Point of sale (POS) systems in retail and restaurant operations have taken on many more roles than they previously have. Now they go beyond handling transactions, and are used for inventory tracking, labor management, pricing, and more.
One of the most important functions a POS can have is the ability to provide useful data with above store reporting. There are numerous advantages to investing in a POS with this capability, as it provides business owners and managers with essential data they can’t find anywhere else.
Here is a comprehensive guide to above store reporting and why it matters for your business:
What is Above Store Reporting?
Above Store Reporting is essentially a way to gain better insight. It involves aggregating and collecting data from your POS system so that you can easily analyze it and see where you are excelling, where you may be having problems, and what actions you may need to take in the future.
With above store reporting, you can view data from virtually every part of your business that interacts with the POS, including sales, discounts, voids, labor, inventory, and more. Because it is all compiled into a central location, you don’t have to run separate reports or compile things manually, and you can compare and contrast data across areas of business to see if there are noticeable trends in your operation.
The biggest difference between a POS with above store reporting, and a standard POS with back office reporting functions is the accessibility. While some POS systems have basic back office reporting, above store reporting is cloud-based, and accessible from any smart device. This means that you don’t have to be in the office to access important data, and you can monitor operations and view critical data on-the-go.
Overall Benefits of Above Store Reporting
A POS with above store reporting can benefit businesses in many ways, beyond just automating the reporting process and compiling it into a central location. Additional benefits include:
Increased visibility into operations
It’s essential that you know and understand what is happening within your store or restaurant so that you can stay in control and keep tabs on everything. If problems arise, you want to know what it is, why it happened, and what to do about it. Visibility also helps you forecast needs, and gives you the necessary insight to make smarter, more informed business decisions.
Identify sales trends
Sales trends are important to monitor, so you know whether your efforts have been successful, or whether or not you need to run certain promotions. You view customer loyalty data to see whether your offers are being redeemed, your promotions are working, and your customer engagement is where you want it to be. You can also use this information to see what your peak business hours are, and allocate your labor and resources accordingly.
Identify inventory shrink
There are so many different factors that could end up leading to waste within retail and restaurant operations. Servers may be making too many food errors, kitchen staff may be wasteful during the food prep, or sales staff could be giving out freebies and unauthorized discounts. Above store reporting can help you pinpoint the source of shrinkage so you can correct the issue.
Determine top sellers/servers
You want to know who is raking in the most profit so you can utilize these high-performing employees when you need them most. Not only does the recognition boost employee morale across the board, but you will be able to make smarter scheduling decisions that maximize your staff’s potential. Don’t waste your best employees by scheduling them on your slowest shifts.
Identify bottlenecks in restaurant BOH
Maybe your profits are great, but there could be bottlenecks in your back-of-house operations that are preventing you from experiencing further growth. By leveraging above store reporting, you can recognize these areas, and implement solutions to fix them. Beyond identifying your best workers, you can see which workers may be slowing down operations and could use some more training.
Make better business decisions
The best thing you can do for business growth is stay informed. You may not always be in the office when you need to make critical business decisions, so the ability to access data from the cloud on your mobile device from anywhere is essential.
How to Know if You Need an Above Store Reporting Solution
Operational and managerial tasks tend to take up more time than can usually be afforded when you try to run critical operations through POS right on the sales floor or at the counter. You don’t want to use up too much of your POS system work space during busy hours, but it’s not always possible or desirable to consistently stay after hours to run reports.
If your current reporting efforts are impacting your bottom line, you should consider upgrading to a POS with above store reporting. Here are a few other tell-tale signs that it’s time to consider this feature:
You are unable to understand historical performance
What are your performance goals, and are they realistic? If you find that you’re unable to consistently hit your goals, you may need to better understand historical performance. Above store reporting can clue you in on trending patterns within your business so you can gauge whether or not you are successful or what steps you need to take to reach your business goals.
You do not have access to real-time data
Sometimes, the lag between when events occur and when you know about them can have serious consequences. Real-time data helps you mitigate problems as they arise, before they cause significant damage to your bottom line. Beyond that, real-time data is important in day-to-day operations as well. If customers want to know whether or not a specific item is in stock, above store reporting can provide the answers right away, without requiring staff to go check the stock room.
In retail, this is especially important for omnichannel operations with a single stock pool, because customers will want to know if they can order something online if it isn’t in-store, or an influx of online orders can cause your inventory to be depleted before your sales staff knows.
How to Get the Most out of Restaurant Data
An inventory management and above store reporting solution can provide a whole host of valuable information when it comes to your restaurant. It’s important that you know how to leverage that data in order to really reach the full potential for business growth.
When you can access the right data, you can discover past and current trends you may not have known about, and even predict future trends. If you notice that certain items are often ordered together, you can use this data to create new promotions and upsell to customers. If you notice an unexplained uptick in business, you can see what may have caused it.
Are you optimizing your labor scheduling? Accessing the hard numbers on foot traffic patterns and sales history can help you streamline staffing so you aren’t under-staffed or over-staffed on a daily basis.
Knowledge is power. It’s a cliché, but it still holds true. Those with the most data are able to make the best and most profitable decisions. Above store reporting helps you collect more data from sources outside your four walls. Information like foot traffic numbers, social media tags, and reviews online can help you better understand how receptive customers are to your business.
If you can recognize what demographics you are attracting most, and under what circumstances people are coming to your restaurant, you can easily tailor the customer experience to these metrics.
Menu optimization can sometimes be tricky and complex. It can feel like a constant trial-and-error process, but above store reporting can help you reduce the number of trials resulting in errors.
Do you have poorly-performing menu items with ingredients that spoil quickly? See if you can utilize the same ingredients in other dishes that sell quickly. Are certain dishes quick to sell out? It’s time to increase your inventory orders. This data can help you keep tabs on evolving consumer tastes and keep you from creating too much waste in the process.
An Inventory Management Solution Decreases Costs
Food costs are some of a restaurant owner’s biggest challenges. It can be difficult to keep costs low and make sure you get the most out of your inventory while minimizing waste. It’s a tough balancing act, but an above store reporting solution can help.
Evaluate sales history
Reviewing your sales can help you understand the ins and outs of the inventory moving through your restaurant. You can see your top sellers, as well as the more slow-moving items and any trends or patterns. This allows you to take corrective measures and eliminate as much food waste as possible.
Streamline daily operations
Taking stock of ingredients manually is time-consuming and complex, but with above store reporting, you can simplify this task and view the status of your ingredients in real-time, which allows you to quickly forecast your inventory needs and avoid lost revenue from 86ed items.
Improve order accuracy
The best way to decrease food costs is to decrease food waste, and order errors account for a significant portion of food waste. An inventory management solution like above store reporting helps diagnose where order errors are stemming from. Once you understand the cause, you can take the necessary steps to fix the issue.
How Retailers can Optimize Shopper Insights
An above store reporting solution can help retailers lighten their workload by working as a go-to source for useful store data like inventory, shopper insights, and promotions. You can utilize these insights in a variety of ways to streamline workflow and ensure you run a more competitive business. Here is how:
Review shopping data regularly
You may have a process in place for how and when you review past and current sales data, but there is always room for improvement. Sales are one of the most important indicators for a retailer, and reviewing this data can help you ensure that promotions are resonating and you are connecting with customers’ interests.
Identify past consumer behavior
You should also be reviewing loyalty data and past sales history so you can determine buying habits and foot traffic patterns. These help you forecast needs and optimize labor so your customers can always be taken care of without having to waste resources on overstaffing.
Measure promo effectiveness
Above store reporting can help you gather information on customer loyalty and help you create more meaningful marketing campaigns based on buying activity. You can track which marketing and promotional campaigns are effective and which leave something to be desired. This way, you can better tailor your campaigns to your customers to ensure better offer redemption and more engagement.
Leverage shopper data to determine future trends
Above store reporting is phenomenal at helping you forecast future trends and behaviors and leverage those insights to make smarter decisions about what you order for your inventory. Review sales information to see your best sellers and your best promotions, and ensure you are appropriately stocked for the anticipated demands.