How EPoS can help your garden centre

Keith Bateman from EPoS provider Davidson Richards introduces the?electronic?point of sale solution and?how it can add profitability and efficiency to your business in the first of three instalments.

EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) is technology which enables efficient recording of the sale of goods or services to the customer, providing a fast and efficient way of dealing with customers and stock.

An EPoS solution should help you manage your garden centre more efficiently and more profitably. The description ?EPoS? denotes your entire retail management solution which provides real-time sales transaction/stock information for back office management. As you?re in control of the retail management system, with this real time information at your fingertips, you can control stock levels and manage suppliers, pricing, promotion and loyalty processes proactively and reactively. If you have an over stock of certain items you can quickly change the price and put them on promotion so you can get items off the shelves more quickly. In addition these accurate stock details ensure the frequency of out-of-stock items is reduced massively by helping your ordering be more targeted and timely.

In today?s shopping environment customers expect a connected retailing experience, whether online or in store, but building a relationship with customers is as important as it ever was. An effective EPoS system is instrumental in assisting you in accomplishing both goals, providing your customer with a great retail experience which in turn leads to repeat visits and profitability for you; for example, by providing cross-promotions between your garden centre and cafes/restaurants, you encourage repeat visits and additional revenue per visit.

Modern technology has transformed how EPoS can be provided. The back office (or Head Office) retail management can now be managed in the cloud but the tills still run locally in-store for resilient trading. The benefits of having the back office in the cloud are very significant. Not only does it reduce the cost of ownership but also significantly lowers the demands on you for administration and maintenance so you can continue trading without the hassle of system updates and costs associated with hosting a server yourself. EPoS systems can also, when designed correctly, integrate with your other business applications such as your web store, as well as financial accounting, warehousing and much more. This streamlines activities across the retail business and is an enabler of the connected customer experience.

EPoS is not purely for larger garden centres or those with multiple sites. Single site independent centres also generate significant benefits from EPoS by streamlining activities and thus improving the bottom line.? There is a sometimes a misconception that an EPoS system will need additional members of staff.?If implemented and trained correctly, the EPoS solution should make your team more efficient not less, having access to accurate information necessary for their role so that activities and decisions can be made confidently and quickly. It should help the garden centre be more efficient and profitable, else why bother installing it. This should be the case whether they have a single store or many.

The initial costs involved with implementing an EPoS may have deterred some of the smaller independents from making the transition from cash registers.?However, with the monthly subscription approach, the previous up-front costs are greatly reduced as the software, support and services are all included in a monthly fee.

Whether you have an existing EPoS system or using cash registers, Davidson Richards make the transition to their EPoS retail management solution as pain-free as possible. Already working for over 53 garden centre organisations their team includes ex-garden centre retailers.


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