It’s probable that you’ve heard the term, ‘POS system,’ but you very well may not know the answer to the question, ‘What is a POS system?” Point of Sale (POS) systems are used by millions of businesses all over the world. Their main function is to replace the cash register and provide accurate and reliable information about each sale. But don’t be fooled – just because they replace the cash register doesn’t mean that they only record each sale. The information provided by the POS system is very complex, and feeds into a number of accounting functions.
Before going into all of that, let us more fully explore what defines a POS system and elaborate about its variety of functions. A Point of Sale (POS) system is technology used by retail and wholesale companies to manage the sale of their goods. It usually comprises of a barcode reader, a screen for the customer and one for the cashier, a card swiping machine and a printer. These are connected to a central computer that stores all the inventory data. This technology manages sales by scanning a barcode on the product and displaying the price on the screen. This process may seem simple enough, but did you know that there is a lot that happens in the backend as a result of the scanning of that one barcode?
First of all, the product is identified using the barcode, hence the correct price display. The system then records the sale for later analysis and reconciliation. In recording the sale, information such as the product name, quantity and total price is stored. The system then deducts the item from the inventory record, and proceeds to store either a credit or cash purchase. A receipt is then printed out for the customer.
The barcode reader scans a barcode on each product using infrared. Each barcode also has a Universal Product Code number that the cashier can punch into the system if the barcode reader does not scan it.
For smaller retailers who do not need the complexity of a multifaceted POS system, there is a basic electronic cash register which does everything your cash register does, with the added benefit of the barcode reader. This scanning technology ensures that the correct price for each product is recorded. You will be able to print out and analyze the sales for each day, just as you would with a basic cash register.
There are also integrations of POS systems specific to different industries. For example, restaurants can have orders printed out in the kitchen. A retailer can also keep track of each customer’s purchases by using a customer card that rewards customers for a certain number of sales. Grocery stores which use scales to weigh some of the products can have these integrated into the POS system.
When choosing your POS system, you need to consider the complexity that you require and the industry that you are in. Compare different brands and speak to people in your industry to find out what they are using and what functionalities they would look for in a POS system. One of the best brands in the market is Harbortouch, which supplies a wide range of POS systems with different levels of complexity. They are bound to have something to fill your unique need.
See the best POS system available by visiting Harbortouch Harbor.