EasyStock and "Mobile" Tills.
So... It appears as if everyone wants you to move your till process to a Tablet. Adverts offering "Cloud" solutions enabling you to use the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab or any other of the myriad of supposedly, affordable, devices to allow you to deal with your customers away from the traditional static Till point.
I cannot deny that IJS Ltd and EasyStock have been quite quiet on this side of our application. Does this mean, there is no offering by us for this?
The real answer is to be honest, I never thought it as an issue. Do not get me wrong. Providing such a facility for those who require it is very important, but for EasyStock, IT IS NOT AN ISSUE.
EasyStock has been developed to run on a standard PC. There are MANY Windows 10 Tablets and Hybrid Laptops available on the market from a number of suppliers. They range in price from around £250.00 for the HP Stream x360 to an eye popping £1299.00 for the gorgeous Microsoft Surface Pro 4 256GB.
And - EasyStock runs really well on Windows 10. All with the standard install we have used for ever, and, straight out of the box!!
Word of consideration here. The cheaper devices are often better for this as they have lower resolution screens. This results in more of the screen being used for the application making it easier to use. The microsoft devices are made to be true workstation replacements and a little over specified for the job in hand..
OK... You are thinking about buying a Windows 10 Tablet. The question is - "How is EasyStock suitable for mobile working within my shop?"
InstallationSimply set up your Tablet to connect to your local wireless network (You have got one?). Locate the shared folder on your central machine where EasyStock resides. You will need to run a short install and we here at IJS Ltd are happy to sort this for you. Usually takes around 15 minutes. A short cut to the program will be added to your "desktop".
Touch screenEasyStock is designed to use a Touchscreen, so the one found as part of your tablet is as much as you now need.
Making a Sale.This is the important bit - You are running the STANDARD VERSION OF EASYSTOCK, so making a sale is EXACTLY the same as if you were standing at your static Till. Great, as there is no need for additional training for any sales person who has used EasyStock before.
Printing the Till Receipt.EasyStock uses the standard Windows drivers to communicate with your till printer. All that is needed is to "Share" your existing Till printer on the network, and your Tablet can make use of it. We can help you with this.
eMail ReceiptsEasystock already has the ability to email sales dockets directly to your customers. Just a simple case of adding or changing some EasyStock details about your email server and you are ready to go. We have full documentation on how to do this. Just email me and I will provide a link.
Customer Details/Post code searchIf you are already using post code search to locate new customers, then this is all there to make use of. You are using the full copy of EasyStock, adding customers is exactly the same.
InsuranceIf you are adding insurance to your sales, then again, all this is already there.
RepairsSame again, full copy of EasyStock. Add new repairs, track them, convert to stock and sell at the same or any other till/tablet.
But the others are offering the ability to use "The Cloud" to do this. Why don't IJS Ltd?This is an option but why would you want to move over your sales process, something you can already do within EasyStock, to a third party who then have access to your sales data, customer records, stock data and with that, the ability to prevent you gaining access to YOUR data in the event of - dispute, server failure, software bugs.
And they say we can get up to date sales figures from any till and location.EasyStock had this from day one. As it uses a single centralised database, anyone who is logged into the network can run ANY report.
How do I know how my stores are doing even when I am at a show or away on holiday?By using our small addon program - SalesToEmail.exe. A sales summary for all stores is sent by email to anyone who needs to know at a user selectable interval from 5 minutes to 1 hour.
What If I insist on using a Browser based sale processWe can do this. We developed a browser based sales function primarily designed for Apple iPhones some time ago. You can add customers, administer a sale to the customer and email the receipt.. But... It is limited to this and requires you setting up an internet information services server (IISS) somewhere on your network and be able to support it. That is where the complexity and unfortunately, the cost comes into play.
Our opinion is that your money would be better spent on purchasing Windows 10 devices that give you full functionality than limiting yourself with higher cost alternative.
Windows 10 and going mobileWindows 10 has been designed for "mobile" devices. Windows (8) 8.1 was the original attempt at this but Windows 10 has come on a bit from Windows 8 and 8.1 and is much easier to use.
WIndows 10 can sense if you connect or disconnect the keyboard and will offer you the chance to go into "Tablet" mode.
The biggest and best change from the point of view of the EasyStock Till/Sale process is the "On Screen Keyboard" has finally been updated. It is not that tiny, pretty much unuseable, blue affair from XP/Pro. Instead, it is a "proper" method of providing a decent alternative to your physical connected keyboard and mouse device.
ConclusionGoing mobile with EasyStock is a very simple process. There is no need to purchase any extra server hardware or software. No need to use a third party "Cloud" service from someone who may themselves be buying in or subscribing to withour your knowledge. You can make use of everything you already have such as printers and scanners. The only investment on your part is for a Windows 10 Tablet or one of the new diskless laptop's. They are great.
And the important bit above is "Cost". As long as you are within your agreed EasyStock user count (This is usually dependant on the version of SQL you are using), there is essentially no further cost other than purchasing and setting up your Tablet!!.