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In most businesses where there is a mixture of cash and credit sales, typically in hardware stores, plumbing, electrical wholesalers, bathroom showrooms, tiles or any other retail and/or trade environment, fully integrated trade counter point of sale systems can offer huge benefits. Today, you'll find a variety of POS software on the market but not all offer the value of a system that works totally in sync with your back-office accounting software.
I've highlighted some of the typical benefits of using a fully integrated Point of Sale System below.
The single most attractive benefit of an integrated POS system is of course having access to live data at the point of customer contact. You have no need to doubt the information you are receiving or worry that everything has been updated. Your data is completely up-to-date and accurate ensuring your counter staff have access to the information they need when they need it.
This includes real-time access to…
• Customer balances
• Customer credit limits (of actual and committed debt)
• Stock information
• Customer price lists
• Stock Maintenance
Your integrated point of sale can provide you with valuable sales information enabling you to focus your attention on more profitable lines, improve your demand forecasting and minimise stock.
Detailed sales reports give you a bird’s eye view of your business – including which items are selling and which aren’t – allowing you to make more informed decisions. You can also track profitability by terminal, by product or by department. This type of information helps you to improve scheduling, operational efficiency and profitability. It will also help you to discover which marketing activities work? What are your peak selling hours? Do you need to increase staff during those times? Can you optimise your opening hours to increase revenue?
For system control inventory management you can use predefined system measures to ensure you are operating at the optimal stock level. This will reduce your stock holding, ensure more efficient stock turn and better use of supplier lead times whilst also allowing for better management of your cashflow.
With an integrated point of sale system you are only working from, and maintaining, a single database. By having all contacts and stock information in one place, your data is more secure, reliable and up-to-dateat all times; ensuring consistency across your business. More importantly, this seamless shared source of knowledge empowers front facing staff with the right information at the right time.
Your integrated POS software can also be used across a number of stores with effective distribution control to allow stock levels at each store to be updated.
Quite often many businesses use a point of sale system that is made up of a mix of both hardware and software from different vendors. For business owners this can be the cause of much heartache especially when issues arise and one vender claims the problem is as a result of another company’s product. At times some systems are simply just incompatible, leading to slower running times and massive frustration.
A fully integrated point of sale system from a single vendor on the other hand, can lead to better information and improved efficiency resulting in huge cost and time savings. All software and hardware are compatible and work together.
Working with a single vendor can also minimise your total cost of ownership when all maintenance and support goes through one provider. If issues do arise, they are resolved more quickly and frustration levels are considerably less. When upgrades need to happen, they are easier to implement resulting in less time spent by managers on IT issues.
To make good decisions your customer facing staff need the best information possible. Choosing an integrated POS system gives your staff access to real-time customer and stock information.
With a user friendly interface configured to suit the particular needs of your frontline staff, you can speed up the transaction process, improve accuracy and ultimately make it easier for your customers to do business with you.
When you know your customers and what they are buying you can create meaningful marketing campaigns that target the right customers with the right incentives.
In today’s ever increasing competitive market place, it is more important than ever before to offer the speed, accuracy and improved customer service that a fully integrated POS system offers.
Unsure what to look for in a merchant ERP software system? Read ‘The Definitive Guide to Merchant Software’. It has all you need to know.
Related article: 11 Must Have EPOS System Features
Related article: 10 Must Have Features-for Trade Counter Point of Sale