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Streamline ordering and communication with a connected Kitchen Display System (KDS)

Since LS One 2020 was released in July, the LS One team has been developing extra functionality to enhance the system. They have put special focus on extending the capabilities for restaurants and food service businesses. Trident is LS Retail Central Platinum Partner, offering ERP for Retail & Hospitality.

The Kitchen Display System (KDS) is a digital order viewer that replaces paper tickets and printers in a restaurant kitchen. A KDS has become an essential component in a modern kitchen, as it helps organize and streamline work:

  • No more stained, hard-to-read paper tickets: all orders are displayed on screens, clear and tidy.
  • No need for servers to waste time running from the front to the kitchen and back: all communication between kitchen and front (orders, items, their preparation status) goes through your POS system.
  • Items and orders are automatically routed and displayed at the proper food preparation stations.
  • Items are shown on the screens by production order, so kitchen staff can start and complete preparation timely.
  • Kitchen staff can bump dishes to different stations, or mark orders and items as ready.
  • The Kitchen Display System and the POS are connected via a two-way communication system. Front-of-house staff can see the status of orders at the POS, and make sure all dishes are delivered to the guests at the right time.
  • You can add screens and set up specific automations to follow your kitchen’s flow.

In the past, to connect a KDS to LS One you needed to do your own integration. From this version of LS One onwards, you can use your LS One POS system with the LS Retail Kitchen Display System. The systems are connected out of the box, no extra work needed.

Picture this:

Your server takes the order at the POS. When they send the order to the kitchen, the items are automatically routed to the KDS in the correct kitchen station (for example, the grill station versus the sauté or dessert station), and displayed in the right order of production.

When a guest asks “When is my dish coming?” front-of-house staff can check at the POS the status of the order, and update the table. Easy, quick, and professional.

Sell groups of items easily with assembly items

It’s now easier than ever before to sell multiple items at once – for example, as a gift basket. In LS One you can now create “assembly items” by combining different items into one. The options are endless:

  • Set up deals (or meal deals, if you run a restaurant or café)
  • Create hampers and gift baskets
  • Make bills of materials
  • Set up recipes, managing the ingredients as separate items
  • Assemble supply kits

Do you run a chain, and want to differentiate your offering across locations?

You can vary the list of component items between locations, and easily substitute products or ingredients as needed. For example, your holiday hamper can include Gouda cheese, instead of brie, in some of your store locations.

You can set a special price for the final item, or add up the prices of the items that compose it – your choice. If you want, you can also display the list of components on the POS receipt, on the printed receipt, and on kitchen orders – or you can hide it.

The integration to SAP Business One ERP just keeps on getting better

Since we introduced the out-of-the-box integration between LS One and ERP SAP Business One, more and more businesses have moved from other POS solutions to LS One. Using their valuable feedback, we have been working on the integration to make it even more immediate and seamless.

  • You can now add a U.S. tax setup when you create a customer on the POS
  • The login service layer is more intuitive and quicker
  • We have added tax synchronization for specific localizations
  • You can now easily connect to different versions of SAP Business One HANA

More enhancements to come as the LS One team keeps on ironing out the wrinkles.

Endlessly enhancing LS One

We are continuously working on improving LS One in terms of functionality, speed and simplicity. Some highlights from this release:

  • You can now add the company’s country information
  • Discount calculations are way faster than before
  • We have redesigned the “send to station” and “menu type selection” dialogs (restaurant-specific functionality)
  • The kitchen printing/send to station functionality is now fast and seamless (restaurant-specific).

You can find more enhancements and fixes in the release notes. And as usual, more improvements are ahead as the team keeps on working to make LS One the best POS in the industry.

If you have any comments, suggestions, or any query for us, get in touch! or write at info@tridentinfo.com

 

 

Retail ERP Software

How to reduce queues in your retail store and keep customers safe

Consumers hate standing in line at the store. This is nothing new. Nine out of ten UK shoppers interviewed by Box Technologies and Intel revealed they avoided stores with long queues. When Amazon opened its cashier-less, checkout-less store Amazon Go, many hailed it as a much-needed revolution exactly because it eliminated the need to queue to check out.

Since Covid-19 hit, long lines have gone from being simply a nuisance and a waste of time to a potential hazard.

As a retailer, how can you reduce the risk of lines forming without going the Amazon Go route? Here are six ideas.

1. Bring the register to the customer with mobile POS

Today, the most advanced retail software solutions enable you to run the Point of Sale (POS) on mobile devices like tablet computers or smartphones. Your staff can look up information, scan items, close transactions, accept payments and print receipts anywhere the customers are, both inside and outside the store premises. No need for customers to line up at the register and wait for their turn. Another advantage of mobile POS is that you can easily add more devices when needed, without having to devote space to extra registers. [Download our whitepaper “No more strings” to find out more benefits of adding mobile Point of Sale to your in-store experience]

2. Add special stations for complex processes

Simple sales are usually fast to handle, so a line of customers simply buying items usually flows rapidly. On the other hand, more complex processes like returns, custom orders or loyalty program signups can take longer, and slow down the line significantly. Since simple sales usually outnumber complex ones, you can reduce the average waiting time having a special service station for shoppers who need extra help, for example those needing refunds, exchanges, special orders and more.

3. Experiment with virtual queues

With a virtual queue machine, customers can take a number and secure a place in a queue without actually having to stand in line, close to each other. Although these kind of machines are common in service centers like post offices and banks, they are not as widespread in retail stores, especially at the register. My local electronics store, for example, uses virtual queuing for customers looking for assistance, but relies on traditional lines at the register. Are they missing an opportunity? An added reason to try out virtual queues is that they give customers the time to wander around the store while waiting – a great opportunity for them to see   extra items they might want to add to their cart.

4. Set up one-to-one appointments

Not all retail store visits need to be unplanned walk-ins. If a consultation or special attention is required, more retailers are encouraging people to book a time beforehand, so they can be given the time and attention they need. Jewelry chains Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb started booking one-to-one appointments with customers as soon as they reopened their stores after the temporary pandemic closures. Craig Bolton, executive director of The Watches of Switzerland Group, says that his company set up 13,000 one-to-one virtual and in-store appointments in the last two weeks of July alone. Although this format may not fit retailers in all industries, reservations can help organize the flux of incoming visitors and ensure that you have the time and space you need for your customers.

5. Add “scan and go” tech

The latest revolution in Point of Sale technology sees the POS move into the consumer’s hands. Scan and go mobile apps allow consumers to self-serve in the shop, using either their personal mobile device or a provided handset to scan items and pay. The process is different from traditional mobile POS, not just because customers take care of the scanning themselves but also because items are scanned as they are added to the cart. Although for now Scan and Go technology is most common in grocery stores, there is no reason why retailers in other sectors shouldn’t take advantage of it. In a fashion, health, electronics or DIY store, customers would benefit from the ability to add items to the basket at their convenience while limiting human-to-human contact.

Scan and go apps have other benefits, too. When they scan aa barcode , customers can see all the product details, including information like nutrition, components or ingredients and care instructions– a great way for shoppers to get all the extra information they need to make a buying decision without having to touch the product.

6. Empower your staff with intuitive, reliable tech

Is outdated, slow technology one of the causes of long lines in your store? One of our customers told us a horror story of their old POS breaking down during the Christmas Eve rush. “It was a nightmare: one of our cash registers locked up, causing all of the systems in our main store to go down. Lines wrapped around the store because we had to process all transactions manually by writing everything down. We easily lost $20,000 that day, and who knows the long term effects it had on repeat business.” His conclusion? “The most important criterion when choosing a system is reliability.” Take a hard look at your technology: is it still serving your customers adequately? When selecting new software, look for systems that ensure short transaction times.

 

Long queues used to be a luxury problem for a retailer; not anymore. Do you need help finding the right technology to give customers a safe, pleasant experience in your stores? Do not hesitate to contact us.

Retail ERP Software, Retail POS Solution

Why it makes sense to move your retail management software to the cloud

As a successful retailer, chances are you are already running some of your IT functions in the cloud. That’s smart.

The next logical step is to move your entire retail management system to the cloud, and go from the on-premises version to its software as a service (SaaS) one. But even if you know that the cloud is experiencing exponential growth, and that you will, one day, take the leap, you may be hesitant to do it now. Perhaps you are afraid you’re not ready for the change. Perhaps you have security concerns. Maybe you can’t clearly identify which practical, day-to-day benefits you’d get from moving to the cloud.

Whichever your reasons, you want the best for your business, and you care about staying competitive. You want to make the right decision, and employ technology that will propel you forward today and tomorrow.

While you are debating whether the cloud is for you, here are 8 good reasons why you should consider migrating your system.

1. Stay up to date, automatically

With traditional on-premises software, businesses are responsible of keeping their hardware and software up to date. In order to stay current (and safe), they’d need to purchase new hardware every few years, and to update their software every few months. But in reality, retailers usually have more pressing concerns than keeping track of the latest software patch or upgrade. And if the company is using multiple software solutions and there are integrations in place, a system upgrade can become a costly and lengthy project. As a result, many companies end up with outdated IT environments that work, but don’t really support the business, and may even hinder it. In the worst cases, this old tech might reduce the company’s ability to grow and take on new projects, or stay on top of consumer demands.

When you are using SaaS in the cloud, all these concerns belong to the past. You don’t need to worry about periodic maintenance, or to budget for expensive and complicated software upgrades. Instead, your supplier takes care of updating your software regularly. And if you have configured your add-ons correctly, you can maintain all your extensions, and even your configurations. SaaS software guarantees that you are always, automatically, on the latest version, and can use all the new functionality that comes with it.

2. Enhance productivity with intelligence

One of the biggest advantages of the cloud is the advanced computational power it offers. Tasks that until yesterday were too complex for even the most powerful computer, for example predicting future sales patterns, are now within reach of any retailer. Businesses can run their data into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) powered tools available in the cloud, and without having to pay for extra servers or data scientists, they can get the answers they need, with minimal effort, very rapidly, and at a fraction of the cost than comparable on-prem technology. There is a wide variety of AI tools available in the cloud, giving businesses infinite possibilities to improve their effectiveness and productivity. AI can also help make smarter decisions, and deliver more personalized, to the point customer service.

Would you like to send personalized promotions and special deals to your customers based on their shopping history and specific tastes? Are you thinking about adding a chatbot or virtual agent as a first-line customer support? Or perhaps you’d like to offer intelligent search on your e-commerce site? When you run your software in the cloud, all these initiatives are accessible to you, and can be started within a very short timeframe.

But AI can do much more than help deliver bespoke customer experiences. You can use optimize your inventory with advanced forecasting that can factor seasonality, promotions, trends, and product substitutes and complements into your forecasts. You can refine your hiring practices with intelligent talent acquisition solutions. You can simplify searches across your catalog for both staff and customers using AI-powered accurate product tagging applied to images. When you infuse your business with intelligence, you also make it more proactive, agile, and profitable.

3. Guarantee business continuity with a reliable infrastructure

With traditional in-house IT setups, businesses are at constant risk of downtimes and failures. On-site servers can’t usually guarantee a consistent performance, and if a key piece of your hardware breaks down, you may be left unable to serve customers or close sales – and could even risk losing your business data. As regards reliability, a traditional infrastructure usually necessitates a disaster recovery plan, requiring you to build redundancy, carefully monitor conditions, having dual firewalls and more – in short, you need to budget for time-consuming, expensive, complex monitoring.

Switch to SaaS software, and you can step away from all of these problems. Even if you experience a hardware failure – say your computers or servers break down – you won’t lose your data, as it is safely stored in the cloud and can be accessed when and as you need to. The cloud also guarantees higher reliability. Large cloud services like Microsoft Azure, with expansive resources and entire dedicated teams, have already built in redundancy, from failover hardware to datacenters located across the world. As a result, Azure, the service where the cloud-based version of LS Central resides, can guarantee 99,995% uptime, and top security features.

4. Respond quickly to changing market conditions

You know how important speed of action is in the retail industry. Yet, traditional IT environments are all but agile: even a project as simple as adding new servers or applications can be very time consuming. First, your IT staff needs time to procure the hardware or software that will fit within the current infrastructure. Then they have to set it up and test it, and finally, they’ll have to go through implementing it.

In the past, this process was the only way to implement change. Today, this is an outdated and ineffective way of operating – especially when the businesses you are competing against are agile and unburdened by traditional infrastructure, such as e-commerce players. To stay on top of change, you need to be able to analyze data in real time, devise plans rapidly, and immediately deploy mission-critical applications, or innovative tech, with minimal upfront costs and preparation time.

When you are running your systems in Azure, you can get this speed of action. Businesses running LS Central in the cloud can, for example, extend their business with extra functionality or innovative applications that won’t require a lengthy integration process, because they are already designed to work with the system. So you are quickly operative, and your IT staff has the time and space to focus on more pressing activities and objectives.

5. Get anywhere, anytime access to your business data

Retail business has become a 24/7 affair: sales happen at all hours and trends change faster than lightning. As a retail manager, you can’t afford to be left with no visibility over the business between 5pm and 9 am or when you are out of the office.

When you run your retail management system in the cloud, you can be operative when and as you want. With data stored in the cloud, where you are does not influence what you can see, or achieve. You can access your data on any pc or phone device and keep track of your sales, make changes and adjustments to prices or items, analyze data, access dashboards and share them with colleagues. So you are always on top of your data, ready to act when you need to.

6. Increase collaboration and support remote work

Demand for remote work has been growing. Workers appreciate flexible schedules and decreased commuting times, and companies reap the benefit of providing more sustainable working conditions. Although retail may not seem like the ideal setup for remote work, the expansion of online commerce and the diffusion of cloud technology are enabling retailers to increasingly meet demands for flexible work. “Retail, and omni-channel retail in particular, is built on data. And today, to analyze data, you don’t need to be on the store floor, looking at tons of printed statistics,” says Carsten Wulff, Vice President Europe at LS Retail.

The ability to access both business data and applications in real time is helping support remote jobs in very diverse positions, from decision-making roles to support to sales assistance. A marketing or sales manager could analyze buying patterns or keep track of sales trends from home, and use this data to create personalized promotions or communications. An online sales assistant could solve customer queries and provide real-time support and advice on the e-commerce site. A store manager could oversee sales and make stock requests from their personal device, without needing to waste time commuting across different store location. And all these workers could collaborate on joint projects, using the same online applications and data.

7. Stay safe and compliant, easily

With traditional in-house IT, it is the responsibility of the business to maintain tight security measures to protect data and users against external threats. Internal IT teams have been bearing the overwhelming weight of staying on top of the patches, updates and diagnostics required.

When you run your business software in the cloud, all of these concerns are transferred to your cloud service provider – who is, arguably, much better equipped than you in delivering top safety features. If you are a business running LS Central in the cloud, you can take advantage of the multi-layered, built-in security controls and threat intelligence that Azure offers. You can also leverage several industry certifications: Azure is ISO, PCI, HIPA and GDPR certified, which makes you automatically compliant with these standards, with no extra work needed on your part.

By choosing a cloud service like Azure that puts data security at its core, you save the time and effort you’d need to stay up to date with legal requirements, today and tomorrow. You can go on with your business, knowing that Microsoft will identify new threats and protect you against them, while keeping you on top of industry regulations at the same time.

8. Lower capital expenditure

When you move away from an in-house IT environment and run your software in the cloud, you can realize some significant savings, especially in terms of capital expenditure. With SaaS, you don’t need to install and run apps on-premises, which means you also don’t need new hardware and servers. Not only: you don’t need to worry about the cost of running and maintaining the system, consider the cost of integrations or upgrades, or budget for the services of system engineers and specialists. When you use SaaS, your system is managed and cared for by the specialists, and it’s all included in your subscription price.

It’s time to take the step

With LS Central now available purely in the cloud, this might be the perfect time to consider a SaaS retail solution. And if you are a retail or hospitality business already using LS Nav or LS Central on-premises, we have an enticing offer for you: we can help you fast track your on-premises solution to the cloud, at a special, highly discounted price.

Are you not yet eligible for our offer? No need to panic – we can help! Get in touch: we’ll be happy to talk you through the options, and support you in your transition to tomorrow’s retail technology.