April 10, 2019 4:22 pm by Maria Bowes
decided you want to open a new shop or restaurant and one of the things you
would need is a point of sale system. You search on the internet and find a
company that has an advertisement for a point of sale system. Depending if you
look at retail or restaurant pos this becomes more confusing. You read an advertisement
that says “Full
POS SOLUTIONS FOR RETAIL STORES R 7,999. You look at the other quotes and immediately feel
why are these other quotes so much more?
We all know the cost of a new point of sale hardware and
software. Years go into the development of a proper retail pos system and even
more for a proper restaurant point of sale. Hardware is imported and with the
current rand-dollar exchange rate does not help the pricing as everything is
imported. The average store or restaurant owner or decision maker when it comes
to deciding on a new point of sale system does not have the experience to make
a selection of point of sale. There is a lot to consider:
- What is the spec of the hardware? Windows 10
does not perform well on a Core2Duo computer.
- Which operating system does the hardware use? How
long would Microsoft still support my operating system? Windows 7 has 8 months
to go. So no more security updates from Microsoft and in time software like
anti-virus software might not be able to run on your pos hardware.
- Would my data be safe and my point of sale
system run smoothly on the operating system?
- Would the operating system prevent me from
using updates on my point of sale system?
- Then even a bigger question. What type of point
of sale software can be included in a price of R 8000-00 including the POS
software? Does it really so the job in terms of stability and reporting. Not to
mention the functionality?
- During our years in the point of sale industry,
we can remember how things used to work. So in some legacy point of sale pos
system, the current and history databases still exist today. You need to do an
end of day to get the full report. Should you forget to do an end of day, the pos
system keeps the data under current history.
- Which type of database do you get with a new
point of sale at R 8000-00? Most likely a pos system that still uses Microsoft
Access or the Firebird Database. In some instances, your point of sale could
also be of an age where it does not query your SQL database that quickly
- Older databases tend to offer less protection
to data loss and the recovery of data.
- As databases get older, it gets more difficult
to add functionality to the point of sale, and limitations to speed, access,
and offline redundancy become an issue. Older point of sale systems tends to
have a lot of data corruption when attempting to create offline redundancy.
- Every business
needs to manage its inventory and most POS systems will help by tracking stock
levels with each sale. Always have up-to-the-minute, accurate inventory data to
keep up with your customer’s demands. In South Africa, it happens so
often that a retail system is offered in a hospitality environment. Just
because it has an interface that resembles a true hospitality system, does not
mean it does the function of a restaurant pos system. Does it look at your food
cost? Here I don’t mean your end product’s total costing, Food cost is simply the
total cost of your food net of
existing inventory. Usually, beverage costs are counted
separately but occasionally these are combined. When expressed in a percentage, the food cost is simply
one’s net food purchases
divided by the restaurant’s net sales. Retail systems do not have this.
- Does your POS system
offer mobility and offline redundancy? Tablets need to be able to run offline
and must use the latest technology. Remote desktop to connect the two does not
work. You will end up with a slow pos system or data loss. Resulting in downtime
and less opportunity to sell.
- Does your so-called point of sale for your
restaurant have a reservation system in place? You will find your retail system
does not have this.
- Is your POS system PCI compliant?
- The fact is that
most transactions are paid with debit or credit cards today. In order to
accommodate your customers and keep them safe, your POS system should support
the PCI DSS standards.
- Returns and
exchanges are something every business has to deal with. Your POS software can
help make this a painless process for you and your customers.
- Track employee
attendance and sales easily by them simply logging-on to a terminal. All this
information can be reported on or exported to accounting software for payroll
- Retail POS systems are mostly centered on the actual sales
transaction and all the tracking of this information. Many of the common
software features like inventory tracking, sales reporting, returns processing,
and customer loyalty/couponing functions are essential in a retail environment.
While all businesses will need reporting features, retail applications will
especially want to have a very granular level of control to see sales data at
the individual product and category levels. Retail POS requirements are the
most wide-ranging but most software.
From a hardware perspective,
retail applications will definitely need a barcode scanner to easily input
product data for quick check-outs. Since most input is based around the
scanner, things like touchscreens and all-in-one terminals are definitely
useable in a retail environment but are not as essential. Since you will
probably be doing a fair number of transactions per day, having a reliable
thermal receipt printer like the Epson TM-T88V will also be a big
concern. A robust scanner and printer will ensure your lines move quickly and
make the customer experience a positive one.
The biggest difference between a standard retail POS and those used in
restaurant or hospitality environments is how the sales transaction is handled.
In retail, everything is inputted for the sale and paid for immediately. In
restaurant/hospitality, an order is placed for food or service which is only
paid for after it is completed. A suitable POS system will have to be able to
suspend these orders until payment is received. Likewise, options to customize
orders, schedule reservations, and manage seating/rooms are all musts. The
interface of the POS software is also going to be quite different. In retail,
your main input type with being with a barcode scanner while in
restaurant/hospitality you’ll most likely be using a touchscreen. Having a
software interface that is touchscreen friendly, like StorePoint POS, will
be very important for many businesses to allow easy order entry.
the hardware side of things, the biggest difference to retail POS is the
importance of the barcode scanner. While it may be needed occasionally, most
input in a restaurant/hospitality environment is manually done through the POS
software. This is where a touchscreen can really help make this process easier.
Since space is also often limited in these applications, all-in-one terminals are
very commonly used since they limit the mess of cables and have integrated
touchscreens. Receipt printers are important in every POS but when you are
dealing with sending orders to a kitchen or other high heat environments, an
impact printer like the Epson TM-U220D kitchen printer, will be preferred
over a thermal printer which is fine for customer receipts. Additional is the
printer redirection, which a retail system does not do.
Having a POS
system that meets all the specific needs of your business will make it an
essential management tool and allow you to stay focused on meeting the needs of
your customers and your management. Whether you’re a retailer or a new
restaurant, determining how you’ll use the POS system will guide in your
software and hardware selections. If you are still having difficulty or have
additional questions, give our POS experts a call. We’re happy to help you out,
even if you don’t buy from us. We are there to support the retail, restaurant
and hospitality industry.