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What is POS (Point of Sale)?

The coined term “point of sale” or POS was created in the 1950’s and first referred to the storefront or place where goods were sold. That meaning segued into the person who sold the merchandise like a cashier. When the term point of sale or POS is used today, it describes an automated system which networks to a database of information. Usually via a scanned barcode, the information from the sale of an item is recorded and denotes what product was sold, where it was sold and how many are left in the stock of items.

Point of sale or POS is primarily linked with retail businesses. With products being delivered, sold and /or returned, businesses needed a good tracking mechanism in place. From a mom and pop business to mass retailers, everything is automated these days, thanks to computers. POS systems are not just a simple tracking tool for maintaining inventory. Rather, it can be customized to suit individual businesses based on what the needs are.

Because point of sale systems can be tailored to suit individual needs, there are a variety of software and hardware out on the market today. These POS systems utilize special workstations or computers that are linked directly with a variety of hardware equipment, whether it is a cash register, card reader or bar code scanner. These POS systems are networked into a large database where the sale is recorded. In addition, POS systems could be independent stations that house the transactions on a day to day basis. From there, someone may upload the data to a laptop computer or hand-held device for uploading into a main computer.

With the POS software available these days, there are a variety of things you can do for your business. One of the best features of these software applications are the reports you can generate. Want to know which item in a particular product line has the most sales? How about tracking inventory in stock? If you have a surplus of a product taking up warehouse space that you need for a new shipment, you can determine which product you should put on sale to move it out.

A POS system can help businesses crunch numbers on sales data too. Is there any particular product that is seasonal? How about forecasting trends in purchasing? By analyzing different reports from your POS system, you can determine the best time to rearrange your shelves to enhance marketing of certain items. Promotions and sales are what entice new customers in your store. Do you want to know which salesperson generates the most sales? How about which shift is the slowest? Studying the report with that analyzed data could help a business know when to allocate manpower or how to split shifts.

A point of sale system is an invaluable tool for many business owners. In fact, it is a key ingredient in the path to financial success in business. By utilizing the POS system to its fullest potential, business owners have the means to streamline their operations and maximize profits. After all, it’s all about the bottom line.

References:
http://www.entrepreneur.com/technology/howtoguide/article77960.html
http://www.thebusinesspos.com/_