What is a Point of Sale system?
In its most simple format, a POS system is a cash register that captures sales. According to Wikipedia, the basic, fundamental definition of a Point of Sale (POS) system, is a system that allows the processing and recording of transactions between a company and their consumers, at the time in which goods and/or services are purchased. The system calculates the amount to be paid for products or services, and an invoice may be optionally printed. The customer then pays, typically having options such as cash or credit card for example. Sometimes Point of Sales (POS) is referred to as the Point of Purchase (POP). With the advent of more sophisticated, integrated POS software systems, the term Retail Management system is sometimes used instead of Point of Sale system, but the most common terminology is Point of Sale (POS).
What is an integrated Point of Sale system?
An integrated POS system will manage both the sales transactions as well as inventory control, which means that customer and stock information and all the related data are accessed from a central database which is maintained and updated by the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. So rather than having the retail sales handled by a stand-alone system, which then has to be updated into the main bookkeeping, financial, or inventory system, the POS system is fully integrated with all the other aspects of the business’s processes. An integrated POS system combines all the benefits of a sophisticated cash register and fully integrates this to what is often referred to as the back-office system.
The Benefits of an integrated POS system
One of the main benefits of a POS system is that pricing is controlled through the Inventory (Stock) Management section of the system. The teller is no longer dependant on a price tag to calculate the price of an item. The system uses stock or product codes to pick up prices. If barcode scanners are used, then the item is just scanned in with no manual capture of any product codes being necessary. Price changes are controlled within the Inventory system and new price labels for shelves and products can be printed by the system. Additionally, the system will pick up any discounts. Weighing scales that produce special barcode labels can be used to manage products that are sold by weight. The system will automatically pick up the correct VAT rate for each stock item.
Efficient Inventory (Stock) Control
As the stock is sold, the stock levels are simultaneously updated. This results in the ability to efficiently manage stock holding. Purchase orders can be generated when stock falls below a user-defined optimum level and stock can be timeously transferred from a warehouse onto the shop floor. If there are multiple branches, then stock levels across all branches can be seen and stock transferred if necessary. This type of control over inventory avoids stock shortages which mean lost sales and even lost customers. Any stock items which have serial or batch numbers can be accurately tracked. Reports and statistics on stock sales can be extracted showing bestselling items, seasonal demands and other information vital to the business owner and managers.
An integrated POS system will integrate into the customer database. This allows special discounts to be given to specific customers and allowing loyalty programs to be implemented. Linking customers into the POS system enables information to be extracted about the business’s customers such as who is buying what products etc. Knowing more about your customers enables a business to target advertising more effectively as well as building better customer relationships, ensuring customer satisfaction and repeat business.
Customers can easily pay their accounts at the checkout point and goods can be exchanged or returned as well. In fact, POS can stand for the Point of Service. This all means that the customer has a better experience at the checkout point which improves customer satisfaction.
Unfortunately, in a retail environment, the possibility of fraud and theft is a real problem. A POS system can greatly reduce the opportunities for these to happen. Having prices controlled by the system reduces the risk of incorrect prices being used and the tighter stock control, combined with regular stock takes can quickly identify stock losses so this can be addressed quickly. Integrating the POS system with credit card devices ensures that the correct amount is paid by customers, bypassing teller intervention and offering better security to the customer. The POS system also provides the ability to control cash in the till by the use of cash up procedures and identifying discrepancies against sales captured and money in the till.
Implementing a POS System will speed up the checkout process. Using barcode scanners, tellers scan the products, making the process fast and accurate. Touch screens can be used where barcode scanners are not feasible. Mistakes are easily rectified and with the use of POS Poles, the customer can see the total amount to be paid as the items are being scanned. Once the items are all scanned, the customer can choose their payment method and the system will link to a credit card device or otherwise calculate change amounts. An invoice or till slip can be printed. There is very little manual intervention needed by the teller, which improves speed and accuracy.
Knowledge is Power
A POS system means that transactions are captured and updated as the sales happen. Because the system is integrated, there is a wealth of information that can be obtained, which is real-time and accurate, about the business. The basic bookkeeping functions are automatically taken care of and the system will provide information about the revenue and profitability with the ability to drill down to specific areas. Sales data can be analysed and forecasts can be obtained of future inventory requirements and sales. The retail industry is all about margins and inventory management. An integrated POS system will provide the tools to manage all of these aspects.
Omni Accounts Point of Sale (POS) system is unique in that it is an integral part of the whole Omni Accounts software solution. As such it has completely seamless integration with all the other aspects of the Omni Accounts functions, such as the full ERP functionality which includes functionality like manufacturing and job costing etc. Omni Accounts offers the added advantage of being scalable because of its combination of Bundles and Switches so that you can tailor your system to best suit your unique accounting and management controls and requirements, no matter what your business type or size.