Submitted by Randall Radic as part of our contributors program.
Soft Intelligence makes POS systems. So do a lot of other companies. What sets Soft Intelligence aside is that their system is so darn efficient. NCR, Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), Salesforce (NASDAQ:CRM), Square and all the other companies better watch out.
A Point of sale system (POS) is a computer software and hardware network that keeps track of sales as they take place, while at the same time solving a number of operational and record-keeping functions. If you’re in the retail business and have been considering the pros and cons of a POS, here are a few points to ponder.
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An efficient POS allows for more efficient use of personnel. Let’s face it: if your employees are constantly trying to reconcile inventory disparities with cash register sales, they’re not doing what they need to be doing: helping customers. In today’s world, most businesses depend on excellent customer service to separate them from their competitors. If instead, they are counting, calculating, ordering a double-checking stock on hand, they aren’t doing their jobs.
An efficient Point of sale system contains many tools in one package, which means you save the additional cost and headaches associated with purchasing equipment here there and everywhere. Buying a different piece of software for each function can cost a fortune. A good POS system either comes complete or has modules that can be easily integrated. This means there’s only one new system to learn, not three or four or five.
An efficient POS system reduces glitches when the boss isn’t around. In other words, when you’re gone customer service will not drop off dramatically. It will remain consistent, because your employees can continue to do their assigned jobs. The POS system takes care of inventory control, ordering, and balancing of sales.
Retailers rely on promotions – coupons, special discounts or other marketing campaigns – to attract and retain customers. However, such promotions can be difficult to keep track of, especially when it comes to deciding which specials or promotions produce the desired effect. In the end, the business owner needs to know what’s working and what’s not working. This knowledge can be the difference between profitability and losing money. Any business owner depending receipts from a cash register may find himself operating in the dark, whereas the owner relying on a POS knows down to the dollar which programs are proving effective.
Point of sale systems allows small and medium-sized businesses to markdown merchandise selectively and then to track the effect such discounts are having on sales and thus on inventory. The POS performs the entire process – discounting and tracking and inventory – automatically. Once this information is collated, future pricing models and their impact can be projected.
Most retailers need to be able to match inventory with demand and at the right price. To do this effectively and efficiently, they need a top-notch Point of sale system. And so far, Soft Intelligence’s system is the most intelligent on the market.