As we near the end of 2016, instead of switching off for the Christmas period many businesses are planning what’s in store for 2017. Builders’ merchants face an uncertain year, due to sterling’s fall and the potential impacts of Brexit. However, upgrading your EPOS software during this period will help your business build a strong foundation from which to manage the uncertainty. Here are the features you should be on the look out for.

#1 Access to customer info at the point-of-sale

Your trade customers are valuable. Find a system that quickly pulls up the file for each trade customer at the point-of-sale. This should show you past purchases, communication preferences, and agreed credit limits.

#2 Associated products at the point-of-sale

Even if your staff are experts in their field, a POS system that shows associated products when an item is scanned can be a useful tool for upselling or cross-selling. You can also refer to a customer’s purchase history when identifying upselling opportunities.

#3 Electronic quotations (and other documents)

Electronic quotes are quicker to produce and more professional looking that handwritten quotes. Document templates can be branded with your company contact details, logo and any seasonal promotions or discounts to increase the chance of your quote being accepted.

#4 Email integration

Many customers will be happy to provide you with their email address if you use it to send them documents such as invoices and receipts. You may also wish to gather email addresses for marketing purposes, although be sure to ask for permission first.

#5 Barcoding module

Barcodes significantly speed up the point-of-sale experience, and today there’s no reason that builders’ merchants should avoid them. Check that your new EPOS system can create professional barcodes for your store.

#6 Promotions management

Ensure that promotions are applied accurately and consistently at the checkout by using your EPOS system to plan and implement them. Your system should be able to manage all common promotion types and also limit promotions to certain groups of customers, such as those trade customers who meet the purchase thresholds for a particular deal.

#7 Accounts integration

Your next EPOS system should either contain its own accounting system or easily integrate with another accounting system. Given the intertwined nature of your finances and your stock, you’d be smart to ensure that these systems lined up.

#8 Automated purchase orders

Add stock thresholds to every item so that purchase orders are automatically created when stock reaches critical levels. Have your software automatically produce purchase orders at the end of every day or week, double-check the items and quantities and send the purchase order electronically in just a few clicks.

#9 Delivery management

Managing deliveries is crucially important for builders’ merchants, as you must be able to provide accurate delivery estimates to your trade customers. Your software should be able to show you all pending and completed deliveries in one place, allowing you to easily check up on the tardiness of your suppliers.

#10 Wireless stock scanning

Speed up stock takes with wireless hand-held barcode scanners, whether you carry out cycle counts or full stock takes.

Of course, the features on your EPOS wishlist will differ depending on the nature of your business and your current system, but these 10 features serve as a strong starting point in your search for new software.

Is Trader on your EPOS shortlist? Speak to the team to arrange a free no obligation demo.