relevant information are created in the background. For charge sales, customer information can be retrieved almost as fast. The user searches for the customer in the POS/Order Entry module by using the "point and shoot" approach. By entering the customer code, partial name, postal code, contact name, or phone number, the customers are located quickly and easily. Again, all other relevant information is retrieved and entered in the background.
Once the customer is entered (either cash or charge), the products being sold can be brought up by code, description, category and division, or cross reference number, again by using the "point and shoot" approach. Even easier, products can be sold by scanning the bar code thus avoiding typing the information completely. With Activant Silk software, you are able to use multiple types of bar codes on the same item, generate bar codes for those items that don't already come with them, and use a number of different types of bar code scanning devices. We also interface with manufactures' electronic catalog programs for speedy identification of parts inventory.
There is also a global search program that allows you to search for an item using any part of a field in a variety of different fields. You can search for:
- Any part of an item code (sku)
- Anywhere in the code and any part of a description
- Anywhere in the description
You can search by:
- Any of the 4 description lines
The POS module tracks important information about customers as well as products. If the credit system is active, the system will check the credit status of the customer before and after the sale. A credit window will automatically come up, offering information regarding whether the customer is above his/her credit limit or if the account is overdue beyond an acceptable age limit, e.g. over 60 days.
The system will keep track of customers authorized to sign on account. It can also determine which staff members are authorized to override credit holds. Payment terms can also be entered for "on account" sales. These dates and amounts are then recorded on the customer's account in the Accounts Receivable module.
Additional Sales Features
The POS / Order Entry system can display quantity available for sale, automatically price by multiple units of measure, display suggestive sales to prompt the clerk to sell related goods to the customer, and can show a running total of the sales as the order is being entered. The module keeps track of customers' tax status and allows for easy, on the spot adjustment of this information. The system can also automatically superseded products with preferred items or provide substitute products when certain items are out of stock.
Contract pricing and quotations are a very important part of many businesses. We pride ourselves on the quality and flexibility of this aspect of our POS / Order Entry software. Special pricing can be set up for flyers, promotions, etc. Both quantities and date available are specified, giving you full control over how much is sold at the discounted price and for how long the discounted price is in effect. Customer groups can also be specified, e.g. special price for contractors only. Deals can also be set-up to handle package selling e.g. buy 10 get 2 free, or buy 5 items from similar product groups and get a free gift etc.
More Pricing and Discounts
Pricing on the system is almost fully automatic. You can offer discounts based on a "per item" basis, on a group of items, on a "per customer" basis, or for a group of customers. Discounts can be either a fixed dollar or percentage off nature for "on the spot" price adjustments. The 12 different price levels (using two units of measure) set up in inventory can be called up here to allow for rapid price quotations to customers. In addition, minimum and maximum quantities for price breaks, effective and expiry dates of offers, total quantity of specially priced goods available and a host of other options can be easily specified on the system.
In a further step to ensure quick order entry, kits created in the inventory module can be called up and sold here. The system automatically tracks the availability of individual items sold in kits. Pricing can be set up either as a kit price or as a sum of the individual items. Displaying the individual items and/or the prices of these items on the invoices is optional.
Our lumber kits make the selling of lumber or other multi-dimensional products a breeze. For example, if the customer is interested in purchasing spruce 2 x 4's, the clerk brings up spruce 2 x 4's on the screen and the system displays the availability of different lengths of this product. As they are sold, the system automatically updates the availability of these lengths, both by piece and by board feet.
Quotations can be designed specifically for different customers. Again, quantities, prices and dates the quote is in effect are recorded. After providing a quotation for a customer, the quote is saved, awaiting the customer's return. Those quotes accepted by the customer can be automatically retrieved and a POS order automatically created. This avoids having to re-enter the relevant information. Also, the system will automatically track buy downs from pre-quoted jobs.
Faxing your quotes can also be performed right from your terminal, using Activant Silk's Fax software. Once the quote is prepared, your customer can have it in his hands within minutes, without even leaving your seat.
Invoices can be printed as a full invoice or a smaller cash register receipt or a combination, e.g. it is possible to print small cash receipts for "cash sales" and full invoices for your regular customers. It is also easy to switch between the two, so if a cash customer requests a full invoice, they can be easily accommodated.
The clerk can type in as much information as necessary on comment lines that appear on the invoice to describe the items sold (e.g. special instructions, description of damaged goods, precautions, etc.)
Kits can be printed on the invoice in full detail listing all items within the kit, or just as one item with the kit name. You can also show the price as one price for the whole kit, or individual prices for each item within the kit.
Lumber kits can print on the invoice, showing the quantity for each length and the total board feet, e.g. 2x4's: 10/8 ft, 10/12 ft and 10/16 ft lengths with the total board feet.
The design of the Activant Silk's software is such that the same screen can be used for both Point of Sale and Order Entry transactions. Most of the features outlined above in regards to the POS process are available for Order Entry transactions. The POS system can capture cash sales customer names and basic information about them for future reference. Conversely, the system can accept an account customers' cash or cheque payment.
With one keystroke, the system can put an order on hold and begin processing another. This feature is especially useful in POS situations to avoid lineups at the cash desk when a customer suddenly remembers a forgotten item and returns to the aisles. Repeat orders can be generated speedily by retrieving previous orders from the history file into the POS system.
Speeding Up Sales
For POS transactions, the system ensures speedy processing by prompting you for the type of payment (e.g. cash, Visa, MasterCard, cheque, etc.), and calculating and displaying the change to be returned to the customer. The system automatically provides foreign currency conversion and allows a combination of payment types for each sale. It captures tax numbers for cash customers who are exempt.
Adding Customers or Items "on the fly"
It is possible to change a cash sale for a walk-in customer into a charge sale by adding the customer directly into the Customer Master File from within the POS module. Customers in line behind this "new customer" will appreciate how quickly and easily this process can be performed. Record the customer's name and address and within seconds the new customer has their invoice and you are serving the next customer.
Adding items into the Inventory Master File is just as easy. If you have ever stocked a new item but had a customer bring the item to your till before you have had a chance to add the new product into the computer, you will appreciate this feature. Never again do you have to sell inventory items under miscellaneous codes because an item was overlooked or it sold faster than you expected.
Credit / Debit Cards
On-line verification of credit cards and debit cards is also available. Works in conjunction with MasterCard or Visa. Connect via modem immediately with the bank to verify a credit card or debit card status. Updates your bank account at day end, when the bank closes out for the day.
Back orders can be created and tracked. When inventory arrives, the back orders are automatically filled, and all item particulars are retained by the system and do not have to be re-entered. Different reports can be generated at any time to show which items are on back order or which customers have items on back order. If a customer wishes to purchase an item that is not listed in the inventory system, it may be sold under a miscellaneous item number. You can then enter an item description for it along with the appropriate price.
Custom order items can also be accommodated in the POS module. This feature is extremely beneficial for ordering special items which are not in the Inventory Master File. It is also possible to accept and record a cash deposit from the customer. Working in conjunction with the Purchase Order program, the special order item is automatically ordered by the Auto PO Create program or the item can simply be added to a new or existing PO. When the item is received in the PO module, a report is available which will inform you which special order items have arrived and which orders in the POS module they are for. This allows you to contact your customer immediately upon receipt of the special item.
Reports such as the Product Requirement Report and Requirement Aging Report can be printed to tell you what inventory are necessary to fill future orders. For instance, if you enter an order to be delivered in six months, it will not be forgotten. The aging report will tell you what orders are to be shipped in 30 days, 60 days or 90 days, similar to an Accounts Receivable Aged Trial Balance report.
Conversely, the regular inquiry mode can give you information about current orders. It can bring up in detail a particular order, all orders for a particular customer, all orders with a particular inventory item, all orders with a certain status; e.g. status 3 - shipped and ready for invoicing, or any combination of the above. The inquiry mode makes wading through reams of invoices to dig up information a thing of the past.
Day End Processing
The day-end process within this module is designed for maximum efficiency. Users do not have to stop processing orders while the "day-end" or shift change is in process. The day-end process can even be done automatically by the system at a preset time (e.g. 2:00 A.M.) Inventory files, A/R Open Item file, Monthly Sales file and Sales Analysis files are all automatically updated with each posting. The system keeps track of hourly sales figures by point of sale registers and/or clerks to provide management with important information to ensure customers are served quickly during busy hours.
An extensive variety of reports can be printed as part of the day end, some of which include:
- Exception Report (shows where prices or "credit holds" have been over-ridden)
- Bank Deposit Summary (breakdown of payment types)
- Received on Account (customer payments)
- Sales Analysis by Salesman (sales breakdown for each salesperson)
- Sales Analysis by Category (sales breakdown by item groups)
- Canceled Orders Log (orders canceled by staff members)
- Hourly Sales Report (sales figures for each hour of the day)
- G/L Distribution Report (complete breakdown by G/L account, e.g. sales, costs, taxes, etc.)
Most of these reports, and more, are optional.
An optional on-screen entry program allows you to enter the cash from your till by specifying the change, quantity of each denomination of bill, cheques, and credit card receipts. The system will then compare your entries to that of the computer to determine if the till is over or under.
Day end reports allow you to reconcile the cash registers individually. Sales can also be broken down by each user on each register. Cash sales are sorted into Visa, Master Card, other credit cards, cash, and cheques. For maximum efficiency, the system can consolidate different types of transactions (POS, rental, service) in a single cash-out operation.
Invoices can be billed to one location with the goods delivered to another. This could be used for customers with multiple sites, such as contractors. It can also be used to bill one customer while the goods are shipped to another. Any address can be entered as the "shipping" address, regardless of the "billing" address.
Shipping labels, pick tickets and invoices can be automatically generated and printed by the system. Scans can be done to generate these either for individual orders or for ranges of orders. Shipping label format is completely user definable as to how the customer number, name, address and postal code appear on the label. The pick tickets and invoices can be printed with or without your company name, address, etc., and may be reprinted as often as necessary.
Sales Staff Performance
The Order Entry module, if necessary, can also maintain salesperson production information and keeps track of their commissions. Each salesperson has a file containing their code, warehouse they work out of, and their month-to-date and year-to-date sales and commissions
With "service" being one of the keys to a successful business, personal cheques are sometimes accepted. Although proper I.D. such as a driver's license number is recorded, there is no guarantee the cheque will not bounce.
Activant Silk has designed a method, which records the I.D., tendered as having previously passed a bad cheque. Should that I.D. ever be used again in the future, a message will appear on the sales clerk's terminal informing them that a bad cheque has previously been passed. It will also inform the clerk whether or not the debt has been repaid. They will then be asked if they want to accept another personal cheque as payment, giving them a chance to ask for a different payment method, such as cash or credit card.
Have you ever wondered whether or not to carry a particular inventory item? Will future sales justify the cost of stocking the item?
The POS module allows you to record items which customers are asking for even though you do not presently have the item. Since both quantities and dates are recorded, it is possible to compile statistics on how often this item could have been sold.
The POS module also accommodates sales of larger items, which may be paid for by leasing companies. The invoice is billed to the leasing company while the goods are shipped to the customer. Lease information is also recorded at the time of sale, e.g. number of payments, amount of the payments, terms and warranties.
Standard: Create a purchase order directly from the POS system. This ensures that promises to order an item in for your customer do not get forgotten. Create the purchase order on the spot without leaving your screen.
Drop Ship: This feature creates a purchase order where the "ship to" becomes your customer's address. Convenient for special order goods which are to be shipped directly from your supplier to your customer.
Other Special Features
Multi-location inquiry: Display on-hand quantities at other locations. This will help your staff locate an item for a customer that your location may be temporarily out of.
Price Look-ups: Accommodate phone and other inquiries quickly and accurately.
Multi-currency invoicing: Produce invoices in your customer's currency.
Accounts Payable accruals: Set up an A/P accrual automatically when adding an item to your customer's invoice. Convenient for items involving third party services such as freight, additional milling, etc.
Air Miles capability and tracking for merchants who belong to the Air Miles Program.
Internal Awards / Bonus Points tracking allows you to award points to your customers based on the inventory item purchased or based on invoice total.
Lay-away and/or accepting deposits for customers requiring special orders or simply returning at a later time to complete the purchase.
Automatic Refund amount: When accepting refunds on an item, the system will automatically display the last price the customer paid for this item.
Previous Sales inquiries: Similar to the "Automatic Refund amount" above, this feature allows you to retrieve the history of an item sold to a particular customer. It displays the last 5 invoices involving this customer and this item. The system shows you when they were purchased and at what price.
Split commissions: Allows you to allocate an invoice to multiple sales staff for commission purposes.
G/L Transactions: Although this is normally automatically performed in the background based on revenue and cost of sales accounts for this particular product and/or department, the system does allow you to distribute the invoice to different accounts if required.