Employee theft costs companies billions of dollars a year and the tanning industry is no exception. There are several different forms of employee theft. The simplest form of employee embezzlement is taking money or goods from the salon owner. The easier to cover up and most likely bigger form of theft for salon owners is when employees give discounts on tans and tanning lotion to friends or accepting cash on the side for free tanning. Before computers and electronic control it was much harder to accurately control and monitor this "sweet hearting" than it is today. Thankfully, now there are many forms of tanning salon software available. Not only does the software help a salon operate more efficiently, but it tracks every transaction and helps in preventing theft. By restricting access to certain areas of the software a salon owner can safely know that his employees are being honest. With the help of software, accurately tracking and managing inventory takes very little time. Because it is being tracked in real-time it is much easier to determine if an employee is stealing lotion or selling it under the table and pocketing the cash. If missing inventory becomes a problem it is recommended that you do inventory reports at every shift change. This will make it clear on whose shift the product was stolen.
Having the ability to track every transaction and pull reports can be the difference between a good salon and a great one. Getting the reports is the easy part, deciphering the data and successfully utilizing it is the more difficult and important part. Standard reports include demographic, zip codes, sales by item, average sales, average lotion sales, coupon redemption, and individual employee sales figures. By learning to properly read the data it makes it possible for salon owners to start making educated decisions about marketing, employee training, and employee compensation. Of course the data is only worth something if it has been taken in an accurate and consistent manner. If there are consistent overrides to the system then the data is incomplete and will not provide as valuable feedback as it would if every transaction was entered into the tanning salon software accurately.
Tanning software began to become prevalent in the 80's and has continued to get better and better with every new version that is released. Currently there are four major programs to choose from, Tan Track, Helios, Sun Lync, and Sun Touch. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Many factors should go into the decision making process when it comes to choosing the right one. First, if the software is only going to be used at one location it is different then if multiple salons must be linked together. It is also important to note the difference in price for each software. Some charge a large one time fee up front and other charge on a monthly basis for support and credit card processing. Most of the tanning salon point of sale software companies offer free trials and also free data conversion from the competitors. If you are considering switching it is advised that you set-up a laptop next to your current POS computer and run the two program side by side for awhile until you are comfortable that the new software can do everything that you require it to. Make sure that you use some time of timer manager hooked directly to the computer to control your tanning beds and tanning booths. If you run the software independently of your timing system it's ability to prevent theft is dramatically reduced.