The modern point-of-sale (POS) system does much more than just process transactions. If you use its capabilities fully, you can harvest vital data to improve your business processes and therefore service delivery. This article highlights three ways you can use your POS system apart from transaction processing.
1. Inventory control
Your POS system can be your best inventory management resource. During transaction processing, items sold are deducted in real-time, so that at any point you know exactly what's in your stores. You can set stock level alerts based on lead times for delivery of different stock items, and you can even automate the re-ordering process. In this way, you don't have to use precious time and money for periodic inventory control.
Real-time management can prevent stock-outs and thefts, as inventory changes not related to transactions can be flagged and investigated. You can also implement price mark-ups and mark-downs, the latter of which can be tedious when you're dealing with multiple orders bought at different prices.
2. Report generation
Accurate business data is vital to successful business decision-making. You can generate customised reports to compare many kinds of business information including number and value of sales, statistical averages, inventory changes over time, promotional transactions, comparisons, customer loyalty data, popular items versus seasonal changes and others. These reports can highlight the efficacy of business strategies such as pricing decisions, store layouts, promotional campaigns, the profitability of items and sales statistics by employee, department or branch.
Advanced POS systems allow real-time access of data across different store branches to authorised users to help regional managers make decisions using timely data. Cloud databases make it possible for you to pull out data from any store and generate a report on your smartphone with a few clicks.
3. Customer service
Even though POS systems deal with transaction processing, smart report generation can help you gain useful insights into your customers in order to improve their experiences. This, of course, starts with deploying advanced POS systems at the checkout point for faster transaction processing. Exhaustive price databases, digital scales and barcode scanners can improve cashiers' speed, thereby saving customers time, especially during rush hours.
At the service desk, customer data and queries can be collected. Where possible, having customer accounts with their transaction histories can help staff to provide detailed and accurate assistance when customers have queries.
You can also implement customer reward programs through your POS, which should have the ability to run different programs simultaneously. Customer rewards cards and gift vouchers are the most common forms of reward schemes. Some merchants allow users to pre-load cash into their cards to be used at a later date. You provide value to the customer by allowing them to load up their card to be used when they run out of money, like a savings account of sorts. Customers who use this service have already tied themselves to the business for future purchases.