The Grapevine

Tuesday Business Tips – PoS Systems

February 26th, 2013

If you’re still using a cash register and credit card swipe machine – or a pencil and a green eyeshade – you may want to consider an upgrade. [level-members]

There are more PoS system options than ever before, and they options have all gotten less expensive even as they’ve become more powerful.

Some reasons to consider the added expense, and some ways to determine which is the best solution for you.

  • No more manual inventory. PoS can tie in with your inventory system and let you know daily – even hourly – when it’s time to re-order critical stock.
  • Novelty factor. This probably won’t be your top reason for upgrading, but the smartphone- and tablet-based solutions available now still have enough fun factor that they’ll have your customers talking.
  • More information. Most systems can generate a variety of reports that make basic cash-flow management much easier.
Still not convinced?
  • How about the ability to create customer profiles with reminders for birthday and other occasions and events? Or customers who always order bordeaux futures? You can do that and encourage pre-orders.
  • Control theft. Shrinkage can be detected almost immediately. This reduces the likelihood of employee theft that exists when bottles may be missing for days or weeks before they’re missed.
  • Bar-code based pricing means you can change prices immediately and no longer have to price each bottle individually. It also ensures that you’re automatically charging the right price. (Don’t tell me you’ve never been too distracted to not notice that a sneaky thief has switched labels, putting a $9.99 sticker on a $20 bottle of wine.)

There are lots of vendors out there and you have choices of separate hardware and software providers that you then must then integrate, as well as web-based systems that require no integration. Aside from having remote access to your data from wherever you happen to be, these systems typically include off-site backup, which can be a real boon.

Whichever kind of system fits your needs best, they’re all worth the step up from the old-fashioned cash-box and pencil ledger approach. The additional insights you gain into what’s selling and what’s not are themselves worth the additional expense.