Uniform and scrub POS systems and ecommerce sites contain features specific to the uniform and scrub retail industry.  Below are ten key features to consider when evaluating retail management or uniform POS systems for your uniform retail store:

  1. Integration with Vendor Catalog to Import Data and Images – Labor costs can be significant at a scrub store. One of the most time consuming back office tasks is creating product records. And matrix products are even more challenging to create. The most popular uniform POS systems electronically link to the catalogs of leading uniform scrub vendors. This allows the retailer to ‘pull’ down the records from the vendor’s server to the POS system with one click, including the product description, image, cost, MSRP and other data. This saves considerable labor costs vs creating each product record manually.
  2. Special Orders – Given the wide variety of different scrub styles and plethora of sizes and colors, it is very challenging for a scrub retailer to carry all items sold in stock. As a result, many scrub retailers sell a majority of items via ‘special orders’. Special orders are where the retailer sells an item not in stock and then orders the item from the vendor specifically for the customer. This requires a complex work flow, including taking and tracking deposits, managing back orders and being able to connect the item back with the customer order when its received from the vendor. MicroBiz supports special orders, offering the user the ability right from the register screen to: (i) add the item to a draft vendor PO, (ii) create a new PO for the item, and (iii) add to a ‘review’ queue of special orders so that it can managed at a later time. When the special order item is received, MicroBiz alerts the user that the item being received is attached to a customer order. This alert provides the customer’s name. order number, phone, mobile – as well as allowing the user to print the order invoice.
  3. Access to Real Time Vendor Stock – Disruption in supply chains can make it challenging to manage special orders. What if you create an order, only to find out when you go to order the item that its out of stock? The best scrub POS software systems offer real time visibility into the availability of the item in the vendors warehouse. These top scrub focused retail manage systems electronically access the available stock of an item at the vendor. They also display these stock numbers to the retailer when the retailer is creating a special order or a PO. This prevents situations where a retailer sells item to a custom that is not currently available for order from the vendor.
  4. Ability to Submit Purchase Orders Electronically (EDI. API call, flat file) – Ordering items from a vendors can be time consuming. POs may not be read and properly translated into an order by the vendor’s employees, leading to mistakes. Ordering from the vendor’s portal can also take considerable time to navigate and enter data – and is often redundant with the steps to create a PO. Top scrub point of sale software applications often allow the user to create a PO, and then submit this electronically to the vendor with one touch. Historically this was done using an EDI network, although with advances in technology more modern systems such as MicroBiz submit the order using a web call or submission of a CSV file. This can speed up the process by allowing you to use the ordering automation features in MicroBiz (special orders. min/max reorder points, sales trending). It also reduces ordering errors vs sending in written POs or ordering on a vendor’s portal.
  5. Integration with Ecommerce – Many scrub retailers also operate at least one online website.  As a result, its critical to have some sort of sync or integration between your website and your store management system.  This will keep inventory levels in synch between store locations to minimize the sale of items not in stock or unavailable from the vendor.  The leading uniform POS systems also capture the order information and customer data from online sales in the POS system.  This helps with marketing and inventory management.
  6. Alterations/Service Department – Many uniform stores offer embroidery and personalization in-store.  Often the complexity of alterations are difficult to manage on ecommerce sites, which can drive traffic to the store for these customization services. Be sure to research what customizations options are supported in your POS system.  The highly rated scrub POS systems include fields to describe the work being done as well as allow retailer to ‘check in’ customer owned items for alterations. For example, MicroBiz offers all of these features, as well as Service Item History – which tracks the service history of customer items brought in for repairs and alterations.
  7. Matrix/Configurable Products – Uniforms come in different sized and colors. These are generally sold by vendors as variants of base styles or SKUs. So a certain style such as WW660 may come in 15 colors and 10 sizes, or 150 product variants. A top rated uniform POS system will organize these variants in a matrix, showing colors down one axis and sizes across another. This will allow a retailer to see the cost, price, stock, order quantities and reorder points of all size/color combinations in one convenient grid. The scrub point of sale system should allow you to import, sell, order and received matrix products quickly and efficiently.
  8. Credit Accounts/House Accounts – Hospitals and clinics often provide an allowance or the ability for employees to purchase items that are paid for by the employer. To do this, top scrub store POS systems allow the retail to create a house charge or credit account for preferred customers. This account should show which employees are eligible to charge items to the hospital, clinic or doctor office. At check out, the POS system should allow a employee to purchase the item, and the transaction should be billed to the employer account, including what was purchased, who purchased it, price of items, taxes. These POS systems also have a note field that can be used to enter a description that appears on the statement. The system should enable the user to print an AR or credit statement, including aging on the AR balances. The statements should be able to be printed in bulk or emailed. The system should also record payments and instantly show balances.
  9. Microsites or Private Stores – Many uniform retailers use an ecommerce site to provide a better experience to existing hospital or clinic customers.  These uniform retailers often create private ‘microsites’ that curated for the specific requirements of the customer and accessible only to the employees of the customer.  For example, a hospital may have a microsite that only displays the scrub styles and colors approved by the hospital and is password protected for used only by approved employees.  Be sure that your ecommerce platform can support microsites.  For example, a multi-store configuration of WooCommerce can support the offering of microsites for different customers.
  10. Customer-based Pricing – Uniform retailers often offer preferred or special pricing to their top hospital or clinic customers. This special pricing is not available to walk in customers without a prior relationship with the retailer. Special pricing may be based on a % or $ discount off retail pricing or MAP, % or $ mark-up over cost or targeted margin or specific price. The best uniform POS system will allow you to set-up these different pricing tiers and assign some sort of customer class or designation in the customer record. When a customer record is added to a transaction with an item eligible for a special price, the uniform POS system adjusts the price automatically. This is a great tool to offer special discounts to recurring customers, such as hospitals, clinics and doctors offices.