How Get the Most Out of Your POS System

hand working point of sale system at a store

Many small businesses that provide goods or services have a Point of Sale, or POS, as the primary workstation. As such, many of the business’ core processes run through it. These systems have a plethora of great features that are built right into them, and if you fail to take advantage of them, you could be wasting valuable time and resources.

The truth is that a POS system is not just a cash register; it is a central hub for the management of your business. Some of their more advanced options can fly under the average user’s radar, so let’s make sure you don’t miss out on taking advantage of them!

Choose the Right Terminal Structure

POS systems require terminals to work, and there are several different ways that these terminals can appear. You should choose the right one to fit your organization’s needs. Here are four ways you can implement a POS system:

In-store

Traditional on-premise POS systems are your typical systems. Basically, the business hosts the server at the location, and the POS system runs on local hardware. In-store POS systems are great for small businesses that don’t require anything too technical in the backend computing system. This type of POS system is common in retail and hospitality, and they have some higher costs in terms of hardware maintenance and management, but they are overall quite easy to use and secure.

Cloud-hosted

If you host your POS system in the cloud, you can reap the benefits of saving on capital costs. You also don’t have to worry about maintaining hardware, as the provider will likely be the one handling that responsibility. Cloud-hosted POS systems are generally quite affordable and reliable, as long as your Internet connection is stable. With most cloud systems, however, security can often be a sticking point, and you are out of luck if the Internet goes down for any number of reasons.

Mobile

Mobile POS systems use some type of external hardware connected to a tablet or smartphone. These can save businesses plenty of money, but there are downsides when it comes to maintaining the technology, as tablets and smartphones are prone to damage every so often compared to a register that just sits on the counter all day.

Kiosks

Self-service kiosks have really taken off in popularity as of late, as they reduce the need for customer interaction, saving time and money by freeing employees to perform other tasks. This has the downside of alienating customers who are not particularly tech-savvy, though, and customers might complain when they inevitably experience problems with the system.

Before you can choose the correct POS system for your business, you must first understand what the consumer needs. From a retail perspective, something with a barcode scanner integrated into it would be ideal, as well as a reliable printer. A restaurant, on the other hand, might need a scheduling program that can handle reservations. The same can be said for a hotel or salon, which might need booking systems. Therefore, we urge you to carefully consider what the best fit for your business’ customers is.

Understand POS features

While there might be many different POS systems to choose from, there are even more decisions to be made in terms of specific hardware and software. Other features you should consider include:

  • Inventory control
  • Payment processing
  • Return pricing
  • Labor management
  • Integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) capabilities including supply chain management
  • Reports and analysis

These features are some of the most common ones that provide high-efficiency gain for businesses when used with a POS system. With integrated ERP capabilities, companies can more effectively control the supply chain right from the POS system, taking inventory management to the next level. Out of all of the above, we think this has the possibility to make the biggest difference for businesses.

Let’s use a restaurant owner as an example. With a label maker, you can easily manage inventory by adding barcodes to products on your shelves. This helps staff know when it is time to order more products, and it is only possible in any easy capacity thanks to a POS system utilizing the above system.

POS systems can even handle the time management aspect of your business, including scheduling, reservations, employee time cards, and other needs. Thanks to cloud-hosted solutions, scheduling, and other employee information can easily be shared online so that businesses can ensure they are always staffed accordingly.

If you correctly utilize all of the features of your POS system, you might be surprised by how much control this gives you over aspects of your business that you might not have foreseen. You can even customize reports and analyze operational information, giving you the knowledge it needs to make informed decisions.

AE Technology Group can help your business implement the correct POS system for its needs. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Start Investing In Your Team’s Technology

Business multiethnic colleagues having meeting in modern office. Smart business partners planning work together. Young businessman with boss working together on laptop.

We don’t believe for one second that employees want to do the wrong thing; after all, they work for you for a reason, that reason being they want to do the job you hired them to do. Unfortunately, technology can often make it so that this process becomes difficult. If you don’t invest time and effort into ensuring that your team’s technology and resources are available when they need them most, you risk them choosing unproductive or even unsecured work methods.

Employees Using Unsecured Devices

Employees will prefer to use their work technology to fulfill their day-to-day obligations. These devices might include a desktop, a work-issued laptop, and maybe a mobile device. If these devices are not maintained properly, they will not work properly, leading your employees to find solutions that are outside of your purview. This might include their personal laptop or smartphone, devices that are not secured using your company’s security solution.

The importance of maintaining your team’s technology and devices cannot be understated, so we recommend implementing a solution that allows you to manage and maintain your devices with ease. Furthermore, you should add in a Bring Your Own Device policy that determines how and when your employees are allowed to use their personal devices for work-related purposes. This will be beneficial for your company in the long run.

Unauthorized Software Downloads

Your staff might occasionally require specific tools to do a specific task or perform a function. If they do not have access to these tools, then they will find a different way to do the job, or they won’t do the job at all. It’s like trying to use a butter knife like a flat-head screwdriver. Sure, it might get the job done in the moment, but if you strip the screw, you risk the job being much more difficult or downright impossible later on. The same can be said for when your staff tries to download alternative solutions to do a job; these freeware applications can be dangerous for your business for several reasons.

For one, all software your business uses on the regular requires a software license. If the software license on any of your employees’ computers expires, they will experience a disruption to their productivity and be required to find another way to get the job done. If they download the wrong application, they could put your business at risk of experiencing a security breach or using a counterfeit software license. It might solve an issue in the short term, but it creates long-term problems, especially if you ever become subject to a security issue or network audit.

The best way to prevent your employees from inadvertently causing trouble for you by downloading unauthorized software or using unsecured devices is to make sure that they have consistent and reliable access to the tools you provide, as well as ensure that the tools are properly maintained. You can make this happen through the use of proactive maintenance and management. If you are proactive in this regard, you prevent your team from being proactive in finding alternative ways to do their work. You can further augment this by giving your team someone to contact in the event they cannot access the tools they need throughout the workday.

AE Technology Group can help your team’s technology by providing them with a trusted IT resource for any questions or concerns they have about technology during the workday. Furthermore, we can also keep your technology in proper working order so that your staff naturally experience fewer issues while going about their day-to-day tasks. This gives your team the confidence that their technology will not create unexpected troubles for them and can help encourage them to appropriately handle issues when they do arise.

Let AE Technology Group be your business’ trusted IT resource! To get started, give us a call at (516) 536-5006.