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Reconfigure Resourcefulness




James Bandolini wrote, “Resourcefulness is not a means of coping with deprivation; it can be a virtue that opens the door to greater accomplishment.” And with your POS operating hardware, resourcefulness can mean refurbishing the old to last through another few years or a new OS and hardware to embark on a new business model after years of relying on conventional and traditional methods. We all find ourselves seeking to adapt for long term survival and success.

At another point during the recession in 2009, we were introduced to Kanter’s Law,”Everything looks like a failure in the middle.” So as businesses are trying new approaches, adapting their mode of connecting with clientele, developing new problems when solutions were the only preferred outcome, the best advice is still, “Do not give up!”

As Kanter points out, “slipped schedules wouldn’t be fatal flaws without another middles problem: rising negativity and slowing momentum.” So the attitude and patience with the projected goals of your organization will find the necessary guidance in the leaders and shapers of any given group. They will set the tone for staff, management, and reach through the uncertainty to the consumers to re-assure that, ‘though things are bumpy right now, as we adapt and evolve our industries, marketing, and services, we aren’t going anywhere.’ It won’t be business as usual for awhile, but business will be there through it all.

7 Ways to Prevent Data Theft

In the past 12 months, we have seen data breaches from large companies such as Target, Home Depot and Staples. Big banks and health care systems have also been victims of cyber attacks. With technology always advancing, these attacks will continue to happen. Below are some tips to help prevent and minimize the chances of a data breach for you and your company.

1. Frequently change pins and passwords to personal accounts.

By doing so, you can help keep track of which websites have your information saved on them and how long that information has been saved.

 

2. Constantly monitor all financial accounts for suspicious activity.

Although we now live in the digital age and primarily use online banking, your chances decrease significantly if you also keep a written copy, such as a checkbook ledger, after making major transactions.

 

3. Properly dispose of sensitive data.

Make sure to shred any documents that are no longer needed that include important information such as social security or credit card numbers. Also make sure that those numbers aren’t saved on computers when you dispose of those as well.

 

4. Control physical access to business computers.

Give each employee their own login and username to prevent unauthorized use. Keep computers locked up during non-business hours.

 

5. Freeze credit cards in the case of suspicious activity.

This will make sure to protect your money while you figure out the situation.

 

6. Do not overshare on social media.

Whether it be for a company or personal, too much information can help making theft easier for the hacker. Wait to post comments or stories about a vacation until you are back home.

 

7. Keep software up to date.

Update software as soon as it is available for security and web browsers as they can detect security vulnerabilities.

 

Have you already been part of a security breach? What should you do now? First, do not panic. Get a copy of your credit report and double check for any unauthorized transactions. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, put a freeze to your account immediately. Then call issuer to dispute charges and obtain a new card. Finally, make sure to change all passwords and pins to prevent future situations.

New Digital Receipt App!

TSP100R-gray4x3Star Micronics has recently released their new digital receipt service, AllReceipts. Without the need of an email address, consumers are now able to get both a paper and digital receipt as soon as the transaction is completed. This new app that is available via the AppStore or GooglePlay and is free! AllReceipts includes a device management tool for retailers to provide real time status across the installed base of printers including different locations with refreshed error status notifications on a comprehensive cloud-based dashboard. The app also includes an “instant” customer satisfaction survey designed for retail and hospitality establishments the ability to access real time feedback based on the level of their customers’ satisfaction. AllReceipts is available on all Star Micronics TSP100 thermal receipt printer models.

 

For more information on TSP100 thermal receipt printer models, please visit http://www.beaglehardware.com/printers/100.html.

Pros & Cons of Mobile Payments

In today’s society, we’ve seen a huge switch in technology. We’ve ditched the cords for small chips that make things easier to do on the go. Companies such as Square, PayPal, and Intuit have all designed card readers that can be easily attached to smartphones and tablets, making it easy to pay for things anywhere, and at any time. Many people view these as inexpensive point of sale systems as an easier way to process credit card transactions, but with the easy accessibility comes processing fees and limited device compatibility.

Here are some pros and cons of using mobile payment apps:

Pros:

  • Simple navigation options
  • Can be accessible anywhere with wifi
  • Newest technology, giving access to up-to-date daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly reports
  • All digital and intriguing to millennials
  • Easy to set up mobile reward systems

Cons:

  • Can be small enough to misplace or big enough to become bulky
  • Must have wifi or Internet connection in order to function
  • Limited human tech support
  • Some may not be able to process cash efficiently
  • Too many custom features
  • Per swipe charge ranging from 1.7% to 3.5% depending on device

These devices are recommended for new businesses or businesses who deal more with online transactions rather than cash payments.

Smart Cards: Are They Safe?

Smart Card

A smart card is a device that includes an embedded integrated circuit chip (ICC) that can be either a secure microcontroller or equivalent intelligence with internal memory or a memory chip alone. The card connects to a reader with direct physical contact or with a remote contactless radio frequency interface. Smart card technology is available in many different forms including  plastic cards, key fobs, and watches, among others. Using magnetic or electromagnetic fields to both power the card as well as to exchange data with the reader, information is stored on a chip embedded within the contactless smart card. The chip is not powered on until the card is brought into the electromagnetic field of the reader. Once the chip is powered on, a wireless communication protocol is initiated and established between the card and the reader for data transfer.

 

Smart cards provide a robust set of encryption capabilities including key generation, secure key storage, hashing, and digital signing. These capabilities can be used by a system to protect privacy in a number of ways. For example, a smart card system can produce a digital signature for the content in an email, providing a means to validate the email authenticity. This protects the email message from subsequently being tampered with and provides the email recipient with an assurance of where it originated. The fact that the signing key originated from a smart card adds credibility to the origin and intent of the signer.

 

Smart cards provide a means of secure communications between the card and card readers. Similar in concept to security protocols used in many networks, this feature allows smart cards to send and receive data in a secure and private manner. This capability can be used by a system to enhance privacy by ensuring that data sent to and from the card is not intercepted or tapped into.

 

Many of today’s smart cards have been certified that they comply with industry and government security standards. They obtain these certifications only after completing rigorous testing and evaluation criteria by independent certification facilities. These certifications help systems protect privacy by ensuring that the security and privacy features and functions of the smart card hardware and software operate as specified and intended.

 

Information provided by smartcardalliance.org

The Buzz On a New Alarm System!

A POS buzzer can work as either a print or cash drawer alarm. This means that when it’s plugged into the back of any Epson TM series printer, it sends out an audible alarm whenever a slip is printed or when the cash drawer stays open for too long. Although a cash drawer is not required for the buzzer system, when used in conjunction, an alarm can be triggered when the drawer is left open for a selected period of time and then again once the drawer is closed. These systems are compact and easy to mount which make them ideal for noisy restaurants and bars, as well as retail or other service industry environments. A POS buzzer system is easy to install and is compatible with most printers.

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To purchase a POS Buzzer, please visit http://www.beaglehardware.com/printbuzzer.html.

Interface Differences

Nowadays, printers have millions of different ports and plugs on them that help transmit different information from a bunch of different gadgets. Here we try to help make things a little easier when trying to decide which interface is best for your printer.

 

Serial Interface

Serial interfaces transfer information in or out one bit at a time. Data has been traditionally  transferred through serial ports to devices such as modems, terminals and various peripherals. Serial ports are used in applications such as industrial automation systems, scientific instruments, point of sale systems and some industrial and consumer products. Server computers may use a serial port as a control console for diagnostics. Network equipment (such as routers and switches) often use serial console for configuration. Serial ports are used in these areas as they are simple, cheap and their console functions are highly standardized and widespread. A serial port requires very little supporting software from the host system.

Serial Interface

 

Parallel Interface

Also known as a printer port, parallel interfaces were primarily designed to operate a line printer that used IBM’s 8-bit extended ASCII character set to print text, but could also be used to adapt other peripherals. Graphical printers, along with a host of other devices, have been designed to communicate with the system.

Parallel Interface

 

USB Interface

USB, which stands for Universal Serial Bus, is an industry standard for short-distance digital data communications. USB interfaces allows data to be transferred between devices and can also supply electric power across the cable to devices without their own power source. USB can also allow stand-alone electronic devices to be connected via cables to a computer (or to each other).

USB Interface

 

Ethernet Interface

Ethernet Networking Interface, or ENI, allows any computer on Ethernet network to access controllers allowing users to send production data, alarm messages, or status information to computers, cellular phones, or pagers capable of receiving e-mail. The ENI module allows companies to leverage existing cable, hubs, switches, and routers already installed in facilities.

Ethernet Interface

 

To learn more about Interface Cards, including IDN Interface Cards, please visit http://www.beaglehardware.com/micros.html#Interface_Cards.

Why Print Thermal?

Thermal printing is a digital printing process that produces a printed image by selectively heating coated thermochromic paper when the paper passes over the thermal print head. Meaning that when this special chemically treated paper is used and heat is applied, an image or text appears through the change of color on the paper! There are two different types of thermal printing: thermal transfer and direct thermal.

Thermal transfer printers are most often used to create labels, mainly for clothing, and barcodes because of it’s durability and speed of the images it creates and can particularly aid in the prevention of water damage. Direct thermal printing are primarily used in industrial settings because of its fast speed. A major advantage for a direct thermal printer is that the only item that needs to be replaced is the paper that is used. Even though this type of paper may be expensive, there is no requirement to purchase or store ink, and it is the only item that requires replacing in order to keep the printer running smoothly.

Overall, thermal printers are known for their high printing speeds and are very suitable for busy businesses. Because the machine is fairly simple, it rarely needs repairing and is very reliable. Due to recent technological advances, images can last for periods of 50 years or more as opposed to the distorted and faded pictures of the past. These printers also typically cost less than other printers and are generally smaller in size. Many thermal printers can sit on a desk top and take up minimal space, as well as remain quiet while functioning because they contain little or no moving parts.

To view thermal printers that Beagle Hardware offers, please visit http://www.beaglehardware.com/printers.html.

The Basics of Buying a POS System

So you just opened up a new company. Or let’s say you want to revamp the style your company has already established. What allows your business to function and run? Your point of sale system, of course! That is why it is necessary to know the basics when purchasing this very important piece of equipment.

POS systems help keep inventory up to date and can even alert you when products need to be reordered. When that time comes, some systems can even tell you the price you paid on your last purchase, as well as the average price you’ve paid in the past. These systems help you keep a detailed inventory list for the past day, month, and year. Not only can they aid in the time-consuming task of taking inventory, but many systems can also help you connect better with your client by providing their purchase history on the spot. This will allow you to be able to suggest new or upgraded products for them to consider in the future.

There are three things you should look for when purchasing a new POS system: alert ability, ease of learning, and the ability to grow.  A nice feature that POS systems now offer is the ability to set alerts for items running low. Along with this, the system can even generate purchase orders to send to vendors. Secondly, you need to take into consideration the time of your employees and how long it will take them to get to know the system. It is important that the system has all of the functions that you need, but also the ease of learning, especially if your company’s turnover rate is short. Lastly, you’ll want a system that has the ability to stay up to date with technology and be able to grow with your company.

Here at Beagle Hardware, we’ve set up a Complete POS System that can take care of all of your needs! Our system includes a POS-X Touch-Monitor, a Dell Inspiron 3000 with Windows 8.1, an Epson TM-T2011 Receipt Printer, a stainless Cash Drawer, and all cables necessary to get started. All products are new with factory warranties. We also offer add on features such as uniCenta POS software, a credit card reader, a kitchen printer and much more to even further customize your order. For more details on each product, please visit http://www.beaglehardware.com/poscomplete.html.

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