I have been using the new POS now for a couple of days and the front end operations have been going well; today I focused on understanding the reports that came with Zero POS.
There are 18 reports that come with Zero POS in 6 different groupings (Sales, Inventory, Customers, Employee , Transactions, Warehouse), using my old system I was able to see sales reporting and SKU level sales activity data, but I was not able to get any data that provided me high level reporting. I wanted to see how the new reporting would help me make better day to day decisions on inventory and cash management.
I started with the Sales Reports and found that the Real Time Sales reports provided me up to the minute sales data on what was going on in the store. I ran a historical report and it matched the totals from the POS so I moved on to the Periodic Sales Report, which was a SKU level report on activity and it gave me what I was used to plus it also gave me information on inventory levels as well as sales, costs and markdowns. I was also able to run these reports by classifications and I made a note to come back and look at how I had classified my inventory to get the ost of this feature. This was a report I would be running often as it would help me monitor profitability at an item level.
Next report I reviewed was the Sales Summary Report which was a great snapshot of my business, it was the easy to review consolidated report that I was looking for. I was able to see at a store level my sales, cost of goods, margin, markdowns and the number of customer associated transactions. I saw that adding customers to transactions was an area that we could improve on, the benefit being that now I could easily trigger mailchimp campaigns. The last sales report I looked at was the Sales Tax Settlement report which provided me the data I would need for Tax Settlement and also a nudge to include that in my cash flow management.
I won’t bore you with my analysis on all the Inventory Reports, but found that the Inventory Balance report gave me real time quantities and sell through (although I knew I was going to depend more on the Periodic Sales report) and the Bestseller/Bottom Seller reports gave me Margin and Stock Days data. The Bottom Seller got me thinking about some items that I could run promotions. I saw some other reports on r=the retailcloud wiki that provided ROI and Stock Index data, but for now the free version is giving me everything I need and more.
While on the subject of reporting and monitoring, I saw that there is a KPI application called nguage in the retailcloud play store. I downloaded it but have not had a chance to play with it yet. I will post an update once I do.