Microsoft Retail Manager

 

 click on a question to see the answer

  1. I only have one retail store. I'd like to use a computer and software, but don't know if Microsoft Business Solutions Retail Management System is a good fit. Also, can I use my laptop PC?

  2. I am a growing retailer with six stores, 20 employees and about $10 million in sales. Can I use Microsoft Retail Management in more than one store?

  3. I currently use a cash register to track my sales and store cash. Does Microsoft Retail Management work with my cash register or do I need to replace it?

  4. Other than the software, what other equipment will I need to purchase?

  5. I have a personal computer (PC) that runs Microsoft Office and my accounting software. Can I use this PC and does Microsoft Retail Management work with my other software?

  6. Can I buy and install Microsoft Retail Management myself?

  7. How long will it take me to learn to use Microsoft Retail Management and to teach my employees to use it?

  8. Can I customize the application?

  9. What types of reports are available within the application?

  10. What types of transactions can I perform at the POS?

  11. Can I use my current credit card processing system with Microsoft Retail Management?

  12. Can the system automatically create purchase orders?

  13. Is there a limit to the number of items, customers, suppliers, etc. that I can input?

  14. How is the software licensed?

  15. What type of security is offered in Microsoft Retail Management?

  16. How soon will Microsoft Retail Management pay for itself, and what is the ongoing value to my business?

  17. What kind of inventory tracking does Microsoft Retail Management feature?

  18. Will my customers notice anything different at the register?

  19. I want to beef up our store's marketing campaigns. Can Microsoft Retail Management System help?

 

 


 

 

Q1. I only have one retail store. I'd like to use a computer and software, but don't know if Microsoft Business Solutions Retail Management System is a good fit. Also, can I use my laptop PC?


A. Yes. Microsoft Retail Management can run on any Windows-based computer laptop or desktop provided it meets the minimum requirements for installation and operation. Click here to learn more about minimum requirements and here to see a listing of capable hardware providers.

Microsoft Retail Management Store Operations can run at just one store or at multiple stores. There is no requirement to have multiple retail stores before purchasing Microsoft Retail Management Store Operations. The software, however, is designed to scale should your retail operation begin to grow into multiple locations. (back)


Q2. I am a growing retailer with six stores, 20 employees and about $10 million in sales. Can I use Microsoft Retail Management in more than one store?


A. Yes. Microsoft Retail Management offers an application called Headquarters that allows retailers with a small chain of stores to centralize control of their Store Operations databases and reporting. For instance, if you had six stores and a head office, you would have six licenses for Store Operations (each store with its own database), and one license for Headquarters at the head office. (back)

Q3. I currently use a cash register to track my sales and store cash. Does Microsoft Retail Management work with my cash register or do I need to replace it?


A. Microsoft Retail Management does not run on traditional cash registers. Instead, this easy-to-use software application is installed on a Windows-based computer with point of sale peripherals attached via the available ports on the computer. (It does not run on Apple computers.)

So you'll need to replace your cash register with computers, which are low in cost, easy to use, and reliable. When used with our software, they allow retailers to do much more than they ever could with a cash register, manage time-consuming tasks efficiently, and help increase profits as a result.

Like an electronic cash register, Microsoft Retail Management is used by cashiers or sales associates to ring up orders and tender sales, but it also provides much more. (back)


Q4. Other than the software, what other equipment will I need to purchase?


A. At a very minimum, you'll need a computer with a standard keyboard, mouse and monitor. (Remember, Microsoft Retail Management runs on a Microsoft Windows platform.) Most POS registers using Microsoft Retail Management also have a standard 40-column receipt printer, a scanner to read barcodes, a cash drawer to store cash and various tenders, and a pole display to let the customers view and verify the item prices and transaction total.

Other hardware that is available for use with Microsoft Retail Management includes full-page printers, scales, magnetic stripe readers (MSR), magnetic ink character recognition readers (MICR), signature capture device, PIN pads for accepting debit cards, touch screen monitors, and dual display monitors.

To determine what hardware you will need, check the hardware compatibility list, which specifies manufacturers and models of each type of device that is known to work with Microsoft Retail Management's Store Operations feature. Most of these POS devices require an OPOS driver to properly communicate with the software solution. Contact the hardware manufacturer to inquire about the availability of OPOS drivers for a specific type of peripheral. (back)


Q5. I have a personal computer (PC) that runs Microsoft Office and my accounting software. Can I use this PC and does Microsoft Retail Management work with my other software?


A. Yes. Microsoft Retail Management integrates with Microsoft Office, and with various accounting applications at the summary General Ledger level, including Microsoft Business Solutions accounting products (Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Business Solutions Small Business Financials North America Edition), QuickBooks, Peachtree, Blackbaud, and MYOB.

For example, you will have the ability to export working reports into Microsoft Excel for further data analysis, or use Microsoft Word to do a mail merge of customer information stored in your new Microsoft Retail Management database for targeted-marketing campaigns. (back)


Q6. Can I buy and install Microsoft Retail Management myself?


A. No. Microsoft Retail Management is not sold in retail stores, but is available from a wide network of Microsoft partners. These experienced, Microsoft-certified partners are retail and software experts who evaluate your business requirements, sell you the system, install it, and provide training and support.

Microsoft partners ensure you get the system most suited to your business, and that you maximize the return on your technology investment. (back)


Q7. How long will it take me to learn to use Microsoft Retail Management and to teach my employees to use it?


A. Based on reports from customers and Microsoft partners, it generally takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to train cashiers and employees. If they need to learn all the features of the POS, it could take a day or two of working with the system to get a good feel for it.

How quickly you and your employees learn Microsoft Retail Management may also depend on what kind of POS system you previously had been using. For example, if you were using a manual cash register and paper ledgers, then it may take a little longer. But the Microsoft Retail Management POS screens are easy to understand, and with practice will become second nature in no time.

That is why Microsoft certified partners are indispensable: They can walk you through the training, make it easy to understand and be available for follow-up questions. Overall, managers and store owners will want to take advantage of the many rich features that Microsoft Retail Management provides. Partners say that a store can be up and running in a day. (back)


Q8. Can I customize the application?


A. Yes. Microsoft Retail Management has various integration options that allow third-party developers to enhance the provided features. It also allows for totally new, customized features to meet your unique needs. Many third-party applications exist that extend the Microsoft Retail Management product to fit specific vertical markets. Want to learn more? (back)

Q9. What types of reports are available within the application?


A. Microsoft Retail Management offers dynamic, robust, customizable reports, called Active Reports that give users insight into their sales, customers, taxes, orders, and more. Active Reports can be filtered, grouped and sorted by any field in the report window. Also, columns can be hidden or displayed to let users see only the data that matters to them. Reports can be exported to Excel, e-mail, HTML, XML, and other formats, too. (back)

Q10. What types of transactions can I perform at the POS?


A. The POS application supports the following types of transactions: layaways, quotes, work orders, back orders, returns/voids, and regular sales. (back)

Q11. Can I use my current credit card processing system with Microsoft Retail Management?


A. Potentially. Microsoft Retail Management System offers integrated credit card processing directly with Citi Merchant Services, Wells Fargo Merchant Services, BA Merchant Services and Paymentech. The system also offers integration with other third parties, including PC Charge, IC Verify, and more. (back)


Q12. Can the system automatically create purchase orders?


A. Microsoft Retail Management can automatically create purchase orders at a user's request based on reorder information or sales history. Users can also build their own POs for specific departments, categories, suppliers, etc. (back)

Q13. Is there a limit to the number of items, customers, suppliers, etc. that I can input?


A. Microsoft Retail Management does not enforce any limits on the number of items, customers, etc. Provided there is enough disk space on the server, Microsoft Retail Management can support an unlimited number of data entries. Want to learn more? Click here to get help. (back)

Q14. How is the software licensed?


A. Microsoft Retail Management is licensed by active POS registers. The back office application, Microsoft Retail Management System's Store Operations Manager, is used to enter items, purchase orders, etc., as well as run reports and view inventory. Therefore, if a client has five computers in a store, with only three being used as active POS registers, only three licenses are required. (back)

Q15. What type of security is offered in Microsoft Retail Management?


A. Microsoft Retail Management offers extremely tight, flexible security within each product. Users have the ability to allow or deny access to any given menu option, window, button or field within the applications. There are as many as 31 different levels of security and they allow you to completely customize the security settings of your store. You have complete control over who has access to each kind of information. (back)

Q16. How soon will Microsoft Retail Management pay for itself, and what is the ongoing value to my business?


A. Many people who incorporate Microsoft Retail Management into their business report a quick return on their initial investment. To find out what your return on investment could be, contact a Microsoft partner. (back)

Q17. What kind of inventory tracking does Microsoft Retail Management feature?


A. Among many other powerful features, Microsoft Retail Management uses automated inventory tracking.

You can simplify manual stock counts with automated inventory tracking across one or multiple locations, using any stock or sales method. You can support most compatible inventory types, including standard, serialized, kit, assembly, matrix, lot matrix, voucher, non-inventory, and weighed.

You can also quickly and accurately calculate how much inventory you need to replenish, and you can track storage of offline inventory, such as non-sellable or broken items. (back)


Q18. Will my customers notice anything different at the register?


A. Yes. Your customers will be impressed with the level of detail that you'll now be able to provide them through Microsoft Retail Management. They'll get immediate access to detailed product information, personalized information about their previous purchases and payments, and account information.

With quick information about customers' buying histories at your fingertips, you'll be able to generate copies of old receipts, and suggest relevant up-sells, sale items and volume discounts. Plus, by providing all of your employees with standardized POS tools that offer the immediate access to detailed product information, you give your customers consistent and personalized information. (back)


Q19. I want to beef up our store's marketing campaigns. Can Microsoft Retail Management System help?


A. Yes. You can use Microsoft Retail Management to create special promotions such as "Buy one, get one free!" or "Buy two at the regular price and the next two at half off!"

Also, schedule store sales in advance for entire departments, categories, or supplier catalogs for a specified date or time. At the point of sale, you can track each discount given to customers through Reason Codes to gain insight into which sales and promotions are most successful.

Use the data in the Microsoft Retail Management SQL database to build a mail merge in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel to create customer mailings and advertisements. Track your customers' purchase histories to learn their buying habits and to deliver personalized service that will keep them coming back for more. (back)


 

 

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