Let us understand what is a point of sale system:
We keep coming across the term POS or point of sale in the business-related articles, but many of us are unsure or unclear about what a point of sale system is anyway.
Since we deal with point of sale products/solutions, I thought of writing this post about a point of sale system. After reading this post, you will find it easier to select various software and hardware modules of a point of sale system for your business. In short, you will be able to optimize and customize POS solutions for your business, which will improve your efficiency and productivity.
So the point of sale system is nothing but the automation of your typical sales process. This automation not only makes your sales process fast but make it error-free and efficient. It retains all data and hence gives the actual income and stock analysis. Various reporting functions may tell you the changes you need to make in your business and generate data that may forecast future trends. I will discuss these reports in detail later in this post.
Main hardware components of a Point of sale system:
Bar code Scanner: A bar code scanner scans the bar code on the product to quickly identify the item. So bar code scanner’s job is to provide input data to the POS system, and the POS system uses this data for different purposes, which I will explain at the end when we show how we integrate all these components. Many scanners are available, but the Omani-directional Laser bar code scanners are the most efficient and popular. These are available with various interfaces like USB, RS-232, Ethernet, etc. All are equally effective.
Receipt Printer: POS system uses receipt printers to generate customer receipts automatically once the user completes the sales process. In addition to generating receipts, receipt printers also generate “Cash up” reports at the end of the shift /day. Thermal receipt printers are popular because of their fantastic printing speed. Although thermal receipt printers are the most popular, dot matrix receipt printers are also available. These printers are available with various interfaces like USB, RS-232, Ethernet etc.
Cash Drawer: We require cash drawers for cash sales as a convenient way of accepting and giving cash. These are typically kept closed, and the receipt printers electronically kick in to open the drawer once we complete the sale and hence we need to receive or refund cash.
Windows based computer with Touch Screen:
Any standard computer will do, but an inbuilt touch
the screen-based computer is preferred in the POS industry as it is more user friendly and fast. Although Mac and Android-based point of sale software is also available, Windows-based software is the most popular. We provide our brand known as KISS POS and is quite popular with retail shops and the hospitality industry here in New Zealand. Click here to read the features and specifications of KISS POS software.
Eftpos Machine: Eftpos machines enable us to debit or credit card transactions. The customer swipes his card to pay. Once the card is accepted or declined, the message pops up on the POS screen. Once the seller completes the sale on the POS system and uses the EFTPOS method to complete the transactions, the machine automatically communicates the sales transaction to EFTPOS.
Now, since we know the terminologies of various components of POS, let us see how they are integrated.
As shown above, the Receipt printer, bar code scanner and EFTPOS machine are connected to the Windows-based computer with an inbuilt touch screen via their respective interfaces. In this example, the printer and the scanner are connected using a USB interface. The printer kicks the cash drawer, and the computer and the EFTPOS machine are on LAN connected to the ADSL router.
KISS POS (Or any other point of sale software) is installed on this computer, and your point of sale system is ready to be used.
The basic process goes like this. When the customer comes with an item to buy, you scan the item on a bar code scanner, KISS POS, picks up the item and its price from the database, shows it on the screen. You may change the quantity if there is more than one item and then complete the sales transaction either by touching the “cash” button or the “EFTPOS” button as the case may be. For example, if the item costs $5 and the customer gives you $20, you touch the button marked $20, the system will show you to return $15 to the customer, and the cash drawer will kick out. You place $20 in the cash drawer, return $15 to the customer, and close the cash drawer. Similarly, if the customer decides to pay by debit card, you touch the “EFTPOS” button. The software will automatically transmit the amount to the EFTPOS unit, and the customer will swipe the card, enter the pin etc., on the machine, and once the card is accepted, the POS screen shows the result.
These are the very basics of any point of sale system. However, if you want to go into detail, you may like to watch the following video to explain various features of KISS POS in detail.
We have tried our best to explain a point of sale system to our best capability. However, if you have any doubts or questions about any topic, feel free to email us your questions, and we will be more than happy to clear your doubts.