There once was a time when the only roles of a cash register were to safely store money and tally up the sales total for the day. And while, for many small businesses, this remains as a major priority of their Point of Sale equipment, it is worth considering some of the other basic advantages that can be gained by having a well set up, integrated POS system.
Enhances staff efficiency
A properly configured POS system should be easy for your staff to use. The recent move toward touchscreen terminals allows more items to be accessible with just one or two touches of the screen. Another critically important factor is having the POS layout set out logically so that when staff are entering a sale, they can quickly and easily navigate between different items.
Of course, most modern POS systems connect to barcode scanners, scales or other handheld data entry options. Depending on the application, these also assist the efficiency with which your staff can enter and process a sale. Whatever the scenario, a well setup POS allows operators to be quicker when serving your customers – reducing customer wait time and staff overheads.
Simplifies communication processes
Efficient in-house communication is vital – whether it’s a waitperson sending an order to the kitchen at a restaurant, management receiving up-to-date sales figures from the POS, or warehouse staff advising the office of received stock. It’s worth noting that a properly implemented POS system can aid this endeavour.
Modern networking technology allows data to be transferred from the front-of-house to the back-office, storeroom or kitchen virtually simultaneously. Many systems include the capacity for wireless communication, allowing remote devices to be connected without the need for extensive cabling. So when implementing a new POS system, communication infrastructure needs to be at the forefront of the plans.
Provides accurate sales and profit analysis
Most POS systems come with back-office reporting software. This vital component of the integrated POS solution allows management to keep their ‘finger on the pulse’ of their business. Accessing relevant historical data aids with logical decision making and provides a benchmark for future performance.
For instance, comparing sales performance figures across a day, week, month or year allows you to manage inventory needs and staff costs, as well as measuring profitability and the success of promotions you undertake.
Promotes system flexibility
Obviously, if you see an opportunity to improve your business, you need your POS system to be flexible enough for you to implement changes quickly and easily without disrupting your business operation. This would include the ability to adjust pricing based on market forces or changes of cost, adding items to your system to improve your product mix or even adjusting your POS screen layouts to aid operational efficiency.
Another important function is the ability to create and run various promotions that are automatically applied at your POS terminals. Being able to program these promotions up in your back-office and apply them at the appropriate time on your POS terminals makes setting up, maintaining and discontinuing promotions a far easier task.
Of course, there are many other features of an integrated POS system that are of great benefit in the management of a retail business, such as stock control and customer loyalty. But when deciding on a new POS system, or even when looking at making improvements to your current setup, don’t overlook these four basic factors!
This article was initially written as a Uniwell4POS submission to Cafe Culture magazine.