Longevity is often built in inches, not miles. It’s not the big expenses that set you back, it’s the little nickel and dime costs that wind up adding up to a lot more than you thought. It’s a bit like watching your weight. You can go ahead and skip the double cheeseburger, but if you wind up so hungry that you spend the rest of the day eating potato chips, then you’re not going to drop any pounds. So efficiency is key when it comes to running a business, because it’s the details that will make the difference.
Taken to an extreme, this line of thinking can ultimately be misguided. When you’re no longer giving your customers napkin dispensers because you want to save five dollars a year on them, people are going to start going somewhere else to eat. You can’t make up the difference by treating your customers or your employees poorly. Sometimes an additional expense is the thing that’s keeping people coming back for more, so you don’t want to be what you might refer to as a “bean counter.” But, you can take a look at where you’re wasting money, and put forth the effort that is required to patch the leaks up, so to speak.
Today there’s more software than ever before to help you to address all of these concerns, to find out where you’re losing money, where you could stand to make a little more, and how to do things with greater efficiency and to greater effect. Sure, you don’t want to obsess over every single penny you spend doing business, because that’s a one-way ticket to migraines and ulcers. But you’ve got to keep an eye on it, and you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to streamline your business so that it remains economically viable for years to come.
NCR Pulse for Retail is one app that has proven to be tremendously helpful for many business owners who are exploring ways in which their business can be made more efficient, more functional and more effective. POS systems can be helpful in producing reports that you can look at and adjust your business accordingly, but NCR Pulse is specifically designed to help improve business efficiency. That’s not just a feature of the app, that’s its purpose.
Here’s what you need to know about the app:
NCR Pulse: What Does It Do?
NCR Pulse for Retail offers instant, up-to-the-minute reporting on everything happening in your store, well, financially anyway. It doesn’t know if someone spilled their ketchup, but it will show you that you spent a couple cents more than usual on ketchup this week! Essentially it tracks all of your financial comings and goings in real time, from your phone. This means that wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you can check in and see how business is doing today and compare expenses to income on the fly.
POS systems are more of an all-around solution. They can give you reports, but that’s not the only thing they’re built for. Many POS systems are great for what they are, but come up lacking in reporting in-depth, detailed information on your financial ins and outs. You might wind up using it in conjunction with a POS system, but it accomplishes a lot more than a POS system alone can manage. POS systems are great for end-of-the-week reports, but NCR Pulse will keep you up to date from minute to minute.
What this means is that you don’t need to wait until the end of the week or the end of the month or even the end of the day to pivot. If you see that people are buying a ton of vanilla milkshakes, you can pick up some more ice cream on your way to work. If you see that nobody’s buying your fried mushrooms, you can offer some kind of special-of-the-day deal to move them out ahead of their expiration date. Being able to track this data on the fly, in realtime, allows for you to really think on your feet as a business owner. You can adjust whatever you need to adjust, stock what you need to stock and improve sales with the information that you’re collecting.
The app tracks everything. If you void a high-priced item, if someone makes a return, if a special promotion is really working out today, the app’s data will reflect that. You can know, at a glance, what works and what doesn’t. You don’t have to wait and find out, you can stop doing what’s losing you money right now, before it loses you too much more money, and you can emphasize what’s working while you still have the chance to make a major impact putting that data to use.
NCR Pulse: How Does It Perform
NCR Pulse stands as one of the best apps in its category right now for a number of reasons. The sheer depth of data available is a bit part of it, but a lot of apps out there offer in-depth data, so what sets this one apart from the competition? Essentially it comes down to a few things: Accessibility, ease of use and design. The app looks good, it’s easy to use, and you can probably run it with whatever set up you have going right now.
First of all, accessibility. The software works on iPhone or Android, and it can plug into just about any hardware you have your POS system installed on. This means that you don’t have to go googling for the second best alternative on whatever platform it is that you’re using. And if you’re not sure whether or not it’s going to work, the good news is that it’s free. You can download it and give it a try, and if it works, great. If you have a compatibility issue, then you can just delete it from your phone and never worry about it again.
As for ease of use, you don’t need a tutorial to run this app. As soon as you download it, you’ll be able to figure out how it works. If you can read a spreadsheet, then NCR Pulse is incredibly easy to use and easy to understand. If you have a business partner or a manager or an accountant that you need to share your info with, they’ll be able to figure it out just as easily. There’s really no training required on the app, and while you can always email the app makers to ask them any questions you might have, you probably won’t have any questions.
The app is well-designed simply from a visual standpoint as well. It looks good, and with every update they tweak the app’s appearance just enough that you can definitely see that there’s been an improvement, but it’s not like some apps where they keep redesigning the whole thing over from scratch every time you get used to the interface. That is to say that when you use the app, you can just jump in and use it. It’s improving, it looks better with every update, but none of these updates will throw you for a loop.
That said, it’s been a little while since the app was updated. The app is just about perfect as is, but it’s always a little worrying when an app goes a long time without any changes. You start to wonder if maybe the developer went out of business and who you’re going to call if you have any issues. But you probably won’t have any issues. NCR is definitely still around, still in business, and the app is free, it’s easy to use, it looks great and it works. It doesn’t really need anymore updates at this point. This is a one hundred percent risk free scenario: Download the app. If you like it, keep it.
Are There Any Downsides?
We’re sure somebody out there has some issue to address with NCR Pulse, but we haven’t experienced it yet beyond the typical hangups you can expect with just about any app. There’s a second of lag now and then while accessing data, but this could just be down to fluctuations in wireless signals and not an issue with the app itself. In any event, it’s so minor that it doesn’t even bear mentioning, but hey, we had to put something in this section, right? The app is free, but it would be well worth the price were they to charge ten, fifteen dollars a month to use it.
Of course, it doesn’t really do anything but let you access and calculate your data. You can’t take orders with NCR Pulse, you can’t manage a loyalty rewards program. Basically NCR Pulse for Retail is an in-depth calculator. If you need to weigh your labor costs against your income, if you need to track the rising costs of onion rings or something, the app can tell you whether it’s worth the effort to keep stocking them. If that’s all you expect of the app, then you should be fine. It really does provide quite a bit for an app that is completely free.
Should You Download It?
As we’ve already mentioned a couple of times, the NCR Pulse app is totally free. The time that you’ve spent reading this overview, you could have downloaded it and given it a try for yourself. Assuming that you have an iOS or Android enabled device, there’s really no reason for any business owner not to download the app and take it for a spin. Whether you’re out running errands or on vacation, you can plug in and check how your business is doing. You can take a look and see if you’d be better off giving a staff member the day off, or if you’re doing a lot of business and might need to call in a few extra hands on deck.
Efficiency is a cornerstone of running a business. You need to have a great product or service, you need to hire staff who know what they’re doing (or at the least, can be trained), you need a good location, and you need to be efficient. The art of running a business is essentially the art of turning one dollar into two dollars. That demands efficiency, and NCR Pulse for Retail is a tremendously powerful tool to achieving that end.
The app is three and a half megabytes to download, it’s easy to install and it’s easy to use. NCR offers a lot of apps for business owners alongside Pulse, so why not browse the website and see what they have that you can put to use in your work?
There’s really not much left to say: NCR Pulse is free, and you’re going to get a better idea of how it works if you just give it a try.