Microsoft Dynamics RMS - Single Store Operations
Each register station at the store requires separate license for Microsoft Retail Management System Store Operations. The RMS database is installed either on a dedicated server or on the manager's computer in the back office, or on one of the POS computers.
For RMS database it is recommended to have a dedicated server running Windows Server 2003 or Small Business 2003 with redundant hard drive storage and off-site backup capabilities.
The POS computers (registers) connect to the server over the office wired or wireless LAN (Local Area Network). Because Microsoft Dynamics RMS licensing is per site and per register, the number of licenses should be consistent with the number of active POS terminals. However, the management applications such as RMS Manager, may be installed on any number of additional computers. For example, if the manager's PC in the back office does not perform checkout and other POS operations and only uses RMS Manager to maintain inventory, purchase orders etc, it doesn't require additional RMS license.
RMS Point-of-Sale application is quite independent. For example, if the back-office server accidentally goes down, the registers at the store still are able to process checkouts. When the server comes back, the POS software just has to be restarted to get into online mode.
Microsoft Dynamics RMS - Small Chain
Small chain of the stores (typically2-10 stores) load the manager/owner with laborous tasks of maintaining inventory levels, transferring inventory from one location to another and synchronizing this all with an accounting system. Laborious - only if there no Microsoft Dynamics RMS Headquarters in control of the multiple stores.
It works like that. Each store runs somewhat independently - there is a store Dynamics RMS Store Operations software and database and required number of POS terminals. And yet there's an additional component - RMS Headquarters application and database which run at the central office. RMS Headquarters polls each store according to a schedule, using inexpensive and omnipresent communication technologies (such as telephone line and a modem, or fast Internet connection where available), downloads all sales information and uploads inventory updates, transfer orders and other management data.
The advantage is that unlike in some other multi-store POS products, each of the stores can run completely independently even if the Internet connection is not continuously present. Short communication sessions between store and central office are scheduled at the most convenient time e. g. after hours. Variety of security settings allow the Headquarters' managers to completely control operations at a particular store, all the time.
On the other hand, POS clerks at the store level enjoy additional RMS features, such as real-time checking of item availability at the other chain stores and generating transfer inventory requests "on-the-fly".
At both central office and store locations (security settings permitting) , managers monitor sales activity and control pricing, sales and stock levels. Managers at the central office can download unique promotions and temporary discount pricing to the specific stores in the chain, without affecting other stores.