What’s new in iVend Retail 5.6

After so many months of wait, iVend Retail 5.6 has finally arrived. The release is scheduled for 7th August 2012. While few of our partners and certified consultants are already using the beta release, some of the cool features are listed below for everyone to get a glimpse on the latest innovations. A video is also created. Have a look.

iVend Stand-Alone 

iVend Stand-Alone runs independently without the need for an ERP at the backend. Retailers can now manage their entire retail operations just with iVend Retail Suite without having to implement an ERP.

User Training Mode

User Training Mode has been introduced in iVend to make iVend more users friendly. A new user can work in the training environment and learn to use the functionalities of iVend Retail better. The production environment however, remains unaffected by user activities in the training environment.

Discount Group Setup

Earlier in Ivend, Discount was defined for a single Discount field. With Ivend 5.6, Discount Group setup has been introduced where Discount field has been categorized into four types of Discount Group.

  • Manual Discount Group
  • System Discount Group
  • Coupon Discount Group
  • Promotion Discount Group

Depending on the grouping done, the user can determine the relationship of a particular group with the next Discount Group.

Custom Transaction Info Grid

Custom Transaction information can now be set individually for different store(s) using Custom Transaction Info Grid option in management console. This would enable users to setup the different button panel for individual stores.


iVend Coupons are vouchers entitling the holder to a discount off a particular product(s). It is a promotional tool that can be used to get discounts while purchasing goods or services. Generally coupons are classified into Manufacturer and Store issued coupons, however in iVend treatment for both of these coupon types remains same and depends on the coupon setup.

Promotion – Bonus Buys

iVend Promotion engine are used to handle complex promotion scenarios using Buy and Get conditions as means to define the prerequisites set by the customer. Some of the promotions that can be setup are

  1. Buy X and get X free
  2. Buy X and get Y free
  3. Buy X and get discount on any item from Product Group Y
  4. Buy N quantity from Product Group X and get discount on any item of Product Group Y
  5. Buy N quantity from Product Group X of worth R and get discount on any item of Product Group Y
  6. Buy any 5 Quantity and get X percent discounts.
  7. Get X discount percent on the entire sale if Bill values exceeds N amount.
  8. Get Gift Certificate /Coupon/Loyalty points if you buy item/item group X worth R.

Tax Condition Setup

Using Tax Condition setup, a user can setup different Tax Conditions based on different parameters like Customer/Customer Group, Product/Product Group/Product Class, Warehouse/Store Group and Shipping Conditions etc.

 Store Group

Store group provides the flexibility of grouping the multiple stores based on their pricing, taxation and inventory needs.

  • Pricing Store Group: Price list can be attached to a pricing store group and therefore all the stores falling under this group would have a same price list applicable.
  • Taxation Store Group: Stores can be group based on their Taxation and then this store group can be used to setup different Tax Condition within iVend.
  • Inventory Store Group: Different warehouses can be clubbed together using an Inventory store group. Store would only be able to see the inventory or do inventory transactions with the stores/warehouses which are in his inventory store group or the stores/warehouses which are not part of any inventory store group.

Import/Export Data

Import /Export of Data templates can be done in iVend using Import/Export data option. Forty two templates are available for import/export in iVend. The default location for these templates is Ivend Retail Installation folderàManagement ConsoleàImport Templates. 

Print Profile Enhancements

The user can specify report printing option(s) (xml report, crystal report, printer selection on runtime) using Print Profile option.

Business Date Validation

On enabling this, the user would not be allowed to login in iVend POS if the system date and the business date are not same.

Force Clock Out at EOD

If a user does not clock out from Point Of Sale, on commencement of the End of Day process, the user is force clocked out.

Display Loyalty Details under Customer Information Panel

At Point of Sale, Loyalty details for the selected customer is available under Customer Information Panel. Loyalty details include Loyalty Points, Loyalty slab etc.

Sale Order Cancellation

Cancellation of Sale Order at Point Of Sale can be done using Cancel option introduced in iVend 5.6. Previously Sale Order was cancelled using Sale Edit option.

Changes in the serial scanning on GRPO

While doing a GRPO, instead of manually entering the serial number(s) for the products, the serial number(s) can be directly scanned by the user.

Fulfillment Address Integration with SAP Business One documents

The address captured on fulfillment in iVend will be populated in delivery address of corresponding document of SAP Business One. Since in iVend user can attach multiple fulfillment(s) on same document, therefore only first fulfillment address will be integrated with SAP Business One.



Will Twitter replace community Forums in next few years?

I was at SAP partner conference in Savannah early March 2011. Meeting partners is always a great learning experience. In one of the break-out sessions, we discussed the relevance of social media and its impact on customer satisfaction. Isn’t that the hottest topic these days? We all know the importance of continuous innovation. Software products companies need to innovate continuously to bring new products or features to the market rapidly. The biggest challenge remains feeding this information to the customers and partners.

It is an accepted norm to use social media sites like Twitter or Facebook to broadcast information.  Many companies today use Twitter to send information to its customers, partners and other stakeholders. Many companies even started using Twitter to provide customer support. This change is so rapid that it sometimes occurs to me the future relevance of community forums. In today’s world, companies still invest a lot in building community forums and portals around their products/ services to provide information to customers in real-time. There are moderators, administrators and other users answering each question. Users have option to search a topic within the forum to read or search relevant topics. It appears to me that Twitter is increasingly encroaching the well-defined territory of these forums. The war is not yet evident but it has already started.

After our partner meet in Savannah, I went to Costa Rica, London and Germany meeting partners and customers. Almost everyone voiced about the importance of rapid product innovation and faster communication stream to customers. On 18th of March, I attended our Product Innovation meet in New Delhi. The challenge here was faster go-to-market and immediate information dissemination to customers. Its one thing to send a monthly email to customer on new product offering but updating a customer about this information in real-time is something quite different. It was therefore decided that we will start posting Tweets from the core product teams so that the customers can follow the Tweets to be current on all news & happenings direct from the Labs. To facilitate this initiative, all CitiXsys products will now be posting updates in Twitter @ProductUpdates. These will be small tweets about any latest innovation, new features, bug fixes, or plain vanilla news from the Product Lab.

It is extremely important to listen to your customers and what’s better than listening in a public forum like Twitter.