2013 Review of Cougar Mountain Software — Denali Point of Sale

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Best Fit: Traditionally Cougar Mountain Software has been a better fit with small to mid-sized businesses, but its expanded, updated point of sale software that is available in three distinct versions make this product a good fit for specialty retailers of just about any size.

Cougar Mountain Software has been providing targeted business solutions to small and mid-sized businesses since 1982. With the creation of the Denali line of products, Cougar Mountain Software is now able to offer its excellent point of sale product to not just their target audience, but to larger specialty retail businesses as well.

Strengths

  • Fully integrated system with POS/back office capability
  • Scalable, with 3 editions and server/cloud based deployment available
  • System is scalable and easily navigated
  • Good selection of reports
  • Affordable for most retailers

Potential Limitations

  • Limited touch screen capabilities at this time
  • Not truly designed for high-transaction volume retailers
  • Does not support customer loyalty or membership programs

BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS: 4.8 Stars

The Denali interface is intuitive and easily navigated; even by those new to the system. Users have the option to utilize the system menu bar or access system modules directly from the toolbar. Denali’s Point of Sale functionality is located in the Sales module, where users can also manage sales and sales departments, registers, and customize sales entry layouts. Users can also access common register tasks directly from the sales screen, including register balancing, posting sales transactions, and direct access to the Point of Sale screen. The Sales transaction screen allows users to choose the type of transaction they wish to enter, such as an invoice, hold, or layaway. Lookup options allow cashiers to locate customers or products. Users can also scan products directly into Denali if desired. Cashiers can also add new customers on the fly, or process a regular sale without linking it directly to a customer.

On the left side of the screen, various options are available for cashiers to utilize, such as Gift Card, Notes, Customer History, and Options. Clicking on one the tabs automatically displays the features that are available.

Denali Point of Sale offers three Point of Sale packages; POS Basecamp, which includes POS, Inventory, and Specialty Shop modules; POS Ascent, which includes POS, Inventory, AP, Purchase Order, and Crystal Reports, along with training and support and POS Summit; the most comprehensive package, which includes POS, GL, Bank Reconciliation, AR, AP, Inventory, Specialty Shop, Purchase Order, Multi-Location Inventory, IVault Online Backup, and training and support. Additional modules available include e-Commerce Integration, Bar Code Integration, Single Point Server, Aatrix eFile Tax Forms, and Specialty Shop Software. Along with the dedicated server option that comes with Denali pre-installed, the product is now also available as a cloud based solution, increasing deployment options for retailers.

System users are assigned a specific code and both financial and security limits, with managers able to assign maximum check amounts accepted, credit and debit card limits, and access to various system features. Managers can also determine if cashiers can accept layaways, and gift cards. In the Controller module, managers can also set system limits in other Denali modules.

Denali POS allows users to customize the sales entry layout, including customer, header, detail, tender, OE Invoice, OE Devices, and Closeout options. The Sales Dashboard allows users to quickly view specified data including sales by week, top sales by product, top sales by salesperson, and top sales by department, among other items. Lookup fields are found throughout Denali, and can easily handle multiple store locations. The options found on the sales entry screen allow users to easily handle multiple transactions from a central location. Denali’s Inventory module allows users to assign up to six pricing levels which include List, Margin, Markup, Level List, Level Margin, and Level Markup. The Multi-Location Inventory module allows users to manage inventory in multiple locations, and the optional e-commerce module allows users to easily integrate brick and mortar locations with online sales activity.

SPECIALIZED FEATURES/SERVICES: 4.19 Stars

Denali offers an e-Commerce Integration solution that helps with tracking and managing inventory with online sales. This integration means that inventory levels are checked and adjusted after each web order, ensuring inventory accuracy. Retailers can easily set up the multiple tender types, including gift cards and EBT transactions. Customer detail is tracked in the Sales module, with users able to record as much or as little detail for each customer as necessary. Cashiers can also easily display customer information during a sales transaction and collect and enter additional data if desired. The Specialty Shop Software module is ideal for those that sell age-restricted items such as cigarettes and alcohol; prompting age verification prior to sale. Retailers can also utilize gift cards and reward cards using the Merchant Transaction Services, which integrates with Cougar Mountain Denali modules.

TRACKING/REPORTING: 4.86 Stars

Denali reporting options are extensive, with a good variety of standard reports available. All system reports are easily customized, with users able to choose the criteria they wish.

Reports are updated after all system batches are posted. Inventory reports available in Denali include an Inventory History report, Inventory Movement report, Monthly Inventory Movement report, and the Promotional Sales Inventory report. Point of Sales reporting options are also excellent, with Sales by Item, Sales by Register, and Sales by Department. The Price Variance report allows managers to see base pricing, selling price, and the difference between the two. Managers can also run reports by promotion, in order to determine how well a promotion performed.

Customer detail is tracked in both the AR module and the Sales module, with retailers able to view customer buying history, geographic location, and products purchased. The optional Sales Dashboard, mentioned earlier, provides a quick glance at vital sales detail that every retailer needs to know. Denali also offers users excellent audit trail functionality, with all system transactions recorded in the system and available for review.

INTEGRATION/IMPORT/EXPORT: 4.58 Stars

Denali is a module software product, with all modules easily integrating for complete retail/financial management. With three distinct POS product packages available, users are easily able to choose the package that closely fits their needs. However, all Denali modules are available for purchase with any of the systems chosen, so users are still able to choose the product modules they need, and add additional modules at a later date. Cougar Mountain also offers users a good selection of third-party software products that are also designed to integrate with the core system modules. Users can easily set up shipping options, but there is no true integration with shipping services. Users can also import or export a variety of system data as needed. Denali also integrates with a variety of POS hardware options including sales register, cash drawers, data collectors, pin pads, check readers, barcode scanners, pole displays, and credit card readers.

HELP/SUPPORT: 5 Stars

Software Assurance is included in both the POS Ascent and POS Summit packages, as is two hours of support and two hours of training. Support and training is also available separately. Cougar Mountain’s website offers registered users easy access to various support options, FAQ’s, and software downloads. Those requesting help can submit a support request via email, or call their 1-800 number during regular business hours. Cougar Mountain also offers users an excellent selection of training options including both on-site training, at Cougar Mountain’s corporate headquarters, and live online training.

SUMMARY & PRICING

Denali’s POS module offers easily integration with other Denali modules and is suitable for specialty retailers of just about any size. Denali modules start at $595.00 with an additional license fee attached. The cloud version starts at $83.00 per user per month.

2013 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars

 

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