Leverage Scan Data to Boost the Performance of Your Retail Store

If you own a brick-and-mortar retail store, you likely understand how competitive the market can be. And you usually need more than great products to stay ahead of the curve — you need to be able to optimize your store merchandising and operations to ensure that customers have the best possible experience. But one sure way to improve your store performance is to understand how customers interact with your store. That’s where scan data comes in. Scan data is information that registers every time you scan a product’s barcode at the point of sale. This data gives retailers valuable insights into customer behavior, such as what products customers purchase and how often the customers visit the store. Discover how to leverage scan data to boost your retail store’s bottom line.

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Why Should You Update Your Point-Of-Sale System?

Regardless of their size, businesses are always looking for ways to improve efficiency and their bottom line. One way to achieve this goal is to leverage the point-of-sale (POS) system. You can have a POS system streamline in-store operations, keep track of inventory, and, most importantly, improve customer experience. If you are still using an outdated POS system, now is the time for an update. Discover some benefits and reasons to upgrade your point-of-sale system.

Microsoft’s RMS Extended Support Period Is Over – Now What?

If you’re like most business owners, you value consistency above all else. Technology exists to help support your business operations, and that means working with reliable products that receive routine updates. Unfortunately, even large software companies don’t support their products forever, potentially leading to painful transitions at the end of their lifecycle. That period arrived relatively recently for businesses that rely on Microsoft’s Retail Management System (RMS) for point-of-sale and other retail operations. Microsoft officially ended its extended support period for Dynamics RMS in the summer of 2021. If you’ve been too busy managing your business to worry about what this means for you, this article will help explain what’s changing and why it matters.

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the Ingenico iSC Touch 250 is supported

The Ingenico iSC Touch 250 combines signature capture and touchscreen technologies in a robust, compact design. The device showcases a full range of revenue-producing promotions – ads, videos, couponing, targeted up-selling and cross-selling opportunities, gift card sales, extended warranties, digital signage, and more. The Vantiv Integrated Payments (formerly Mercury Payments) offers a highly stable credit card processing platform and complete integration with Microsoft Dynamics RMS and Retail Management Hero.

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Qualified Integrator and Reseller J Bailey Company announced its qualification as a Qualified Integrator and Reseller Company under the PCI Security Council’s program to provide training and qualification on the secure installation of Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS)-validated payment applications into merchant environments in a manner that facilitates PCI Data Security Standard compliance. Jonathan Bailey, Managing Partner of J Bailey Company, added “with this qualification and the continuing improvement in standards for implementing payment applications in retail stores, we look forward to bringing greater value and security to new and existing customers using Retail Management Hero and Microsoft Dynamics RMS”.

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Retail Management Hero (RMH) Release 3.0 is now available

Retail Management Hero (RMH) Release 3.0 is now available. RMH is a complete standalone inventory management and point-of-sale (POS) solution. With Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) fast-approaching end-of-life, RMH was designed as a next generation replacement solution, preserving all of RMS’ key features and functions but also adding functionality and enhanced features.

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Windows 10 and Microsoft RMS

Microsoft RMS and SQL Server System Requirements for Windows 10 It is important for customers to not upgrade their Windows Edition and just assume everything will be “OK”.  To use Microsoft RMS with Windows 10, you should be on RMS version 2.0.2000 or later.  To use Microsoft SQL Server with Windows 10 you should be on SQL Server 2012 with Service Pack 2 or later. Why Windows 10 Upgrades Go Wrong Usually the upgrade problem is that the computer is an inexpensive product with cheap components that don’t have updated drivers.  If the computer is struggling with Windows 10, or is some peripheral device is no longer working properly then you can search for drivers online. In the Microsoft RMS environment, you will likely have hardware peripherals (receipt printer, pole display, etc.) and you should ensure that your peripheral driver is Windows 10 compatible.   You may also have RMS software add-ins and each add-in’s manufacturer should be contacted before upgrading to ensure compatibility. If you want to Roll Back from Windows 10 Windows 10 includes a feature to roll back to the previous version of Windows if you are having problems. In the Settings window, select the Recovery tab, and there will be an option to go back to an older version of Windows. Click “Get started” to return to the previous version of Windows.

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Physical Inventory Prep

Physical Inventory Taking in Microsoft Dynamics RMS Physical inventories in retail stores are stressful.  Here are some inventory preparation suggestions that have worked for me. 1. Prepare a simple map for the counting team, showing all areas to be counted and what should not be counted (pre-counts, etc.)   Do not assume counters know the store or understand exactly what you intend. 2. Notify carriers such as UPS and Fed-Ex to stop deliveries two days before inventory.  This will give you time to “catch up” on receiving inventory and matching invoices. 3. Prepare designated a no count area for late deliveries.  Anything that arrives too late to be properly handled should be placed here and not received nor counted. 4. Use a data validation method.  Counting services should be given a text file with a list of all itemlookupcodes and aliases in your RMS database.  Anything the counting service scans should be validated against this list.  Any items that do not scan during the inventory should be placed in a designated box, and resolved post-inventory, when everyone is rested. 5. Be rigorous/demanding about flushing all merchandise out of corners, under cabinets, office, etc. Get in on the floor, or in a highly visible location. You did not buy it to hide it.  I recall an gruff old district manager who noticed a few cases of spray paint in a store’s back room (receiving).  There was no room on the shelf, but he insisted that the manager stack the paint next to the door and a reminder to keep working it to the floor whenever possible.  And I have seen merchandise stacked in the restroom, because “we get good prices when we buy in bulk”.  This is the time to address those issues. 6. Make a RMS backup before importing the count, in case you have to “roll back” the change. 7. And all of the items that did not scan (see #4 above) should be added to the database after the inventory count import is done and reports complete. Once created, the items and counts should be entered in one Transfer. This will give you an audit trail of what was done. I hope this helps your next count go smoother.  Let us know if we can help.

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Microsoft RMS Upgrade SQL Server

Summary When planning to upgrade Microsoft RMS, plan to upgrade SQL Server as well.  The operating system of a computer on which Microsoft Dynamics RMS is to be installed dictates the version of Microsoft SQL Server to be installed.  Here are the supported SQL Server versions for Window 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. Minimum SQL Server version for Windows 10 SQL Server 2005 is not supported (its’ end of life as of April, 2016). SQL Server 2008 is not supported. SQL Server 2008 R2 is not supported. SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 2 or later is supported. SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 or later is supported. Minimum SQL Server version for Windows 8.1 (or Windows Server 2012 R2) SQL Server 2005 is not supported (its’ end of life as of April, 2016). SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 3 or later is supported. SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 or later is supported. SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 or later is supported. SQL Server 2014 is supported. Minimum SQL Server version for Windows 8.0 (or Windows Server 2012) SQL Server 2005 is not supported (its’ end of life as of April, 2016). SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 3 or later is supported. SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 or later is supported. SQL Server 2012 is supported. SQL Server 2014 is supported. Microsoft Tech-knowledge

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Consider adopting a self-service PCI DSS program

Self-service PCI DSS program PCI applies to ANY organization or merchant, regardless of size or number of transactions, that accepts, transmits or stores any cardholder data. Said another way, if any customer of that organization ever pays the merchant directly using a credit card or debit card, then the PCI DSS requirements apply. Businesses that are found to be out of compliance with PCI may be subject to fines by the entity they use to process their credit card transactions. We recommend you consider adopting a PCI DSS program to assist you in maintaining compliance. Check out MercuryPay’s Secure Assist offer to learn more.

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Verifone VX 805

Verifone VX 805 The Verifone VX 805 Contactless PIN pad is now supported for Microsoft Dynamics RMS Store Operations, if you are using Mercury Payments as your payment provider.  This incredibly convenient payment device allows merchants to process a range of transactions through multiple connectivity options, while offering the latest EMV, and also NFC technology for mobile payments. And, of course, it includes the latest security protections for total peace of mind.    

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Mercury StoreCard will help you grow your business

Mercury StoreCard Mobile payments are here and consumers are ready – one out of three consumers have already made a mobile payment with their smartphone.  With the Mercury StoreCard™, mobile payments easy. Your customers have the option to convert their physical StoreCard into a mobile StoreCard so they can pay with their smartphone.

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EMV Fiction and Fact

EMV Fiction and Fact Merchants are hearing more and more about EMV, and there is a lot of misinformation.  EMV is a big subject and we’ll keep coming back to it, but here are common misunderstandings. Fiction: EMV is a merchant mandate.  Fact: There is no mandate. Fiction: If you don’t implement EMV you will be open to a breach.  Fact: EMV is part of the security and fraud puzzle and does not solve the problem alone. Fiction: Processing will be shut off if you don’t switch to EMV by October 2015.  Fact: Your processing will not be shut off. Fiction: Magnetic stripes will go away.  Fact: Cards will have both chip and magnetic stripes. Fiction: You will be charged extra if you don’t use a chip.  Fact: Interchange rates are for EMV and card swipes are not changing as part of liability shift. Fiction: Your old hardware will stop working.  Fact: Existing hardware will continue to work for magnetic stripes. Fiction: A solution provider says “We have a product solution today for EMV”.  Fact: Most solutions in the market are only partially ready. Fiction: EMV cards are being issues all over the place.  Fact: Chip-card adoption/usage still has a long way to go.  There will be more in 2015 but they will still have magstripe.