What are the differences between a Cash Register and a POS System?
A point-of-sales system at the front-counter is similar to a traditional cash register – sales are rung, money is exchanged, change is given, cash is secured, and the drawer is balanced. What is different is how the information is gathered. A point-of-sales system captures, maintains, and updates enormous amounts of information that a cash register can never do. This gives you a powerful tool to help run your business. Whether it's wholesale, mail order, manufacture, or retail, POS Profits has the solution. POS systems are used in retail environments that require inventory control, customer tracking, etc.
Is a POS System worth the Expense?
A point-of-sales system will improve your margins, increase sales, track inventory, and reduce operating costs. These are tangible benefits that you will see within a few months of automating. In fact, many retailers see the benefits of their systems adding 10 - 20% to their bottom lines, an excellent return on investment! If you are leasing your system, the monthly benefit of your system should easily surpass your monthly payment.Improved Margins
Improved margins are generally the most significant financial result. With a cash register, employees can ring up sales with any prices they wish. A POS system requires the entry of a specific item look-up code to process a sale. This protects your margin! Margins are also improved and protected by knowing what and when to order to reduce shipping costs and to take advantage of supplier promotions.Inventory Control
This area, too, is impacted in a positive way. A POS system allows you to know exactly what you have on-hand, what you need, and when you need to order it! This enables you to keep your inventory wide and shallow, preventing over/under-stocking. By knowing your inventory, you are able to better manage your capital, keeping it off the shelves and in your bank account!Increased Sales
Many people do not realize that a point-of-sales system is a money-making device! A POS system allows you to know exactly what your customers are buying, enabling you to respond with mailings, special promotions, etc. A POS system enables you to respond to customer buying habits quickly and profitably, giving you the flexibility and power of a large chain store!Reduce Operating Cost
A POS system reduces operating costs by more efficiently providing information. Operating costs are reduced in re-ticketing of items, time spent with your accountant, over-staffing, yearly physical counts, etc.Time Savings
The biggest benefit is the time savings. Instead of re-entering sales into a spread sheet, trying to analyze a register tape, hand writing purchase orders, etc., retailers are letting their POS system do the work!
What computer do I need?
Most point-of-sales systems use standard IBM-compatible PCs with various devices plugged in. PC minimum requirements vary depending on the POS software requirements, but usually will need to be a Pentium or better to meet Year 2010 compliance.
Most POS software runs on a peer-to-peer network such as Windows XP. In environments with more than 5 stations, a dedicated server such as Windows XP, Windows 7 or Vista is recommended.
Macintosh and client-server based systems are also available.
What POS Equipment do I need?
As mentioned before, most POS devices plug directly into a computer. The eliminates the need for a proprietary unit. Proprietary POS registers can be expensive and require high maintenance.Following are some common items for a basic POS configuration:
Cash drawer - either stand-alone or platform style. Plugs into a receipt printer or serial port.
Receipt printer - prints 3" receipt. Plugs into parallel port.
Barcode scanner - either CCD or Laser. Plugs into keyboard port via a "Y" cable.
Customer Pole Display - prevents your clerks from overcharging or making incorrect change. Plugs into 9 pin serial port.Options include:
Credit card swipe - for use with credit card software. Plugs into keyboard port via a "Y" cable.
Iomega Zip drive - backing up your data is highly recommended! Battery back-up - inexpensive insurance to protect your PC during black outs and power surges.
Data Collection Device - speeds up physical counts and interfaces with most POS software.
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