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Chances are, you’ve seen a POS system in action. “POS” is an abbreviation for “point-of-sale-” the most basic POS systems calculate payment amounts and process customer payments, similar to a cash register. However, they aren’t just calculators. Most hospitality-based systems use POS systems in order to track inventory and labor costs, forecast business volumes and spot problems quickly. You can also use them to plan schedules and communicate to other areas of the business.
If you plan to open or already operate a retail store, restaurant, café, boxing club, salon, bed and breakfast, or even a cupcake store, here are a few of the advantages of a POS system and software:
Better transaction processing: Business POS systems process transactions much more quickly and with fewer errors than lower-tech methods. Restaurant POS systems are a good example: before POS systems became popular, servers would take orders by hand and physically walk them over to the kitchen. A POS system organizes all information in one place: the server inputs the order at a terminal, the kitchen can print it out, and the customer can pay the bill based on the entered information,
Easy record storage: Using a POS system is a better way to keep records: since transaction information is stored electronically, there’s no need to save paper receipts or sales slips. A POS system can capture nearly every relevant piece of information about at transaction- who made a particular sale, the items sold, the total sale amount, and even data like customer information can be stored and referenced easily. When you’re planning your next marketing promotion, you can send out an email blast to customers that already own a certain product, or plan a sale of complimentary products together. More accurate record keeping also makes computing employee tax amounts, bonuses, and commissions easier.
Information management: Retail business owners know never to underestimate the importance of good inventory management. Since POS systems keep track of sales, they can also tell you when you need to reorder a certain product. A POS system also allows you to manage intangible information, like scheduling: for example, POS software for gyms and exercise studios allows a business owner to schedule exercise instructors, desk receptionists, and other staff based on class attendance and sales information for certain times of day.
Cost savings: The chief reason most businesses switch to a POS system is cost savings. Monitoring inventory, employee sales efforts, promotions, and marketing efforts all ultimately lead to more strategic and effective business management, which will save you money in the long run. The right POS software for your business can also cut down on theft and unauthorized employee discounts- since inventory is reported accurately and with regularity, missing items will be easier to spot. Using a POS system enables you to make decisions based on real-time data, and to plan future promotions and sales more effectively.
True, a POS system is a big investment. You’ll also need to consider the logistics of the switch- entering your inventory or product offerings into the new system, training employees, and learning how to use reporting features can all take some time. If you’re considering purchasing a POS system, check out the StartUp Nation Buyer Guide – the more information you have about system requirements, purchasing details, and vendor offerings, the easier it will be to choose the right system for your business.