Choosing a Good Point of Sale System
By David Overholser
Choosing a good point of sale system is one of the most important aspects of a new or existing business. A good point of sale system can help you serve your customers better and more effectively, helps with inventory and bookeeping, can give you valuable reporting features and streamline the checkout process.Do you use credit cards? A POS system can integrate that as well and can totally eliminate the terminal fees you are used to paying for.
A typical point of sale system consists of, the register computer, monitor, cash drawer, bar code scanner, receipt printer, mag strip reader, and pole display ( for retail establishments). Touch screen monitors are growing in popularity, making it easier by just having to touch the screen for what you want instead of having to remember keyboard keys or use a mouse.
The POS Software is a just as important item as the pos hardware. The pos software should be able to maintain an unlimited number of products in the database. It should work with or without a barcode, set price levels by customer, quantity or promotion, be compatible with regular monitors as well as touchscreen displays, run sales and inventory reports, support integration of data files, manage receivables, and one of the most important for your employee benefits is to be easy to learn and use.
When setting up your pos equipment, you need a basic network. All you need for an ethernet type network is Cat5 cabling to each register that plugs into a network switch ( I don't recommend using a hub) or if you need internet access for cc processing you can use a router, but you may still need the switch as well. I also recommend that you have a back office computer that runs the same software. The reason for that is so you as a manager can check reports, do the accounting, receivables, etc all from the back office and you don't have to interrupt operations on the sales floor. In the back office, you should have all the network cabling connecting into the switch/router (preferrably everything labeled as well), you'll also have your dsl/broadband modem if you are using one and I would also highly recommend a backup power supply, UPS, and a network attached storage device , NAS, for backing up your data. Backups are extremely important! One other option that is becoming increasingly popular is video security such as IP video (network video) which allows you to be able to view your store from anywhere where internet access is available and the video quality is much better than the older analog cctv type video and with the proper software you can record, pause, zoom, rewind,etc. Once all this is setup your business should be streamlined and ready to go. Feel free to contact me for any additional information or advice or visit my website at www.hivelocitynetworks.com
About the Author
David Overholser, a partner of Hivelocity Networks in Martinsburg, WV, has worked in retail POS for a major clothing store chain for 6 years and did support and setup of the point of sale equipment and has taken that knowledge and started his own POS, IP Video, Network cabling business.
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