Common Questions About Using Keystroke Point Of Sale For Your Business:
I own a small specialty retail store. Is Keystroke the right system for me?
Keystroke POS software was originally designed for small to mid-sized retail businesses that needed to efficiently automate their inventory control and point of sale operations. The software system enables a business to customize and streamline the way they handle sales transactions while successfully tracking and managing all their sales and purchase history, inventory control, and customer information.
When my business grows , will Keystroke be able to keep up with it?
Keystroke can be continually updated and upgraded to provide the ability
to use the software system on multiple registers and POS stations throughout your store(s).
Some of the popular features included in Keystroke Advanced POS are frequently used for:
What If I Have Several Stores And A Warehouse?
Keystroke handles multiple locations very well. The most common issues regarding automating multiple locations include: the ability to look up inventory quantities on hand in other locations, centralized inventory and customer management, and consolidating sales information for reporting. All of these issues are handled using the add-on module for Keystroke called "MultiStore". For more information on this module and associated licensing requirements, see your local Keystroke Dealer, or call us at 800.359.3458.
How widely is Keystroke used?
Keystroke Point Of Sale software is currently installed in thousands of single and multiple location businesses in the USA and abroad. Keystroke includes the features and functionality required by most hard goods and soft goods businesses, as well as those required by high sales volume, fast-paced businesses such as liquor stores, mini-marts and convenience stores.
What are the operating system requirements for Keystroke POS?
Technically, Keystroke will run on MS Windows 7 or better, including the 64 bit versions of newer Windows operating systems. However, since MS Windows 7 is no longer supported by MS, it is recommended to use newer operating systems, preferably MS Windows 10.
I only have one computer in my business, can I still use Keystroke ?
Yes. You can run Keystroke on a single, stand-alone computer or on multiple computers connected to a local area network. Keystroke can even be run over a hosted application model such as Microsoft Terminal Server, Citrix Server, an application service provider ("ASP"), or a wide area network ("WAN") using broadband Internet connections.
I've heard that the data from my old POS system can be transferred into Keystroke - is this true?
More than likely, yes. The Keystroke Importer allows you to read data from comma or tab delimited files into the Keystroke Inventory, Customer, Contact, Vendor, and Department / Category / Location databases. First the data must be exported from your old POS. This step is normally accomplished in one of several possible ways: by running that system's export utility, by running database reports to file, or by reading the database files directly into a tool which allows you to save them in the proper file formats. Either SBS or your Keystroke Dealer can handle this task for you if you prefer.
Can Keystroke track the purchases my customers make?
Yes. When a sales transaction is entered, Keystroke saves a great deal of information about each item included in the sale. Some of the details include information about who is buying the item, how many of the item are purchased, what the price of the item is, what the average cost of the item is, the amount (if any) of a item's discount and which salesperson entered the sale. The sale also permanently records how the customer is paying for the items. Each customer's buying history is recorded and updated every time they buy something from your business. Sales reports can be run to determine customer buying habits, demographic information, buying patterns and frequency, and of course, the amounts of the purchases. Focused customer mailing lists, including the printing of mailing labels, can be developed from the customer buying history Keystroke maintains for your business.
How does the Keystroke software help me manage my inventory?
Keystroke maintains all aspects of your inventory through the entry of various types of transactions throughout the software system (sales, layaways, purchases, variances, transfers, productions, etc.). These transactions include the management of standard, matrixed, serialized, parent-child enabled, produced, and scripted items. The appropriate transaction types control and manipulate costs (Average and Last), prices (Base, Sale, List, Level1, Level2, Level3, Website Price & Quantity Price Break levels), all quantity levels (On Hand, Allocated, Layaway, On Order, Total Sold, Total Received) and all related dates (Last Sold, Last Shipped, Last Ordered, Last Received, Last Counted). Transactions can also generate the printing of prices tags, shelf labels, mailing or shipping labels and the output of the transactional data to files for external data processing requirements (EDI, e-commerce, etc.). Together, the different Keystroke transactions create a complete business history for your store.
I have a difficult time deciding when and what inventory to reorder. Can Keystroke help me with this?
Yes. Keystroke allows you to create purchase orders manually or automatically based on current quantity levels and the re-order quantities that you have set for each item. The auto-order feature gives you a lot of power and flexibility in how you re-order. For example, you can create purchase orders by Vendor for all items in the database, only certain departments or categories or locations, even by the date the item was last sold or last purchased. Purchase orders can be edited on-screen, printed, and even saved to file for external processing if necessary.
Can I print price tags on the laser printer I already have?
Yes. Keystroke can print price tags with or without barcodes on your laser printer as well as on a wide variety of specialty barcode printers.
Can I use pre-printed invoice and purchase order forms with Keystroke POS?
Yes. You can order standard business forms, supported by Keystroke, and printed with your company information or you can have your Keystroke Dealer customize a print-out file to have Keystroke print the right information in the right places on your existing pre-printed forms. Keystroke can print these forms on a variety of printers such as: 40-column, 80-column, impact dot matrix (for multi-part forms) and laser.
Does Keystroke allow multiple types of tendering on a single sales transaction?
Yes. Keystroke allows you to split the sale payment among any of the types of tendering you have set up. In addition to offering the standard Cash, Check, Credit card, etc., Keystroke allows you to set up new sales payment tendering types as you need them (e.g., Food Stamps, EBT, Debit card).
Does Keystroke have the capability to handle foreign currencies?
Yes. Keystroke allows you to set up sales payment types for the foreign currencies you decide to accept in your business, as well as the exchange rate for each. If a customer chooses to pay in an accepted foreign currency type, Keystroke automatically converts the payment amount needed from US dollars into the amount required of the foreign currency type. The conversion factor is the number of dollars it takes to equal one unit of the foreign currency. For example, if it takes one and one-half dollars to equal a British pound, when Keystroke tenders a $10.00 sale, it will ask for £6.67. In another example, if it takes one cent to equal a Ruritanian drongo, when Keystroke tenders a $10.00 sale, it will ask for 1000.00 drongos. The cash drawer reconciliation and report also converts the currency collected for each foreign currency type.
Can Keystroke display a reminder message to the salesperson when a specific item is placed onto a sales transaction?
Yes. The very popular Scripting feature, available in Keystroke Advanced POS, provides the ability to set up special (user-selected) entry procedures for selling specific items, called "Scripted Items", at the point of sale. These procedures, called "Scripts", may include any combination of special reminder messages, on-screen prompts to enter data, tag-along items (automatic or prompted), component items ("kitting"), and suggested alternate items when out of stock. Each inventory item may have its own unique Script. Department, Category, and Location Scripts can be set up to run automatically when any item from a Department, Category, or Location is sold. Starting and/or Ending Transaction Scripts can also be set up to run at the beginning or completion of a sales transaction. Any business can benefit from the powerful features available in Scripting.
I would like to allow some salespeople to have more POS privileges than others, can I do this?
Yes. Keystroke includes a powerful, PCI compliant Security Levels feature which is used to assign POS privileges to all Keystroke users from business owners through salespeople and cashiers, thereby restricting what each user can and cannot do. Owners and managers are generally allowed to access all areas of the POS system, including the Security Levels settings areas. These areas allow them to set up POS privileges for their staff. For example, certain salespeople may be allowed to ring up sales, but not returns, while a supervisor may be allowed both privileges. Access to every relevant feature and function (including many functions within a sales transaction) in Keystroke can be controlled with Security levels.
In addition to Security Levels, the Audit function features parameters which can be enabled to allow the system to track nearly all types of user activity in the Keystroke program. This information is recorded in addition to normal transactions and database records for the purpose of identifying inappropriate user activity and/or investigating other abnormalities. A special Entry Code (password) may be assigned to the Audit function to prevent access by unauthorized users. The system’s Audit trail can be reviewed using the Audit report.
Even passwords in Keystroke have usage controls (which meet PCI compliance requirements) such as: minimum length, minimum number of letters/numbers/symbols to be included, maximum number of attempts, and automatic expiration.
Will Keystroke let me have an item priced at $0.35 each, but four at $1.00.
Yes. Keystroke includes two different ways to automatically discount items bought in multiple quantities.
The first and easiest way is to use the Keystroke Quantity Price Breaks fields on an Inventory items. Two quantity price break fields are available for every item. You simply tell Keystroke the quantity required to purchase in order to get a fixed discounted price for the items. For example: an item normally priced at $1.59 each (if only one or two are being purchased) can be set to be sold for a total of $3.49 if three are purchased and also at total of $6.99 if seven are purchased.
The second way to discount the prices of items automatically is to use Keystroke's powerful Price Tables feature to define pricing and quantity discounts for any items or groups of items in your Inventory. You can even define discounts for different items that belong to the same item group items based on quantity or dollar value purchased. For example, you can tell Keystroke to charge $0.35 each if only one, two or three of the item are bought, then if four are bought, automatically change all four to be $0.25 each, and if six are bought, automatically change the discount for all six to $0.20 each.
Better yet, Price Tables allow you to charge different discount prices for the same items to different types of Customers. Walk-in Customers may get no discount at all, while mailing list Customers may get the discount described above, and club member Customers may get yet a better discount where quantities 1,2 & 3 are $0.30ea / if 4 are bought, all are $0.22ea / if 6 or more are bought, all are $.018ea.
And even better yet, the Keystroke Contract Pricing module allows you to set up unique pricing for each and every Inventory item, for each and every Customer if necessary!
Can I assign a percentage discount manually at the POS?
Yes. There are several ways to do this. You can assign a flat percentage discount to the subtotal of all items on the sales screen. But you are not limited to assigning only a subtotal discount. You can have Keystroke recalculate the price of each item being sold to any percentage discount you enter into the price calculator (press [F3] while in the Price column for the line item). Or, you can enter the percent profit you want from the Cost of that item (press [F3] for the line item's detail while in any column other than the Price column for the line item and enter the percentage profit you want).
Can I have Keystroke not apply taxes at the POS?
Yes. There are several ways to do this. Keystroke uses a very powerful and flexible user-definable Tax Tables feature to handle tax rates for Customers. For Walk-in customers whose sales you are not individually tracking, simply change the Tax Table on the sale from the State/Local Tax Table to the Exempt, Out Of State or Resale/Wholesale Tax Table. For customers whose sales you would like to track, enter the customer into the Customer Database with the appropriate Tax Table and then add them to the sales transaction instead of the default Walk-in Customer. Their appropriate sales tax rate (whether they are taxable or not) will be applied to every sale you enter for them.
What types of reports does Keystroke include?
Keystroke includes a virtually unlimited number of reports pertaining to all aspects of the business. The information produced on these reports can provide valuable insight into day-to-day business transactions and can also assist in the making of informed decisions, rather than risking the success of the business by making incorrect assumptions. SBS has been refining Keystroke's reporting capabilities for over 23 years, based on the direct requests of business owners.
Keep in mind that the theory behind using a computerized point of sale/inventory control system is that it allows for the collection of accurate and detailed information at the time transactions take place. The Keystroke reports provide extensive tools necessary to locate and summarize data that might otherwise have been overlooked, or not have been available at all. Reports are grouped for easy access by Sales, Databases, Purchases and Inventory.
All reports may be sent to a printer, displayed on the screen, or saved to a file (with options for tab delimited, quote/comma delimited; comma only delimited and Microsoft Excel) which can be further manipulated by other software applications. Since Keystroke does not require the purging of transaction history, most transaction reports can be run for any date/time range, past or present.
Whether it's gross profit, sales tax collected, sales commissions, current receivables, or a departmental inventory listing with average cost, price and stock level, Keystroke will provide you with all the reports you need.
Keystroke's unique design and data storage techniques provide easy access to all reports with up-to the-second accuracy. Sales reports can be printed over any period such as daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Quick selection options are available for yesterday, today, last month, this month, last year, and this year.
Can Keystroke send the sales information to my accounting program?
Yes. The Keystroke Accounting Link (included in Keystroke Advanced POS) will create and export journal entries to a file that is ready to import into the GL of many popular accounting programs such as: BusinessWorks, QuickBooks, Peachtree, CYMA Systems, ACCPAC, Macola and others.
The Standard Link may be used with systems not listed if your accounting system has a journal entry import function that is capable of importing from a delimited text file. Some accounting systems' import functions also include a mapping feature allowing the user to define the format and layout for file to be imported (such as MAS90). If no such mapping feature is available, the Keystroke MapFile mapping utility may be used to perform the same task before the file is imported.
Posting can be performed as frequently as necessary and is similar to running a report where a date/time range can be specified to post (e.g., calendar month, weekly, daily, etc.). The Report option can be used to review entries before posting, and/or to manually post journal entries in any accounting program.
How Much Of My Transaction History Can I Maintain Access To With Keystroke ?
Keystroke uses a unique method of storing transaction data that allows you to keep, and have near instant access to, virtually ALL of your sales and purchase transactions... forever! Unlike many systems which require periodic purging or archiving, Keystroke allows you to maintain millions of transactions in full detail. When selecting a point of sale system, it is a good idea to know roughly how many sales transactions your business does in a year (average number of sales per day multiplied by the number of days open per year).
With That Much Data, Won't It Slow Down The System?
No, the point of sale remains just as fast regardless of how much transaction data is on file. Of course, to run a detailed report over a relatively long range of time takes longer than a shorter period. But simply looking at sales from last week is just as fast as looking at sales from the same week from seven years ago.
With The Ability To Store So Much Information, How Easy Is It To Locate Particular Information When It Is Needed?
Some of Keystroke's most useful features include reporting and the ability to easily look up specific information. You can run most reports for any particular day, month, year, or any time period. You can even review the full detail of a customer's previous sales, instantly, right at the sales counter.
Keystroke includes so many features, what if I don't need them all?
One of Keystroke's biggest features may be that if you do not have a need for, or do not care to use a certain feature, you can simply ignore it. SBS provides all these powerful and flexible features to enable you, the business owner or manager, to set up Keystroke to enter sales the way that you want to, not the way the software system says you have to. Keystroke does not force you to use, or even look at, every available option. If later on you decide to use a feature, you can normally quickly implement it and continue to run your business, taking full advantage of the feature's benefits.
What Are The Database Limitations of Keystroke ?
Keystroke allows over 1,000,000 records in each database (inventory items, customers, vendors, etc.), plus an Inventory Matrix can be used to expand each inventory record into thousands of variations by size, color, and other aspects.
What types of POS devices does Keystroke support?
Keystroke supports nearly all PC-based POS hardware peripherals available on the market. This includes machines designed specifically for point of sale (often referred to as All-In-One's), touch screens, biometric fingerprint readers, digital sign displays, cash drawers, barcode scanners & printers, receipt printers, invoice printers, customer-facing screen displays, customer pole displays, change dispensers, electronic scales, deli scales, programmable keyboards, credit card readers, PIN pads, signature capture devices, digital video surveillance systems/DVR's and modems (both broadband and dial-up) for credit card processing and/or data interchange between multiple store locations.
SBS does have a few recommendations which we feel strongly about; however, we do recommend that you rely on the advice of a local Authorized Keystroke Dealer. Most Dealers have firsthand field experience with installing and servicing a wide variety of POS hardware devices. They will also have the ability to visit your store location and speak with you regarding any particular needs. Therefore, our strongest recommendation is to work closely with a Dealer and don’t try to piecemeal a system together based solely on the lowest price. Any money saved on buying a low-end printer at the local discount store will eventually be spent many times over getting it to work properly.
What kinds of technical support services does SBS offer for the Keystroke?
SBS offers several different technical support service options. The most popular are the Software Maintenance Service plans which are designed to put you in contact with a live Technical Support Specialist who knows the Keystroke software and can assist you immediately. Over 99% of callers speak with a live technician right away, not with a receptionist and not with an automated attendant. View our Support Page for more information.
How do I make sure I'm running the most current version of Keystroke?
Updates to the current version of Keystroke are available, for registered licensees who currently subscribe to a maintenance plan, by simply running an Update routine from Keystroke. The update patch is downloaded from the Keystroke web site and automatically updates the software. The Support/Current Readme section of this web site describes the latest changes available with each Patch File.