Five signs it’s time to automate your merchant business

Automation can help your business to become more efficient and cost effective in future, but how do you know when the time is right to automate? Just look out for these five signs...

30th October 2013

Automating your processes with epos softwareProgress often arrives late to certain sectors, and construction industry traders are no exception. It is now an established fact that retail ePOS software can help builders’ merchants, hardware retailers and construction industry suppliers to grow and expand their businesses, but some companies have been slow to embrace this particular technological opportunity. While the old adage ‘better late than never’ may hold true here, how can you know when the time is right to automate your merchant business? Should you invest in an ePOS system now, or wait for a more opportune time? Here are five tell-tale signs that the time is right to upgrade…

You begin to notice stock inaccuracies

Anyone who has ever worked in retail will recognise this common scenario. A customer comes in looking for a specific product, and it just so happens that you remember seeing one in the stockroom earlier in the week. So, you go to fetch it but find it missing: one of your colleagues has already sold it. You return to the customer and tell them that you can order in a new one by next week, but they’re not prepared to wait around and simply take their trade elsewhere. Of course your business might be overstocked too, which can be equally disruptive to your balance sheets. Trader point-of-sale software that allows automated stock control can help to keep your stock at an optimum level throughout the year.

It all feels like hard work

All business owners naturally put a lot of effort into their working routines, but there’s a difference between productive effort and pushing against a brick wall. If it’s beginning to feel as though you’re struggling against the tide, constantly striving to keep your business pointing in the right direction and tackling mundane tasks head on, the time is almost certainly right to automate. Point-of-sale software can help to alleviate your workload, automating your company’s more mundane jobs and freeing you up to concentrate on more important things.

Mistakes become too frequent

There’s a reason why the phrase ‘human error’ has been thusly named. Your employees will of course make the occasional mistake, but it’s when these mistakes become a matter of course that you’ll need to worry. Bungled customer orders, mismanaged stock, quotes that actually lose you money and other errors can prove costly when they occur frequently, so keep an eye out as those mistakes begin to add up. Investing in point of sale software can help you to minimise instances of human error in future, and your customers will thank you for it. Don’t rely on mental arithmetic or an old calculator to tell you if your most competitive quotes will make you enough money: when your customer is putting the pressure on, you need to know you have a system in place to produce an accurate, competitive price.

Your profits disappoint you

No matter what other altruistic intentions you may harbour, ultimately, your business is all about profit. Most merchants are faced with a simple balancing act: to maximise their own profit margins whilst pricing products and services attractively enough to appeal to customers. Implementing promotions and special offers is a good way to bring in extra trade, but the last thing you need is to go out of pocket as a result. If your profits are beginning to feel disappointing or your promotions start to do more harm than good, it’s time to switch to a retail software that’s smart enough to tell you, in figures, whether your discounts and promotions are working for you.

The debtors emerge from the woodwork

Any stable retail business will be built on a hard core of reliable repeat customers. The more frequently your customers return and the more promptly they pay for their orders, the better for your business. Not all customers are so dependable, however. If your invoices are being paid at a snail’s pace and bad debtors are beginning to emerge from the woodwork, trade counter software can help.

If you’ve noticed any of the above tell-tale signs within your own business, then the time is right to automate. Our merchant and trade counter software can make all the difference to sellers in a variety of sectors, so contact us today to find out more.

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