It wasn’t always online
Cash registers kept records of the money coming into, and out of, a business. The initial design and take up of registers was always about helping the business owner keep an eye on employees and prevent them stealing the money. As Cash registers modernised, they registered the sales transactions electronically and tax details could be included and used for reporting of sales. The hardware required for a cash register expanded to include the introduction of touchscreens, thermal receipt printers, barcode scanners for scanning and the cash drawer itself for storing the cash in the different denominations. The systems expanded further to allow kitchen displays and printers for hospitality and for labels. The cash drawer itself would typically have a cash drawer insert for the different coins and notes. As Cash registers continued to improve, the technology first moved to local area networks with multiple electronic cash registers or EPOS touch screens all connected together. The store manager would typically have a PC or system in the back of the store where they could see sales transactions, replenish stock, and run reports on those sales and stock movements.
The benefit of always online Till systems
As with all technology, the move to online or cloud-based systems for Electronic Cash Register Touch Screen Tills began. Indeed, at MYPOS Connect our first cloud-based systems using Microsoft SQL server were introduced in 2007 at the same time that the very first iPhone were being introduced to the public. Of course, back then our touch screen till systems where all based of our core 15-inch touchscreen tills. The introduction of the Apple iPad in 2010 further cemented our vision to be entirely cloud based for EPOS and the whole design for our products has been for all items to be cloud based with the benefits for the owner or manager to be able to view real time information on sales transactions, purchase order creation, stock movements and good being received. As a cloud-based system, the MYPOS Connect system is based around the Portal which gives users the ability to see sales, access information and run reports. The Portal allows the user to add new users, easily change prices and look up stock. Putting the EPOS Till system online meant that sharing stock information across stores, allowing features such as click and collect and drop shipment of orders became possible. As other systems such as accounting packages including Xero, Sage and Quickbooks, or ERP and CRM systems including SAP, Salesforce WinMan and Caliq allows us to integrate easily and share data faster, and more accurately, between systems. Ecommerce package integration to our EPOS, including Shopify, Magento and Woo Commerce are treated as stores within our portal and the sales for these can be shown and included in all of the reports and in the stock handling.
Situations where the internet becomes unavailable
With the EPOS Touch Screen Till systems all online, the design simply must allow for when the internet is unavailable. There are many reasons for why the internet can become unavailable. Examples our fantastic support team have worked through over the years include the most common – cables being unplugged, to the unexpected flooding and destroying certain electronic equipment. We had had customers with administration issues such as not paying the internet bill on time. Reasons for connectivity issues might include saturation or congestion issues for a local network / cell site that you can see in some concerts and exhibitions and events and festival sites, often away from a town or city. Setup of the system when it is quiet or closed might not reflect how it is at peak times.
Operating an EPOS system when the internet is unavailable
Whereas it is ok for certain systems and functions to not be available momentarily, EPOS systems cause instance pain when they cannot function. The most obvious reason is that there is someone, the end customer, looking directly at you just 1 meter away, hoping to purchase the items they want and needing to pay you for it there and then. It might be that as the store owner, you only have a certain amount of time to take those sales and make your money. So every second counts. The Electronic Cash Register Touch Screen Tills and the touch screen tablet EPOS system software must sense that there is an issue and move automatically to an offline mode. It might be of course certain functions in the offline mode are not available and are warned to the user of the EPOS system. Functions that might be limited in nature could include the access to loyalty points for customer for example.
MYPOS Connect EPOS software design for an offline mode
MYPOS Connect has, since 2001, gone through five ground-up total rebuilds. We would not still be here selling the latest software using the latest technology if we had not done this for our loyal customers. It has always, always, operated with the key design that the system must work as much as possible, and where possible, regardless of external issues, such as a network going down around us.
MYPOS Connect EPOS Software Support
The MYPOS Connect EPOS software is supported by our own in-house team, many of which have worked in hospitality or retail or the trades and as such have worked with EPOS software and understand the need for help and support when it matters. From our dedicated help desk we can monitor your system and can see if devices and stores are indeed online or off, and if they are off we can tell how long ago that happened. Of course, we would rather you did not have an issue, so watch those cables! If you do though, our support desk is there to help you. We work with clients to make sure they have the best routers, perhaps with both fibre and SIM card capabilities, and even potentially multiple SIM card options.
Automatic, user free catch up once you are back online
In summary, MYPOS connect has always, by design, allowed for an offline mode. “limp home” on a car would be an equivalent. It might not be able to give you all functionality such as using reward points from a loyalty card, but it can give you the ability to still sell product in store item and take payment. Now of course payments, cash excepted, and the options for these online and offline is a subject in itself that we will cover in a new Blog. Once you are back online with MYPOS Connect, the software spots this and sends back any new sales and catches up on new products and price changes automatically.