Competitive Edge – Features & Functions
Competitive Edge point of sale from Responsive Data Systems brings the power, scalability, and stability of the IBM i and IBM Power servers to the sales floor. A single service program directly accesses the files of the back office software, eliminating the need for duplicate data bases. Off the shelf service programs are available for several common back office packages such as JD Edwards World and OneWorld products. Retailers and distributors throughout the United States and Canada are discovering the benefits of incorporating this single platform solution throughout their entire enterprise. The IBM i and IBM Power servers platforms have proven responsive to the traditional needs of businesses, and now through Competitive Edge point of sale, the reliability, scalability, and power of the iSeries and IBM Power servers, can be extended to the point of sale. The cost of ownership is drastically reduced when the entire enterprise is able to run on a single platform.
Point of Sale – Competitive Edge Product Overview
- Point of sale runs directly on an IBM i and IBM Power servers
- Integrates with any IBM i and IBM Power servers back office software
- Can be centralized, distributed, or a combination
- Highly scalable for any size business
- Integrates state of the art electronic cash registers or PCs with cash drawers, receipt printers, laser scanners, etc.
- Integrates credit, debit, and gift card processing increasing accuracy and speed of close out
- Enforces back office business policies and practices at the point of sale
- Handles any mix of cash, check, credit/debit card, gift, and open Accounts Receivable
- Supports powerful global searches and item imaging to quickly and accurately identify products if they can’t be scanned
- Tracks layaway and deposit orders
- Handles all aspects of customer special orders, from POS through purchasing and receiving
- Controls sales of items requiring permits
- Generates documents associated with an item automatically at Point of Sale
- Supports sales of kits and assortments
- Advanced pricing routines support an unlimited number of complex customer pricing schemes
- Supports open order processing as well as cash and carry
- Supports tracking and processing of partial releases of orders
- Supports payment on account processing at the point of sale
- Handles gift certificate, gift card, and customer loyalty processing
- Allows for selling in multiple units of measure
- Provides customer and item histories at the Point of Sale
- Reduces the cost of ownership by allowing a single skill set throughout the enterprise
Traditional point of sale solutions carry their own unique data bases, and typically require nightly polling to pick up transactions processed at the point of sale. Additionally traditional systems must send the selling location, all of the appropriate item, customer, and price updates required for the next business day. These duplicate database and multi-platform solutions tend to be extremely difficult to synchronize and lack the advantage of real time information. In a traditional point of sale environment, an individual selling location does not have access to up to the minute Accounts Receivable payments and charges made by their customers, nor do they have real time access to inventory availability at other selling locations and warehouses throughout the enterprise.
Competitive Edge retrieves its customer and item information directly from the back office master files, totally eliminating the requirement to poll other systems and data bases. It provides real time access to a customer’s Accounts Receivable payments and charges, as well as product availability. All back office information, including customer and item history are available at the point of sale. Data integrity is automatic since only one copy of the master files exist on a single system. Replenishment cycles can be reduced to support a “just in time” inventory approach for the enterprise, since all sales are visible to the back office as they are happening. Transactions processed in one selling locations are visible in all selling locations.
Competitive Edge is a seamless addition for an organization that already utilizes an IBM iSeries server to run their back office and accounting systems. Competitive Edge is easy to install, ties directly into the existing data base, reduces training time, and provides managements’ business processes and controls at the point of sale. It allows management to view the activity of the stores on a real time basis, while the stores have access to customer purchase history, item sales history, and accounting information on a real time basis.
Advanced pricing allows an unlimited number of unique price books to be established, allowing each customer to receive its correct price for specific products. Automatic assignment of quantity break pricing, promotional pricing, and contractual pricing, further simplify the selling process. Laser scanning speeds the customer through the checkout stations when valid bar codes are affixed to the items. Powerful global searches and optional item imaging allow fast and accurate processing for items that can not be scanned. The ability to identify products through global searches and imaging eliminates the need to involve employees from the sales floor to identify a product, thus increasing customer service.
Automatic handling of exception conditions eliminate errors most often associated with selling products. The system prompts for the correct selling unit of measure. It automatically assigns the correct pricing for the item and customer being processed. Competitive Edge alerts the operator when there are items related to the item being sold. It notifies the operator when the item being sold is unavailable, or, already on an open order for the customer being processed. It ensures that controlled items are only sold to customers who have the appropriate permits. It automatically prints documents associated with the item being sold, such as MSDS’, installation instructions, and warrantee documents.
When special policies apply to the transaction being processed, such as required authorized signers, purchase order numbers, permits, etc., the operator is prompted to provide the appropriate information. It determines the customer’s credit status for open Accounts Receivable processing, as it is at the moment the sale is completed, and alerts the operator when there is a credit issue. It allows splits in any combination, between open Accounts Receivable, cash, credit/debit cards, checks etc., which can facilitate processing a customer who has reached their credit limit, by allowing the operator to place the dollars in excess of the remaining credit, against a credit card, check, or cash.
It allows the customer to take multiple releases from an open order. It allows the customer to make an unlimited number of payments to an order, and tracks all payments and releases made over time. Special order items are passed electronically to the back office purchasing system, and are tracked until the time that they are picked up and fully paid.
These device drivers allow state of the art point of sale cash register devices (such as the IBM SurePOS cash registers) to function interactively on the iSeries server. These drivers support the industry standard OPOS interface which allows the user to swap brands of POS hardware without change to the Competitive Edge system. These drivers also allow the use of “PC cash drawer” equipment in a variety of configurations.
Competitive Edge provides support for the Mercury Payment Systems’ TransSecure end to end encrypted credit and debit card processing software. This interface provides a fast end to end encrypted single connection point approach to card validation, which reduces the cost of phone lines, and brings the validation function to every keyboard at the point of sale. It allows the lowest possible rates for validating customer credit, while speeding up the processing, and increasing the accuracy of the transactions. The end to end encryption helps to place the POS solution out of scope for Visa’s PCI compliance requirements.