Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Program the SAM4s SPS-500 series with a USB keyboard

One of the unique features of the SAM4s SPS-500 series cash registers is that you can connect a windows keyboard to the cash register for programming. This little feature can save you a lot of time when you start programming your registers ALPHA for UPC's or menu items.

Also you can use the keyboard to enter customer names when using the delivery feature of the SPS-500 series, which is made up of the following models

Any of the registers can also interface to a computer if you would rather program that way with optional software. These really are the most complete cash registers on the market today with capabilities for credit card interface with the Datacap Twin Tran, bar code scanning interface, kitchen printer interface, inter register communications, DVR interface, massive memory upgrade option, graphic rear display option, interfaced scale option and more.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SAM4s Cash Register keyboard templates so you can create your own keyboards

If you have a template to make keyboards you have a great deal more flexibility to program and change your cash register when ever you would like. Most of the templates I have seen are just word documents and are very easy to use. Here are a few links to keyboard templates

Always before you take the time to fill out a template print one out and cut to size and check it for fit on your cash register. You don't want to spend an hour on the template just to find it does not print the correct size!

Monday, October 29, 2012

SAM4s cash register with credit card interface

A large number of the SAM4s cash registers have the abilty to interface with credit card. Any of the SAM4s registers require a Datacap Twin Tran or similar model as do most of the Sharp cash registers. The models that interface are

  • SAM4s ER-285M
  • SAM4s ER-380M
  • SAM4s ER-390M
  • SAM4s ER-650
  • SAM4s ER-650R
  • SAM4s SPS-320
  • SAM4s SPS-340
  • SAM4s SPS-345
  • SAM4s SPS-520R
  • SAM4s SPS-520F
  • SAM4s SPS-530R
  • SAM4s SPS-530F
  • SAM4s ER-920
  • SAM4s ER-925
  • SAM4s ER-940
  • SAM4s ER-945
  • SAM4s ER-5200M
  • SAM4s ER-5215M
  • SAM4s SPS-2000
I may have left out a few of them. They by far have more than anyone else.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Can cash register process credit cards?

People are looking for cash registers that process credit cards and they are very smart to do so. Ten years ago no one did this but now it is the new normal. When you interface a cash register to credit card payments you speed up your lines, improve accuarcy, reduce fraud and make more profit!

SAM4s and Sharp cash registers can interface with credit card and gift card payments. The SAM4s and most of the Sharp registers use the Datacap Twin Tran and a few Sharp models can use a specific Hypercom terminal. You should be able to use any processor you want but many use Mercury Payment Systems because they will provide the Datacap at no up front cost and also provide a free gift card system for you to offer your own gift card system.

Check it out you won't be sorry.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Say goodbye to the SAM4s ER-650 cash register

Well we knew it was coming for quite some time but it was still a small shock when the factory told us they were pulling the plug on one of the most popular and successful cash registers they ever made the ER-650 and the version with raised keyboard the ER-650R

The good news is they will have parts and support available for awhile and we have quite a few of the ER-650 and ER-650R models available so get your while they last which won't be long.

The ER-650 series was the first cash register to come out with the multi line LCD display which was the big game changer in regards to programming and using simple registers. They followed up by making this a cash register that can process credit cards using the Datacap Twin Tran that also allows gift card transactions as well.

Users also appreciated the fact that the SAMs 4 650 series also interfaced to DVR systems, kitchen printers, scales, computers and coin changers.

The ER650 series has been replaced by the SPS-300 series that includes the SPS-320, SPS-340 and SPS-345 all with some unique features of their own. One great improvement with the SPS300 series is that it includes a SD card port and available with a single station printer as well as a dual station version with a receipt and journal.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SAM4s Cash Register Support

My co-worker and fellow cash register sales person has also started a blog for supporting cash registers. She is not nearly as good as me but worth a try! Try her here SAM4s Cash Register Information

Monday, October 22, 2012

What is the SAM4s SPS-2000? Cash Register of Computer?

The SAM4s SPS-2000 is often confused for a computer terminal when it is really a sleek ROM based modular cash register system!

The SPS-2000 is one of the first completely touch screen cash register on the market. With the SPS-2000 you get the best of both the POS worlds and the cash register world. The cash register aspect of the machine brings you durability, stability, lower cost of ownership, not subject to viruses, not subject to employee playing video games on it and almost in every case will last much longer then a PC based system. From the POS world you get the ease of use of a touch screen, the training ability of a touch screen and the order accuracy of ordering with a touch screen.

The SPS-2000 does have back office software available as an option however it really is an option and not required. The SPS-2000 has some great options that will speed up your staff and provide greater accuracy and less fraud like credit card interface with the Datacap Twin Tran, gift card interface, bar code scanning, cashier cards, interfaced scale, easy programming compared to other cash registers, kitchen video interface and many more.

Combine the SPS-2000 system with Mercury Payment System high speed credit card and gift card interface and make more money than every before offering your own private label gift card program!

Before you buy an expensive touch scree POS system look at the SAM4s SPS-2000 system

SAM4s SPS-2000 System
SAM4s SPS-2000 Bundled with Cash Drawer and Printer

Friday, October 19, 2012

PC Poll software and SAM4s Cash Registers

SAM4s cash register users are fortunate enough to have several choices for optional software for their cash registers. Of course not every model has a software option but most SAM4s registers do.

There is the software choice from SAM4s and than the package from PC Poll. Many of the SAM4s registers also include a free programming software however it includes no reporting. Of the choices all of our technicians prefer PC Poll to the SAM4s products.

The reason for this preference is that PC Poll makes software for SAM4s, Samsung, Sharp, TEC and Casio cash registers. The user interface for the software is the same regardless of register make or model so our people like the seamless transition from make to make and even model to model, however that may not mean anything to you as you probably have just one make and model of cash register. We have had customer with a certain model of cash register that eventually had to be replaced and they were able to transfer their data already in PC Poll into their new cash register and with the SAM4s software product in many cases that would not be possible and when you have 5000 to 40000 UPC 's in your database that is pretty important.

Regarding price the SAM4s products sell for just a little bit more however the base license includes up to 99 registers as where the PC Poll includes only one! Additional registers require an additional purchase so a larger PC Poll system can cost much more than the SAM4s product so something to take into account for sure.

Both software packages allow IP polling if the register supports it and if you are going to poll remotely it is the only way to go!

PC Poll software has several attractive options such as Quick Books interface, Inventory add on and a few others.

As long as your cash register has the serial ports you can use the software and still be able to have interfaced credit card with a Datacap Twin Tran, kitchen printer, kitchen video or maybe a scale so long as you have the ports available.

Many people don't understand what Polling is. What Polling means is that your computer POLLS your cash register and retrieves the sales information. So basicily report retrieval is what it boils down to.

Please keep in mind that other than storing your "z" reports on a hard drive Polling software regardless of make does not give you any more reports than the standalone cash register already has. The big advantage is once the register is "z'd" out at least the report is archived on your hard drive.

Check them both out before you buy.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Whats in a name? It is SAM4s not Sam'4s

I'm not a huge fan of their name but I'm a huge fan of their cash registers which are the most advanced cutting edge registers on the market today. The name is SAM4s and it has a meaning which I forget at the moment. Here are a few of the names we have heard it called.

Whatever you call them you won't find a register with as many features at a great price or in some cases any price!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cash Register with credit card terminal

More and more people ask us about using a cash register with credit card. SAM4s makes more registers than anyone else that can interface with credit card payments which really turns them into both cash registers and credit card terminals all in one. Most also will work with Gift Card transactions too.

All the SAM4s cash registers use the datacap Twin Tran to accomplish the credit card interface. The most popular merchant services that we work with for cash register credt card interfaces is Mercury payment Systems although we have also works with First Data, Heartland, Sterling and others.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SAM4s Cash Registers with a touch screen

There are several SAM4s cash registers on the market with a touch screen. There is the SAM4s SPS-500 series which consist of the

And there is also the SAM4s SPS-2000 which is all touch screen and no keyboard. The 2000 is a modular system unlike the turnkey SPS-500 series

Any of them can interface with credit card payments with the Twin Tran from Datacap and many other interfaces as well.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Best selling cash registers are SAM4s

In my opinion the SAM4s Cash Register line is the best brand of cash registers being sold in the US and Canada. Several reasons for my thoughts after being in the business for a very long time. SAM4s is coming out with new models every year with cutting edge features (for cash registers). They are aggressive with their marketing and dealers services. SAM4s is very active in integrating with third party vendors like the Datacap Twin Tran and Mercury Payment Systems for credit card and gift card interface.

SAM4s has models in their line for any type of retail business or restaurants. Almost all their models can interface to PC and even include free programming software and optional reporting software. Before you buy your next cash register make sure you look twice at them.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Interfacing a cash register and credit card terminal

Sharp cash registers are one of the first on the market to release a commercial grade cash register that  interfaces to a traditional credit card terminal made by Hypercom. Although It is only one specific model of Hypercom it is a step in the right direction. The registers that can do this are the ER-A347 and the ER-A247 from Sharp. I do not beleive gift cards have been introduced to this interface yet.

The interface with the standalone credit card terminal is good, however I don't think it is as fast or secure as the old standby of interfacing cash registers to credit card payments with a Datacap. When you interface with the Datacap product such as the TwinTran it really turns your cash register into a credit card terminal as well. Most SAM4s Cash Registers and Sharp Registers interface with Datacap and also allow Gift Card interface as well.

There are several credit card merchant services compaines that specialize in cash register to credit card interfaces and the unique aspects of this interface. The company I have worked with the most and with the higest rate of success for everyone involved is Mercury Payment Systems. They will offer you a no upfront cost Twin Tran, a no cost gift card program (you do buy the cards, but never a discount fee or transaction fee for gift cards), they pay me to manage and support  your register and cash register interface.

We have not even talked about if you should interface or not. After doing this now for over ten years I can assure you interfacing your cash register or POS system directly to credit card payments will make you more money. How can I be so sure you might ask? I have seen first hand with my own eyes store owners we have installed going through thier receipts before and after interfacing. Before interfacing reconciling credit card payments on the register to the actual charges on the credit card terminal are drasiclty different. After they match penny for penny! Before interface entry mistakes were common where a cashier might turn a $19.99 sale into $1.99 on the credit card terminal. Fraud also is reduced greatly when you interface the two.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SAM4s cash register keyboard covers

Keyboard covers are a great way to protect the investment you have made in your cash register. Here is a great place to buy your covers SAM4s machines

They have more covers for Samsung and SAM4s cash registers than anyone I have seen online, following is just a few models they carry covers for
  • SAM4s ER-650
  • SAM4s ER-650R
  • SAM4s ER-5200
  • SAM4s ER-5200M
  • SAM4s SER-7000
  • SAM4s SER-7040
  • SAM4s SPS-520
  • SAM4s SPS-530
  • Many more SAM4s registers as well
Don't forget to change your keyboard covers which will protect your register and probably easier to see through!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Does my cash register need a keyboard cover?

Does my register need a keyboard cover. In almost every case the answer is yes. Keyboard covers protect your cash register from spills and also help keep dust and other airborne substances out of your cash register. It won't stop everything but they help for sure.

Not every business of course has to have a keyboard cover for example maybe a hardware store where there is never any liquid near the machines (don't forget cashiers soda pops or coffee) and you do a lot of 10 key maybe you could get away without it. I would still install one as they cost about $25.00 in most cases and can protect a $1000.00 cash register from being ruined!

Here are a couple links for keyboard covers. Sharp Cash Register Keyboard Covers or SAM4s Cash Register Keyboard Covers and don't forget the restaurant style registers all have keyboard covers that can be replaced. Don't live with a worn cover you can no longer see through when again they cost $25.00 to $35.00 on average.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Last question in our series about which cash register you should buy

Number ten in our series of the top ten questions to ask yourself before buying a new cash register is "Do I want to track inventory or just sales?"

This is a simple yet complex question for several different reasons. Many people get confused and think sales reports are the same as inventory control reports. Many people also confuse a cash registers stock keeping feature as being the same as true inventory control.

Let's look at true inventory control based on how we would define that from a point of sale system (POS) perspective. A POS system would within a matter of a few minutes be able to tell you item by item , what you have in stock, how many you have sold, how many you need to re-order and some systems even more. A true POS system will be able to tell you based on sales you need to order a case of blue widgets from ACME at a cost of $30.00 per case because last week you started with 10 blue widgets and sold 5 and have a threshold stock of 10 and must buy by the case. The system would then print a PO and when the items came in you could quickly receive into the system which would add the new ones to inventory, update your cost if it had changed and of course your cost of goods sold and profit per blue widget.

Now lets look at what a cash register is REALLY GOOD AT which is sales reporting. Lets for arguments sake say you have a 1000 UPC items programmed into your cash register. Each of those UPC's is programmed to a department for reporting. The cash register will allow you to take a UPC or PLU report based on a range of UPC/PLU numbers, UPC/PLU linked to a department, and a few other ways (different cash registers allow more or less reports) A cash register report will tell you that you have sold X amount of Blue Widgets from the last time you "Z'd" the report. The cash register does not know month to date, year to date, months, weeks, days etc. It knows from the last time you took the report until right now! Even if the register has monthly reports also known as "Z2" reports the Z2 reports are still based on from last taken to right now and the register has no idea what a month is or what month it is regardless of the fact it prints the date. A cash register counts sales and reports very well. It is your job to manage the dates to take the reports to get the most benefit of the reports. Most cash registers have many different daily and monthly reports.

So now you want to keep inventory on a cash register. You want your cash register to tell you that you started with 100 Blue Widgets and sold 75 and have 25 in stock and need to order more. Cash Registers with stock keeping can do most of that, however it would not tell you how many to buy, just how many you have left. The system seems to fall apart however when the store owner buys more blue widgets the end-user must go into programming and tell the cash register now instead of 25 widgets you have 125 although a few registers allow you to program plus 100 instead of entering the new number. Now envision you have 1000 UPC's and do you still want to do this? I would sell to you with a disclaimer that you should buy a software based POS system not cash register or a cash register and a inventory program to interface into.

My boss and I have about 65 years combined experience with cash registers and we know for a fact that people keeping inventory with a cash register seldom ever turns out well. We also know that there are salespeople across the country that tell people what they want to hear "YES it can do it" and than they end up calling us and we have to give them the bad news. The good news is if you have under 100 items and you are dedicated to 2 to 4 hours per week managing the stock control a cash register will make a pretty good limited inventory system.

A computer based POS has built in many time saving features that allow you to manage thousands of items with more detail in the same time a register can track limited info for 50 items. If someone tells you otherwise make them show you how to add inventory to stock. How long did it take? Was it easy? Was it one item at a time? I could go on and on on this topic. We feel passionate enough about it we wish cash register manufactures would remove the stock control features so people are not even tempted!

Not convinced? Call us or go somewhere and take a demo of managing inventory in both a computer POS system and a cash register!

SAM4s and Sharp both make cash registers with stock control features. The SPS-500 series is the first one on the market that have streamlined a little of the process to make it more manageable.

Please take away from this if nothing else that yes many cash registers can run a limited inventory control/stock keeping system however look hard at it and make sure it is for you!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Question number 9 or 10 should I buy commercial grade or consumer grade cash register

Number nine of our series is "Do I need a commercial grade cash register or a consumer grade register?"

First lets look at this question in more detail. Two of the three major cash register companies in the US sell both commercial grade and consumer grade registers. Commercial grade machines are found only through cash register dealers and never through big box stores. Consumer grade registers are sold through big box stores however you will find the rare dealer that sells a few as well.

The biggest problem with a consumer grade cash register is lack of support. If support is not that important to you than maybe that is not an issue. What you should know is every day my office gets calls from people who own consumer grade cash registers looking for support or more importantly looking for free support. When I say every day I literally mean every day without fail we will receive numerous calls from people looking for support for consumer grade registers. The consumer grade registers are most often very inexpensive and some have some great features you may not even find in a commercial grade register. If you are a high volume retail outlet or restaurant it is unlikely a consumer grade machine will hold up to the stress or you will be replacing them every 12 to 24 months. A good commercial grade register in our experience have a work life of 5 to 7 years and often much longer. Sure some don't last that long and the care and environment make a huge difference in lifespan.

Were we see a tremendous amount of frustration is the owner of a consumer grade register that needs to change the sales tax rate on their register. Before you call us you should also know that the commercial grade dealer like we are does not receive factory support from the manufactures of the consumer grade registers which is one reason we elect not to even attempt to support them any longer. Another huge sticking point is replacement parts. In most cases we are unable to get parts for the consumer grade registers and when we do they are outrageously over priced and I mean BAD! This just leads to very angry people yelling at our staff over pricing for a part for a machine that we had nothing to do with so of course we no longer even attempt to look up a part.

Where does a consumer grade register work? Well if you store/restaurant is owner operated, lower volume, not as much security requirements, no need to integrate with options like scanning, software, credit card etc! But most important they are for the person that will be a "Do it yourselfer"

A commercial grade register is for the person that does a little more business, needs interfaces to credit card, gift card, DVR etc. These registers are for people that need more security, or help with understanding the security features built into a machine. They are for people that when the tax changes want to be able to reach out to someone and get support. Commercial registers in most cases are scalable meaning they can grow and adapt with your business.

So really weigh the differences before you buy any register. If you are looking cheap cheap cheap than consumer grade is for you. If you need stability and support than maybe you should look at commercial grade. And please don't get me wrong there are some very successful stores and restaurants operating on consumer grade registers but there are far more using commercial grade.

Remember all of your return on investment from you business is coming back to you via the register or POS system. If used properly a commercial grade or consumer grade register can help you maximise the return!