Getting to know iVend Better

The better you know iVend, the more business benefit you’ll get from it.

In iVend retail, there are a few settings or setups which cannot be reversed or undone. In our first part, we covered three such settings. This is the second of the three part series on irreversible settings in iVend.  

This month we cover the following settings:

ERP System type and Localisation

iVend Retail can be used either as a standalone application (iVend Unplugged) or as an application integrated to an ERP application. This is mentioned as the ERP System Type. In addition to this iVend Retail also expects the localisation to be mentioned as part of the setup. 

Both these settings are fundamental to the working of iVend Retail. Once set, both these settings cannot be changed

enterprise-setting

Store Mode (Enterprise with Store / Store)

This is a setting specified while defining a Store. For not-so-large retail setups the retailer may prefer to have the Enterprise server ALSO double up as the Store Server. 

In this case the Store Mode of the store is specified as ‘Enterprise with Store’

This further means that while the server will have all the Enterprise functions, it will ALSO have ‘store specific’ functions and processes like ability to carry out back-office inventory transactions. 

Please note that only one store can be configured as ‘Enterprise with Store’

store

This is an irreversible setting because once set, the application configures all store functions in the Enterprise Server.

This setting is irreversible as if one store which was marked earlier as ‘Enterprise with store’ is marked simply as store , then the enterprise will not have any other store which is marked as ‘Enterprise’ , to avoid any such conflict, this setting has been marked as irreversible.

Apply Sale Discount on Transaction Total After Tax

Tax jurisdictions have different ways of managing discounts. This global setting allows retailers to offer discounts AFTER the tax has been applied to a transaction. 

By default this setting is switched OFF, which means the application will FIRST apply discounts and THEN apply the taxes. 

Switching this setting ON has an application wide impact. 

Once switch ON it is NOT possible to switch this setting OFF

Base Currency setup

Predictably, there can only be one base currency in which the retail environment will work. Additional currencies can also be defined and can be used in transactions by specifying the exchange rates with respect to the base currency. 

The base currency is the reference to various exchange rates in case of foreign currency is being used. If the base currency itself has been changed every other currency will lose it’s reference point, and every historical and future transaction will be affected. 

It is for this reason, once set, the base currency cannot be changed. The application however allows you to change the denomination values of the currency. 

 

In iVend retail, there are a few settings or setups which are irreversible. Starting this month, we will be starting a three part series on the irreversible settings in iVend Retail. This three part series will not only talk about such features and settings, but will also highlight some of the reasons which make those settings irreversible.

The behaviour of these settings is totally based on the fundamentals of business processes and inventory management, and the features in iVend Retail are designed to abide by these fundamental principles.

This month we cover the following settings:

Subsidiary

Subsidiaries are best defined as smaller, sub-companies of a big conglomerate. All the subsidiaries may have different or similar lines of business.

In the context of iVend Retail subsidiaries are defined when the big conglomerate has retail operations in different countries.

Since the subsidiaries are in different countries, the currencies and taxes will be different.

Different currency and taxes impact other masters like pricing, discounts, promotions, etc. Quite a few relevant setups and their structure are entirely changed internally to be in accordance with the subsidiary model.

It is therefore not possible to ‘switch off’ subsidiaries once they are enabled.

Invoice Rollup

As the name specifies, switching ON this option will start consolidating iVend sales into a single transaction before it is posted into the integrated ERP.

All iVend Sales are clubbed together based on a certain criteria before a consolidated entry is posted into the ERP application integrated to the environment.

iVend sales transactions are ‘rolled up’ based on the below mentioned criteria.

Roll-up only cash customer invoices. This setting ensures that the invoices of all cash customers will be rolled up.

Use the store cash customer for roll up. All the invoices that are ‘rolled-up’ will be posted in the integrated ERP for the Cash Customer that is defined for this store.

Interval Type and Interval. iVend gives retailer the option to roll-up transactions either at a specific time of the day OR specify the interval in hours at which the roll-up process will run and post transactions into the integrated ERP

Important to note is that the products from different invoices will get rolled-up into one invoice only if they have the same applicable tax.

Given the complex nature of the consolidation (roll-up) process, it is NOT possible to Switch OFF this setting once it is switched ON

Location and Default Location

Locations are logical segregations defined in the application that allow retailers to manage their in-store inventory better. By defining locations, retailers can control the stock levels that have to be considered for sales. For example, the retailer can define a location ‘returned goods’ where all the returned products are kept. The retailer can also control whether or not the stock in this location is to be considered for sale at the point of sale.

Once this setting has been enabled, the warehouse definition screen will have the option to specify whether or not locations are applicable to the particular warehouse.

As soon as the locations are enabled at the warehouse level, all transactions expect a location to be specified from where the products are either being sold OR returned to.

When locations are switched ON for the warehouses, the inventory is allocated all the way to location level. This inventory cannot be allocated back to warehouse level by simply turning off the locations setup.

Once a warehouse has locations enabled, it is not possible to switch OFF this setting for the warehouse.

All masters in iVend Retail and especially Product Master are displayed in a ‘card view’. This means that you get to see the details of a product as a card in one place. However, to see all the products and their properties as a list where you can view them together is only available in the Product List. To access the product list in the Management Console, navigate to Operations > Inventory > Product List

The screen has a very intuitive design where you can search products based on different filtering criteria. The list of the products is very helpful when you want to view products that belong to a particular group, or the products supplied by a particular vendor or all serial or batch controlled products in a list view for easy reference. 

Not only search and view, you also have the ability to Add new products. This is especially helpful when you would like to create a product by copying an existing product. 

Once you have selected the products that you want to ‘search’, the data pertaining to a  product is displayed in multiple tabs in the grid section of the screen. The different tabs include information about child items (if the product selected is a matrix product), inventory view of the product across all stores and warehouses. In case the product searched is a parent product, the inventory view will list the stock status of all its child items across all stores and warehouses, upsells, alternate products and (most importantly) the matrix view of the child items across all stores and warehouses. 

Specially in the context of matrix items, this matrix view tab gives a lot of information about the matrix product. In this tab, you get to select the  Store and the Display options like InStock Qty, Available to Sell Qty, On Fulfillment Qty, etc. You then select the primary and secondary attributes. 

Once you have defined the ‘view’ click search to see the data for the child products in a matrix view. 

If you haven’t explored the power of the screen, please go ahead and see how best this one screen helps you perform better. 

As you all know, Promotions in iVend are called Bonus Buys and it is by far the most comprehensive and powerful engine in its class. Bonus Buys in iVend are broadly of 2 types:

Bonus Buys 

These are the promotions which are typically of Buy Some Get Some type. You get to define the BUY side, which can be a specific product OR a product from a product group OR a product from a product category OR any of the products in your product portfolio. 

The GET side, which has many options can be a specific product OR a product from a product group OR a product from a product category. In addition to this, the GET side can also have loyalty points, Gift Cards or Coupons. 

Fixed Price

These promotions allow you as a retailer to configure a bunch of products that can be sold at a fixed price. Though you still have to define the BUY side of the promotion, the GET side is just an amount. The customer gets to buy the BUY items for a fixed price. 

For both the promotion types you get to define the exclusions, which can either be specific products, OR product groups OR customer groups.  

Now, the interesting part. 

Bonus Buys for Serial and Batch Controlled Products

Bonus Buys in iVend can also be configured for serial and batch controlled products. 

After defining the BUY side, GET side and the exclusions (if any), you can specify the serial numbers and batch numbers of the products that you want to include in promotions. 

Bonus Buys for serial controlled products are very popular when the retailer would like to sell off the old and outdated electronic products. 

Similarly, bonus buys for batch controlled products are very popular with retailers selling perishable products that have a short shelf life. For example, fresh fruits, bakery, meat, etc. 

If you are a retailer who is selling electronic products or groceries, go ahead and explore how best can iVend Bonus Buys help you manage your inventory better.

The price manager allows you to update a price list based on an existing price list. The price list can be updated and adjusted in multiple ways including adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, or specifying an absolute amount.

You have the option to round off the new prices. The rounding can be to the nearest or ends with. The ‘ends with’ option allows you to make the decimal points consistent. For example, an ‘ends with’ setting of .99 will make all prices end with .99.

The rounding be round up, round down or round to nearest.

The application displays the base price, current price and the suggested price (calculated price).

Lastly, the updated price list can be stored as a draft and can be revisited later.

Price Manger can be accessed from Management Console > Operations > Pricing and Promotions > Price Manager

Scheduled Price change for a store / store group

The option to schedule a price change at a store is a logical extension to the price manager functionality. You can specify the new price list and its effective date at the store. This is a great feature when a retailer wants to make a new price list effective from a future date. This feature helps retailers plan a big price change in advance without effecting the store operations on the day of price change.

Management Console > Administration > Retail Configuration > Store. Click on the Price List button at the bottom to open the screen where the new price list and its effective date can be specified.

Or in the case of a store pricing group

Management Console > Administration > Retail Configuration > Store Groups. Click on the Price List button at the bottom to open the screen
where the new price list and its effective date can be specified.

Continuing our series on Hidden Gems of Retail Profile, today we talk about 4 very interesting and important settings in the Retail Profile.

New Row for Scan

If the same item is scanned again, the default behaviour of the application is to just increase the quantity of the scanned item. With this setting
switched ON in the retail profile, every scan of the item will add a new row to the transaction grid.

Refund for Promotional Items

Retailers run a lot of promotions whether it is the festive season or an end-of-season sale. Many times, customers would want a refund on the
items purchased during a promotion. Giving refunds to items sold on promotions further reduces the margin. With this setting switched ON,
iVend Retail can stop refunds on items that were sold on promotion.

Open Product Search if Barcode is not recognized

There could be many reasons for a scanned barcode not being recognized by the application. With this setting switched ON, the application
automatically opens the product search screen if the barcode is not recognised by the application. This is a very handy setting especially in a
supermarket environment where the speed of checking out is of paramount importance.

Prevent further scan if the barcode is not recognised

On the same lines as the previous one, switching this setting ON will prevent any further scanning if the barcode is not recognised. This is very
helpful for retailers selling high-value products.

Depending on your type of business, go ahead and set it up the above settings in your iVend Retail environment NOT out of paper, that the
printer is NOT open, etc.

We have spoken about the retail profile in our previous newsletters. Taking the series forward, we talk about 2 more hidden gems of Retail
profile.

Retail Profile is a centralised template that allows you to define and control your POS operations. Retail Profile can be defined on the following
Levels within iVend:

  • Enterprise
  • Store
  • Point Of Sale
  • User / Employee

Depending on where a Retail Profile is defined, it can then be applied to some or all POS in the environment.

In our previous newsletter we discussed POS wild cards which are special characters that allow faster change of values in specific fields.

In today’s newsletter, we talk about 2 important settings on Retail Profile that help retailers in reducing in-store pilferages and improving
customer experience.

Both these settings appear towards the bottom of the General section in a retail profile and are best utilised if the Retail Profile is attached to a
POS.

Check for Cash Drawer Status

Switching this setting ON will ensure that the cash drawer is closed before the start of the next transaction. Not only for high transaction volume
setups like a supermarket, but this setting is also equally pertinent for speciality retailers.

This setting is extremely helpful at the time of day closure when the cashier and the store manager are reconciling the balances in the tills.

Check for Printer Status

It can get very frustrating for the customer if the printer is not able to print the transaction receipt. Switching this setting ON will ensure that the
printer is in a ready state to print the transaction receipt before the start of the next transaction. Ready state of a printer could mean – printer is
NOT out of paper, that the printer is NOT open, etc.

Both the settings also help the in-house IT support staff to extend support in the shortest possible time.

Go ahead and set it up now in your iVend Retail environment

Omnichannel functions are offered in iVend Retail through its productized connector to Magento Commerce. The connector (iVend Retail for Magento) integrates iVend Retail and a site running Magento Commerce (both – Community and Enterprise Edition of Magento)

The connector ensures seamless integration of master data (products, customers, prices, etc.) between the 2 applications.

Online orders from Magento and delivery information from iVend are seamlessly integrated across both the applications.

In addition to Buy online – pickup in-store and Buy online – ship from store, the application also allows for curbside delivery (a variant of buy
online, pickup at store). The application also allows the online customer to select the store from where she would like to pick up the ordered
products.

iVend Retail when integrated to a Magento commerce site integrates the stock status of products in iVend with the ‘sources’ defined in Magento. Sources in Magento are the physical locations where product inventory is managed and shipped for order fulfillment. These locations can include warehouses, brick-and-mortar stores, pickup locations, etc.

The integration is designed in a manner that you don’t need to keep separate inventory for your online store. It is the iVend stock status that
gets automatically updated in Magento. You get to control how often this synchronisation needs to be done during the day.

Since the Magento site need not have its own inventory, you can define inventory replenishment policies in iVend to better plan and manage
stocks across your retail network – especially for your online store.

This integration between iVend Retail and Magento works flawlessly and seamlessly even when iVend is integrated to a core ERP at the backend. Master data including products and prices integrate from the ERP to the Magento site via iVend Retail. Similarly online orders get integrated in
iVend as Special Order and therefore into the core ERP as Sales Order.

To ensure better customer experience, online orders, which integrate as Special Orders can be configured to reserve inventory of the ordered
products.

Retail Profile is a centralised template that allows you to define and control your POS operations. Retail Profile can be defined on the following
Levels within iVend:

  • Enterprise
  • Store
  • Point Of Sale
  • User / Employee

Depending on where a Retail Profile is defined, it can then be applied to some or all POS in the environment.

Today we talk about one such control that can be defined in the Retail Profile – POS Wild Cards

Specifically designed for a Supermarket environment, activating POS Wild cards significantly increase the transaction processing speed at the
POS.

POS Wild cards are special characters that allow faster change of values in specific fields. For example, if the Quantity wild card is set to @
clicking @+7 will automatically change the quantity value to 7.

iVend Retail allows POS Wild Cards for Quantity, Price, Discount % and Discount Amount

For Quantity: The default wildcard for this is @ This means that if the cashier clicks @+7 the value in the Quantity field on the transaction line at
the POS will change to 7

For Price: The default wildcard for this is # This means that if the cashier clicks #+27 the value in the Price field on the transaction line at the POS
will change to 27

For Percentage Discount: The default wildcard for this is % This means that if the cashier clicks #+15 the discount percentage on the transaction
line at the POS will change to 15

For Amount Discount: The default wild card for this is & This means that if the cashier clicks &+45 the discount amount on the transaction line at
the POS will be 45

iVend Cloud, in addition to delivering seamless customer experiences across all channels, also allows retailers to engage their customers in many
different ways.

Your iVend license comes with a comprehensive scheduler engine which can be used to send out emails to your customers to not only increase
customer engagement, but also to increase revenue per customer.

The scheduler engine has an inbuilt option to schedule campaigns. Multiple campaigns can be scheduled to go out to different customer
segments.

To increase engagement with customers, this email campaign can have a coupon which the customer can either redeem on the stores OR on
your online shopping portal. iVend Digital Commerce is seamlessly integrated with iVend Retail and also to your integrated ERP through the
iVend Connectors.

You can also deploy iVend Passes, a cloud based solution for digitally distributing gift cards, coupons, loyalty and membership cards across
customer mobile devices.

Digital Passes can be deployed on iOS Apple Wallet and Android devices.

With iVend Passes, you can send notifications to customers on loyalty balances, coupons close to expiring, unspent balances on gift cards, special
events and offers, etc.

Geofencing feature of iVend Passes is provided to pop up a pass notification when a user is in close vicinity. This makes marketing
communications more actionable.

Get in touch with our iVend experts to know more about iVend Schedule manager and iVend Digital Passes

iVend Retail gives a retailer the flexibility to define the template that will determine how discounts should be applied on a product in case where multiple discounts are applied on the same transaction item. Discounts in iVend have been categorized into four types of discounts:

  • Manual Discount: are the discounts that are given manually at POS during the transaction
  • System Discount: are the discounts, like special price list discounts
  • Coupon Discount: are the discounts that are triggered by a promotional coupon
  • Promotion Discount: are the bonus buys discounts

Depending on the grouping done, the user can determine the relationship of a particular group with the next Discount Group.

The Discount Resolution Setup, as it is called, is a 3 step process.

Step 1: Defining the Discount Groups

Step 2: Defining the Discount Resolution Definition, where you select “sum of discounts” or “maximum of discounts” in a group. This determines
the system behaviour when two discounts from the same groups were applicable under the same group

Step 3: Defining the Discount Relation, where you define how the groups are related amongst themselves. This determines the system behaviour
when two discounts or promotions are under two different groups.

In-App Notifications
In this case, the notifications are sent within the application user interface and can be accessed both in the Management Console as well as on the POS terminal. The In-App notification setup is explained further.

Email Notifications
As the name implies, the notifications are sent via an email to the relevant user. The application utilizes the SMTP setup mentioned in Administration>System Initialization>Communication Settings>SMTP Details. The email of the user is set up in Administration>Human Resources>Employee.

SMS (text) Notifications
These types of notifications are sent to users on their mobile phones as SMS / Text messages. The application utilizes the SMS gateway setup in Administration>System Initialization>Communication Settings>Messaging Settings. The phone number of the user is set up in Administration>Human Resources>Employee

In iVend Retail, input fields can be set to validate as per business requirements. This feature can ensure that the user will enter data into system only in the required format.

To validate a field, open any form such as Customer card, Purchase Order etc. and right click on any input field. This will show a list of options available for that particular field such as making the field mandatory, or setting the input rules to a specific pattern.

Validations rules may include Maximum and minimum range for input value, pattern, length etc. Save the setting and re-start the Management Console. Once this is done users can only enter data in accordance with the rule.

Training tip 1 – Scheduled EOD (End of Day)
Since iVend Retail 6.6 till sessions have no longer been fixed to a business date. This means that a retailer can continue to use the same till session and keep executing EoD to change the business date. The EoD process can be executed each day automatically at a set time to ensure the store is ready to trade the following day.

Management Console > Administration > Retail Configuration > Store > Perform Automatic End of Day. This setting must be enabled
Management Console > Administration > Retail Configuration > Store > Set Time for Automatic End of Day. Specify the time when the End of Day Process should be run.

Training tip 2 – Price Manager
The price manager allows customers to update a price list based on an existing price list. The list can be updated and adjusted in multiple ways including adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, or specifying an absolute amount.

Customers can also round off the new prices. The rounding can be up or down and ‘to the nearest’ or ‘ends with’. The ‘ends with’ option allows you to make the decimal points consistent – for example, setting it to .99 will make all prices end with .99.

The application displays the base price, current price and the suggested price (calculated price).
Lastly, the updated price list can be stored as a draft and can be revisited later.

Management Console > Operations > Pricing and Promotions > Price Manager

Training tip 3 – Scheduled Price change for a store / store group
As an extension to the price manager functionality, customers can also specify an effective date at the store for their new price list. This is a great feature when a retailer wants to make a new price list effective from a future date. It helps them plan a big price change in advance without affecting the store operations on the day of the change.

Management Console > Administration > Retail Configuration > Store. Click on the Price List button at the bottom to open the screen where the new price list and its effective date can be specified. Or in the case of a store pricing group

Management Console > Administration > Retail Configuration > Store Groups. Click on the Price List button at the bottom to open the screen where the new price list and its effective date can be specified.