Point Of Sale Systems In Johannesburg South Africa – Are They the Answer to Your Retail Software Problems?
Point of sale (POS) systems are used for management by hundreds of businesses in order to streamline the purchasing process as well as managing the various financial and inventory data that relates to the sales made. Although the general concept behind each system is virtually the same, different industries can purchase POS systems that are tailor made for their needs. Think of it is a delivery service: A bike delivery would work fine for a local newspaper, but UPS would have to shut down if it didn’t have delivery trucks. The same concept applies to POS sale systems used in retail stores, restaurants, and hotels. Each specific industry can benefit from a system that is designed for their specific needs.
Retail POS systems are specialized at quick and easy one time sales. The items stored in their database are well defined, and although there can be many colors or sizes offered for one item, there isn’t very much variation in the product. If one person buys a black jacket, although the jacket comes in blue, all the people who buy the black on are still getting the same item. This is why retail POS systems are the simplest in nature. In regards to the sale process, all they need is to pull up an item’s information from inventory and remove it upon purchase. Of course, this is just in reference the the sales aspect of the system; there are still complex inventory control settings and sales efficiency metrics that that can be used, but in terms of making a sale, the retail system is the most simplistic.
Clearly, when starting a business it important to take the industry specific POS into account. Don’t just try and find the best deal, but rather what will work best to make your company run efficiently. Understanding why each system is unique will help when trying to make the decision for what POS system to purchase. Although the examples given were for specific industries, the systems can be applied to different industries that have similar purchasing processes: The retail POS can be used in stores ranging from clothing to electronics and the restaurant system can be used in various hospitality related industries.
What Is A Point of Sale System?
A point of sale system is an important tool in any business, whether it is large or small, that engages in any type of sales. These systems use the amazing power of computing to perform a number of tasks that can simplify every aspect of a businesses, including but not limited to; sales, inventory and ordering.
From simple functions, like scanning barcodes and calculating correct change, to more complex functions like inventory control, a point of sale system can help make any business run more efficiently. Even basic systems can represent a huge time savings. These systems eliminate paper work by simplifying every aspect of a business's operation. Not only that, because many systems offer back-ups and on-line information storage a business can access information even from remote locations. So, whether it is at a traditional cash register or with a sales associate that is working in the field, these systems are powerful tools.
Early in the life of a company perhaps a fairly simple POS system will be adequate, but it should be capable of taking on more complex tasks as your business grows. Not all systems, just like not all businesses, are the same. So it is important to consider, how you will use it, and how adaptable to your future needs a point of sales system will be for your business.
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The term point-of-sale is used to describe a variety of things. This can include the checkout counter in a store or a place where transactions occur. More frequently, the phrase refers to a computerized cash register. The commonly used abbreviation for point-of-sale is POS. Each letter in the abbreviation is pronounced individually (e.g. P-O-S) versus pronouncing the abbreviation itself (e.g. paws).
When computers were first invented, large retailers were the first to implement point-of-sale systems to help automate many of the tasks involved with operating a retail store. These computers were very large and expensive. This limited the adoption of point-of-sale systems to large retailers such as grocery chains. The introduction of low cost personal computers during the 1980s allowed retail stores of all sizes to improve efficiencies with the help of pos systems.
A common point-of-sale system includes a computer, cash drawer, receipt printer, pole display, bar code scanner, magnetic swipe reader, modem and point-of-sale software. Each piece provides the following functionality:
- Personal Computer - Operates the POS software and provides hardware interfaces for devices such as printers, credit card readers and so on.
- Cash Drawer - A lock box that stores cash and is triggered to open by the pos software.
- Receipt Printer - Prints a paper copy of the sales transaction for the customer.
- Pole Display - LED display that faces the customer and shows each item and price scan.
2. Create inventory records and SKUs via the purchase order
3. Receive goods against the purchase order
4. On hand stock levels are increased based upon receiving
5. Print price tag with bar codes
6. Sell the goods via the point-of-sale cash register
7. On hand stock levels are depleted based upon SKU scans
8. Perpetual Inventory is automatically maintained
9. Generate reports on sales, inventory levels, purchases, and receiving
10. Manage inventory buying and markdown behavior based upon sales trends
As you can see, the simple point-of-sale system grew into a powerful information system for managers and store owners. Today, point-of-sale systems continue to innovate and some even include:
- eCommerce integration
- Integrated accounting
- CRM - Customer Relationship Module
- Electronic payment processing
- Gift card management
- Service order management
- Revolving accounts receivable
- Customer traffic counters
- Integrated video surveillance
- Open To Buy planning
- Linear inventory modeling
- Special order management
- EDI (electronic ordering)
- And much more...
As retail management systems continue to add more robust features, the term point-of-sale will continue to refer to just a module within the overall system.