Lynn Skurla Perkins

Lynn literally grew up in the point of sale and cash register industry – and is now at the helm of the family business. She enjoys working with local Alaskan businesses, especially restaurants, grocery stores, and retail operations - helping them control costs and increase revenues through well managed point of sale solutions. Besides running the company, Lynn has also served on the Board of Directors, and as Chairman of the Board, for the Retail Solutions Provider Association.
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Recent Posts

Understanding Your Risk - Use Secure Payment Terminals and Solutions

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jul 23, 2019 11:28:25 AM

Here is the next in the series from the PCI Council's -  How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

This month's topic:  Understanding Your Risk - Use Secure Payment Terminals and Solutions

According to the Council:

"A sure way to better protect your business is to use secure payment solutions and trained professionals to help you."

"Your customers enter their personal identification numbers (PINs) for their payment cards into your payment terminal or PIN entry device. It is important to use secure devices to protect your customers’ PIN data."

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Hub of the Yukon

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jul 23, 2019 9:06:01 AM

If you live in Galena, located on the north end of the Yukon River, the nearest big supermarket is in Fairbanks, 280 miles away and only accessible by air. The 484 residents there are grateful to have Sweetsir’s Store in town. The grocery and general-merchandise shop has served Galena and its many surrounding villages for decades.

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4th of July Weekend and Office Hours

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jul 2, 2019 7:48:42 AM

Our office will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in honor of Independence Day.    A reduced staff will be working remotely/on call to handle the needs of our customers on Friday, July 5th.

However, we understand the importance of customer service and issues that may arise during this busy holiday.

 If you have an emergency, please call us at 243-2683 and follow the prompts to page our after hours technician.  For support hours and information, click here.

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July. - from the team at Skurla's!

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Understanding Your Risk - Scan for Vulnerabilities and Fix Issues

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jun 19, 2019 10:48:22 AM

Here is the next in the series from the PCI Council's -  How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

This month's topic:  Understanding Your Risk - Scan for Vulnerabilities and Fix Issues

According to the Council:

"New vulnerabilities, security holes, and bugs are being discovered daily. It’s vital to have your Internet-facing systems tested regularly to identify these new risks and address them as soon
as possible. Your Internet facing systems (like many payment systems) are the most
vulnerable because they can be easily exploited by criminals, allowing them to sneak into
your systems."

And, if you are processing through one of our preferred processors, Skurla's will assist you with your scan.  It's easy and saves you money - because if you don't complete your scans, your Merchant Service Provider may start charging you non-compliance fees.

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Get Fit With Skurla's!

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | May 30, 2019 1:53:56 PM

What does wearing a Fitbit and working at Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions have in common?

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Understanding Your Risk - Use Anti-Virus Software

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | May 17, 2019 12:39:02 PM

Here is the next in the series from the PCI Council's -  How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

This month's topic:  Understanding Your Risk - Use Anti-Virus Software (also referred to as anti-malware)

Remember the quote from the PCI Council:  Hackers = Criminals

And to add on to this: 

Hackers write viruses and other malicious code to exploit software features and coding mistakes, so they can break into your systems and steal card data.

 

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Short on Time? Reminder - We Have Paper Delivery Options

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | May 3, 2019 1:31:31 PM

Busy season is upon us - so thought this would be a good time to remind everyone that we have paper deliver options!

Life is hectic enough - and often it is difficult to even get away to run the errands that are critical for smooth operations at your business. (And running out of receipt or kitchen paper is never a good thing!)

So we are happy to announce that we now offer next business day delivery on paper rolls - Monday through Friday in Anchorage for a nominal fee.  See below for details and pricing.

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Understanding Your Risk - Don’t Give Hackers Easy Access to Your Systems

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | May 3, 2019 1:21:05 PM

Here is the next in the series from the PCI Council's -  How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

This month's topic:  Understanding Your Risk - Don’t Give Hackers Easy Access to Your Systems.

To quote the PCI Council:  Hackers = Criminals

(Click here to read about our Data Security Breach Action Plan)

"One of the easiest ways for hackers to get into your system is through people you trust. You need to know how your vendors are accessing your system to make sure it’s not opening up any holes for hackers. "

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We Are Still Skurla's

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Mar 26, 2019 1:49:18 PM

To quote one of my dad’s favorite sayings - "there is nothing more permanent than change". 

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Understanding Your Risk - Protect In-House Access to Your Card Data

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Mar 13, 2019 1:16:10 PM

Here is the next in the series from the PCI Council's -  How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

This month's topic:  Understanding Your Risk - Protect In-House Access to Your Card Data.

PRIVILEGE ABUSE IS THE TOP ACTION LEADING TO BREACHES – ABOUT 55% OF ALL INCIDENTS REPORTED.

Here is a list of recommendations from the Council:

ACCESS CONTROL IS ALL IMPORTANT. Set up your system to grant access only based on a “business need-to-know.” As the owner, you have access to everything. But most employees can do their job with access only to a subset of data, applications, and functions.

LIMIT ACCESS to payment systems and unencrypted card data to only those employees that need access, and only to the data, applications and functions they need to do their jobs.

KEEP A LOG. Track all “behind the counter” visitors in your establishment. Include name, reason for visit, and name of employee that authorized visitor’s access. Keep the log for at least a year.

SECURELY DISPOSE OF DEVICES. Ask your payment system vendor or service provider how to securely remove card data before selling or disposing of payment devices (so data cannot be recovered).

SHARE THIS INFORMATION. Give this guide to your employees and business partners so they know what is expected.

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Data Security Breach Action Plan

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Mar 13, 2019 12:40:44 PM

As a member of the Retail Solution Provider Association (RSPA), we have access to legal documents and other security resource.

And while we hope that this never happens to anyone - the reality is that small businesses are primary targets for breaches and incidents are on the rise.

Below is a quick checklist provided by RSPA  for reference if you feel your business has been compromised (step number one - avoid a breach!):

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Notes from the Industry Meeting

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Feb 26, 2019 4:10:22 PM

I recently returned from an industry conference and wanted to share some of what I learned.

The topic of security was on everyone’s mind and was a key area of discussion.

Here are the highlights from some of the speakers:

Former United States Most Wanted, Brett “GOllumfun” Johnson, referred to by the United States Secret Service as “The Original Internet Godfather”, spoke at the conference.

Quite honestly, I was horrified after he showed us how quickly and easily it was to create a new identity for less than $2. 

There was also discussion around how the Point of Sale industry is now really the Retail and Hospitality IT services industry.

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Understanding Your Risk - Use Trusted Business Partners

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Feb 26, 2019 11:52:28 AM

Here is the next in the series from the PCI Council's -  How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

This month's topic:   Use trusted business partners and know how to contact them.

It’s critical you know who your service providers are and what security questions to ask them.

Here is a list of recommendations from the Council:

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Essential Business Services Survey

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Feb 25, 2019 2:24:37 PM

We recently sent out a very brief survey to see what services you feel are important to your business.

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Short on Time? We Have Paper Delivery Options

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 30, 2019 10:24:30 AM

Life is hectic enough - and often it is difficult to even get away to run the errands that are critical for smooth operations at your business. (And running out of receipt or kitchen paper is never a good thing!)

So we are happy to announce that we now offer next business day delivery on paper rolls - Monday through Friday in Anchorage for a nominal fee.  See below for details and pricing.

Read More >

Understanding Your Risk - Install Patches

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 29, 2019 10:28:50 AM

Here is the next in the series from the PCI Council's -  How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

This month's topic:  Install Patches From Your Vendors

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Save the Date for the Rural Small Business Conference

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 23, 2019 10:33:00 AM

It's the beginning of a new year - which means the Rural Small Business Conference is right around the corner.

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From All of Us at Skurla's - Happy New Year!

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 1, 2019 11:27:00 AM

We want to thank you for your continued support and business this past year - and wishing you the best for the New Year.

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A Truck Collides with our Building and a Major Earthquake

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Dec 5, 2018 1:13:51 PM

It was quite a month for many Alaskans - like surviving a major earthquake, just to name one thing. 

(Click here for the  link to see Jesse "saving" his coffee during the quake).

We have had over 1,800 aftershocks as of yesterday, roads are being repaired, schools are still closed, but no one suffered serious injury - amazing.

At Skurla's, we also started the month with a "jolt" - literally. On November 19th, a truck careened into the front wall of our office.  It destroyed the conference room wall, many of the contents, and part of Jeff's office. We are so grateful that this happened before we opened - the outcome could have been much different.  See pictures below!

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Visa Purchase Return Authorization Mandate

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Nov 20, 2018 1:08:00 PM

From TSYS and VISA:

Visa is introducing an authorization requirement for return (cardholder refund) transactions. Authorizing a return enables the card issuer to validate the cardholder account, decline potentially fraudulent cards, and minimize chargebacks if the account does not exist or is closed. The return authorization message is intended to improve the return process by enabling cardholders to view a credit/return on their online banking statement in real time, as well as support other issuer services such as text alerts, in order to improve the cardholder experience and minimize return inquiries.

Important Dates:

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Thomas is Attending the Alaska CHARR Convention This Week

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Sep 24, 2018 2:09:32 PM

Thomas is in Sitka, Alaska this week, attending the Annual CHARR Convention. (For those of you that aren't familiar with this organization, it is the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association - a non-profit corporation, dedicated to serving the needs of the hospitality industry in the state of Alaska.)

Here is a preview of one of the featured speakers:

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Understanding Your Risk - Use Strong Passwords and Change Default Ones

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Sep 12, 2018 1:11:32 PM

Over the next several months, we will be sharing the PCI Council's advice on How to Protect Your Business With These Security Basics.

This month's topic:  Use Strong Passwords and Change Default Ones

According to  the Council's Guide - About 80% of breaches involved guessed or stolen passwords!

Here is what they recommend:

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS REGULARLY. Treat your passwords like a toothbrush. Don’t let anyone else use them and get new ones every three months.

SEEK HELP. Ask your vendors or service providers about default passwords and how to change them. Then do it!

For more information on managing passwords, click here.

MAKE THEM HARD TO GUESS. The most common passwords are “password” and “123456.” Hackers try easily-guessed passwords because they’re used by half of all people. A strong password has seven or more characters and a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols (like !@#$&*). A phrase can also be a strong password (and may be easier to remember), like “B1gMac&frieS.”

To see how fast it takes to crack a password, click here.

DON’T SHARE. Insist on each employee having their own login IDs and passwords – never share!

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Understanding Your Risk - Exploring the PCI Council's Small Merchant Guide

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Aug 20, 2018 11:52:06 AM

“Small businesses are particularly at risk from the costs and opportunity loss associated with a data breach. Implementing the guidance published by the PCI SSC Small Merchant Taskforce will help a small business improve its data security practices and reduce the risk of data theft.“ - Michael Christodoulides, Barclaycard, PCI Small Merchant Taskforce Co-Chair

Security risks are everywhere these days - everyone up and down the chain is affected.  At Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions, we take security very seriously - and wanted to share some resources from the PCI Security Council.  

But first, here are some frightening data points shared by the PCI Security Council:   

  • 71% of hackers attack businesses with under 100 employees (Verizon 2012)
  • 60% of small businesses experienced a cyber breach (HM Government)
  • $20,752 is the average cost to small businesses due to hacking (NSBA)

If this scares you too, keep reading below to learn more about how to protect your business - 

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How To Do Prices Changes in the Aurora NCC System

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jul 31, 2018 1:36:25 PM

We thought we would share this video from the Point of Sale Team - how to do price changes on your NCC system (if you don't have the back office software):

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Updated Phone Tree

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jun 28, 2018 10:21:41 AM

You know the drill -  

Please listen carefully as our options have changed.

Call 907-243-2683 during our normal business hours, M-F 8-5 p.m. (Alaska Time)

  • For support, press 3
  • For the office, press 4

(You can also now dial your party’s extension at any time.)

For after hours:

  • If you need emergency MICROS support, please hang up and dial 855-412-2838.
  • If you need emergency support on all other systems, press 3 to be connected.  Or call 907-444-0559.
  • To leave a message for the office for a call back on the next business day, press 4.
  • If you need support for a call back on the next business day, press 5.
  • To repeat these options, press 0.

If you don't love phone trees, you can also fill out the form below, and we can contact you!

Please Contact Me!

 

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Good News! Update to the Global Thermal Paper Roll Shortage

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jun 28, 2018 9:18:32 AM

Update to the post earlier this month (see below).

Good news!  We will be receiving 11 pallets of paper on July 3rd!

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to work through this issue.  Next time you come by our office, you will probably see stacks of paper lining our hallways!  

Earlier this year, we shared information about the global thermal paper shortage. Up to this point, we haven't seen many changes in the industry that affected pricing or availability of paper rolls. However, that has now changed. 

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TLS Updates - Thank You!

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jun 28, 2018 8:31:31 AM

We would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all the hard  work (and your patience) in the effort to get the TLS updates applied to your point of sale system and equipment. 

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Global Thermal Paper Roll Shortage

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jun 8, 2018 10:47:20 AM

Earlier this year, we shared information about the global thermal paper shortage. Up to this point, we haven't seen many changes in the industry that affected pricing or availability of paper rolls. However, that has now changed. Paper vendors are warning of impending price increases and shortages. We have seen some prices quoted as much as $120 for a case of thermal paper and 2-3 weeks delay in receiving paper orders.  Being Alaskans, we have the added difficulty of freight charges and long shipping times on heavy items, such as paper.

We know how critical it is for you to have a reliable supply of credit card paper and receipt paper at a reasonable price, and we are doing our best to work through this (hopefully) short term shortage.

The reality is that there will be price increases, and paper will need to be allocated and rationed at times.  To help with the shortage, here are a few ideas to consider:

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Using Your Point of Sale System For More Than a Cash Drawer

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | May 31, 2018 11:48:07 AM

Workplace with keyboard cup of coffee and graphsTraditionally, retail point of sale (POS) systems were primarily used to control cash and record sales. Retail has become more competitive than ever - consumers are using the Internet more than ever to research products, compare prices and shop online.

Today's point of sale systems use data in ways never possible before - and savvy business owners are learning what to do with that data to increase revenues, capture market share, become more competitive, while still controlling their costs and capturing vital sales information.  

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Reminder: How to Protect Your Point of Sale or Cash Drawer from Theft

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | May 30, 2018 10:09:00 AM

Tips and Tricks from the Point of Sale World:

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Warning - You May Not Be Able to Accept Credit Cards Next Month!

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | May 29, 2018 11:26:46 AM

In reference to last month's article about the TLS issue, we just want to remind everyone again that if you have not updated your point of sale system, most likely your integrated credit cards* will stop working in June.  While the official deadline is June 30th, many gateways are proactively switching over before then.

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Understanding the TLS Issue & Why Your Credit Cards May Stop Working!

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Apr 30, 2018 12:00:00 AM

Yes, credit cards may stop working on your point of sale system this summer!  We are providing you with more information on this important issue - please take a moment to read.

First some definitions and background on this topic:

TLS: Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a cryptographic protocol used to establish a secure communications channel between two systems.

SSL: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private.

On Feb. 13, 2015, the PCI Security Standards Council announced that SSL, a protocol designed to ensure that data provided between a web server and a web browser, such as credit card information, remains secure - is no longer an acceptable way to provide strong cryptography, due to a number of known fundamental vulnerabilities. The deadline is June 30, 2018. 

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PCI Council Announces Changes to Qualified Integrators & Resellers Program

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Mar 25, 2018 7:18:11 PM

In March, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) announced new changes to the PCI Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) Program in response to industry feedback and data breach report findings. The program changes are designed to increase the number of QIRs and equip them to help merchants reduce risk by mitigating the leading causes of payment data breaches. 

The PCI SSC QIR program offers specialized data security training and certification to individuals that install, configure and/or support payment systems. PCI SSC maintains a listing of PCI QIRs on its website for merchants to use in identifying and selecting trusted partners. Since the program was established in 2012, breach reports highlight that smaller merchants are increasingly under attack, and that the majority of merchant payment data breaches could be prevented by addressing three critical issues: insecure remote access, weak password practices and outdated and unpatched software.

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Great Education at the Rural Small Business Conference

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Feb 27, 2018 4:44:52 PM

Thanks to all of you who visited us at the Rural Small Business Conference! And a big shout out again to Pacific Alaska Wholesale - what a great partnership!

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Take 5 Minutes to Read About PCI & Security - It Could Save Your Business

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Feb 20, 2018 7:16:00 AM

Data Breaches, ID Theft, Credit Card Breaches - we hear this all the time in the news.  And this is the last thing you as an owner or manager want to experience for your business!

Please take time to read this!  It could save your business!

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NIMA Store Excited to Implement Their New Grocery System

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 25, 2018 10:08:03 AM

NIMA Store replaced  their grocery scanning system this year with the Aurora Alaska Tough Point of Sale system from Skurla's Point of Sale Solutions., and the manager, Clara Ivanoff, said she couldn't be happier.

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Save the Date for the Rural Small Business Conference

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 24, 2018 1:44:31 PM

It's the beginning of a new year - which means the Rural Small Business Conference is right around the corner.

Read More >

Convenience Store Retailers Cite Top Trends for 2018

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 24, 2018 1:32:44 PM

Insight Retail Software recently shared this article from the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) about convenience store retailers' predictions for the Top Trends for 2018.

 

Here are some of the highlights:

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A Must Read for All Business Owners - How To Avoid Charge Backs

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 24, 2018 11:11:01 AM

If you accept credit cards in your business and want to avoid charge backs and/or reduce credit card fraud,  we strongly encourage you to read this article from TSYS, one of our favorite preferred credit card processors:

" Charge Backs, Why They Happen, How to Prevent Them"

Credit-Card-Security-000049484164_XXXLarge.jpg

See the list of the questions about charge backs answered in this article:

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Update from the Paper Industry - January 5, 2018

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Jan 5, 2018 11:16:00 AM

Thermal Paper Roll.jpg

Update from one of our major paper suppliers:

January 5, 2018 – Thermal paper supply continues to be allocated by the mills due to the on-going leuco dye shortage.  Mills continue to search for alternative sources of supply to meet customer demand.  These sources often come at a price premium driving up prices for thermal paper.  A thermal paper surcharge was just passed to the market and will be in effect at least through the first quarter of 2018.  

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From All of Us at Skurla's - Happy New Year!

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Dec 26, 2017 9:42:16 PM

We want to thank you for your continued support and business this past year - and wishing you the best for the New Year.

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Paper Industry - Good News and Not So Great News

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Dec 14, 2017 4:44:41 PM

So the good news first - the pricing of bond paper (non-thermal paper often used in kitchen printers) has gone down, and we have lowered our prices accordingly.   We like lowering our costs, and passing the savings on to our customers!

And now, for the not so great news from the thermal paper industry:

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Good to Know If You Use a Scanner At Your Store or Retail Outlet

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Dec 7, 2017 10:01:18 AM

If you use a scanner at your store, the State of Alaska has reminded us of the following:

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Discover Also Says "No More Signing on the Dotted Line"

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Dec 6, 2017 11:07:24 AM

From a press release today:

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Galena Liquor Store Gets a New Point of Sale System!

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Nov 30, 2017 9:02:26 AM

Galena, Alaska is situated on the north bank of the Yukon River, 270 miles west of Fairbanks in the heart of the western Interior.  Galena is the hub for smaller central Alaskan communities who depend upon Galena’s capacity to deliver health, education, cultural, social, and other services and conveniences.  Every other year, Galena is one of 26 checkpoints for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

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Don't Forget to "Fall Back" on Sunday - Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Oct 31, 2017 9:13:16 AM

Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, November 5th.  Don't forget to set your clocks back so that you can get that extra hour of sleep!

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Mastercard Says "No More Signing on the Dotted Line"

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Oct 26, 2017 8:27:24 AM

I just read an article by Linda Kirkpatrick - Executive Vice President, U.S. Market Development at Mastercard - "No More Signing on the Dotted Line".

According to the article, Mastercard will no longer require signatures at checkout for any credit or debit purchases in Canada and the U.S. starting April 2018.  Right now the card brands (VISA, Mastercard, Discover, American Express) have thresholds for transactions that don't require a signature, typically $50.  But starting next April, Mastercard won't require a signature for any retail transactions at checkout.  I imagine that the other card brands will follow suit at some point.

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He Answers to Many Names, Just Not Tom

By Lynn Skurla Perkins | Oct 23, 2017 4:32:50 PM

Thomas Greenman came to Skurla's 9 years ago from Alabama.   (How weird is it that we have two employees from Alabama - yes, Jesse hails from that state, too.)  Thomas was originally hired as our Service Coordinator, moved up to Service Manager, then Operations and Sales.  

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