Restaurants, service providers, retailers and other small businesses need a new option when it comes to analyzing and managing data. Basically, these businesses need a way to integrate detailed reporting and simple management tools into a single dashboard.And the solution should make these tools available in the exact same place where you accept orders and payments. Options include an add-on service — NCR Console’s NCR Silver — that works with POS systems.
The idea behind such services is that they can simplify operations for businesses that use POS systems. Instead of using your system just for processing payments and managing orders, you can use it as a platform for learning about your business and managing everything from inventory to employees. Instead of needing several different tools to perform all of those various functions, you can access them within a single interface.
Nicole Moffitt, product manager for NCR Small Business, said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Console is a lightweight cloud back office application for businesses with low complexity. Our overarching goal is to provide businesses a one stop shop solution for managing day to day business needs. Our full suite of interactive solution includes Advanced Reporting, Scheduling and Inventory.”
When looking for such tools, you’ll need an integrated calendar that you can use for scheduling and managing employees. You’ll also need automatic shift alerts for team members allowing them to easily switch shifts or make adjustments as needed. This lets you spend less time and money on managing your team.
You’ll also want sales intelligence features, which can help you understand which items are selling and which are not. This can help you more effectively make decisions about your product lines and make it easier for you to keep up with inventory. If something is selling quickly, you can see that clearly and then easily place an order for more. If you notice a particular item selling very slowly, it can help you decide whether or not it’s best to cut that option out of your menu or shop list altogether, or perhaps to push it more in your marketing.
Tools like NCR’s Console provide so many different options, they can be used in a variety of ways by different types of businesses. For example, a restaurant may use the calendar for scheduling employee shifts and the reporting feature to determine which menu items are most popular. A retail store might use it to keep their inventory up to date. And service businesses may use it for managing service calls and keeping team members in the loop.
Here’s a video that examines how a local tea shop could make use of Console’s function in a wide variety of areas.
Whatever features seem most relevant to your business, the benefit remains the same — the ability to manage as many aspects of your business as possible from one central dashboard. Rather than needing a POS system, a separate scheduling program, an inventory management platform, a sales reporting tool and a team communication app, you can roll all of that into one. So you and your management team can keep these functions of your business under one umbrella and eliminate or at least reduce confusion and complications.
Add a tool like NCR Silver, the company’s cloud-based iPad POS system and you’ll have even more features. NCR’s cloud-based software can also integrate with other products. So if you already have a POS system that you love, you can add Console onto it to receive this improved functionality.
NCR already helps businesses process millions of transactions every day and provides solutions for about 60 percent of the country’s top quick service table chains. And it is the most popular choice for retail and hospitality businesses around the globe. The company also offers online mobile banking and self-checkout solutions for both large and small businesses.
Founded in 1884, NCR has no shortage of innovations in its history. Console is just the latest in a long line of offerings designed to provide powerful yet simple solutions for businesses. While many of the tools are designed for larger companies, Console and NCR Silver are aimed squarely at small business users. So they integrate features that focus on ease and simplicity. This benefits small teams that often have to manage so many different tasks throughout each day. The ultimate goal is of course to let these solutions do most of the heavy lifting so business owners can focus on the things they do best — like serving customers or creating new growth strategies.
Moffitt says, “We want to provide small business owners with all the tools they need to be successful. With Console, small business owners will have more time at the end of their work day to do the things they enjoy or ensure they are reaching their margins.”