What is "Polling?"
How do communications work?
What Sharp Register Models can Skan_Talk communicate with?
What are the chief benefits of my PC communicating to my Electronic Cash Registers (ECR) or Point of Sale (POS)?
Can I buy my Sharp ECR or POS directly from Inland Cash register?
I like my local dealer. Can I buy SKAN_Talk direct from my local Sharp dealer?
If my local dealer doesnât have experience, or doesnât want to sell SKAN_Talk, what should I do?
Do you provide End User support?
What should I do if I have SKAN_Talk and my dealer has had trouble shooting a problem?
Give me an example of how you make those determinations?
Polling is the process of a PC going out to âget the reportsâ from the cash register so that they can be printed at the PCâs printer. It can be done on a local PC or remotely, using modems.
Skan_Talk supports remote polling of single or multiple store via modem. It can be done manually by the user or it can be set to launch automatically at a specific time for unattended polling. All stores that are active are automatically entered into the end of day polling. For stores that poll after midnight, there is a date crossover variable in the configuration so that data polled after midnight is still imported into the database as yesterdayâs date. This is a user definable, so you can specify any time that you would like the date to cross over at. If for some reason, the polling fails, the manger can come into work the next morning, see the error and run the polling. Even though it may be 10 in the morning, it will still be imported as yesterdayâs data. For stores that are polled from across time zones, there is a time zone offset that takes this into account when synchronizing the date/time at the end of each polling cycle. It also allows for consolidation of all data from all stores into a single report, even if the cash register model types are different. At the end of the polling cycle, Skan_Talk will generate a status screen with a pass or fail screen with options of how to recover and proceed in case of a failed daily polling.
Now, you donât have to be a magician to get computer generated reports that consolidate your daily POS totals into reports for date ranges specified by you. Custom reports can be generated for any date range that has data in it. Today, Yesterday, Last week, Last Quarter, or a definable date range. This eliminates the need to pull out and audit shoeboxes full of old journal tape. With a couple of clicks, the data is there at your fingertips to print out or just to view.
Communications occurs through one of two types of communications interfaces. The most common is through the serial, or RS232 port. The cash register and PC must both have a serial port. The serial ports can be linked through a direct connection of an RS 232 cable strung between the cash register and the PC. Because Sharp Cash Registers and PCs use the same send and receive cable pin-out, there must be a Direct Connect crossover in between as well, so that the cash registers would transmit data to the PCâs receiver instead of its receiver.
With a powerful communications software package like SKAN_Talk there are several advantages. Here are just a few;
- PC software can greatly simplify the act of maintaining the ECR/ POS program. Entering new items or changing prices without job codes makes the task much easier.
- Using a standard PC keyboard is also simpler. No alpha to numeric conversions!
- At the ECR/ POS you must wait until after the âZ reportsâ to change prices. That can mean late night s of running around to multiple stores to change prices after closing. With SKAN_Talk, you can make your changes anytime of the day that you want. Any changes that you make are and marked for upload to the ECR/ POS the next scheduled communications event.
- Programming can be done from a remote site and transmitted over a modem.
- Being able to print wide-format reports instead of getting them on two-inch wide paper is one of the most popular features.
- Being able to accumulate the sales data in a historical database is a huge advantage. Now you can go back a re-print a lost report, or request a date range for reports like a quarterly or yearly consolidation.
- Being able to have your PC take reports over a modem can provide timely, accurate reports.
- Being able to consolidate reports from multiple stores is another key benefit.
- You can design your own reports from the ECR/ POS data.
- SKAN_Talk adds many feature not available from the ECR/ POS. Some examples are, Virtual keyboard, Template Maker, T-Log Viewer, T-Log Sort-N-Report, Historical Data Base.
Yes. In fact, you can save money by purchasing the hardware and the software from Inland Cash Register. In addition there can be many other advantages of having a single source for both. Inland Cash Register is an authorized Sharp Dealer, and has been in the cash register business since 1942. We provide cash registers for single users and chain account.
SKAN_Talk is available to Sharp ECR/ POS dealers for resale. However many very fine cash registers dealers do not wish to sell PC based or products. Just like your Primary doctor may not choose to practice surgery or conduct other specialty practices, you will need to inquire if your local dealer has any communications systems experience.
Contact us directly. Weâll help you find another dealer, or work with you directly.
Yes. We provide End user Phone Support. You can buy two, four, or ten-hour packages. Have your credit card handy for quick approval?
Keep in mind that most of what might cause a problem has nothing to do with the cash register or SKAN_Talk. Problems can occur with phone lines, cables, power disturbances, modems, PCâs or configuration problems. With all system problems it is a matter of finding the source of the problem through the process of elimination.
It is best to start at the most elementary point and determine if the problem is at the ECR/ POS end or the PC. Once that is determined, you are half way there. From there it is a series of test to eliminate cables, modems, phone lines, etc. Whatever is left is the culprit. Fix or replace that item and you have communications.
You or your dealer can request our Trouble shooting Guide to assist with the process.
To determine if the problem is at the PC or the cash register, you can have your dealer or Inland Cash Register attempt to poll the site over a modem. If it can be polled successfully, the problem is at the PC end. Another example: Lets say the site canât be polled over a modem, a local dealer can go to the site with a laptop computer and SKAN_Talk. If the laptop can communicate directly to the ECR then the problem is in the phone line, modem, or cables not used in the test. Each time one item is detected.