If you run a c-store, chances are you will be operating an epos system. In basic terms they all really do the same thing; the question is, are you getting the most out of your current system?

I have visited many excellent retailers, but unfortunately epos and technology can be their weakness. To get the most out of your business, you need to master your epos system.

An epos system has several key functions:

  • Stock control – Current stock levels and the lowest level of stock you want to have on the shelf before the next delivery
  • Ordering – Create automatic orders based on sales which can be sent and received electronically
    Audit controls – Tell you when you have sold products, tracking purchases, refunds and stock-taking
  • Sales and VAT reporting – produce sales reports by your whole store or by department
  • Profits and margins – Hold the correct prices for your products and tell you how much profit you are making!

If you can master just the above functions then you have the key to unlocking the most out of your current epos system. Clever as all this is, it requires work to maintain and review. If you are struggling, please do ask for help from your supplier or wholesaler – they should be happy to help.

Have a walk around your shop and look at your stock. If you can see dust on top of some products, it’s not just a sign you need to clean. It’s most likely a dead line, stock that is taking up sales space and your money. If it’s not selling then reduce it and find something that will move. This is where your epos system is invaluable, as you can look at your sales by department to really drill down into what is really making you money or not.

Don’t be scared to make changes, you may be surprised at the results. In the past 18 months we have reduced our dry shelving by nearly 40%, cutting down ranges. The result? Our sales are up, stock holding down, more spacious stores and more cash in the bank. We even introduced Cook to our customers, something 18 months ago I would have told you we did not have the space for. Without epos we could not have made these changes.