If you’re wondering the difference between these two terms, you’re not alone. Whether you’re new to scanning inventory or tracking your tobacco sales, this will help clarify some differences and why both matter.
Often, scanning software in the convenience store industry means the same thing as back-office software (BOS). Why?
Back-office solutions pull sales and other data from point-of-sale (POS) systems. The name came about simply because the cashier uses a scanner to scan barcodes as they “scan out” items during a sale at the POS.
There are four primary ways scanned data makes its way to the back-office solution, including when a c-store scans:
A BOS is your operational analyst, working behind the scenes 24/7 to improve your business. It tracks thousands of items and hundreds of thousands of transactions every year. It can even tell you how much each sale generates in revenue and margins.
A back-office solution tracks, stores data and gives you insight into your inventory and sales operations. It helps you manage:
To collect data, tech companies need to have strong business and technical partnerships with a variety of players in the industry, including:
Scan data apps collect sales data, like back-office solutions, but with a very narrow purpose. Its purpose is to compile and transfer reports for specific items (SKUs). These reports are the verifiable proof you’ve met promotional program requirements such as tobacco manufacturer rebate (buydown) programs.
What can you expect these apps to do?
In 2021, Altria incentivized tobacco retailers to subscribe to an app provider that uses their API to accept promotions. Why? One main issue for retailers is making mistakes when they set up their promotions which ultimately causes them to lose out on rebates they thought they earned. Only about six tech companies offer this option, including Petrosoft and our Scan Data app.
What can you expect in 2022? Tobacco companies, such as Altria, are reimagining their rebate programs. That means they will require more from retailers than ever before to earn their rebates. So this may be an ideal time to re-evaluate your scan data solution provider.