How POS Systems Help You Sell More & Get Organized
By: Ryan Attelle
When you own a growing business there is always a point in which you need to have a system for dealing with sales. Cash and hand written receipts are a great way to start but a Point of Sales System can help take your business to the next level and stay organized and efficient all at the same time.
Most POS systems include a CPU, software and the various components that plug into it. These components are put together in a special package designed to work together in a retail setting.
There are a almost an endless array of choices when it comes to choosing a CPU, but this is an important choice because it will be the foundation to you POS system. You need to find something that will run your POS software quickly and correctly. You also want to pay attention to the ports that are featured on the machine you are considering for purchase. It is important to anticipate all of the other components that will be plugged into the machine and to make sure the ports will accommodate this.
You will also have to consider you monitor. There are two general options when it comes to choosing a monitor. First there is the traditional monitor. With this choice you will also need a keyboard and mouse for navigation and data entry. If you choose to go with a traditional monitor you will also have to choose a keyboard. There is the standard keyboard and mouse, in which you have to get a separate card reader, or a keyboard made specifically for POS systems with a card reader already integrated. There is also the flat panel displays with touch screen technology. These have become ever increasing in popularity over the years. You can input information though the screen rather than using a keyboard and mouse. Many find navigating such a system much easier. Many touch screen monitors come with a card reader integrated into the side.
Now consider your cash drawer. You need to think about how many times your cash drawer will be opened and closed. With this in mind it is suggested you find one that is rugged and sturdy so that it will last the wear and tear of constant use. There are also lots of different sizes so make sure the drawer you want will fit in to the space available.
There is also a receipt printer to think about. There are typically two types of printers to choose from. The first is is the industry standard that uses a thermal paper. These allow you to add designs, logos and coupons to your receipts. In addition to that there is what is called the kitchen printer these are usually used in places that are constantly taking new orders like the kitchen in a restaurant. Both printers can communicate directly with the POS system and keep track of the exchange of information there in.
Another component to your POS system is your bar code reader. You usually have two options here as well. There is you hand held bar code reader, and your stationary bar code reader. The hand held reader makes it easy to scan oddly shaped, or very large objects for example, because you can detach it from the station and move it around. Then you have a stationary unit which is nice because you don't have to hold it rather run the product past the sensor. They both do basically the same thing and both work quite well and efficiently.
In addition to these options you could add a label printer to your system. They are not only good for printing up labels but also bar codes, upc's and coupons directly from you POS system, keeping track of all the important data in one place. It will also help you generate repeat business with coupons gift certificates and more.
Lastly are your pin pad card readers and there are generally two options here as well. Of the two one features the signature capture device. This allows the card user to sign there name directly on the card reader it self electronically. This is popular because it help reduce paper waste overall cost, and helps business owners stay better organized. Then there is your standard pin pad. This also features a card reader and a pad for the customer to enter in there pin. Both are great options for any businesses retail needs.
Most recently many businesses are turning to iPads as there CPU for there POS needs. With the systems mentioned above everything is hard wired, so any reports ect.. need to be done strictly on location. And many claim it takes some time for reports to get properly processed and printed. By utilizing an iPad you can go wireless, everything is stored in what is called a cloud and is basically accessible from anywhere at any time.
Most iPad based POS systems allow you to view reports and make accurate orders. You can go as far as using these stats to determine how successful a product is, even so far as to were said product should be place in the store. You can also determine sales by hours dedicating certain employees to work at particular shift and what are the best open and close times on various days.
Many also find that the iPad operating system is more stable. The express relief from the worries of a computer crash, bugs or glitches. Computer crashes can cause delays frustration, disorganization, loss of information and frustrated customers.
What ever you choice may be it is important to do research and weigh your options carefully. You want your customers experience to be great and your statistics to be an accurate reflection of what is going on. A great way to start your search and feel out the market is by utilizing a price quote. Price quotes can aid you in your decision making process and give you a heads up on the over cost with in the market place.
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