Point of Sale Vs. Manual Order Taking

Are you still not sure?

As a consultant for the industry and an owner of two custom frame shops, I am asked by many framers if they should switch from their manual pricing methods to a Point of Sale computerized system. In my opinion, the only reason not to make that switch is the time required to learn something new. Those who resist change and fear relying on something unfamiliar to them still use manual systems for this reason. However, there are so many financial advantages to learning a computerized pricing program that hopefully they will outweigh the inconvenience of learning something new. Here are the reasons why I strongly recommend using a point of sale system.

Using a Point-Of-Sale system will improve your profits and create a more professional approach to business.

  1. It saves you time. You may think you are fast at taking orders, but computers are faster. I know my team thought they were really quick at pricing projects when we switched over many years ago. The truth is that it’s much faster to use a computer to take the orders and to place the orders. It’s also a much faster to process workflow and control inventory with a computer.
  1. It keeps better records. Even if you still believe you are faster than a computer, you must admit that a computer can collect better data. Knowing past client history on orders at the touch of a button sure beats paging through old order copies. Computers can also collect reasons why customers come to you and track what marketing you spend money on produces the most revenue.
  2. Using a computer to generate pricing appears more professional. In today’s world of advanced technology, a pencil and a calculator just do not look like you are a part of today’s business environment.
  3. Error reduction. If you think a computer and a POS system are too expensive, you don’t understand the number of errors made by humans when doing math or recording data. In most shops, the POS system will pay for itself by money saved on small math errors.
  4. The computer system updates your cost increases as they happen and automatically raises retails to keep your margins intact. Manually, it’s almost impossible to catch all cost increases. The labor it takes to re-number your moulding samples alone is prohibitive. Because so many framers have switched to computerized systems, price increases are often not even communicated to manual operators- most distributors just handle this by updating the computer companies and manual system framers may not realize increases have occurred until and new catalog is published.
  5. Reducing errors, reducing time and keeping margins accurate all result in better profits. Improving your ability to make money when sales are difficult to grow is a key factor in keeping a business viable.

LifeSaver POS

About two years ago my framing company switched from a POS company we had used for 15 years to LifeSaver. Today, I recommend LifeSaver’s POS system to my clients. I do this for several reasons. I want to also say that I am not nor have I ever been paid by Lifesaver to promote their products.

  1. LifeSaver is the only system with real-time data. This means that you can go on-line with the Lifesaver system and pull a lot of information about your sales and marketing data from any computer. This is a great tool for owners who need data when they are not in the shop.
  2. LifeSaver compiles data from users across the country and supplies subscribers with generic industry standards. This data is unique to the LifeSaver system and gives subscribers a way to compare their results to industry averages.
  3. LifeSaver is growing their involvement in the framing industry. While it seems that many POS providers are reducing their investment in the framing industry and the growth of their product. LifeSaver continues to develop their system and offer access to new products and partners.
  4. LifeSaver users with more than one location can use a multi-site management and reporting version which allows all locations to have consistent pricing and order capabilities. This feature makes growing a multi-site company much easier.
  5. The LifeSaver system slows users to automate cost and inventory updates so that they are never missed. In addition to moulding updates, Lifesaver users also receive mat board price updates- something that is not offered by many of the other systems.

I hope this information encourages you to stop manually pricing your framing orders. Using a LifeSaver system will improve your profits and create a more professional approach to business. Making LifeSaver your choice for this system insures that you will have the most advanced system in the industry. Make the switch to Lifesaver- I happy that I did and I’m sure you will be also.

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