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Sporting goods retailers: Microsoft Retail MS helps you keep a lean inventory, build customer loyalty for peak performance.

Keeping your sporting goods business in top condition means you’ll need a lean, fast-moving inventory and cost-effective relationships with suppliers. You also need the power to serve customer needs – whether you’re responding to special orders or processing transactions at top speed.

Microsoft Business Solutions Retail Management System gives sporting goods retailers momentum to help compete effectively. Easy to install and use, this flexible, affordable point of sale (POS) solution helps you manage all aspects of your inventory with pinpoint accuracy.

Among other things, you can:

* Manage a large range of inventory items with ease. Keep track of every item from basketballs and racing bikes to clothing. You’ll know their warranty requirements, and you can track and manage hard goods, soft goods, non-inventory labor codes. Make better buying decisions based on inventory records.
* Keep customers and employees happy with fast item lookups. Speed checkout processes and deliver specialized customer service.

Keep customers and employees happy with fast item lookups. Speed checkout processes and deliver specialized customer service.

Click here for the Gift/Hobby Shop Retailer Specific Interactive Demo – Get Flash Player

Here’s a checklist of seven, key benefits for gift and hobby store retailers from Microsoft Retail Management System.

1. Better inventory management

* Work with matrices in up to three dimensions, such as size, color, and brand.
* Simplify inventory tracking of serialized items with up to three unique serial numbers per item.
* Use aliases to expedite item lookups by supplier part number, UPC, or abbreviated nicknames.
* Quickly identify inventory replenishment based on reorder point/restock level or quantity sold.
* Reducing physical inventory counts, too!

2. Give customers a great shopping experience

Your sales clerks can process complex transactions more quickly and accurately, which pleases customers. They’ll also have access to complete customer information and buying histories that helps them sell more effectively.

* Instantly access a complete history of purchases, payments, and account information at the POS. Capture and show customer contact and demographics on the POS screen.
* Reprint electronic receipts to resolve disputes, speed rebates, and verify purchase dates and amounts. Accommodate partial and full account payments. Serve others while keeping a stalled transaction “on hold.”
* Leverage customers’ buying histories to easily market to their preferences, suggest relevant up-sells, sale items, and volume discounts. Grant automatic discounts and differential pricing to special customers.
* Target your mailings directly to customers’ special interests.
* Accept multiple tenders, credit and debit cards, coupons, gift vouchers, and foreign currencies. Continue to process transactions even when your network is down.
* Handle work orders, backorders, layaways, and quotes.
* Support multiple suppliers for each item.

3. Improve employee productivity

Jump-start productivity with a solution that’s easy to learn and use, and lets you maintain tight control over information and inventory to protect data and reduce theft.

* Employees can learn basic POS functions in minutes.
* Lock out or empower an employee from sensitive data.
* View and print daily sales reports and journals at the POS terminal.
* Manage ad hoc commissions and “spiffs.”
* Know which associates sell best. Predict what days and hours to staff up or cut back.
* Automate inventory management to reduce shrinkage.

4. Use customizable management tools

Get help managing every aspect of your store. Along with automating the POS and inventory, Microsoft Retail Management System lets you set up pricing levels and promotions the way you want.

* Configure POS screens to display exactly the information your clerks need.
* Use flexible pricing structures for markups and discounts.
* Set up new sales and promotions — fast.
* Streamline buying with ordering levels, best-price suppliers, and automatic POS.
* Make wizards do your work. It takes just minutes to input new items, manage inventory and perform everyday chores.
* Have built-in security features based on your cashiers’ security levels. Data fields can be hidden, view-only, or changeable.

5. Get quick, comprehensive reports

Microsoft Retail Management System has more than one hundred reports with extensive formatting options so you get the information the way that makes sense to you.

Stay on top of performance with accurate, timely data about sales, profitability, inventory, and customers. Know exactly what’s selling best, who’s buying, and when. Decide what to buy or mark down, and track return on investment (ROI) for marketing initiatives. Do analysis by department or category, too!

Here are a few examples:

* Easily export data to Microsoft Excel for viewing and analysis.
* Generate sales and inventory reports that help make it easy to decide what to buy or mark down.
* Track return on investment from your ads, mailings, promotions, sales, and discounts.
* Preview, print, or export data in multiple formats.
* Add logos and graphics for formal reports.

6. Get benefits of centralized information

Want to send financials to your accounting program? Or sell through an e-commerce storefront? Microsoft Retail Management System can help.

Built on the latest Microsoft technologies, this integrated solution keeps information moving smoothly across your entire business and connects easily with other applications, platforms, and peripherals, such as Microsoft Office. The solution:

* Works with the Microsoft Office System, making it easy to create and deliver communications that connect you with your best customers.
* Can be integrated with legacy systems, accounting or financial software, Electronic Draft Capture (EDC), credit card services, and e-commerce storefronts with the help of a Microsoft partner and third-party solutions. It also can be integrated with all your business channels in-store, catalog, phone and e-commerce  to provide a superior customer experience. You can ship and track orders online.
* Manages accounts receivable and it trades summary POS data with popular accounting software to eliminate double entry.
* Uses EDC to integrate with leading credit card services to reduce fraud and keyboard errors.
* Smoothly integrates Web sales from multiple sites with the help of a Microsoft partner and a third-party application.
* Uses the POS as a data collector for back-end Electronic Retail Planning (ERP)/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications. You can also work with a Microsoft partner to set up your system to enable PDA and mobile/wireless stations.

7. Grows with your business

Ready to open a new store? You can help protect your investment and keep the same software and systems as your business grows into multiple stores and retail channels with Microsoft Retail Management System. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

* You can add new lanes or stores to your system with minimal disruptions to retail service.
* A common point-of-sale platform that spans single or multi-store locations is offered through Microsoft Retail Management System.
* Add customers and products to your system, and flexible Microsoft SQL Server technologies let you store and manage virtually unlimited amounts of information.
* Invest in your business, not in IT support. Microsoft Retail Management System does not require an expensive IT staff to set up and maintain, and it adapts to meet specific retail needs. As your business changes and grows, your Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner can provide support and assistance with customizing, integrating, and scaling your solution.
* Count on Microsoft. Start a long-lasting relationship backed by one of the world’s leading technology providers. Microsoft Business Solutions is a family of connected applications and services for small and mid-sized businesses, with years of experience delivering business applications and services known worldwide for top quality.

Want an affordable software/hardware solution bundle for sporting goods retailers?

To smooth your transition to an automated, point-of-sale solution, Microsoft Retail Management System is now offering retail bundles. The bundles are all-in-one software/hardware solutions tailored for sporting good retailers. Learn more about the bundles.

Besides Microsoft Retail Management System, version 1.3, the deluxe bundle for sporting goods features:

* A fully-enclosed point-of-sale unit. This special unit prevents the need for venting and water resistance. It’s a great feature for busy sporting goods stores where accidental water spills can happen by well-meaning staff members.
* High-end trigger scanners. This scanner has a cord extension to allow for easy reaching over the counter to scan merchandise.
* Top-quality thermal receipt printer. It also has a small footprint to help with space management at the point-of-sale area.

Overall, the deluxe bundled solution for beer, wine and liquor retailers includes the following hardware: A retail-hardened point-of-sale computer terminal with moisture-resistant LCD touch screen, keyboard, receipt printer, cash drawer, line display and barcode scanner.

Already have some of the hardware components? Great. Contact Red River POS about how to incorporate Microsoft Retail Management System. A Microsoft Certified Partner will work with you to purchase and install Microsoft Retail Management System. Easy to install and use, Microsoft Retail Management System can be up and running quickly, without disrupting business operations.

You and your employees can learn POS processes in minutes, not days so there’s no need to worry about making the transition from traditional cash registers.