The latest version of LS Central, our unified commerce system for retail and hospitality, was released on October 31, 2019. This is the last LS Central release built on C/AL code: LS Central version 15, available in the upcoming months, will be the first release built on AL code.
In preparation for the switch, we have adjusted the length of many LS Central fields to follow the changes introduced in Business Central earlier this year, we have removed fields that are no longer in use, we have refactored some pages to optimize the user experience in the web client, and replaced .dlls with native methods.
But this release is not just about adjustments. We are also introducing some exciting new functionality. From improvements to the EFT, customer order and replenishment functionalities, to an innovative sales forecasting engine, let’s take a look at what’s new and exciting in LS Central.
Customers want complete control and flexibility while shopping. When they order a product, they want to know where it is and when it’s coming, and if they change their mind, they want to be able to cancel the order. Thanks to the new improvements to the customer order functionality, from today it’s even easier for you to offer all of this.
All changes of status on customer order headers and lines are now logged. This means you and your staff can follow the progress of the customer order from start to end. You can also now set what status(es) will trigger a message that will be sent to the customers.
In the system, you can now:
In all cases, the system checks if the customer order can be cancelled before proceeding. If the order has already been fully or partially paid when it is cancelled, the refund is posted to a specific account. You can set up a standard Business Central workflow that will trigger an approval process for the refund.
When you create a customer order through the Omni server, you can now include a payment token with the order. Before the customer order is posted (on the POS, or through a sales order in the back office), the system requests a payment validation through the Omni server. If the payment is not validated, the order is set on hold. This enables eCommerce sites to finalize the payment transaction with the correct amount at the right time.
In this release, we have enhanced the EFT functionality in the retail POS, to make it easier for you to adapt it to your business needs.
To help partners adopt the new EFT functionality, we have created an EFT FOB file. In the FOB file we have downgraded the EFT changes to the latest versions of each year (09.10 / 10.10 / 11.05 /13.05). Partners then can downgrade from that version into previous versions of the same year, if needed. To get the file, please contact the LS Retail Support team.
The LS Central POS and Hardware station with the LS Pay plugin are tested by PSPs according to their procedures. The solution is now certified by NETS in the Nordic countries (NO,SE,FI,DK). In the same countries, the self-service POS is instead certified by PayEx.
Do you need help setting up the LS Hardware Station for EFT devices? Then you should watch our new setup video with detailed instruction.
The Hardware Station now supports a new PSP, Worldpay.
The LS Retail mobile inventory app can now read configuration settings from an external file that is pushed to the mobile device by a mobile management software. Thanks to this feature, you can now more easily and securely set up and roll out large installations of the mobile inventory.
Users now have the option to use the native device keyboard when running the webPOS in the LS Central App. This can be convenient for users who are accustomed to the native keyboard in the device.
Thanks to a new option, the system can now automatically log off when in Sales mode.
The integration to Demand Planner, the on-premises forecasting tool from AGR, has been removed from LS Central. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll be left without demand forecasting.
We are proud to announce the upcoming release of LS Forecast, our own cloud-based forecasting tool. You can find a preview in the current version, and more details below.
The solution consists of a cloud-based forecasting engine. You can manage setup and upload/download of data in LS Central, and utilize the downloaded forecast for Replenishment.
The cloud-based part is built on Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and uses advanced statistical forecasting techniques such as ARIMA, Seasonal ARIMA, Additive and Multiplicative models to predict future sales demand from sales history. LS Forecast has been introduced as a new Replenishment Calculation Type. Let’s take a deeper look at its functionality.
LS Forecast allows you to calculate forecasts on daily or weekly level for different item groups. While you might want to utilize the highest precision for your top priority items, a forecast on weekly basis can be sufficient for your spare parts and lower priority items. The advantage of a weekly forecast is that it reduces calculation time and cost for the forecast.
To translate weekly forecasts into daily quantities for Replenishment, we have introduced Weekly Sales Buckets. These buckets provide an overview of the item's sales distribution pattern across the week, from Monday to Sunday. This pattern is calculated by item group and location, based on historical sales data.
(Weekly Sales Bucket for product group and location)
Open-to-Buy is a core functionality in retail planning that ensures you have the right number of items in stock according to sales plans and current inventory. In this version we have added several improvements to make planning easier and more powerful.
Information and setup are now clearly split. You can access the Open-to-Buy information directly from the Retail Sales Budget list and card. You can now define the Open-to-Buy values from the Open-to-Buy pages.
With the new feature enhancements, you can calculate and monitor Open-to-Buy values for entire budgets and budget parts, such as divisions, item categories, retail product groups, items and up to five item hierarchy levels. Advanced drill-down functionality allows you to easily access details from the Open-to-Buy page.
To ensure that purchasers don’t violate budgets and Open-to-Buy values, a checking feature has been introduced which calculates if a purchase order or allocation plan is still within the given limits for planning periods.
In order to keep the Open-to-Buy meaningful, the Retail Sales Budgets and Open-to-Buy values must always stay up to date. The Open-to-Buy can be updated manually, or set to be calculated periodically with a scheduler job. You can also set up multiple scheduler jobs for the calculation to run in parallel.
We have refactored and improved the program code for the Replenishment Journal calculation. The result is reduced calculation time, especially for journals that are not empty prior to the calculation.
Replenishment can now exclude items from the Replen. item quantity and Replen. journal calculation following rules which base on factors such as items created before a certain date, no item sales since a certain date, and items with zero inventory. If needed, the process can also be automated with a scheduler job. This new functionality helps to reduce calculation time by excluding unnecessary items.
In this version, we introduce a new role center for replenishment that will enhance the user experience with the new Web client. We have also tested, refactored and improved replenishment- and fashion-related pages to support the new client.
Are you a retailer using the Logical Order field in the variant framework? You’ll be happy to know we have increased the maximum number of values to 999. We have added a new Refresh Variant Settings action to the Item Variant Framework page. This action enables the Item Variant Registration to be updated with the latest Logical Order and Variant Weight setup as defined for the variant values.
In this release, we are introducing a new Role Center for restaurants that use table management. This is a dashboard where you can see at a glance:
We have noticed that, over time, the Dining Area data can become quite extensive. You can now archive data to reduce the size of the database. As a result of this change, you can now view Dining Area statistics and see table turnover per day, number of seatings, revenue per seat hour, gross amount per period and section.
Modern restaurant guests like to be well informed. In this release, we are introducing customer-facing displays (CFD), a new type of KDS that helps you deliver fast, reliable information to guests waiting to be served.
This kind of display is most commonly used in quick service restaurants to give guests an easy way to know when their dish is done. After the order has been bumped from the expeditor, the screen will show the order as ready.
We have also improved information for your kitchen staff: you can now use a “deal” header in the KDS to clearly mark dishes that are sold as meal deals.
We are introducing more ways to manage memberships:
We are also introducing some platform improvements:
You now have more flexibility when it comes to managing your staff:
We are also introducing some platform improvements:
Choosing the right POS system or business management software for your business may be an overwhelming experience, but we are here to help every step of the way. Talk to our experts to receive specific suggestions tailored on your unique needs.