The golf retail business has come a long way since the old days of ringing goods through the till or in some cases keeping your cash in a golf ball box.
Electronic point of sale (EPOS) systems have now made things rather simpler. But are PGA Professionals utilising these systems and to their full potential?
Eddie Reid, Managing Direct of TGI Golf – Europe’s leading buying group for golf professionals – believes green grass professionals can drastically improve the running of their businesses simply by making the most of the EPOS system.
“The EPOS system is critically important in the current economic and trading climate, giving a Pro an accurate analysis of the day-to-day running of their business,” he said. “With market forces changing regularly and affecting the way a Pro runs their business, the EPOS system highlights areas that may need attention, allowing them to react quickly and effectively.”
Some Pros have reservations about using an EPOS system mainly due to the initial financial outlay and the time taken for installation and data input unique to the individual retail outlet. However, Eddie Reid advises that the benefits to the business will far outweigh the initial financial and labour cost.
“Having one of these systems is like having an extra member of the team,” he added. “Yes, there is an initial cost and some work to be done in setting it up; but once it is up and running and being used to its full potential a Pro will make a saving on the cost well within two years while increasing the efficiency of their business.
“Pros shouldn’t be fearful of the technology either; an EPOS system is no different to using acomputer – if you’re PC literate then there will be no problem.”
So how can an EPOS system help a modern day Professional’s business and what makes them so important?
Eddie Reid explained: “An EPOS system will give the user an analytical and factual review, placing less emphasis on anecdotal information or the retailer’s memory. It shows what stock they have, what they paid for it, what they’ve been selling it for and, most importantly to the business, what margin has been made.
“Other features that make the system so essential include stock-taking and stock control, reporting facilities including margin and category analysis, as well as the best and worst selling products in the shop, helping the Pro with forward planning in terms of buying plans as well as aiding with space management on the shop floor.
“For example, if it tells you that hardware is making up just 20 per cent of sales, you know not to give up 50 per cent of your shop floor space for it.
“Stock control is vitally important to Pros as there is nothing worse than having a full stock room stacked with unsold products. The EPOS system can help with this too, keeping track of everything that is in the shop and alerting you when levels of a certain product are getting low and you need to reorder. Some suppliers even offer an automated stock replenishment system, which ensures you always have the correct amount, minimising out of stocks and therefore reduced revenue.”
“Having so much analytical and accurate data to hand can only benefit businesses,” added Eddie Reid. “It is also extremely helpful when it comes to the dreaded VAT returns or audits making it so much easier to report all account figures to the Inland Revenue.
“There is no doubt that it is difficult to consider any capital investment in these tough trading times. If you are looking to invest a small amount of money in something that will benefit your business dramatically EPOS should be at the top of your wish list.”
TGI Golf www.tgigolf.com