How to Choose the Best Point of Sale Software by Jason Harrison

by: Jason Harrison

With many technological innovations, we hear the promises of ?unmatched excellence’, ?the most user-friendly’, and ?just what your business needs.’ But amid all of these promises, we know that one of the products must be superior to the others. With point of sale software it can seem difficult to know which system will actually be the best for your retail chain and the situation it finds itself in. ?How can I get the most of my investment in a POS software system?” is the question on most entrepreneurs’ minds.

Number one is the selection of your particular software. You need to make sure that the point of sale software is right for your business. If you are running a clothing store, one which features a bar code scanner is essential, yet at the same time, a restaurant may not need such a tool. If you are in a very niche specific part of the market, it would be wise to look into point of sale software systems that are designed specifically for such endeavors. As you look at the types of systems, be sure to look at hosted systems that offer Software as a Service (SaaS) because this type of system can truly meet all of your needs.

Once you select the proper system, it is important to know how to use it. It might seem like common sense, but you need to be familiar with all of the capabilities of your particular point of sale software system. If you purchase the software, trained specialists will give a tutorial and you must take full advantage of this. With the help of these professionals and the manual, you as the owner must get very familiar with the different operations that your system can run. Using a hosted SaaS system really cuts down on the amount of time you must spend learning new software, because they work with your existing software and hardware.

Another helpful tip is that you need to develop trust in your point of sale software system. The algorithms and procedures that the system is designed to run have been well tested in the retail chain store industry and will help you to make correct decisions. You must go by the numbers generated by your point of sale software. Your gut feelings or hunches need to be ignored in favor of the concrete evidence that the computer will give you. With this tip in mind, you need to review your business’s performance on a weekly or even daily basis to know what is actually happening on the sales floor. Just having point of sale software that can make fancy reports is not enough. You need to look at and analyze the reports to make the correct business decisions.

Finally, you need to make proper use of the inventory reports that the system will give you. Underperforming stock needs to be sold as soon as possible. As the merchandise sits on your sales floor, it is costing you money. You need to determine a price or amount of time at which the product is costing you more money than it is worth. The hosted SaaS point of sale software system will be instrumental for inventory management.

Point of sale Software
Run.It Systems has created the industry leading point-of-sale system. We pride ourselves in designing fully-integrated business solutions specifically for the independent specialty retailer-whether that means a single store or sixty stores. Point of sale Software

The author invites you to visit:
http://www.runit.com

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Game Development – Story Bible Example by Sebastian Gross

by: Sebastian Gross


The bible deals exclusively with story and its elements. While the design document guides the creation of the entire gaming experience, the bible controls the game’s interactive screenplay.

Log Line

Let’s say we’re working on a game titled “Hangnail,” the latest game inspired by Quake. Hangnail’s bible would include a “treatment” or synopsis of the game’s story. That treatment should include one- or two-sentence reviews of the story’s beginning, middle, and end. In some cases, the treatment could go into greater detail, stretching from one page to 20 or more, if the designer or game writer chose to really flesh out the story in the design stage. If the game’s narrative is truly based on cinematic story construction, the story might include first, second, and third act reviews. Leave those bits to your writer—we waste hours worrying about that act-structure nonsense. At the very least, the synopsis should include a “log line,” or a brief review of the game’s story, like this:

Hangnail:

Synopsis: A big, tough guy with heaps of muscles and a heart of gold walks through mazes and kills lots of stuff to battle evil, find his boxed lunch, and save the future of humanity…at least until the sequel comes out.

Characters

The second portion of the bible would include character reviews. The most important component of any effective narrative, whether it’s in a game, a movie, a TV show, or a novel, is good characters. They should have well-rounded histories and solid motivations. Most importantly, they should be clearly drawn out so anyone who reads the bible or works on the game sees the same person in their minds. If a writer or designer creates a game revolving around a Schwarzenegger-type action hero and fail to describe his all-American, psychopathic personality, the artist or renderer could end up drawing Marv Albert. Here’s what our character bible would say about Hangnail’s protagonist:

Character Name: Dirk Squarejaw

Age: Late 20s

Appearance: Ruggedly handsome and in the kind of impossibly good shape that you’d need to spend 25 hours a day in a gym to achieve.

Equipment: Death Ray of Death, Grenade of Severe Owies, Swiss Army Knife of Animosity, Pulse Cannon of Mild Mood Swings.

Attributes: Wonderfully and relentlessly violent. With an overdeveloped sense of honor. Dedicated to saving all life on Earth, or at least all attractive women on Earth. He enjoys painting in splattered blood, rainy days, long walks on the beach, thermonuclear devices, and backgammon.

Background: Orphaned at birth and raised by wolves, Dirk was rescued by nuns at the age of 4. The nuns instilled in the young Dirk his sense of honor and his bizarre obsession with backgammon. When the evil villain, General Payne, destroyed the nuns’ village to hijack all their dice, Dirk set out on his lifelong quest to end evil around the world. He will never rest until Payne is defeated, peace and justice restored, and double sixes rolled everywhere.

All the information in the character description above could be distilled into one long paragraph entry, if the designer chooses to limit the length or the scope of the bible. However, every character in the game (even supporting players) should be presented in this same detail.

Such enriching character sketches can provide inspiration when planning game maps or missions (depending on the game’s genre). For example, in Hangnail’s case, given Dirk’s devotion to backgammon, the designer could construct a maze or a level in which the objective is to slaughter all of General’s Payne’s agents to recover their ill-gotten dice.

Character description and background is one area where a story bible can really enrich an interactive game. If the bible can draw out a game’s central character with convincing depth and detail, the production can present an interesting and exciting person around which you can build a game and story.

In some cases, the player becomes that character. In other games, the player merely guides an already existing character. In either case, the story bible can outline what the main characters wants! That’s the key. The entire game story should be built around what the main character or hero wants and needs. Once that is pinpointed (be it the damsel in distress, a magic amulet, or the enemy capital), a designer can build an entire game around that quest. Battles in the cold reaches of space. Races through monster-filled mazes. Puzzle-solving through a haunted library. Anything that makes the game more entertaining can stand between the hero and the goal. But, the goal must be clear, ever-present, and motivated. The story bible can help a design team do that.

In another example, if Dirk was scared of water because his wolf parents couldn’t swim, the designer might wish to create an underwater level and cause Dirk’s air supply to disappear quickly because he hyperventilates too easily.

Using a methodology like this, in which you define the background, attributes, age, appearance, and equipment of a character, can help ensure truly motivated and enjoyable characters and gives the design team ideas for gameplay. A game’s characters need to be compelling. If the player becomes a hero in the game, that hero must be attractive enough that the player wants to assume that persona. A game villain should be rotten enough that the player generates genuine passion and satisfaction from defeating him or her.

An essential rule of thumb states that every character, even the most incredibly butch of heroes, needs to have weaknesses or shortcomings. If a character seems too omnipotent and has every skill imaginable down pat, no player will believe he or she could possibly lose or die. You don’t have to make your hero or heroine a simpering wimp, but don’t make them invulnerable. Even Superman has his kryptonite.

In the final document, Dirk’s bible entry might include an artist’s sketch (if created early in the game development process) or a 3D rendering (if created farther along in the development process) which might also be the actual avatar used in the game if the product makes it that far along.

To digress for just a moment, I have approached the use of game bibles for story development solely from the perspective of the hero thus far. Lately, games such as Bullfrog’s Dungeon Keeper and LucasArts’ Dark Forces II have made it possible for players to assume the role of the villain. However, that doesn’t turn the narrative rule on its ear—the same guidelines still apply. A villain also has wants and needs. In the best possible scenario, the bad guy wants exactly the same thing as the hero. In drama and writing courses, that’s called the “Law of Conflicting Need.” A good story (and therefore a good game, if it has story components) has a protagonist and an antagonist wanting the same thing for perfectly opposite reasons. We usually want the hero to get to that goal before the villain. However, in games where we become the villain, we assume the motivations of the villain. The bible should outline the history, personality, and motivation of the bad guy as well as the hero. That way, if we become the antagonist in gameplay, it works just as well if we had chosen the hero’s role.

Resource:
http://www.computer-game-design.com

Sebastian Gross

An old computer technology student, working quite some time in computer game design industry. An expert in game design process, game development and also in web design and new technologies.

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Common Sense Questions to Ask? by Sundip R. Doshi

by: Sundip R. Doshi

As the economy continues to limp by, you realize your business requires efficiencies. You need to better compete and you want to do more with less. So, you do some research, verify with business associates and come to the conclusion that you need a new system to help streamline and automate operations. Yes, you have been introduced to Customer Relationship Management — a combination of strategy and software solutions may take your business to the next level. Caution! It is a serious move that requires a serious investment — both time and money.

You are now ready to start reviewing the many different vendors and options relating to your deployment. It is somewhat overwhelming but with the help of the internet and perhaps a consultant, you start your review. Once you have narrowed it down to the last 3 vendors, it is time to make a decision. Right before you do this, perhaps asking some Common Sense Questions may be prudent:

• Does the Solution Deliver Business Objectives

Not just general business objectives but objectives unique to your organization or your small business. The specific way your Sales team works. The unique marketing methodologies you utilize. The outsourced customer service company that you use. Or perhaps, something as simple as the various internet devices utilized by your business to get the job done.

• What is the Programs Long Term Value

Is this a permanent Hosted (SaaS) model where you subscribe to the service or is the solution an on-premise solution where you require the right IT staff to deploy and maintain the system. Or better still, is there flexibility — can you move between Hosted or On-Premise? As your business requirements change, does the solution grow with you or will you be going to this entire process again in 3 years? So, what is the ROI again?

• Cost

Many a time, you look at the cost of the software license (if it is an on-premise solution) or monthly subscription cost (if it is an online hosted solution) and you make your decision based on that. Wait a minute! There is more. What about the cost of training your staff, on-going maintenance and additional services not part of the “package” ?

• Staffing Requirements

Time and time again a deployment has gone south just because the appropriate level of staffing to deploy a CRM initiative successfully was completely neglected. The sooner you realize that this is NOT just like installing a new version of MS WORD, the better! The CRM system will force everyone in your organization to work a certain way! So, not Configuring it correctly can be disastrous! It is absolutely critical that the CRM solution works the way you do business and not the other way! This requires appropriate levels of staffing to review, coordinate and get trainned. It will take time of your managers, your executives, your line staff, your… you get the message — it touches everyone in your organization. So, all staff must be trained on it. Make sure that you have allocated and accounted for the time.

• Risk

Last but certainly not least — the Risk. What if you do not meet the timeline for deployment? What if the CRM initiative is a Failure? Yes, what if it is? How will it impact your business. Answering these two questions will avoid any undesirable consequences to the health of your business should you have to face them. Having said this, CRM industry has come a long way since the late 1990 and your chances of success is almost a guarantee — of-course, you must follow best practices.

In addition to the above questions, there are best practices that can help ensure a successful CRM deployment. I encourage you to visit our Resource Links. But as always, feel free to ask a question and we will utilize our vast experience to put you on the path to success.

Have a great business week!

The CEO
Sundip R. Doshi/CEO of Surado Solutions, Inc.

www.SuradoCRM.com

The author invites you to visit:
http://www.suradocrm.com

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GreenGeeks Customer Review by Chris Bunt – ArticleCity.com

by: Chris Bunt

GreenGeeks Good or Bad?

My opinion on GreenGeeks Hosting?

I watched GreenGeeks Web Hosting just after it opened its gates, today the Hosting provider quickly grew to a top provider in the green web hosting industry. The great success of the company is primarily due to its superior standards of service and forever improving service, together with the true consumption of renewable energy. This is not surprising for me in the least, and by the time you finish reading my review, you will know the reason.

GreenGeeks PlanPrice

12 months plan$5.95/mo

24 months plan$4.95/mo

GreenGeeks has its pros and cons. What are they?

Low-priced eco-friendly hosting

They offers every necessary tool and information to make your online presence seamless.

GreenGeeks – similarly to nearly all of the top hosting companies – offers you a complete webhosting solution, giving you all the basic sortwares and capabilities, like 1-click installations based on Fantastico, and unlimited resources (traffic, disk storage).

Features:

CGI-BIN

SSI

Frontpage Extensions

300% Eco-friendly Web Hosting

What is the meaning of this? Well, GreenGeeks replaces the power use of the servers with three times as much eco-friendly wind energy. If you are not the “believe it all” kind of a person, search for GreenGeeks’ green energy certificates. If you look at it, there is nothing to further explain,, I am converted.

Considering that, there is no question,Green Geeks would be probably the most eco-friendly hosting provider on the planet.

Hassle-free webhosting with 99.9% uptime guarantee

Hositng with GreenGeeks has another advantage in my opinion, and it is the good technical background. According to the info published on their site, Green Geeks has cutting-edge servers and net connection. Plus their servers are backed up every day.

It is actually effective, as I don’t need to check my blog at all.

Why not GreenGeeks?

They are new: Lack of business history in long term.

As I can see, the only problem at GreenGeeks is new. GreenGeeks is very new, so I believe there are probably small issueproblems with their service as they make it better and better.

Additional resources:

http://bestwebhostingsreviews.com/green-web-hosting/greengeeks-reviews by Customers

http://www.webspawner.com/users/hanyu976/greengeeksrevie.html
Hello!, I am working in the web hosting industry and I would like to give you a few tips about web hosting. You get a few of my reviews for free. For customer reviews, check out http://bestwebhostingsreviews.com/

The author invites you to visit:
http://bestwebhostingsreviews.com

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