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The 3 Government Grants design for Singapore Retailer (Latest)

Singapore government grant available to help SME to increase productivity and save cost.

The universal rule applied whether you are a startup SME or multi-national corporation (MNC).

Maximise profit and minimise Cost

Most company focus on maximise profit and overlook on how to save money. First thing that come into your mind about cost saving is probably tighten up spending. If you are a local businesses, the good news is that you can leverage on the government grants available in the market to help you save cost. 

The perk as Singapore retailers, you have as many as 10 different types of government grants cater for start up, local companies or partnership programs when you broaden your territory oversea.

Amongst all, we have shortlisted the top 3 important grants that you should pay attention to.

The Top 3 Government Grants for Retail Business

  1. Productivity Solution Grant (PSG)
  2. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
  3. Market Readiness Assistance Grant

1. Productivity Solution Grant (PSG)

Grant objectives

PSG grant aims to support local companies with adoption of IT solutions and equipment to enhance business processes and increase productivity through automation.

Eligibility

  • The business entity must be registered in Singapore
  • Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding (for selected solutions only)

Grant support

Up to 70% funding support, for companies making long-term technology investments

PSG is the most accessible grant scheme for retail business as retail industry is one of the key sector that government encourage to embark on digital transformation. Retail sector contributes up to $35 bil annually, from 21,000 establishments. You can get support from PSG when adopting eCommerce solution (eg. Shopify), Omni-channel POS System (eg. Vend), or integrated cloud accounting system (eg. XERO).

See the full list of supported solutions on Tech Depot

The application process for PSG is straight forward where you can find out the details step by step guide here.

Who should apply

Retailer who has yet to upgrade from the cash register system are likely to benefits from electronic POS System (ePOS) using PSG.

Unlike cash register systems, ePOS system such as Vend, is one of the recommended brand for managing multi-outlet retail business. The cloud based point-of-sale system enhance inventory management, customer engagement and giving real-time information which empower business owner to make strategic decision.

One great example is the multi-outlets fashion retailer, OMOSE who benefits from PSG grant to deploy Vend Retail Management System to all his outlets, integrate with Shopify eCommerce, XERO accounting software and enable Omni-channel Loyalty program at one go. The fashion retailer has since experience the cost saving, revenue increase with greater customer retention.

Solution Pricing

Singapore retailer can purchase Vend pre-approved package at $5100 and get subsidy up to $2670 to enjoy all the benefits that advanced IT system can benefits them. And they can purchase multiple packages up to $30,000 for retailers who has multiple outlets.


2. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

Grant objectives

EDG grant is design for company that has already transform with basic digital solution such as POS System or accounting system to strengthen the business foundation and further enhance and optimise the process for further scaling. You can regards that as “Phase 2” digital transformation.

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) helps Singapore companies grow and transform. This grant supports projects that help you upgrade your business, innovate or venture overseas, under three pillars:

Core Capabilities – Projects under Core Capabilities help businesses prepare for growth and transformation by strengthening their business foundations. These should go beyond basic functions such as sales and accounting.

Innovation and Productivity – Projects under Innovation and Productivity support companies that explore new areas of growth, or look for ways to enhance efficiency. These could include reviewing and redesigning workflow and processes. Companies could also tap into automation and technologies to make routine tasks more efficient.

Market Access – Projects under Market Access support Singapore companies that are willing and ready to venture overseas. You may tap into the EDG to help defray some of the costs of expanding into overseas markets.

Eligibility

  • The business entity must be registered in Singapore
  • At least 30% local shareholding
  • Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project (Applications will be assessed by Enterprise Singapore based on project scope, project outcomes, and competency of the service provider.)

Grant support

The grant funds up to 70% of qualifying project costs namely third party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower cost.

Related links


3) Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant

Grant objectives

The MRA Grant aim to assists Singapore SME to expand their business to oversea and participate in activity such as market entry, or participation in a trade fair.

Eligibility

  • Business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore
  • At least 30% local shareholding
  • Group annual turnover not exceeding S$100 million per annum based on the most recent audited report, or group employment not exceeding 200 employees

Grant support

Up to 70% of eligible costs, capped at 20K per company per fiscal year that covers

Related links

More good news

You can apply all these 3 grants together as they are not mutually exclusive. However, you should plan your resources well to maximize the outcome of the grants.

You can visit Business Grant Portal and start applying

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Implementing Efficiencies Within Your Restaurant

Whether it’s in the restaurant, financial, healthcare or energy sectors, implementing customer efficiencies that save them time and increase satisfaction affects the entire organization.

When highly successful individuals like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet reach a certain financial level, money becomes secondary to time. Yes, they can always make more money, but time for them becomes a precious resource even more valuable than money. Getting more of it back into one’s day can only be achieved by evaluating where time is being wasted and then using techniques and technologies to recapture that lost commodity.

When operators build efficiency strategies within a restaurant business, the implemented tactics hold a promise of generating more time through the process of eliminating the waste; those strategies can also deliver better value for customers, improve reputability, create more manageable costs, and promote higher staff productivity. Yet, restaurant operators may feel that carving out the initial time to uncover those gaps that often lead to wasted effort is a problem within itself. Another holiday season arrives, busy nights ensue, and that desire to improve operations slips between the cracks. However, operators must consider the wisdom of one of our nation’s great leaders. The importance of spending a little time now to create more efficiency later is no better illustrated than through the words of Abraham Lincoln, who once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

How to Sharpen the Restaurant Operational Edges

To create a smarter, more efficient operation, let’s start by looking at three areas within the hospitality industry that hold the most potential for improvement:

  • More restaurant staff efficiency
  • Better guest efficiencies
  • Efficiency within the business as a whole

While all three of these areas can be evaluated in total, it’s typically best to focus on one improvement area at a time in these early stages. If a process or technology solution arises that addresses more than one area, then that can be weighed later. For now, isolate each area, uncover the biggest time-wasting area, develop the tactics to use, then plan for implementing and measuring improvements.

Once operational gaps are pinpointed, ruthlessly eliminate those activities so that improvements can be realized. Operators typically have some knowledge of where energy, time, or product waste is occurring, but he or she may not immediately understand how these are causing ripple effects throughout the organization. Obtaining staff input from those employees affected by the issue ultimately ensures knowledge that originates from its source. At the same time, probe deeper by asking staff what other areas need improvements. Soliciting staff opinion will ultimately help confirm their value to the team and instill partial ownership of the solutions once implemented. From this input, select a minimum of two issue-prone annoyances to tackle, and begin.

Most of the time restaurant operations continue day-by-day in the manner in which they ended the day before. However, by examining present day organizational problems against the solutions that can lead to more productive operations, extra time can magically appear so that other areas of the business can receive the focus they deserve.

Creating Stellar Staff with Efficiencies 

Gathering staff feedback for problem areas can often set in motion the answer to the problem at the outset—improved employee attitudes. When employees don’t feel heard, they shut down and problems ensue. Every team member’s attitude, from the head chef to front of house hosts, all the way down to the high school junior who sweeps the floors will improve through regular visits from management who listen to their suggestions. According to McKinsey & Company, productivity improves by 20–25 percent in organizations with connected employees. Operations will run smoother when communication flows and efficiencies are put in place.

A few of the restaurant problems that arise in restaurants without staff efficiencies include:

  • Low staff performance
  • Stress-filled shifts that increase safety risks
  • Poor communication between teams
  • Increased staff turnover

Today’s restaurant staff expects to work in a productive environment and that often means operators must implement technology to help them meet and exceed customer needs. Putting a point of sale (POS) system in place may be one of those technologies that illustrate how management values time for the staff. If servers have used a POS system at other restaurants where they’ve worked previously, once hired to work in a restaurant operation without one can add to frustrations and wasted time.

If a POS system is already in place, organizational improvements can be furthered by implementing technology that builds upon the time saved at the point of sale. Many digital operation platforms that integrate with a wide variety of POS systems can automate the kitchen while giving front of house staff the tools to improve management of guests.

Ensuring Grateful Guests with Efficiencies

Nothing turns away customers like a crowded restaurant with long wait lines, only to discover their workaround for that scenario—a reserved table—has been scheduled for the wrong time, or double-booked. If this occurs far too often within the organization, technology exists to correct the problem. A guest management platform can improve areas that satisfy guests and staff alike.

Some of the issues that occur in restaurants that have not deployed a restaurant management platform are:

  • Unorganized wait staff
  • Inability to manage online reservations
  • Dwindling guest traffic
  • Failure to quickly respond to guest complaints

As with improved efficiencies for staff, guests also appreciate being heard, so from the get-go, implement a method to start collecting customer feedback. An operation can’t improve guest satisfaction if it does not listen and respond quickly to complaints or suggestions. Wagering a guess as to why customers aren’t returning for their next dining experience is operating with one hand tied behind the back when so many digital solutions are available to facilitate the collection of guest feedback at the end of every meal.

Whether it’s in the restaurant, financial, healthcare or energy sectors, implementing customer efficiencies that save them time and increase satisfaction affects the entire organization. Last year, the Temkin Group, a thought leader in the experience economy, stated that a moderate increase in the customer experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues.

Affecting the Entire Operation through Efficiencies

When implemented, restaurant efficiencies rival the banking industry’s secret sauce: compounding interest. And by now, the financially astute know that the sooner you begin, the more you’ll have when you need it. The same is true for restaurant technology and the efficiencies the right solution can provide. Additions in efficiency add up quickly; when a restaurant brand begins scaling, technology improvements today pay huge dividends later.

As an operator ditches the inefficiencies of pen and paper for a kitchen automation solution, back of house operations become nimble and highly responsive to changes in the front of the house. This technology adoption also increases staff cooperation where a previously siloed team with an “us against them” mindset is transformed into one where everyone feels they are working on the same team to achieve a common goal—customer satisfaction.

With the right kitchen automation system, busy kitchens have access to real-time production information, better bin management, programmable prep times, and from a management level, operators can access an enterprise portal to view data anywhere they are. If kitchen operations still run on spreadsheets, then an upgrade is in order to maximize efficiency. Without an automated kitchen, individual restaurant functions suffer, and time is wasted from front of house to back of house.

Here are some of the problems experienced by restaurants that have not automated kitchen operations:

  • Out of date inventories
  • Poor stock management and rotation
  • Inadequate forecasting of stock levels
  • Inability to address restaurant trends such as off-premises dining

When time isn’t set aside to anticipate trends and the technologies that address upcoming trends like ghost kitchens, a rise in third-party delivery companies, and off-premise dining, competitors can quickly get a leg up and surpass any past gains an operator may have made. Even though the restaurant industry is known for its low margins, operators can do more with less, but not without the technologies in place to enable that transition and enable more time for staff, guests and the overall operation.

Restaurant efficiencies are critical for long-term survival. They save businesses from further earning declines; they improve growth, but best of all, they ensure a pleasurable dining experience for all parties involved.

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pos hardware pos software

Types of POS Systems Available in Singapore

So you need to get a point-of-sales (POS) system for your outlet. What kinds of point-of-sales systems are popular in Singapore? What can they do, and what should you know about them?

Singapore has a pretty wide selection of POS systems – a simple Google search will tell you that. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the variety available, so this guide was put together to help make your search a little easier.

First off, POS systems can be divided into two types: Legacy POS  and Tablet (or Cloud-based) POS.


Traditional/ Legacy POS systems

Legacy POS: Also known as “on-site” or “traditional” POS systems, they store data locally and run on a closed internal network – in other words, the POS system is essentially a PC in your restaurant and you can only access your data there. They are typically bulkier and older – usually running on Linux or Windows software.

Cloud-based/ Tablet POS

Cloud-Based POS: Also referred to as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), cloud-based POS systems are Web-hosted and have their information accessible online. That means you can access your restaurant’s data anytime, anywhere, on a browser. They are newer-generation and more lightweight (run on tablets), catering to the modern day need for accessibility.


Which is better?

The answer really depends on what you want out of your POS system. One size usually doesn’t fit all and some brand design to expand rapidly to many outlets where another one happy with single store. We give you some pointers below that can help you choose what’s best for you.

iPad ordering ≠ Cloud-based POS

Some traditional POS systems do have iPad ordering capabilities, meaning that while your waiters can take orders on iPads,  you still need a POS terminal, which is also where all your data is stored. 

With these legacy POS systems, you will need to buy an additional iPad licence (a few hundred dollars) for each device on top of the basic POS terminal.

As you can see, some brands of POS serve both retail and F&B clients – in some cases the software is different and specialised for each kind of business (like Raptor) but in other cases, the same software serves both, with some features going unused. Most POS accept different modes of payment (such as NETs, Mastercard and Visa) and all you need is a credit card terminal, which you can get easily enough from the banks.


Restaurant-specific features

Systems that serve both retail and restaurants might not have all the functions you may want to run your restaurant optimally

For example, some POS systems do not have table layouts, meaning they cannot display where all the tables in your restaurant are located and their current status. Some F&B owners and managers find this feature very important. Likewise, a POS system that can be used for retail might not have other restaurant-specific features like queue management or photo displays for menu items, which make it easier for waitstaff to recognise dishes – especially useful for big menus.

Pricing

It’s important to note that as the layout, needs and concept of every F&B outlet is different, there is no fixed price for any POS system out there – they are customised for your restaurant. 

Legacy POS systems will probably have a higher upfront costs because they are one-time payments. As for Cloud POS, there are usually monthly payments due to the online data storage. The number of devices you may need will determine the price you end up paying.

“Lifetime price” or “one-time payment” does not necessarily mean that you only pay once. 

Hardware

For many traditional POS quotations, the one-time payment includes a 1-year warranty for your POS terminal. After the first year, you will be required to pay for a maintenance package or extended warranty to ensure that you are covered should your POS terminal break down.

If the point-of-sales system runs on Apple iPad or Android devices, the warranty comes under the individual POS hardware provider (e.g. Apple) and you pay the same maintenance fees any other consumer pays. 

Check with your POS vendor if you can only purchase hardware from them. It is important that you have alternative option and not retrict to purchase from the vendor only. Afterall, one of the reason that you choose a modern cloud based POS is to have hardware agnostic and able to buy it anywhere.

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Scalability

Scalability does not mean open another new outlets, but it is about flexibility that the platform design to adapt to your store. For example, you can ask if the POS software has a CRM built in, and is the CRM data visible across all outlets. You will be surprise that some branded POS may not even have such function. And the handicap may cost you more that what you try to save.

Another example will be open API, or in a nutshell, if the POS vendor allow other third-party cloud application to connect to their platform to retrieve data. Who knows you decided to move to another platform later and realise that you have no way to extract data out from the provider.

Support

Support is another additional cost that is seldom factored in when considering the price of a POS system – and that’s a crucial mistake. Most POS quotations will include a training for management and staff on how to use the system, but extra trainings will be chargeable. Few companies provide onsite support, and those that do charge exorbitant amounts by the hour. Find a point of sales provider with a service and support package that you’re comfortable with before committing for the long haul, you’ll thank yourself later.

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pos hardware pos software

The Benefits of an Square iPad POS System

Retail point-of-sale (POS) systems have transformed over the years to become completely mobile, meaning you can sell in store or on the go using an iPad to run the entire system. There are many additional POS benefits that have come with this innovation.

iPad-based POS systems are designed to simplify your store by saving room and providing an all-in-one solution for taking payments, managing inventory, producing receipts and keeping track of purchases. Some vendors choose to display their iPad in a Square Stand, for a professional-looking register that connects to a receipt printer, cash drawer and barcode scanner via a USB hardware hub.

Square Point of Sale is a free-to-download app that can be used on the iPad in combination with a free Square Reader to create a complete iPad-based POS system. You’ll pay just 2.65% per swipe for Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, and you’ll have the payments in your bank account in one to two business days.

Once you have set up your iPad POS system, you can do more than just process payments — you can also make changes to details like price, name and quantity. You can track inventory and receive email alerts when things are running low. A drag-and-drop function lets you put the most popular items front and centre. And the touch-screen system is easy to learn and to train your staff to use.

When you use an iPad as a POS with Square, the date from it syncs with your Square Dashboard so you can see, in real time, what’s happening in your store and across multiple locations. The portable nature of the iPad system means you can use it as a register in any location — from pop-ups to markets — so you can continue to make sales on the go.

Check out our guide for how to choose a POS system for tips about which system to purchase for your iPad and more information about how to pick the right POS for your business.

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A guide to leveraging cloud technology for food trucks

Food trucks are a great business today, but every owner knows the demands of managing one are challenging, to say the least. Fortunately, there are numerous ways technology can make the job more efficient.

Event management software

Whether your food truck is going to be at a festival or catering to a company gathering, event management tools allow you to digitize the process and simplify your job. With an event management software option, especially a cloud-based one, you can manage your growth and expansion even while staying organized.

You can respond to questions and concerns more quickly, especially for event catering, streamline the process for booking, and use analytics to see how you’re doing overall.

For example, Eventbrite’s event management software lets you use built-in tools for event promotion and social sharing, letting you get started much more quickly with a mobile-optimized event page.

Point-of-sale for mobile

You obviously need a POS system that’s specialized for food trucks. The key is getting something that’s mobile, like a handheld iPad that can manage your inventory, run credit cards and put orders through. That’s perfect for fitting into your small food truck space and help you streamline everything. Another bonus is that the touchscreen and ease of use means your new employees won’t need much training to use it.
 
A mobile POS system, in addition to cost, space and ease benefits, is also great for customizing your menu, sending orders quickly to the chef, processing quick payments, pulling up sales reports on the go, and more.
 
Vend POS lets you use an iPad to take orders from anywhere, even outside your food truck, but Square offers a free POS with offline payments, ideal for small food trucks that are starting out.

Digital menus

You can make a great impression on your customers by using a digital display for your menu. You can pick the right layout and background that works with the theme of your food truck, work with different screens and font sizes, and even have a video background playing the best and most appealing shots of your food.
 
When you work on a digital menu display, you want to make sure it will appeal to visitors and make people walking by want to come to have a taste of your menu. Make sure your images are large enough to see at a distance. You can also easily switch between menus if you have multiple ones or you ran out of a certain ingredient.
 
Eats365 POS offers digital menu boards with the option for videos and with existing templates. You can also change the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the boards work completely offline.

Location tracking

The success of a food truck depends a lot on a variety of locations. For example, studies have shown that food trucks who returned to the same location two days back to back had a negative financial impact. As a food truck, your goal is to be discovered by new clients or returning ones. There are several food truck location apps that let customers know where your truck is at all times, so you can rest easy knowing that your customers are aware of how to find you, and you also don’t have to be constantly updating your location.
 
These location apps let you share your latest location on a city map, and it helps your existing customers find you as well as new customers discover your food truck. You can also simply share your location across all channels instead of spending time posting on all your social media channels.
 
The app Food Fiesta, as well as showing the location of many many food trucks, hosts regular “Truckeroos” where several trucks from the nearby area park together for customers to find them easily. These types of events have previously turned out very successful for all involved.

Safety apps work

There is a lot to think about when you run a food truck to make sure your food is staying safe. That includes accessing clean water, keeping the water tank full, disposing of wastewater, connecting to a power source, and keeping your food at the right temperature. Food trucks also experience a lot of safety checks that are impromptu. That’s why getting a food safety app is great to automate manual tasks like calibrating thermometers, cleaning and training lists, and having temperature logs for quality control.
 
One highly recommended solution is Gocanvas, a highly specialized mobile form app with many forms especially for food trucks already put together.

Technology continues to evolve, and developers are always looking for new ways to make businesses more efficient. It is important for food truck operators to keep abreast of new tools coming on the market.