In the earlier times, managing business files was quite a struggle. The main tools used in recording important data were pen and paper. These data were then filed and stack up for long periods of time, and after a matter of 6 months to a year they will be reviewed to determine the total profit gained or the total loss in the business. But thanks to technology, modern businesses don’t need to go through the hassle of writing every company transaction manually and managing stack of papers that are collected. EPoS System, which stands for Electronic Point of Sales will do all the work for you.
EPoS Systems give an efficient and fast way of dealing with customers. In a retail store for instance, the software will assist on the management of stocks- highlighting stock levels of the top performing products of the company so you can be sure the supplies will be adequate for customers’ demands. Moreover, the system also shows the product lines which are not so good in sales. This can give you a heads up to minimize the production of these product lines according to the demands or perhaps make a marketing campaign to improve sales profit for these products. Having said these, this system is a very powerful tool that allows you to make decisions for the betterment of your company, through the latest sales and stock information.
The EPoS machine consists of a computer and a display unit attached to it. It functions in numerous ways beneficial for your business. It also allows flexibility and is designed to be highly customizable and is assembled and sold as per customer specifications. Some functions include the following:
Handle all the calculations which are involved in the sales process and issues receipts too
Track down stock levels, highlighting the top performing and the low performing product lines
Keep records of customer information
Can directly be integrated with credit card payment systems
Can be incorporated with barcode scanners, printers, weighing scales, chips and pins, mobile PDA (Personal Digital Assistance), tablets, cash draws, and customer displays
The EPoS system’s ability to manage CRM (customer relation management) and stocks of the company makes a measurable difference compared to a large scale work force. It saves time, effort, and money, and it also highlights the opportunities in a business.
EPoS systems are comprised of a computer and a VDU (visual display unit), such as touchscreen monitors. Depending on the needs of a business, hardware devices are attached to the system such as printers, barcode scanners, and many more.
There are two major types of EPoS machines: the Integrated System and the Modular System:
The computer and the visual display unit comes as one unit. Inherently, if required additional hardware devices (scanners, printers, etc.) will be attached to this single unit.
The computer and visual display unit are separated, they are two different components. Other hardware devices will be connected to the standalone display unit. Among the two, this one offers better flexibility and choice.
There are several hardware peripherals that can be attached to the system and some of them are included in the package of EPoS upon purchase:
- Chip and Pin
- Customer Displays
- Weighing Scales
- Cash draws
- Mobile PDA’s (these are used for mobile integration of EPoS)
Incorporating EPoS System with Ecommerce
Many businesses are still using the old retail system, and while this is working fine for small businesses retail stores that are planning to expand the sources of their sales often face difficulties in merging their multiple sales channels to their current retail system. Attempts in dealing multiple channels have been successful to many store owners by running two or more sets of figures. They then convert the data manually for their retail system. Sometimes, separate order fulfillment processes are created by the retailer for each channel, making the whole operation inefficient and prone to errors.
This situation can often lead to the frustrations of customers. For example, items are available on the company’s website but appear to be out of stock at checkout time. Problems like these occur because the sales for the retail shop are not automatically reflected and updated to the website. Moreover, delayed sales reconciliation can affect the total supply chain. The data for stock levels will be hard to obtain thus the supply of items with the best performance cannot keep up with the customer demands.
To handle all these complicated work, Electronic Point of Sale software is created. With this system, the mail order operations, outlets, and the company’s website are integrated seamlessly into the retailer’s current retail system. Upgrading to this system makes the whole business operation more efficient and functional.
How the EPoS System Works
Business operations have different sales channels (availability of stocks, pricing of items, order processes, etc.) which can be very difficult to manage altogether. With EPoS, these separate channels are merged into one from the retailer’s viewpoint, making it very easy to manage. Internally, there is an instantaneous synchronization with the supply chain that can be accessed through an identical software programs. Whether sales are made via online application, over the phone, through email, or in person, the effects throughout are consistent, immediate, and reliable throughout the retail system.EPoS Systems are comprised of computer hardware, payment devices, order entry peripherals, and software interfaces with the systems of the back office which are responsible for accounting, distribution, order fulfillment, and stock control.
The orders are recorded into the system through keyboards, touchpads, touchscreen monitors, barcode scanners, or from the website. The system also accepts payments through checks, online payments sites (PayPal, Amazon, WePay, 2Checkout, Dwolla, Authorize.net, etc.), credit card, coupons, customer credit, and many more.
Different retail businesses also have different needs. What’s good about EPoS is that it can be configured as to the needs of the retailer. Some of the things to consider when configuring the system are the following:
- Customer access
- Sales volume
- Average Sales Price
- Delivery options
For example, in a restaurant setting, wireless touchpads will be the most efficient method when taking orders or print bills. Supermarkets on the other hand need to handle a huge number of items for every sale, so barcode scanning would be the best method in recording sales and stock levels.For Ecommerce retailers, the configuration of the system needs to be robust and should support high throughput so the customer’s shopping experience will be easy and enjoyable.
The EPoS software should also include a flexible back end interface which provides the features that are essential for running a business that will generate large profit. The system do not require a specific management system for the back office, rather it should integrate with the current retail system of the company.
Additional features of the system include keeping track of the following:
- Stock levels
- Customer and supplier price changes
- System backup and recovery
What are the benefits of the POS system to Retailers?
Aside from the ones already mentioned above, the benefits of EPoS to retailers include:
- Consistency in pricing and inventory
- Enhances the experience of customers
- Increase in productivity through automation
- Prevent stock loss and overstock situations
- Improves profit margins through discount and price management across channels
- Helps create marketing campaigns and tune tactics for product items
- Streamlines the internet business data for several departments such as accounting
Changing your old POS system with an EPoS System
Some business owners are cynical about the efficiency of new EPoS systems compared to the ones they have been using for years. You might be worried of the same thing, aren’t you? However, with change, there can be a great potential for improving and increasing the efficiency of your business. By installing this EPoS system in your business you can unlock the unknown potentials of your business and speed up the ROI (return on investment).
But first you need to open your mind with the changes that are needed and give your crew the proper resources and training in handling the new EPoS system so you can take advantage from it to its to its full effect.
Any new investment needs to be studied first. Before selecting the right options for your company, make sure you take time to know what your business really needs. Not all businesses need the same EPoS equipment or POS software to run their business. By doing so, you will know which departments need the most attention and which areas are no longer functioning in its full effect. Sometimes, you become too busy to even recognize the processes that you have grown stale in, thus you are stuck in your ineffective ways of running your business. This new EPoS system allows every establishment to speed up processes accurately, and free up time and resources to provide a better customer service.
All companies have their own way of performing stock checks and gathering data and analyzing the results. But an EPoS System can establish back office hubs that will then take care of all the processes needed. It can print accurate reports on how the business performs in all areas. Having a back office hub will allow the management to spend more time and be more involved in actual staff training and management.
As you can see, this system offers great flexibility to attend to your needs. This is not a one size fits all unit, but it provides elements and solutions that will fit your company better compared to standardized system. For small businesses for example, it is vital to create a link between the back room and the front establishment. For larger companies, having multiple departments linked as one will create a significant difference to the efficiency of the whole business operation, and can also determine how the different departments are performing compared with the others.
EPoS Maintenance and Backups
Just like all computer systems, it is vital to keep your EPoS software well maintained and up to date. Periodic updates are needed so you should always have backups once you start relying on this system to record all the data of your company. Remember that data is the most important thing for a company, so ensuring its survival is vital. How you protect your important data is something you should decide from the start. There are several third party services available now to ensure you won’t lose anything once a problem occurs in the system. You may also print out all the data and keep the printed files somewhere safe, up to you. A good strategy for backing up POS files includes an incremental backup. It is a backup of the latest changes at any level since the last back up. This process is done so the restoration process will be ensured once a full recovery is needed. Moreover, you must always make historical POS backups, so you won’t have a difficult time going back if in case your incremental POS backups get corrupted.
Add the EPoS system to your business
While it is true that EPoS Systems represent a big capital investment, the benefits that this POS software can contribute to the betterment of your company are more than the value of your investment. Rather than focusing on your investment, it is better to concentrate on making this system work to its full effect. Aside from making the business operations run smoothly and effectively, they provide big savings on time, accounting, and effort. It can also give uplift in sales by imposing accuracy with pricing and improving the efficiency of the stock control. Above all, the POS improves customer experience which is the ultimate goal of every business. When the customers are happy they will always come back and do business with you again, plus they will tell about their good experience to their friends, making you a reliable retailer. What you get from your EPoS system depends on the options you make from the installation of the product. The hardware and software you integrate with your business operations are vital to the success of your company. So always take time to know your business’ needs before making an important decision.
Why Business Owners should Invest in an EPOS System
Business owners that come from different industries should have an EPOS system as long as they are dealing with customers and money is coming in and out of their business. EPOS stands for Electronic Point of Sale and is a collection of software and hardware necessary for a business to automate their transactional processes and services. Your standard POS terminal or client is equipped with its own CPU, monitor, barcode scanner, and printer for receipts. You can also attach a credit card terminal to the epos system so that it will record or accommodate payments made via credit cards.
The essence of an epos system is that it allows for easy management of sales data in your store or stores. This ensures retailers that the sales made on that day are 100% accurate and the security features will prevent tampering as only the management staff is given access to the data. This is the primary reason why an epos system should be invested on by business owners.
Another reason why a POS is crucial for businesses nowadays is it also keeps track of the physical products or stock found in your store. In the hospitality business, it keeps track of the available rooms in a hotel or food items being sold in restaurants. This allows business owners to have an accurate idea on what to order next from their suppliers, so the danger of overspending or missing out on a particular product is eliminated.
The reports generated by an epos system come in handy as human-made errors are removed. The performance of a POS system is 100% accurate because it does its job by recording, calculating, and storing data. Again, in connection with the integrity, managers are able to create reports that are free from tampering.
An epos system comes in very handy nowadays and is something that you should consider purchasing for your business if you haven’t done it yet. You can also get a customized POS system that will meet your needs without having to pay for the unnecessary features.
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