One of the focal points of any retail or hospitality business is the cash register. The ability to process transactions and tender cash are essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise. If you have a lot of cash transactions, replacing the cash registers with a Point-Of-Sale (POS) system save you money. A POS system is computer software and hardware networked together to track sales and inventory as they occur. POS systems will solve a multitude of problems in your business. Since implementation of a POS system is requires a large investment in time and money, the selection of software and hardware requires careful research into the features available and associated costs.
POS or PoS is an abbreviation for Point of Sale (or Point-of-Sale, or Point of Service). The term is applicable to a retail shop or store, the checkout/cashier counter in the store, or a location where such transactions can occur in this type of environment. It can also apply to the actual Point of Sale (POS) Hardware & Software including but not limited to:
- electronic cash register systems, touch-screen display, barcode scanners, receipt printers, scales and pole displays.
Point of Sale Systems are utilized in many different industries, ranging from restaurants, hotels & hospitality businesses, nail/beauty salons, casinos, stadiums, and let's not forget - the retail environments. In the most basic sense, if something can be exchanged for monetary value - a Point of Sale System can be used and also needed.
General computer software, primarily, an Operating System (OS), such as Windows, Mac, or Linux, which makes it possible for people to use and interact with the computer. POS software helps you to manage your business and perform sales transactions. It automatically collects and stores data about customers, sales, and inventory, and can use that data to create reports for taxes, sales analysis, etc. The software is the most critical part of the POS system. Some of the advantages of using a POS system to track and manage your business.
- Reduce Shrinkage - since inventory quantities are tracked in real time, understanding shrinkage becomes easier. Every modern POS system includes receiving and inventory functions. Proper use of these functions helps pinpoint the causes of inventory loss, reduces "out of stock" conditions and makes overall business management easier.
- Manage Specials - POS systems automate the process of tracking current and marked down pricing. Discounts, coupons and promotions are often critical to attracting and retaining business. POS systems excel at managing and reconciling short-term discounting automatically.
- Maintain Control - Many business owners discover that efficiency and customer service suffer when they're not on site. POS systems give you the ability to track volume and performance when you're not on the floor or you're busy with other tasks.
- Timely and Accurate Reports - POS systems give you the ability to analyze sales data. You can measure the effectiveness of pricing or advertising campaign. You'll know what items need to be ordered and in what quantity. You can identify high margin items and promote them further. You can easily calculate daily gross revenue, cost and profit. Historical data analysis helps to forecast your future needs.
- Improve Customer Satisfaction - Using a POS system with barcode scanner will significantly speed up the check-out process. It gives you the ability to recognize your best customers and reward them for their patronage. It can easily collect customer data (from credit card transactions) that you can use for targeted advertising and incentive programs.
- Manage Using Remote Access - Many POS system software packages give you the ability to manage the system while mobile. Whether you're traveling between stores or taking a day off, remote access gives you the ability to see what's going on at the location and take action when needed.
- Flexible Expansion Options - Most POS system software gives you the ability to add registers and administration computers. If you have an eye to expansion, make sure that you can connect the multiple stores via the web or other connection method. This will allow you to use a single system to manage all your locations.