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Point of sale evaluation case study
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Task 1
Evaluation of POS system
Evaluation of a POS system involves an analysis of its features and usability to the user needs and requirements. Evaluation of a POS system helps the user order for the most appropriate POS system for their retail operations. In skate board selling, an appropriate POS needs to fulfill several factors to ensure a smooth flow of transactions for both the administrators and users.
From lab 3, criteria covered include the set up and configuration, data entry, customization and mail merge. These criteria have left out several important consideration factors for an appropriate POS for skate board selling. The evaluation has not fully considered important aspects of the POS especially its interaction with the environment (users, administrators and clients).
One of the important criteria left out by lab 3 evaluation is the time required for implementation. The sellers of skate boards should be aware of how long the system is going to take to install and run. This should consider its integration with the current systems. The time should be valued in terms of cost, ranging from expenses of training the employees to cost implications that may happen upto the time the users understand the POS operations fully. This is important in that it gives the unseen cost for the retailers of the skate boards.
Another left out evaluation criteria is system security. System security ranges from the user access control to administrative privileges. Security should be amongst the first considerations for the POS system. As the IT consultant for the skate boards retailer, I would consider adequately security because a security threat to the POS system affects the overall running of the skate board point of sale. Activity tolerance should be factored in to seal out the point of sale whose activities don’t withstand workstation to access POS data files.

Information required for a POS system evaluation
Administrative functions are amongst the most crucial aspects of POS system evaluation. An appropriate POS is one that defines the control capabilities of all the POS users. These privileges should be determined by the level and importance of operations undertaken by all the users of the POS. This makes sure that security and a well established structure of controls doe by different users in the skate board selling point.
Another aspect of information required for evaluation is adjusting the memo to check out the absolute changes made on an item cost or quality this will enable recording of that were not made to recorded on transactional document, AVS (address verification service) should be used to verify customer authentication document such as credit cards
Another critical factor for system evaluation is reporting capabilities. This is the ability of the system to develop structured reports based on the inventory and sales of the skate boards and their peripherals. This ensures that the skating boards and other inventory are maintained at desired levels while at the same time tracking sales made from the shop.
Application environment is another aspect of system evaluation not considered. This information shows the integration of the POS with other peripherals and devices required for the operation of the skate board selling shop. A full system integration evaluation is required to give a better preview of the operation of the shop as a whole.
Pricing is also an evaluation factor in that the skating board shop should go for a system within their budget. The cost of the system should not exceed the benefits that will result from the system. this means that the administrators should consider pricing information so that they settle on a budget that is affordable for the business.
Recommendation for the suitability of the POS system
From the evaluations done in lab sheet 3, the POS system can be classified as suitable for the skating board selling because of its ability to integrate with updates. Files from the POS can be downloaded and updated on a new POS system.
The POS also required very faint data massage for data entry and customization. This is proves its user friendliness especially with the seamless customization of the input data thus improving its suitability in skate board selling.
Mail merge is one of the important factors in any POS. it gives the system the ability to track valued customers of a business. Mail merge allows the shop to appreciate its frequent customers by discounting their next purchases. This makes the proposed pos suitable for selling the skating boards.
Other factors not covered by lab3 sheet evaluation like security, pricing and general reporting should also be considered to arrive at a better recommendation for the suitability of the POS system.

Task 2 Alternative solutions are meant to ensure that the client settles on the best POS based on their quality and performance. The alternate solutions should offer different point of views for the POS, this diverse view allows the user to flex their decisions and go for what satisfies their requirements.
Square is one of the alternative solutions for the POS. The Square POS is fully customized to integrate to existing hardware. One of the outstanding pros of square is that it accepts all common credit and debit cards. It also allows next day deposits. This means that in the skate board selling point, all transactions made in a day are banked the following day, this gives more convenience to the skate board selling shop.
The square also allows for offline swipe. This means it doesn’t breakdown or halt transaction when offline. This improves the dependability on this POS. Square POS can also send receipts through text or emails. It also has a print out option, more to this, it allows for signature and logo customization.
Customers can make orders online from anywhere; this is in conformance of modern trade trends where purchases are increasingly being done online. This gives square an advantage over the proposed POS.
The square dashboard also allows creation of pins for employees for register management. Its dashboard keeps employee tabs and it’s therefore easy to manage the workforce.
The main setback of the square POS is incompatibility with most devices. The POS is compatible with IOS that is not available in all devices. Another setback is that the developers don’t offer on phone support for the POS.
Square is developed by the square inc based in United states. It makes sales and deliveries all over the world through their websites and online software markets.
Square meets customer requirements in that it is designed to operate easily with most hardware. It has mobile platforms for managing the sales and inventory levels. This makes it convenient especially for the owners of the skating boards shop.
The main set back associated with this POS is its integration with operating systems. This hinders the use of the software on some devices therefore inconveniencing the flexibility of the devices to be used in its operation.
Another alternative for the skating board POS is Shopify. This POS is also an e-commerce tool which is an added advantage for the shop. It helps the users expand their market by accessing online markets where customers can make online purchases. Amongst the most outstanding pros for this POS is that it doesn’t require long term contract. This makes it more convenient for small businesses that do not have large budgets to commit to POS.
Shopify also accepts unlimited transaction, users and new registrations. This makes it quite flexible compared to most other POS systems. This POS also accepts all debit and credit cards thus the shop can enjoy the large pool of customers with different payment methods.
Shopify is a product of shopify Inc also based in the United States. They also make their software sales all over the world through their website. They also offer free trials for interested customers.
Questions for request of information from vendors 1. Does the system support multiple stores? 2. Does the system offer 24 hours phone or email support service 3. Does the system provide support for other common network devices like ATMs? 4. What is the contract period for the POS operation license? 5. Does the POS support a web based interface? 6. Can the POS track customers and send them messages via text, email or phone? 7. Does the software support easy design maintenance? 8. Do the POS maintain price integrity? 9. What are the payment options supported by the POS? 10. Does the POS offer sales forecasting?

References
Stahlberg, M., & Maila, V. (2012). Shopper marketing: How to increase purchase decisions at the point of sale, second edition. London, U.K: Kogan Page.
Shopify Review 2015 | Point of Sale Systems. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://pos-systems-review.toptenreviews.com/shopify-review.html
POS Software Evaluation & Selection for Retail POS System. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.infotivity.com/retail-pos-system-software.html#rfpques

Task 1
Evaluation of POS system
POS systems are becoming more and more common in most retailing businesses due to their automated and convenient operations in selling points. Selling of skating boards and related peripherals like the skating gear, skating stick and puck requires automation to make sales more convenient for both the buyer and seller. POS offer advantages ranging from convenient payment methods, ease in stock ordering, stocking, sales control, customer satisfaction all through to employee control. With the importance they offer to retailers, POS systems should be chosen carefully so that they satisfy the customer while at the same time meeting the expectations of the retailer.
There are several options for POS depending with the size, type of stock and the complexity of activities in the retail shop. To get the appropriate POS installed on ones retail shop, an adequate evaluation of the POS systems is required. This evaluation puts into consideration different qualities of the POS.
The lab3 sheet evaluation covers some of these qualities of the POS. the evaluated qualities are configuration and set up, ease of data entry, data manipulation and customer tracking. While this evaluation covers some of the most important aspects of a POS, they are not adequate to base an opinion or an installation decision on them.
The evaluation should have included a system integration test. This is an evaluation on the ease of operation of POS in the current system. The POS system should operate seamlessly with available hardware. The employees should be able to handle the operations of the POS. it should also consider customer experience. This evaluation will bring out the level of system appropriateness to the skating board retail shop.
Another evaluation left out is the cost consideration. The cost of adapting the POS system should be reasonable in that it fits within an attainable budget of the shop. As an IT consultant for the board retailer, I would advise the skating board shop administrators to adopt a POS that fits their size of operations. This way, they will ensure maximum use of the POS resources. Cost implications like the employee training expenses should also be considered. The total cost of installing the POS should not exceed the proceeds from the system.
User friendliness is another factor of POS evaluation that ought to have been considered. A good POS is easy to work with for both the customers and employees. It should be characterized by well laid tabs on the user interface. The POS should also develop adequate reports on the inventory levels; it should be able to give warnings when the stock levels fall below limits to ensured continued sales.
The payments method for the POS should also be considered. To give payment flexibility for the customers, the POS should be able to accept as many payment methods as possible. This improves the customer experienced and hence their satisfaction. The POS should also be able to directly deposit the payments to user banks within the shortest time possible, probably within 24 hours. This creates convenience for the retailer.
Security is also an important evaluation consideration for any POS. Interruptions due to security threats and attacks affects the whole business. It’s therefore important to evaluate the security measures associated with the POS.
Additional information used to evaluate the system should be the support offered for the POS. The user should go for a POS whose developers offer a 24 hours support either through the phone, online live charts and email support. If a POS doesn’t have adequate support, system failures may cause massive losses for the business.
Recommendation for Suitability of the POS system
The suitability of a POS system is determined by the operations at the retailers shop. Complicated retail operations demand that the POS in place should be able flexible enough to meet all the retail operation requirements. These POS that accommodate diverse operations also come at a higher cost.
The POS evaluated in lab 3 is suitable for the skate board selling shop because it allows seamless data entry and manipulation, from the evaluation sheet, the POS data required very few instance of ‘data massage’.
From the evaluation sheet, the POS is also able to collect customer information and merge emails to create customer contacts. These enables the retailer to give customers specialized privileges like accessing discounts after a given number of purchases.
To sum up, the evaluated POS is appropriate for the operations on the skating board and related peripherals sales.

Task 2
To make the best choice of the POS to implement, its important for the user to review other options for the POS to identify the best. POS differ from each other in different qualities ranging from cost, ease of operation and integration, system security, ease of access amongst others. To wholesomely weigh ones options, one needs to have a list of requirements that they expect from the POS, this way, one will be able to determine what POS offers the ultimate satisfaction to the requirements.
The basic requirements for a POS should be based on the size and nature of transactions. In the example of the skating board and peripherals selling, the POS required should satisfy requirements like ease of transaction, flexibility in payment methods, user friendliness, up to date, system security, adequate software support (preferably 24 hours phone support).
The POS evaluated does not include critical details like the level of support offered, license period, price group among others.
Ideal POS is a point of sale software developed by ideal software systems. The software comes with unique features that doesn’t only support sale of skating equipment but can also support skating facilities. The software also offers additional tools including customer databases, gift cards; print out tickets and entrance passes. The software integrates easily with most hardware making it flexible for use.
Ideal POS also has a web platform, this enables access from anywhere for the administrators. It also offers different choices that suites the size and other factors of consideration in POS installation. Ideal software systems offer an online chat support service alongside a 24 hours phone support service. This allows adequate support for the software.
Ideal also supports several alternate payment methods. It accepts all debit and credit cards and all ideal- generated vouchers. There is also a well defined structure for POS administration therefore ensuring the security and integrity of the data
Another alternative to the evaluated POS is springboard retail. The POS is developed by Sarah Dwyer. This POS offers inventory management, user friendly customized reporting all based on the cloud. The software offers a well defined mobile platform for accessing the interface. The best feature with springboard is that the user only requires a web browser, the rest is customized to work with the browsers. This gives the software an advantage in that its flexible to use.
The price on this POS is categorized into three coupons of monthly billing, the standard, professional and enterprise. They all have different monthly billing prices depending with the features offered in each package. It’s worth noting that all packages support unlimited users, items, customers and the back office. Additionally, the professional and enterprise packages have a phone support and live chat.
The main disappointing feature in this POS is the monthly billing schedule as compared to a lifetime license. Also being web based means it’s prone to internet hacks and virus attacks.
Point of sale systems for skating boards require that they at least feature an online market where customers can make orders, this would increase the customer base for the skating boards. The two alternatives evaluated fails to meet this requirement and therefore are not the ultimate choice for the POS.
Questions for request for information from vendors. 1. What’s the time length of the POS license? 2. What payment methods does the POS facilitate? 3. Does the vendor offer customer support and what are the avenues? 4. Is the POS web based? 5. What are the security measures put in place for the POS? 6. Do the POS facilitate an online market? 7. Does the vendor have a trial software/ demo? 8. Can the POS send customer updates via the mail or text

References
RFP Capabilities Checklist for On-premise, SaaS, Cloud, Software System Requirements. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.infotivity.com/rfp-features-checklist.html
Broeckelmann, P., & Groeppel-Klein, A. (2008). Usage of mobile price comparison sites at the point of sale and its influence on consumers' shopping behaviour. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research. doi:10.1080/09593960701868266

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...Choice Novel Book Review Need a good book to read on your free time? “Secrets and Lies” By Jacqueline Green is the second book out of the Truth or Dare series. This book picks up right where the first book, “Truth or Dare” ended. Rating this book a 4, “Secrets and lies” is definitely a book you would want to read or even recommend to a friend. In this book, the three girls Sydney, Tenley, and Emerson are connected together by the murder of their mutual friend and deep secrets. When all the girls make it out of their way and try to find out who the anonymous accomplice of the murderer is, they start getting messages that their deepest darkest secrets will be told to the world if they didn’t stop. If you like something that has a variety of plot...

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Book Review

...Six Disciplines and Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution | Book Review | | Introduction: Gary Harpst was one of the founder and CEO of The Lord’s Business Inc.(TLB), aka Solomon Software, very popular software back in the 80's and early 90's when the PC industry was very young. He grew his business from startup to achieve great success, finally selling the company to Great Plains Software (since purchased by Microsoft) for a hefty sum (Bergin Tim, An Interview with GARY HARPST). Gary’s book, “Six Disciplines Execution Revolution: Solving the One Business Problem That Makes Solving All Other Problems Easier” was published in July 2008. In Six Disciplines Execution Revolution, Harpst details the elements of a complete strategy execution program, explains why it could only have happened now, and clarifies why such a program will become a mainstream requirement for successful small and midsized businesses in the future. Summary: According to Harpst, excellence is the enduring pursuit of balanced strategy and execution. Strategy requires choosing what promises to make to all stakeholders and a roadmap for delivering on those promises. Execution requires getting there, while overcoming unending surprises. Excellence is a journey – not a destination. A business excellence model tells organizations as to how they should operate relative to the two dimensions of strategy and execution. (See figure 1, Exhibit 1) Quadrant I: Strong Strategy/Weak Execution: In this......

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