Choosing your ideal POS system
POS systems are indispensible in today’s retail environment, offering a host of benefits that can provide an edge over the competition. Bakeries, Butcheries and retailers can choose between the many POS systems available on the market today.
In these dynamic times when access to information is a truly powerful tool in the hands of savvy business managers, a Point of Sale (POS) system has become indispensible. The incredible range of suppliers and the impressive array of POS options available illustrate just how popular this solution has become through its ability to provide management with real time, up to the minute information about a range of variables.
Far removed from a glorified cash register and calculator, even a basic POS system will incorporate the functionalities of a cash register, while also recording sales and keeping track of the in-store stock.
But a basic system will also allow you to change prices of any stock at the touch of a button, help you to identify the products that are most popular and those that are slow moving, pinpoint the busiest business times so you can plan your staffing and stocking requirements, and calculate variables such as gross profit per product.
However, the real power of a POS system lies in its ability to integrate with other critical back office systems, such as inventory control, accounts payable and accounts receivable. Be aware, however, that some POS systems fully integrate with back office systems, while other merely interface with back office systems.
The distinction is important, because a POS system that can integrate with other systems implies that data is shared seamlessly and automatically with other systems, while interfacing implies that the data must be transferred to the other back office systems, opening
the possibility of human error.
Of course, various POS modules can be purchased separately, but based on your identified needs, it is recommended that you choose a POS system that integrates with at least the inventory control and accounting system.
In terms of inventory control, an integrated POS system will adjust stock levels as items are sold and move through the POS terminals. The system is then set to automatically order new stock as soon as a certain level of stock is reached, by sending out purchase orders.
When these orders are received, the system will automatically calculate the accounts payable. In addition, you can set the POS system to automatically change product prices when purchase prices change.
While all these functions take place automatically, saving time and costs associated with manual inventory control and stock management, detailed reports can be accessed at any time, keeping management up to date with real time information about each variable.
Some POS systems also integrate with accounting systems, such as Pastel. This results in many efficiencies in the management and accounting systems.
Another option is to have a POS system that integrates with a customer database. This means that you can keep track of each customer’s purchase history and take your Client Relationship Management and your marketing to a whole new level. Just imagine being able to SMS a client to let them know that their favourite products are on sale, or that you have just received a batch of the imported rye bread they prefer.
The best starting point to choosing your ideal POS system is to analyse your unique needs. There are so many POS options available from so many different companies that unless you have a very clear idea of what it is that you want and need from a POS system, you might well end up with a system that is too complicated, or one that is too lightweight for your requirements.
As just one example, some POS systems are designed for fewer, high priced sales, while others are designed to handle large volumes of fast-moving goods and thousands of daily transactions.
This might also be the ideal opportunity to involve your customers and find out from them how you can improve your business and your service to them. Simple questions can reveal a lot about your customers’ requirements – for example, they might want to shop online, phone in orders to be collected, participate in competitions or promotions or be interested in joining a frequent shopper programme or a loyalty scheme.
You will also need to establish your budget to ensure your chosen POS system does not overwhelm your cash flow. This will also help you to decide whether to buy a complete system or to stagger the acquisition by buying modules and building up to a full system. Remember, too, that not all POS systems are just a once-off purchase of software. There may be a requirement to buy the integrated retail software, accounting software, point of sale terminals, peripheral devices, back-office servers, training, and an Internet connection.
Be aware that pricing structures vary considerably across the various suppliers. There is often a once-off payment for the initial software and installation, and upgrades may be free or charged at an annual fee. You may also have to pay a monthly fee for technical support, or licence fees for using the system.
Having said that, remember that you get what you pay for. Simply choosing a POS system based on the price could be an expensive mistake in the long run.
There are many POS suppliers in the market, including Arch Retail Systems, Pilot Software, TOWA, HRK Retail , Compupos, Power POS, Matrix Software and Kerridge Commercial Systems / IQ Retail to name but a few.
Arch Retail Systems – Spinnaker Software (incorporating Arch) is a retail management solutions and service provider.
Our accumulated retail industry and technology experience allows us to innovate and deliver high-performance, reliable solutions to our clients. Working in partnership, we help our clients to optimise operational efficiency and provide the best possible experience for their customers. The goal is to make our Arch users more competitive and to increase operations’ profitability.
Arch Retail integrates in-store business processes into a single centralised system, that incorporates versatile management modules with multiple functionalities. This means all modules or applications work together, with data synchronised across your business, and you can manage everything from one system.
Arch Retail features and functionality –
• Hardware and software system with two main application areas – back-office (BO) and point-of-sale (POS)
• Fully integrated POS value adds enhance customer convenience
• Access to accurate real-time operational data at any time
• Safe-mode POS functionality ensures uninterrupted trading in the event of server or network failure – once the server or network is restored POS data downloads to the server
• Designed to increase profit and sales while maintaining optimal stock levels
• Reduces time spent on admin, freeing up time so you can focus on the strategic aspects of your business
• Best-in-class functionality allows for strategic functions such as stock replenishment and selling price management
• Comprehensive management reports and data analysis
Compupos – We do Point of Sale & Nothing else! Simply the best!
Whether you need a Touch-screen system for your Hospitality (Restaurant / Fast Food / Deli) business or simply Point of Sale software, we have the solution for you! Our POS Hardware & 4POS Point of Sale software are simply the best solution available for your business!
Welcome to the 4POS Application Suite of Programs
The 4POS Suite has been in development since 2002 in conjunction with our 18,000+ customers & personnel with a combined experience of more than 100 years in the POS & Retail marketplace.
We Specialize in POS & ensuring our customers take control of their businesses again! Whether you are a small business or a multi-branch company – our Suite of programs is for you!
Our software is distributed by a multitude of professionals from Afghanistan to Australia & everyone in between.Be assured that we will protect your investment with NO Licence fees & free Upgrades!
HRK Retail – For more than 50 years, HRK Retail has provided receipting software solutions to the South African industry. We are a proudly South African business that places a premium on personal service. Thanks to our local, dedicated team of specialists, our clients always know who is on the other end of the call.
HRK Retail software gives you a comprehensive overview of your business’s health in real time, thanks to automated processes that cover everything from sales to analysis, inventory management to invoicing.
Detailed, real time stock reports are easily accessible, and past sales data may be utilized to more precisely forecast future inventory levels. For added convenience, automatic reordering functions are available.
Reporting is the foundation of all retail point of sale systems and, inside Creditors, Stock, Customers, Invoicing, General Ledger and POS Controller, our platform offers a complete and detailed reporting system consisting of over 700 types of Daily/Monthly & Operational reports:
• Price changes,
• Purchase Orders,
• Goods Receiving,
• Day End / Financial Exception and many more…
With our software, you choose the kind of reports you need to manage your company’s growth and performance, recognizing trends and abnormalities that need to be examined. Our user-friendly reporting tools make it simple and stress-free to streamline your reporting process.
In addition, we develop our own software. This ensures that if any of our clients request that the program be adjusted to fit their unique needs, it will be completed within a timely manner. Our client service is simple and straightforward. Our main products include:
1. HRK Liquor – is a point of sale solution specifically designed for the Retail Liquor Industry, by being able to differentiate whether the product is sold by the case, six-pack, or bottle.
2. HRK Butchery – Our software solution was designed keeping in mind what a butcher does. Butchers cut and trim meat from larger, wholesale portions into steaks, chops, roasts, and other cuts. Our software integrates the weight scale into the point of sale terminal – allowing the cashier to print labels, scan and process the sale simultaneously.
3. HRK Hardware – Our software integrates a handheld barcode printer and scanner to the point of sale terminal – allowing the manager to print barcodes or shelf edge labels (for those products that do not have barcodes, such as wood, steel, pipes, etc.), scan and process the sale simultaneously.
Electrical stores, nurseries, furniture stores, stationery stores, jewelry stores, supermarkets, liquor stores, hardware stores, butcheries, and other retail applications can all benefit from our software’s versatility.
Replace your company’s inefficient areas with tried-and-true solutions that will not only save you money but also help you make it!
Kerridge Commercial Systems – Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) provides specialist software, services and support to deliver fully integrated trading and business management solutions to companies in the distributive trades across the world.
Providing specialist software, IT services, consultancy and support to deliver a fully integrated trading and management solution to the distributive trades.
Our point-of-sale solution is designed to facilitate fast and efficient transaction processing, further enhancing customer service through speed and accuracy.
Our solution offers a user-friendly, touch screen interface with advanced search capabilities and comprehensive transaction management, that gives you a wealth of information at the touch of a finger. Your customers will appreciate the professional service.
Our point-of-sale solution includes:
• Cash & account sales and refunds.
• Customer orders and quotations.
Benefits at a Glance:
• Accurate and fast transaction processing.
• Professional and efficient customer service.
• Ability to capture and manage all transactional data.
Pilot Software – We believe that technology can make people’s lives easier in both big and small ways. This philosophy has resulted in the development of a cutting-edge point of sale business solution, which encompasses all elements required to run a profitable food and beverage establishment.
From turning the traditional cash register into a mobile device, to connecting you with suppliers whenever you need to stock up, Pilot Software puts you in control of your business.
We partner with the best 3rd party providers to expand our offering into mobile, payments, loyalty and analytics. Pilot delivers great software, and our internal systems and ongoing client interaction means you get a solution, not just a product.
This means you will have to invest some time to research the options before you make your decision. It is absolutely vital that you ask for a demo of the POS systems you are considering, so you can compare the functionality with the needs you have identified. The system should also be flexible so it can grow with your business into the future. Don’t be shy to ask questions to ensure you really understand what the system offers and how it can help your business be more successful.
Some questions you should be asking about the system include:
• Can you buy the system in separate modules? For budget or practical reasons, you might want to start with just the POS and back office system and add the customer database system later.
• How user-friendly is the system and how long will it take for your staff to get up and running?
• What are the minimum and optimum hardware requirements?
• Can the system be customised for your particular needs? Beware of completely customised systems for which it may be difficult to get updates and support.
• Does it run on Windows? Windows is faster, can handle many tasks at the same time and is user-friendly.
• Is regular data back-up included?
Once you have narrowed down a few options, research the software companies to avoid selecting a fly-by-night operation that will leave you stranded without technical support and assistance. Look for companies with an established track record in developing and implementing retail point of sale systems and reputable suppliers with significant experience in the retail industry. Also ensure the company will stand behind their products through technical support, feature enhancements, software updates and extended warranties.
Some of the questions you should be asking suppliers include:
• How many clients currently use the software?
• How many of these clients are in retail and baking?
• Where is the supplier based? The supplier should preferably be near enough to your store to be able to give on-site support.
• How frequently are the programmes updated and how often it has been updated in the last three or five years? Updates should be about every 18 months.
• Do you have to pay for updates separately or are they included in initial price/annual fee?
• What training and support is provided? Is it included in package price or is there a separate price? Is it an annual fee or ad hoc? Is it outsourced to a third party? What experience do they have?
• Is support telephonic, per e-mail, on site? On site training and support is preferable to telephonic support.
• What implementation assistance is provided? Is it included in package price or is there a separate price? Is it outsourced to a third party? What experience do they have?
Also, don’t miss the opportunity to protect yourself by speaking to other users. Request references and call them. The feedback you will get from those who are using the system every day on the ground will provide a much clearer indication of the practicality and functionality in a real-world retail environment, than the sales pitch from the supplier itself.
Once you have selected your preferred supplier, where possible, purchase everything – software, hardware, and services – from the same company. The single point of accountability will eliminate a situation where one supplier is blaming the other which often arises when multiple suppliers are involved. You will also have just one supplier as a single point of contact for all your point of sale hardware, software, and service needs. In addition, buying everything from the same supplier can often reduce your overall costs.