Stateways Sept-Oct 2014

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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Page 33 of 51

StateWays Q Q September/October 2014 34 O ne thing all agencies can count on regarding point-of-sale (POS) systems is that there is no shortage of options available. More vendors con- tinue to introduce new POS products to the marketplace, ranging from small cloud-based systems to sophisticated programs that incorporate multiple business tools. StateWays reviewed the current POS landscape to give readers an overview of some of the different options. Keep in mind we're only showcasing a small portion of what's available (see the accompanying buyer's guide for details on even more vendors). When selecting a POS, there's no one-size-fi ts-all for each state. Multiple fac- tors must be considered, including cost, functionality, and technical support. Take the time to research various pro- viders to determine which POS is the best match for you. INDUSTRY - SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS O ne complaint many people involved in the bev- erage industry share about their existing POS systems is that it often contains a variety of features and tools that aren't relevant to their business. That's one thing that makes Innovative Computer Solutions distinctive. The company has been in business since 1980, first offering the now discontinued Control Plus POS, before launching the Vision system, which de- buted in 2000. "Our system was written from the ground up with re- tailers in the liquor industry," says company co-founder and president Tony Pitale. "You won't fi nd unnecessary fi elds in Vision that are related to shoe stores or auto stores, or any other business. We do our own in-house development and have a unique understanding of what people in this industry need." Vision is currently in use across 34 states, and in more than 1,000 stores. Unique features include a built-in time clock system to help retailers keep track of employees coming and going from work or taking breaks. A label- printing process allows businesses to easily design and print their own labels. The POS also offers a variety of features designed to let retailers discount products in dif- ferent ways. Mobile solutions include a wireless tablet function that offers a subset of features from the main system, including the ability to pre-sell to customers from anywhere in the store. Pitale says that one of the best features of Vision is that it is already Payment Card Industry (PCI) 3.0 com- pliant. The new PCI mandates will require all retailers to adopt chip and PIN credit card technology, which is already the standard throughout Europe and is widely considered to be more secure than traditional magnetic strip credit cards. Although the new standards won't be required until October 2015, Vision users benefi t from knowing that the POS hardware and software they are using in their stores is already PCI 3.0 compliant, and therefore they won't be in danger of receiving any com- pliance failure fees come next fall. Brian Gauthier has been using the Vision system since he opened the Oakton Wine Shop in Oakton, Virginia, in June 2011. Initially, Gauthier was wowed by Vision's intuitive user interface, which he thought would make it easy to train his staff on. Pitale's com- pany sent a representative down to Gauthier's shop for several days, setting up the POS and helping to train staff. According to Gauthier, it's been a seamless pro- cess ever since. Vision's special attention to PCI stan- dards is an added perk. "When there's something that someone else can take care of that you don't have to worry about, it makes such a huge difference," Gauthier says. Vision is a license-based system that is available for a minimum cost of $5,000. Along with the system itself, customers receive access to 24-hour technical support and also benefi t from automatic downloads of updated versions of the system, which are pushed out every four to six weeks. PAINLESS POINT OF SALE WHICH SYSTEM IS BEST FOR YOUR STATE? BY MELISSA NIKSIC mPower Beverage, after being sought out by multiple beverage retailers, shifted its focus to the beverage industry.

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