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Helping SMBs Find the Right POS

Whether you are managing a startup or an established business, finding the right point of sale (POS) system is essential to success in today’s marketplace.

A POS is a computer system that operates and links checkout terminals throughout a company (1). The original POS systems simply processed payments, usually through a large main computer connected to a cash register, but modern day POS systems offer a variety of functions that can help you improve your business.

In addition to taking payments, the right POS service provider can help streamline operations and improve cash flow. This technology can tighten the communications and business insights between multiple departments, helping you make improvements on all fronts.

Features to look for in POS systems

POS systems have evolved to meet the needs of modern day businesses across all types of industries. Sorting through all the options is much easier when you have a clear sense of your business' needs. Here are some things to look for in a POS for your business.

Security

First and foremost, a POS system should be secure. Any merchant that accepts credit cards must adhere to PCI data security standards. Failure to comply leaves a merchant vulnerable to a data breach and the ensuing negative fallout including fines, fees and lost business. As part of PCI, the POS payment application in use must comply with the PCI Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS). Although using a PA-DSS compliant application by itself does not make a business PCI DSS compliant, it's a step in the right direction.

Measure Inventory

All sales pass through a POS system, and when they do, each item is deducted from the available inventory. Some POS systems will alert you when certain products are getting scarce or allow you to add new products to the mix. These systems can also help you manage back-orders and send purchase orders to your partners (2).

User-friendly

Even though POS systems handle complex processes, the user interface should be easy to navigate. Most workers today are comfortable with technology and a modern POS is actually easier for them to learn than older hardware.

Customer intelligence

POS systems can also integrate with your business' customer relationship management (CRM) software, helping you keep tabs on what your customers are buying and how often. By linking this data with your CRM, you can get a clearer picture of what your best shoppers are most interested in, and keep your shelves well-stocked with their favorite products. You can also integrate your email marketing program into your POS, providing real-time data that will help you measure the effectiveness of different offers.

Business management.

Businesses that process orders through multiple workstations, like restaurants and fulfillment centers, are often difficult to manage. POS systems can link these stations together, streamlining processes and giving managers easy access to analytics. You can identify and address problems with workflow, and even manage employees better.

Today's POS systems serve many different industries, from cafes and restaurants to retailers and grocery stores. By first assessing the mechanics of your business and your goals for growth, you will find it easier to sort through the options. Begin by examining challenges you and your employees face on a consistent basis. Is it too hard to extract data? Does workflow suffer due to time-consuming and outdated processes? When you have a good sense of where your business is, and what your goals are for the future, finding the right POS and technology partner will be much easier.

 

  1. http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/point-of-sale-pos-system
  2. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/77960

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