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POS solutions for butchers

Butcheries are unique in the sense that they
are typically run by ‘technology-challenged’
individuals whose products decrease in value
by the minute. Fortunately, user-friendly POS
solutions that simplify essential tasks such
as sales analysis, margin control, stock control
and full farm-to-fork traceability abound.

Your POS software must be able to pin-point the areas in which you are losing margins and weight, show you what is selling, and allow you to increase your profits by changing a low-profit item into a high-margin item by simply adding a sauce or marinade.
     Food retail is known for being high in competition and low in customer loyalty. Large retailers are turning towards introducing smaller, more convenient formats for the everyday shopper whereas small retailers are introducing better ways to shop for food.
     In order to keep a customer’s loyalty, retailers are investing in innovative and proven technology that enhances the shopping experience by providing increasing speed at the check-out counter, eliminating promotion pricing inconsistencies, and introducing attractive loyalty programmes.
     For the small butcher, the price of hardware can be reduced drastically by using an older PC that may be available. You would simply need to invest in the POS software, a receipt printer, cash drawer and a scanner.
     If you are looking to replace a conventional cash register system with something more upscale, the upgrade from your existing cash register may seem a daunting task, but help is at hand and you will increase your net profits in addition to eliminating staff because of the speed and precision of future transactions.
     Touch screen technology allows you to serve customers quickly and easily. Switching from a CRT to a touch screen can be done in minutes, and unlike with a cash register, you will never run out of space or memory to programme your entire stock into the POS system.
     One of the most important aspects of any POS till system is that any retail employee must be able to use it without thinking. The other is the recording of every transaction in the system using bar-coded receipts so that any chances of fraud are bypassed.
     These are some of the basic counter check-out POS features you should be looking at obtaining:

• Ability to support all barcode scanners and search for item by name
• Do price and stock-on-hand enquiries
• Execute price overrides
• Have void/refund tracking and store sale/retrieve sale functions
• Support card payments
• Have fast tender buttons (R200, R100, R50, R20, R10)
• Have an open department sale function for items not on barcode.

While some POS systems integrate till and back office functions, these can be split to get more flexibility by having dedicated software for a dedicated purpose. An example of this would be a butcher that requires a till system but would like to control all the stock and other back office functions separately.
     Back office software with security features will allow you to set access permissions within the system for various functions such as discounts, opening the cash drawer without a sale, or changing configuration options. This will enable you to process your transactions, change stock pricing and apply sale discounts and other stock maintenance to have immediate effect on the till, all without having to stop sales whilst you make the changes.
     Some companies, such as POSinfo, specialise in butchery POS software. POSinfo’s Butchery System has been designed to allow butchers to ‘cut’ a carcass into nominated joints of meat, checking for wastage and ensuring that the final cuts are correctly priced.
     Each type of carcass and grade of meat has a unique cutting schedule which informs the butcher how many kilograms of rump, sirloin, fillet, stewing beef, and fat and bone should be extracted from a ‘perfect’ carcass.
     Once the meat cuts have been weighed and packed they are usually bar-coded. PowerTill supports both price-embedded and weight-embedded barcodes. Whichever method is used, PowerTill always calculates the quantity (mass) sold so that stock control is always accurate.
     RapidSoft has installed a number of POS solutions in meat markets including chicken and frozen foods wholesale distributor Dawood MegaStore in Boksburg, F. Dawood & Sons in Benoni, Delfos Meat & Chicken in Vanderbijlpark, Central Meat Market in Krugersdorp, ChickMart in Crown Mines, Johannesburg, Dawood Distribution and Poultry Power – both in Nelspruit, and Poultry Power Soweto.
     Smart Retail’s Smart Trade helps the retailer in various ways of tracking and controlling its stock. Smart Trade provides a cutting schedule to assist the butcher in projecting cost and quantities of different cuts and automated scale price updating of scale items. (Scale items can be defined as fixed scale price items or weighted scale price items).
     Legend POS, P.O.S. Services cc, James Ralph Point of Sale (distributor of Casio POS solutions in southern Africa) and UCS Technology Services has for many years been proactively working with and supplying POS solutions to large, medium and small retailers, including butcheries.

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