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Managing point of sale (POS) and customer relationship management (CRM) are the two critical functions for cell phone retailers. While inventory is not typically extensive for cell phone stores, it does change frequently. Most cell phone contracts in the United States are for two years. During the contract period, cell phone retailers can sell accessories to the owners. As the contract nears its end, the retailer can contact the owner about new phone options. However, this strategy only works if the retailer knows the client, the phone, and the end date of the contract.
Accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, and payroll are all standard. In fact, some operations just use inventory, POS, and CRM. They outsource payroll and use spreadsheets and paper records for the rest of the operations. Most cell phone stores use on-premises systems. Software-as-a-service solutions are available and cloud-bases sytems are a reasonable alternative for cell phone stores.
In addition to core business functions, wireless and cellular retailers should consider the following functions to meet their unique requirements:
|Phone model tracking||The system should track each customer’s phone model. As new accessories become available, sales agents can contact customers that own the correct model phone. This is also useful if the manufacturer releases an updated version of a phone.|
|Phone serial number tracking||The system should track the serial number for each phone from receipt into inventory and through to sale to the end user. This is useful in case the phone is lost or stolen.|
|Phone identifier tracking||The system should track each phone identifier to the phone’s serial number and to the customer. This includes the electronic serial number (ESN) and mobile equipment identifier (MEID) for code division multiple access (CDMA) and subscriber identity module (SIM) cards for global system for mobile communications (GSM) phones.|
|Vendor compliance reporting||The system should track which contracts are sold for each carrier. It should produce the sales and contract compliance reports as required.|
|Contract expiration date||The system should store the contract expiration date for each customer. When the expiration date approaches, the system should notify the sales team and send a reminder to the customer.|
|Date of last phone purchase||The system should track the date of the last phone purchase. As the date approaches two years, the system should notify the sales team and send a reminder to the customer to upgrade to a new phone.|
|Accessory look up||The system should identify accessories that match a phone. When is phone is shown or sold, the sales representative should show all of the accessories to go with the phone.|
|Split tender||The system must be able to accept payment over several different methods. For example, a customer may want to pay with cash and two different credit cards. The system must properly apply the split payments to the correct ledger accounts.|
|Rebate management||The system should track current rebates from carriers and phone manufacturers. It should print out rebate forms and materials when a phone is purchased.|
|Promotional pricing||The system should allow sale and promotional pricing. The pricing should change in the wireless inventory and POS software system automatically at a specified time and date, if desired.|