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Point of Sale System

Point of Sale Systems

Chances are you have already seen POS machines at a local Walmart. They are very common devices used by stores to place the items you buy to its sales database and issue you with a receipt. That whole process - from identifying the item, taking the payment and the issuance of receipt - is done through a POS system.

POS is short for Point of Sale. It is a system commonly used by both online and offline businesses during checkout or point of purchase. The POS is a modern equivalent of the electronic cash register. A POS can either be the hardware or software, or both, used during the checkout process. The POS system makes the entire process faster and easier for both the buyer and seller. It usually incorporates payment gateways, when done via a debit card or credit card, and the printing of a receipt.

The retail industry is probably one of the biggest users of this system. The POS system is not just one equipment. It includes several other equipment such as a monitor, computer, barcode scanner, POS software, a cash drawer and printer. Optional equipment includes provision for a debit card or credit card terminal (also called gateways). Shopping has been made very easy by the POS. This provides faster transaction for the clients and at the same time giving the seller real-time data of sales, inventory levels, returns, discounts and other functions.

Perhaps one of the most popular POS brands in the USA is NCR. It has been around since the invention of the mechanical cash register. The latest POS machines by this manufacturer include versions that have touch screen capability and self checkout. You probably have seen a NCR-made POS system at the local grocery using a NCR RealPOS 21 Workstation and even ATM terminals without realizing it.

Another well known brand for POS systems is IBM. The IBM SurePOS 4800-781 POS system, for example, offers retailers and grocers an all-in-one solution for their business needs. It has keyboards with reprogrammable keys and interchangeable numeric pads made specifically for a POS. The usual components are streamlined into one machine making it ideal for small spaces. This compact design is retail-hardened and utilizes remote systems management making it easy for supervisors and managers to remotely access the POS terminals from the back office.

Other popular POS system manufacturers are Ingenic, Verifone and Symbol.

A POS is not limited to the retail industry. It has been used in other industries just as much. In resorts and in travel businesses, a POS can streamline operations and provide clients with hassle free transaction. In the operating end a POS system can keep track of labor, cost of goods, sales in real time, and generate records for bookkeeping and accounting.

The same systems are common in restaurants as well. It is standard in fast food places like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. The hotel industry has also benefited in using a POS system. Transferring rooms, charging meals and other functions have all been made more efficient through it.

This technology can also be customized to meet individual client demands. A POS software can be programmed to cater to a specific need. It can be made to alert managers and owners of low inventory and supplies. The system can also be configured to automatically place an order for a specific raw material or product. It can be customized to compute tax deductions, tax payables and other details the user needs. It is a useful tool to help managers analyze demands, productivity, profit and other sales need. In the end, the Point of Sale system is a priceless equipment any business should have.