It goes without saying that every retail business needs a (Point of Sale) POS system. Some retail businesses have a large customer base but fewer daily sales, some have a large quantity or type of products, some maintain a large inventory, and some have a high turnover, some deal with high volumes, some deal with rapid sales, and some process a large number of customers on hourly basis. It becomes obvious to most emerging businesses that not all POS systems provide all the features they require and an off the shelf POS can never be absolutely specific to their business goals or types of products.
There are various online POS systems, where all your data is saved on a remote server over the web. While having offline storage seems to be the best option, it is important to check that these online systems allow you to backup your data on your own computer, or atleast offer to backup your data on their domain servers through their registrars, in case a disaster happens. Most free online POS systems do not offer remote backups and also some do not offer SSL, which makes it all the more important to be able to backup your data on your own machines.
When choosing a point-of-sale program (POS) for your business, it is essential to understand which features are of utmost importance to your business. Some of the features to look for are as follows;
- A good POS system lets you create your own environment and lets you build your own business with minimum restrictions. Once the environment is created, the system helps to eliminate unnecessary repetitive work.
- Changes or additions to the system can be made quickly by the developers without any shutdowns or downtimes.
- A good POS system is based on a central database that various members of team can access for transactions, information etc., locally or remotely.
- Team members can have access according to their functions in the company. For examples, Admins can create users, manage tax information and list manufacturers or suppliers. Purchasers can create products and buy them. Sellers can sell products and view sales reports.
- Administrators can create Categories and Sub-categories of products so that the inventory can be stored in a manageable hierarchy.
- A list of Manufacturers with their contact information can be maintained.
- Creating lists of units, packagings, volumes and bundles is easy and versatile.
- List of sales taxes, purchase taxes, and other overheads/ charges/ levies etc., can be developed and selectively applied to transactions.
- A list of items or products can be created with all related information like categories, sub-categories, manufacturer names, packaging details, Model Numbers, Specifications, Pictures, Serial Numbers etc.
- A list of Suppliers/ Vendors can be created with their contact information.
- Items/ Products can be purchased from Vendors, and purchases costs, purchase quantities, purchase taxes paid, Min and Max Sales margins can be saved
- Bar codes can be generated and printed to be affixed to products.
- A list of customers with their contact information can be saved.
- Sales can be made in a quick and easy process, where multiple sales taxes could be applied to sales.
- A mechanism is provided to reverse any sales or process refunds.
- A large variety of real-time sales reports, purchase reports, vendor reports, item performance reports, yearly margins etc can be produced with click of a button.
- A mechanism exists to showcase products to in-store customers or to viewers on the web.
- A mechanism to apply clearance sale options, discount coupons and special offers
- Provides a way to process debit card or credit card based sales
- A well defined help tool exists where operations can carry on on self help basis without interruptions or shut downs
The above features will let you manage your inventories, purchases and sales in a very efficient way and thus will pave the way to maximize your profits with minimum overheads and help in making informed business decisions.