Whatever the size of your business, there is a solution that could provide you with efficiency gains, visibility and controls. Inventory software programs let you track usage, monitor changes in unit costs, calculate when you need to reorder, and analyse inventory levels on an item-by-item basis. You can even control inventory at the cash register.
POS software records each sale when it happens, so inventory records are always up-to-date. You also get more information about the sale than you could gather with a manual system. Reports based on this information help you make better decisions about ordering and merchandising.
There are plenty of popular POS software systems that enable you to use add-on devices at your checkout stations, including electronic cash drawers, bar-code scanners, credit card readers, and receipt or invoice printers. POS packages frequently come with integrated accounting modules, including general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, purchasing, and inventory control systems. In essence, a POS system is an all-in-one way to keep track of your business’s cash flow.
There are various features to consider in a POS system. Of critical importance is ease of use – look for software with a user-friendly interface and entry of sales information. Most systems allow you to enter inventory codes manually or automatically via a bar-code scanner. Once the inventory code is entered, the systems call up the standard or sales price, compute the price at multiple quantities and provide a running total. Many systems make it easy to enter sales manually when needed by letting you search for inventory codes based on a partial merchandise number, description, manufacturing code or vendor.
POS systems generally offer various ways to keep track of pricing, including add-on amounts, cost percentage, margin percentage and custom formulas. Also, ensure that your POS system allows you to update product information. Once a sale is entered, these systems automatically update inventory and accounts receivable records. Different businesses get paid in different ways. For instance, repair or service shops often keep invoices open until the work is completed, so they need a system that allows them to put sales on hold. If you sell expensive goods and allow instalment purchases, you might appreciate a loan calculator that tabulates monthly payments. And if you offer rent-to-own items, you’ll want a system that can handle rentals too.
In retail, you need tight control over cash receipts to prevent theft. Most systems provide audit trails and support numerous tax rates – this is useful if you run a mail order business and need to deal with taxes for more than one state.
Through POS reporting features, you can slice and dice sales data in a variety of ways to determine what products are selling best at what time, and to figure out everything from the optimal ways to arrange displays to what promotions are working best.
POS reporting capabilities include sales, costs and profits by individual inventory items, by salesperson, or by category for the day, month and year to date. Special reports can include sales for each hour of the day for any time period. You can also create multiple formats for invoices, statements and price tags.
Every business is unique. You may find that none of the off-the-shelf systems meets your requirements. Industry-specific POS packages are available for auto repair shops, beauty and nail salons, video rental stores, dry cleaners and more. In addition, some POS system manufacturers will tailor their software to your needs.
SG Solutions is a pioneer in the electronic POS industry in Malta with over 25 years of experience. SG Solutions represents top brands in this sector, and offers turnkey solutions for any business from hospitality to retail. For further information contact SG Solutions on 2144 2123 or visit www.sgsolutions.com.mt.
Article published on The Times of Malta on the 5th October 2017