Setting Up Shop
PPS can be easily used in an EPOS (Electronic Point-Of-Sale) environment. While PPS is not a full-blown cash register and stock control system, it does include simple stock levels management, and can be used to serve your clients in “shop-style” at your front desk. The key to this in PPS is to use the PPS screen called Cash Desk. In addition, you can incorporate all the hardware you need for your EPOS system such as touch screen, bar code scanner, receipt printer and till drawer.
This help guide looks at the various aspects of setting up PPS and choosing and purchasing the right hardware to work with PPS to enable you to use PPS in a “point-of-sale” environment.
Your Standard Charges and Stock Items
You will need to set up your standard charges and stock items so that they can be used with cash desk.This may involve assigning bar codes and stock levels in PPS for the items you sell.
From the PPS Menu, use Tools – Look-up Tables, and from the Look-up tables screen select: Standard Charges and Stock Items. This shows your current list of charges and stock items.
This list needs to include everything you are likely to sell, and should also have all bar codes from products ready scanned so that they can be used with Cash Desk.
To add a new item, click the Add button, or select an existing item and click Modify .
Assigning the Bar Code from an existing product
When adding or modifying a standard charge, you can assign an existing bar code to an item by using the“Code” field. Assigning the bar code is easy: from the standard charge screen:
Click into the code field, fire your bar code scanner at the bar code on the product, and this will enter the bar code number into the code field.
Setting Up Cash Desk
Cash Desk can access your standard charges and stock items in three ways: 1) by typing (or looking up)in the code that you have assigned to the item, 2) by scanning the bar code on the product you are selling, 3) by using the “Quick Buttons” on the Cash Desk screen. The quick buttons are ideal for items that you regularly charge for but do not have a bar code, e.g. your treatment fees.
The benefit of using the cash desk quick buttons is that they can also be used with a touch screen monitor (you will often see EPOS systems using a touch screen monitor in bars, restaurants, shops etc.)
To assign a cash desk quick button, from the PPS menu go to Tools – Look-up Tables, and from the Look-up tables screen select: Standard Charges and Stock Items. This shows your current list of charges and stock items.
Find the item in your list that you would like to assign the cash desk quick button to, and click Modify .This shows the detail screen for the standard charge item.
You can then assign a cash desk quick button to the item. There is no limit to the number of buttons you assign, and you have to assign them numerically as required, from 1 upwards. On the cash desk screen the buttons appear in order, showing 6 at a time. You simply use the More button to access items 7-12and so on.
Note: You can set up your payment methods in exactly the same way, so that when you press the Payment button on cash desk, your favourite payment methods appear on the quick buttons. Go to Tools – Look-up Tables, select the Payment Methods table and assign your cash desk quick buttons as required.
Bar Code Scanners
In PPS Terms, you can use a bar code scanner in conjunction with PPS Cash Desk if you are selling stock items over the counter – much like any EPOS shop system. You could also use the scanner to quickly access other standard treatment fees by having your own bar code labels printed to an A4 sheet for example.
When you purchase a bar code scanner it will come with (or you will have the option of purchasing) extra software used to produce bar code labels that you can use on your own products. Most products,however, come with bar code labels already. Where this is the case you simply use the existing bar code as your “Code” in the PPS Standard Charges & Stock Items table. To apply the code, simply modify your standard stock item in PPS, go to the Code field and then scan the bar code label using the scanner to read the code. Then when you use PPS Cash Desk instead of entering a code you simply scan the item and this reads the code.
This means that for standard stock items that already have a bar code on the pack, you don’t need any extra software. If you want to print your own bar code labels for other charges – let’s say you wanted anA4 sheet printed with bar codes for all your treatment charges - then you will need to purchase bar code creating software to do this.
Take a look at www.waspbarcode.co.uk – we have purchased the WCS3900 model which is pretty cheap but has a fairly small scanning distance (about 3cm max). This did not come with any software, so I have simply used it with my “standard charges and stock items” list to scan and store bar codes already printed on existing products.This works well with cash desk. Wasp also sells bar code creating software.
There is a helpful tutorial via wasp TV that explains what ranges of scanners are available via the following link:
Receipt Printers and Till Drawers
There is a variety of receipt printers and till drawers that will work well with PPS. The key to selecting the correct one is based upon two things: 1) the receipt printer should have a “Windows”-style printer driver,and 2) the till drawer should connect directly to the printer and NOT to the PC.
We have tested PPS with the Epson TM-88iv receipt printer and a standard “budget” till drawer that uses an RJ-11 connector to connect directly to the receipt printer.
Both of the above are available online from www.tills4change.co.uk as well as a number of other of suppliers.
Setting up your receipt printer to work with PPS Cash Desk
In PPS version 4.0.53 onwards, there is an option available to specify a dedicated receipt printer and specific “invoice/receipt” layout to work with cash desk. To set this up from the PPS menu go to: Tools –Options – General System Options, and select the Accounts tab.
Select the Receipt Printer and Invoice/Receipt Layout and click OK . The invoice/receipt layout is a standard one that we have supplied called “Receiptprinter”. This may need to be modified to suit your exact requirements, and also to operate you’re till drawer correctly. This can be done from the PPS menu:Tools- Layout Designers – Invoice layouts. We do have other standard receipt layouts available for various paper sizes and till drawer combinations, so please contact our support desk if you need further assistance with this.
Once the printer and layout are selected, then Cash Desk will automatically print a receipt when you complete the Cash Desk screen.
There are a variety of standard PC monitors available that operate as a touch screen.There are also more specialist (and more expensive) monitors available designed for EPOS use. These operate exactly like a normal PC monitor, but have the advantage of also being “touch-sensitive”, so you can use your finger to point, or touch the screen exactly like using a mouse. Check out this link for an example of a monitor design for use specifically in an EPOS environment: http://www.tills4change.co.uk/ded_15lcd.htm
For other examples, a Google search on “touch screen monitor” will yield plenty of results.
You do not have to do anything specific to set up PPS to operate a touch screen, as the screen simply connects to your PC with normal screen and USB style connections. You then just use your finger on the screen as a mouse pointer!
Note: PPS also has plenty of other benefits by using a touch screen, especially in recording your clinical notes and competing custom forms. PPS has quick buttons that can be set up for use with a touch screen to quickly and automatically enter text and phrases into your clinical notes in a structured way to match your patient examination and treatment! Some of our competitors sell these features as an add-on – with PPS it comes as standard!
Using Cash Desk
Now that we have everything set up, we are ready to use Cash Desk as our EPOS system!
If you use the PPS Appointments Diary, you can simply highlight your client appointment, and use the F11key to bring up Cash Desk. This will have the correct client and practitioner selected.
Note: If you regularly sell items to individuals not on your database as “cash sales”, then we recommend that you setup a new client in PPS called “Cash Sales” (first name = Cash, surname = Sales is ideal!). You can then simply search for your client via a surname of Sales when someone walks in simply to purchase something.
You are then ready to either scan your items with your bar code scanner, select your charges using the cash desk Quick Buttons, or enter/search for your items using the normal “look-up” entry.
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