POS stands for “point of sale” and it is generally used to describe the computer used to check out customers. It used to be that these machines were simply cash registers that rang up sales and provided a safe place to store the cash, checks or charge slips that your sales generated. These days, like most other things that are run by a computer system, they do much more than that.
One of the biggest advantages provided by the modern day POS systems is the help they can offer you by tracking your inventory levels. No matter what the size of your business, keeping track of what items enter and leave you store’s inventory is an important part of running an efficient business.
Knowing exactly what items are selling and in what quantities makes reordering much easier. Instead of guessing what items you will be needing in the future, which may well lead to excess inventory and wasted profits, you can only order what you actually need. Inventory tracking can also let you know what items may be walking off your shelves without being paid for. Shoplifting costs retail businesses large amounts of money each year and knowing what items are being stolen will allow you to take steps to stop the theft.
Modern POS systems provide an easy way to keep your inventory tracking under control. By linking them to your store’s inventory system, they can provide you instant data as to what is being sold. Each item has an individual bar code. When it is scanned by the POS system, the information about that item is automatically entered into your inventory control system.
Another advantage to today’s POS systems is that they will allow you business to efficiently process many payment types. It used to be that smaller businesses could not easily process credit card and check payments. This meant that the business either opted not to accept those forms of payment or accepted them knowing that there was a possibility that they would never actually receive the payment as it was hard to verify the accounts.
Now the systems that process checks and credit cards are an integral part of many POS systems. When a credit card is scanned, the account information is not only taken, but it is verified. If the account had been compromised in some way, the card is declined. This saves your business and possibly the person who has had their account compromised from taking a loss.
The same thing happened when a check is run through the scanner. Although not all systems can verify that the account has enough of a balance to cover the check, they can at least verify that the account exists and that it is currently in good standing. Although this will not protect you from checks that bounce it does keep you from accepting bad checks.
Like so many other technology based items, the number and quality of the services that your POS system offers you has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few decades. If the system you are using is more than ten years old, there may be a great many advantages to your business if you update your POS system.