There comes a time during your business experience when a particular item is selling like hot cakes rendering it unavailable after a period of time. If you are unable to reorder the item before it goes out of stock you will lose customers who may have wanted to purchase it. Loss of customers could lead to a decline in profits as well.
This is where the point-of-sale (POS) system comes in. A POS system consists of hardware and software components which are integrated to ease retail transactions. You can use common spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel but POS software will allow you to go beyond the conventional boundaries of inventory management. Its versatility is such that many retailers prefer to use the term “Retail Management System” when it comes to a POS.
The most challenging task for retailers, large or small, is managing their inventory efficiently. Failure to update inventory may put the business at risk of losing not just customers but also its credibility in the market. Traditional inventory management systems are time-consuming and prone to errors. What you need is a simple, fast, and efficient POS system which can help you manage your resources, provide notifications when they are low in number, and update records in real time. You should also be able to view and print reports of the transactions and analyze strategies to improve your business.
POS systems can range from being basic receipt dispensers to complex inventory management systems. In the latter, the system is highly accurate in terms of providing the physical count of items, their expiry date, and the price. The system will provide transaction details at the checkout and simultaneously update the inventory logs at the backend. When there is a change in pricing of an item, all you have to do is enter the new price in the system and all other systems in the network will automatically get updated. Whether it is inquiry, movement, or location the POS system has details of every item in the inventory with which you can track its life cycle from the warehouse to the customer.
Some businesses find the complexity of the system quite overwhelming and are unwilling to invest in it. They prefer tracking inventory on a periodic basis rather than in real time. While this method is also available in POS systems, it is difficult to determine if an item was lost or sold. It is imperative to have a perpetual inventory system which tracks the day-to-day inventory of your business.