Keith Bateman: EPoS training in order to maximise your investment

 

Keith Bateman of Davidson Richards discusses how to use EPoS training in order to maximise your investment.

An EPoS and retail management system is central to your business, from helping the cashiers provide efficient service at the tills through to management and the back office team using the real-time information provided to make timely and confident business decisions. It makes life easier not harder, helping in day-to-day roles by streamlining mundane activities so you can all focus on more productive tasks.

An effective EPoS system should be flexible, providing the relevant information your team needs in their specific role – whether that?s the cashiers and customer service team needing information on the shop floor or the back office team or department manager needing details to identify fast or slow moving lines so that action can be taken accordingly. The senior management team and owners have access to sales and margin analysis through clear graphical Key Performance Indicators.

You rely on the information, so it should be real-time and agile and accessible 24/7 wherever you have internet access, whether at the garden centre or another location. The decision to implement EPoS for the first time or replace an existing system is one never taken lightly, and in order to ensure you get the very best from your investment both initially and throughout its life, training is key. For the greatest success, it?s important to get the entire team on board early in the process with full training for everyone using the system: cashiers, managers, buyers, marketing, accounts and admin.

Your EPoS partner should work closely with you from the onset, understanding your particular needs, pain points and objectives. Training should form a major part of these discussions, establishing your preferred approach so that your budget can be maximised in line with your needs. Just as the EPoS system should be flexible, so should the training with the option to deliver this at your own site, the EPoS partner?s office where there can be fewer distractions or even remotely where that?s appropriate. Training can also be delivered to your entire team directly by your EPoS partner or, alternatively, the train-the-trainer approach is often more cost-effective. Getting the training right is paramount, and an area for careful consideration.

Avoiding key trading days or seasons goes without saying, as for those garden centres embarking on EPoS for the first time, the need to provide training at the appropriate pace for the team.

Ultimately the EPoS will help the team members be more efficient in their roles, however experience shows that providing reassurance and guidance in the early days is vital. Our team includes ex-garden centre retailers for this very reason, so they can bring their understanding and real-world experiences. Having the ability to add training notes or company procedures in the help option of the EPoS system can be really useful, providing guidance for existing and new recruits. It?s also important to realise that straight after the initial training and system go live, the learning curve is at its steepest. Over time, as your team gets to grips with the new system, refresher or advanced training on other features may be useful as is the need to train new recruits.

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