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Fuel Retail Management

POS – Point of Sale

The POS application is the front end for the indoor sales. It integrates the functionalities for selling both fuel and dry products or services, monitors the forecourt in real-time and traces all cashier’s operations to enable cash control and shift reconciliations. All POS events are stored in real time in the system database that supports the BackOffice.

It is optimized for touchscreen usage having an improved visual and operational ergonomics which helps the cashiers to both quickly view the status of the forecourt or current sale and also quickly navigate, add or remove items or methods of payment. Normal operation with keyboard and mouse is also supported, with shortcut keys for all main functions.

The application is developed using the newest advancements in technology and programming languages and paradigms, providing a future proof system that can be easily maintained and extended.

For security, all cashiers must have a valid user created in the back office. This allows tracking of all cashier activity, clear evidence of initial and ending cash for a shift.

The POS application together with a fiscal printer and a customer display compose the Fiscal Device and are authorized in Romania by legal authorities to be used in a Fuel Station retail point.

Main features offered by the Point of Sale are:

Sales Processing

  • Combined fuel and dry item or services sales
    • A sale can contain one fuel transaction and multiple dry items, restaurant/café products or services
  • Item selection can be made by fuel transaction buttons, frequent product shortcuts, PLU, Barcode or searching by name
    • For each fuel transaction a button is dynamically generated, containing all the necessary information for the cashier
    • The products selection by inserting the product code can be made by scanning the barcode or inputting the EAN13 code from the standard numeric keyboard or virtual keyboard in case of a touch screen;
    • Selecting the products based on the name of the product allow the cashier to perform searching operations in the catalogues by the product’s name. Unlike the sale by inserting the complete code of the product, in this case the selection is able to be made by inserting the partial name of the products. If, in the catalogue, there are items containing the group of inserted letters, these will be displayed.
    • In the results list, for each article searched by one of the above mentioned methods, all the necessary information is displayed for the correct identification, information such as: price, stock, code, details, short description, etc.
  • Fuel pumps control
    • Start / Stop all
    • Stop / start single pump
    • Start pump with preset value
    • Fueling mode selection – postpaid, prepaid, combinations
    • Visual traffic light for each pump
    • Different station Operation Modes selection (ex. Night Mode – cashier authorization needed for each transaction, Day Mode – pumps default authorized)
  • Handling of suspended sales (parked sale)
    • The cashier is able to park the current sale without losing the items in case of any issue and serve another customer meanwhile
  • Voiding line or entire sale
    • The cashier is able to remove an item from the sale list or completely empty the current sale
  • Automatic / manual receipt printing
  • Fraction of quantity product sale (for weighted products)
    • The application allows entering the exact quantity to be sold for a product (for example weighted items like fruits, vegetables, etc.)

Methods of Payment

  • Possibility to use multiple methods of payment for the same transaction
    • A combination of methods of payment can be used to finalize a sale (cash and bank card, cash and meal vouchers, bank card and gift vouchers, etc.)
  • Cash (with change management)
  • Meal and Gift vouchers
  • Fleet cards (integrated with Fleet Cards Management System)
  • Bank cards
    • Depending on the EFT terminal provided by the bank an integrated & automated mode can be implemented
  • Checks
  • Internal Consumption
  • Capacity of integrating the sale process with loyalty systems (depending on customization)

Promotions and discounts

Multiple types of promotions and discounts can be defined: discount value per product, discount percent per product, fixed price per product, free products, happy hours, bundles and combination between them.

Loyalty

Loyalty cards are automatically recognized by the system in any step of sale process and are saved on sale for later processing by Loyalty HO.

Quick Service Restaurant

The QSR module allows the operators to easily manage orders and sales for the restaurant area of the Fuel Station. They can add restaurant product orders on different tables at any moment of time, print slip receipt and finally transform the order into a sale and issue the final receipt.

Main functionalities for the QSR Module are:

  • Multiple zones can be defined (ex.: Bar, Dining, Outside Terrace, etc.)
  • Tables can be added for each zone using a visual management tool (drag and drop)
  • Possibility to quickly add QSR products to a sale using a virtual table button
  • For each table an order can be open and items can be added whenever the customer places a new order
  • For each item added to the order the waiter can specify production instructions (ex.: with ice, well done, medium, etc.)
  • The gastro items can be either standard items, or recipe items with production at sale or preproduced. The system also allows for recipe in recipe situations.
  • For easy product lookup, the items can be arranged in a Category – Subcategory tree and images can be set for each product
  • Transfer between tables is possible, being able to move specific items or all the items. This allows for easy split payment if required by the customers
  • Section printers (ex.: kitchen, bar, etc.) can be defined, so that the production order is directly sent to the required section together with any production instructions entered by the waiter
  • Printing of a Proforma Receipt is possible for any order
  • All the ordered items can be paid in the general POS sale screen, using the same interface as for any other product
  • You can mix Wet, Dry and Restaurant products on a single sale

Special Functions

  • Fiscal actions
    • Print Z reports
    • Print X reports
    • Print periodic reports
  • Open Cash Drawer
  • Print a copy for an old receipt
  • Refund
  • Negative sales
  • Cash deposit in safe – Safe Drops
  • Paid – in/out
  • Till cash reconciliation (initial/final declare cash, open/suspend/close shift)
  • Login in/out, till locking
  • Multilingual (Local and English language)
  • Simple process for issuing invoices from receipts
  • Alerts of forecourt issues that can impact sales (TLS high water alarm, TLS low stock alarm, etc.)
  • Alerts on POS for scheduled fuel price changes
  • Visual alerts for fuel transactions not finalized within a threshold time period
  • Tank reports
  • Sensitive operations protected with per cashier security
  • Multiple themes support
  • Ready for contactless payments

Integration with ForeCourt Controllers

The POS application works in conjunction with the DOMS PSS 5000 forecourt controller or in conjunction with the software PetroSol FCC. This allows it to connect to a great range of forecourt devices like fuel pumps, LPG pumps, TLG systems, Price Poles, etc. using the proven mechanism and interfaces implemented in the PSS 5000 controller and in the PetroSol FCC, allowing the customer to have great flexibility in choosing his equipment.

Additional devices integration

As a standard architectural pattern each device is always connected to the system with an abstraction layer, thus enabling an easy integration with different device protocols. There are integrations with barcode readers, several bank card terminals, PetroSol fleet card terminal, aso.

BOS – Back Office System

The Back Office System is the core application that controls the station and also enables the station managers access to all the functions needed for controlling both the fuels and dry products or services which can be sold at POS. It is a collection of functional modules providing full control and monitoring of the station’s retail business. Each module and function can be accessed by site operators only according with the role allocated for their application user, with each role having full customization options.

The application is developed using the newest advancements in technology and programming languages and paradigms, providing a future proof system that can be easily maintained and extended.

Having an HTML5 web-based graphical user interface, the BOS application allows easy access with any modern internet browser application no matter where the user is located. Depending on the screen size of the device being used (desktop PC, Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone) the application will scale so that maximum efficiency is accomplished operating it.

Products Catalog Management

The Products Catalog Management area allows the site manager to define the fuel products and the dry products of the store.

Product definition is the first step to define the proper pricing policy, to maintain control of the margins and the stock. The BOS application allows either setting the product configuration locally or receiving it from the external Retail Head Office when working in conjunction with it.

Each item may be characterized by setting several attributes which allow activating specific policies to each item. Examples are the negative sale, the inventory management and the re-ordering rules. Products can be grouped according to a merchandise category tree for category reporting and facilitated lookup. It is also possible to configure custom product groups for facilitating other task such as inventory counts.

  • WET products configuration management
    • Fuels
    • Tanks
    • Pumps
  • Shop products and services management
  • Multiple barcodes per product
  • Recipes management
  • Suppliers / products matrix (with acquisition price)
  • Products categories tree
  • VAT categories and rates
  • Units of measurement
  • Methods of payment definition
  • Product sale prices change (with shelf labels generation)
  • Promotions
  • Restaurant zones
  • Restaurant tables – with visual manager
  • Quick access buttons for products at POS

Stock Management

The Back Office System can support all the replenishment process from inventory monitoring, ordering, goods receiving, up to supplier invoices registration and the invoice matching with orders and delivery notes for both wet and dry products

  • Ordering (min/max stock levels, reordering quantities, delivery time, supplier’s minimal quantity, automatic orders and automatic order proposals)
  • Receiving dry goods from supplier (with legal required document generation)
  • Receiving fuel from supplier (with legal required document generation)
  • Returns to supplier
  • Transfers to and from another station (with legal required document generation)
  • Suppliers management (multiple suppliers per product, priority logic for automatic orders or orders proposal)
  • Stock adjusting – Corrections & Scrapping
  • Sale to invoice
  • Inventory adjustments
  • Real time inventory
  • Inventory reconciliation

Where desired, the system can also be configured to integrate the above processes with different flows driven by the central Retail Head Office system.

Reporting

The Database stores every detail of the sales and all other events and inventory movement. This huge amount of data is available to the site manager in the form of different reports.

Using these reports allows the site manager to maintain a clear understanding of the development of site business and to set the more appropriate actions. Depending on the report, data can be presented in various charting forms.

The following main reports are available, with the export possibility for each of them:

  • Day End and Shifts reports (detailed on various types of aggregation, reconciliation by sales/pumps/tanks)
  • Detailed sales report – for period
  • Aggregated sales report – for period – by method of payment, by category, by day, etc.
  • Pumps report – electronic counters
  • Pumps report – transaction details
  • Tanks report – current stocks
  • Tanks report – deliveries detected by the TGS
  • Stock inventory reports
  • Stock history reports
  • Employee Shift report
  • Profit and loss reports
  • Other custom reports agreed on project basis

Security

In the BOS application the station manager can administer all the Security Roles and Users used to access both Point of Sale and Back Office System.

It supports defining as many roles and users are necessary, with complete control over the security rights granted for each final user. In this regard, a security role can have any combination of security rights, and a user can be part of multiple security roles, as derived from the day to day needs.

For each operation (ex. Products Catalog, Fuel Receiving) there are security rights that allow you to view, create & modify or validate documents.

All security changes are logged and kept in the database for complete traceability of the operations executed by each user.

Station Configuration

As a companion for the BOS application you have the Station Settings application. With the help of this application, the service technician can configure all the forecourt devices and other special settings.

With the help of an easy to use step by step wizard, the technician can configure the Fuels, Tanks, Pumps and Nozzles, ATG system, Price Pole, can define POS’s and Card Terminals or setup station parameters.

After setting all these above, the technician can use the application to check the existing configuration in the Forecourt Controller (DOMS PSS or PetroSol FCC) and update if necessary with a single click, without having to duplicate the work and setup manually the Forecourt Controller.

FCC – ForeCourt Controller

The ForeCourt Controller is a software controller which assures communication between the other components of the retail system (POS, BOS) and the devices from the forecourt: fuel dispensers, tank gauging systems, etc.

The PetroSol FCC forecourt system gives you the control you need to help reduce deployment and implementation costs. By giving you better visibility over many of your current devices with one single tool, maintenance costs are reduced, and there are fewer potential points of failure.

This application can control all the fuel dispensers which have implemented communication modules on LON interface and with the IFSF Dispense Application protocol, tank gauging systems with serial RS232 or Ethernet communication and VeederRoot protocol, and depending on customer necessities other devices can be implemented. Using standard industry communication protocols, it allows our customers the flexibility to choose any fuel dispensers or tank gauging systems they want, from any manufacturers.

For the fuel dispensers, the entire IFSF command set is implemented, from configuration, to command, price sending and transaction data read, including real time readings for current transaction information.

In the case of tank gauging systems, the application can read standard data, extended data (ex.: density), it can read tank delivery data recorded by the TGS, and can also transmit the fuel dispensers’ transaction to the intelligent TGS which support reconciliation functionality (BIR/HRM).

The communication with the Back Office System and the Point of Sale systems is made through Ethernet interface using and advanced communication protocol.

As an integrated module, the Forecourt Controller application has a separate Database which allows storing a buffer with the latest records from the connected devices, reducing the risk of data loss.

The advanced logging systems allows recording an array of messages between the controller application and the connected devices, allowing for a fast and easy debugging of potential communication or functionality problems.

The FCC software can be installed on a normal Windows computer, allowing you a great flexibility when designing your station’s IT infrastructure. For cost optimizations, as the resource requirements are low, it can reside on the same machine with the Back Office System. Being a software FCC, it can be very easily deployed, serviced and updated when new functionality is available. It is also scalable, allowing you to manage from one pump and up to 32 pumps.