PPS can be easily used in an EPOS (Electronic Point-Of-Sale) environment. While PPS is not a full 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. 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.
Section 1 - 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 for the items you sell.
From the PPS Menu go to Tools > Look-up Tables and from here choose 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 bar codes from products ready-scanned so that they can be used with Cash Desk if you're going to be using a barcode scanner.
To add a new item click the Add button or select an existing item and click Modify.
Section 2 - Assigning a Barcode to an Item in PPS
When adding or modifying a standard charge you can assign an existing bar code to an item by entering it into the Code field. Assigning the barcode is simple. Once in the modify screen for a new or existing charge click into the code field, fire your barcode scanner at the barcode on the product and this will enter the number into the code field.
Charges being raised with a barcode scanner will also need a Charge Type allocating. Enter one in the Charge Type field or use the dropdown to select a pre-existing type.
Section 3 - Setting Up Cash Desk
In Cash Desk you can access and populate your standard charges and stock items in three ways:
1) by typing the code you have assigned to the item in the code box. Alternatively, double click the code box to access the list of charges.
2) by scanning the bar code on the product you are selling. To do this you must first ensure you click the code box so that the barcode can populate there.
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.
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 to a charge go to Tools > Look-up Tables > 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. In the screen with the details of the charge assign a number in the Cash Desk Quick Button field.
This number will be the place in the list of quick button that this item appears. There is no limit to the number of buttons you can assign and you need 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 7-12 and so on.
With your quick buttons set up you can now just select the relevant charge to raise it in Cash Desk.
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 > Payment Methods and assign your Cash Desk Quick Buttons as required.
Section 4 - Barcode Scanners
In PPS you can use a barcode 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 barcode labels printed to an A4 sheet for example.
When you purchase a barcode 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 barcode labels already. Where this is the case you simply use the existing barcode as your “Code” in the PPS Standard Charges & Stock Items. 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 or create your own bar code labels for other charges – let’s say you wanted an A4 sheet printed with bar codes for all your treatment charges - then you will need to purchase barcode creating software to do this.
Take a look at www.waspbarcode.co.uk – we use the WCS3900 model for testing purposes. This did not come with any software, so we use it with 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.
Section 5 - 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: the receipt printer should have a Windows-style printer driver and 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.
Section 6 - Setting Up Your Receipt Printer to work with PPS Cash Desk
In PPS versions 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 > Accounts.
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. This can be done via Tools > Layout Designers > Invoice Layouts. Learn more about modifying layouts here.
Once the printer and layout are selected Cash Desk will automatically print a receipt when you complete the Cash Desk screen.
Section 7 - Touch Screens
There are a variety of standard PC monitors available that operate as a touch screen. There are also more specialist monitors available designed specifically 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 of “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!
Section 8 - 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's appointment and use the F11 key to bring up Cash Desk. This will have the correct client and practitioner selected.
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.