Precious time is often lost through the handling of Retail Point Of Sale Systems . Similarly, the more cash is handled the greater the security risk in stores. Fortunately, Point of Sale (POS) technology is making better control of cash in retail stores possible, resulting in benefit for both staff and customers.
One German furniture company has estimated that the payment process and handling of cash at the checkout takes between 15 to 25 seconds. As this is only one part of processing pos system, 15 to 25 seconds is quite substantial time and, when the seconds are calculated for the cash handling from every sale throughout the day…till operators are spending more time on this process than most business owners would like.
Then, there is also the concern of cash robbery and theft. On any given day in a retail business, one, a few or many more employees will handle cash. Think how many different times and how many different people will handle cash in a supermarket on any one day. It is also probable that many managers are reconciling cash and making deposits, which is why they use point of sale systems.
How Do You Select the Best Point Of Sale Systems in Retail Point Of Sale Systems ?
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.
What to Look for in a Retail Point of Sale System
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.
Point of Sale (POS) System - Is It Good For Your Business Needs?
It can be challenging to find the right Point of Sale software system for your business. This article provides a checklist of features you should consider when making your decision. In part one, we will look at point-of-sale, customer tracking, and security features.
Point of Sale
This is the heart of a POS system. Does it feature an intuitive user interface? Will you be able to train employees quickly? Can you customize the software for your unique needs? Features to look for:
- Touch screen support.
- Customizable menu buttons to access frequently sold items.
- Customizable receipts and invoices.
- Ability to email receipts.
- Ability to create and manage quotes, layaways, special orders and workorders.
- Ability to manage gift registries.
- Ability to set up automatic add-on sale suggestions or substitutes for out-of-stock items.
- In-house gift card/store credit tracking.
- Ability to import tickets from a remote location, such as a trade show.
- Ability to interface with credit card processing software. Will you need to switch to a different processor than the one you are currently using?
- Support for electronic signature capture.
- Support for debit card cash back.
- Support for foreign currency.
- Ability to calculate and track sales tax for different municipalities, different customer types, and different types of inventory items.
- Ability to manage recurring billings, (for example, subscriptions).
- Ability to manage tips and customer tabs
- Ability to compute and track commissions and spiffs.
Your point of sale system can help you prevent employee fraud and assist you in loss prevention. Features to look for:
- Bad check tracking.
- Integrated video surveillance.
- Ability to limit employee access and rights.
- Option to require login for each sale or after a specified period of inactivity.
- Security tracking log so you know which employee handled a void, price override, return, etc.