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A Beginner-Friendly Guide To POS Systems

A Guide To POS Systems

PART 1 – INTRODUCTION

With the rapid advancement of technology, entrepreneurs have undoubtedly come a long way in managing and recording their business transactions. Now, with the help of a point-of-sale (POS) system, you can easily accept and process various payment methods quickly and securely while keeping track of multiple aspects of your business.

Regardless of what you are selling, you have numerous sophisticated systems to choose from. However, this also presents a problem. With various options available on the market, how do you ensure you pick the ideal equipment for your business needs? Fret not! We have you covered with our beginner-friendly guide to investing in a POS system.

PART 2 – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT POS SYSTEMS

2.1. What Is A POS System?

A POS System

To the uninitiated, a POS system may seem like a glorified cash register, helping sell your products and services and processing payments. However, that is far from the truth. A POS system – essentially a combination of POS hardware and software – offers significantly more functionalities.

Instead of only processing payment, this computerised network serves as the heart of your business, helping oversee different elements of your enterprise, including sales and inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), data analysis, and much more! As such, it is unsurprising that this equipment is gradually replacing cash registers due to its sheer convenience and ease of use.

2.2. Types Of POS Systems Available

Primary Types of POS System

Given the various commercial enterprises available in Singapore, from cafes and restaurants to retail stores and boutiques, it stands to reason that these entrepreneurs require different types of POS systems that best fit their needs. Generally, there are four types of POS systems available on the market – terminal/desktop, mobile, tablet, and self-service kiosk POS. Let us explore each of them so you can make an informed decision for your business.

1. Terminal/Desktop POS

Terminal POS systems are probably the first image that pops into our minds when asked to picture a POS system. In fact, they are typically found in businesses with a visible cash register or a counter where transactions occur. They are often sold as an all-in-one solution, with the hardware and software bundled together.

This type of POS system is ideal for high-volume businesses, such as restaurant and retail chains, allowing entrepreneurs to tweak its features depending on the type of business they operate. For instance, those seeking a retail POS system may desire an inventory management tool or e-commerce integration. Meanwhile, those looking for a restaurant POS system might want to include custom table mapping or remote ticket printing for customer orders to the kitchen.

2. Mobile POS

As its name implies, mobile POS systems are much smaller in scale, offering business owners greater mobility. They are usually distributed as a smartphone app bundled with a credit card reader attachment. However, do not let their compact sizes fool you. They are as helpful as other POS counterparts, with optional hardware such as barcode scanners and receipt printers also available for those desiring added functionality.

With that said, the added mobility does come with its caveats, as mobile POS systems typically do not include more advanced features like inventory and employee management. Therefore, it is better suited for small-scale business operations that do not require cumbersome equipment, such as pop-up retail stores and other similar enterprises.

3. Tablet POS

Like mobile POS systems, tablet POS systems offer the same level of mobility but with additional features such as bookkeeping, inventory, and employee management. They also function identically, with POS software installed on the tablet and optional accessories that come bundled with it.

As tablets tend to have better hardware, they are capable of performing more complex tasks and provide a better user experience. As a result, they can handle more features that are handy for businesses with bigger inventory and higher headcounts. That makes them ideal for enterprises requiring mobility without sacrificing functionality, like bistros, cafes, and quick-service restaurants.

4. Self-service kiosk POS

If there is one commonality among the three aforementioned POS systems, it is that they all require a human employee to facilitate the transaction. However, self-service kiosks differ by allowing customers to complete their purchases themselves, allowing businesses facing a lack of manpower to continue operating efficiently.

The setup generally resembles that of a terminal POS system but with added security functions to minimise the risk of malicious customer activities. Such self-ordering kiosks are typically found in fast-food restaurants and movie theatres.

2.3. What Are The Essential Functions Of A POS System?

When selecting your POS hardware, you will tend to require the same peripherals with minor exceptions depending on your business needs. However, the same cannot be said for the POS software. Depending on the system, its integrations with other applications can open up a world of possibilities for your enterprise. With that said, here are several essential types of application software every entrepreneur needs to make managing their business a lot easier.

1. Inventory management

Inventory Management

Poor inventory management can lead to missed sales opportunities. After all, if a customer cannot locate the item they seek, they will take their business elsewhere. However, the hassle of manually tracking and replenishing your inventory can be time-consuming, distracting you from other critical tasks like growing your enterprise.

The right inventory management software can be a godsend in this regard, automatically updating stock count and allowing you to set alerts and prevent out-of-stock situations. No more spending countless hours taking stock or worrying about missing sales! You can even take things further by implementing barcode scanners to track inbound and outbound items, ensuring you always know where your products are located.

2. Customer relationship management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. So, it is unsurprising for many enterprises to invest significantly in improving customer relations to stand out from the competition. However, you must first know who your customers are to forge positive relationships with them.

A POS system integrated with CRM software can allow you to create a database containing valuable customer information, enabling you to establish loyalty programmes and group consumers by status to initiate unique discounts. You can even tap on customers’ shopping trends to create relevant promotions and build higher customer retention. All in service of embellishing their experience, thus improving customer loyalty.

Learn More: How To Boost Customer Experience With Your POS System

3. Data reporting

Data Reporting

Without real-time reports to assess the performance of an enterprise, entrepreneurs will have no feasible way of knowing the best course forward. Every decision made would be akin to a shot in the dark, which is no way to operate a business.

That is why a clear, easy-to-use reporting module that enables you to extract and organise crucial data, like your various KPIs on products, employees, profits, and more, is essential. With everything consolidated in one centralised location with a comprehensive view, you can better analyse your company’s performance and make informed decisions that benefit the organisation.

4. Data analysis

Data Analysis

Complement your reporting module with a data analysis application to utilise your POS system to the fullest. View sales forecasts and gain insights into your best-sellers to understand your overall business performance. They will help you know if you need to direct more marketing efforts to promote your products or which items need urgent restocking to prevent missed sales opportunities.

5. F&B features

F&B features

While F&B applications are only inherently beneficial to businesses in the F&B industry, given the number of F&B businesses in Singapore (around 14,000 and counting), we thought it might be best to highlight the crucial features entrepreneurs should seek in an F&B POS system

Between QR code ordering, table management, online reservation, and kitchen display systems, you can manage your F&B business seamlessly and sync ordering functions with the kitchen to efficiently handle customers’ food orders. Restaurants that offer delivery services can also consider POS systems capable of integrating with food delivery platforms.

PART 3 – WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A POS SYSTEM

3.1. How A POS System Can Help Your Business

Top Benefits of Having A POS System

As you can see, having a modern POS system is mission-critical to streamlining your business operations. However, if you remain unconvinced about the investment, perhaps these benefits might sway your decision.

1. Increase business efficiency

Do you find yourself constantly wading through tedious manual business processes? In that case, a POS system is what you need to automate your operations, allowing you to focus on what matters most to you – growing your business. Without being preoccupied with menial tasks, productivity is boosted, as your team can check out more customers in less time.

Moreover, when critical tasks are automated, such as inventory management, you can prevent human error and enhance accuracy in finding and keeping track of your products. For example, with the implementation of barcode scanning, you no longer need to count and enter each item into the system manually. Instead, everything is recorded with a swipe of the barcode scanner, ensuring you are always aware of the quantity and location of your goods.

2. Reduce costs

At its core, running a successful business is about staying in the black. One way to ensure profitability is to reduce your expenses, and a POS system can help you achieve that. Beyond reducing headcount through the automation of manual tasks, you can take advantage of the data reporting feature of your POS system to gain insights into your business performance. 

For instance, what products are popular among customers? Meanwhile, which items are not faring as well? The answer to these questions can help you make informed decisions regarding the replenishment of your goods, preventing you from overstocking on unwanted merchandise and leading to an inventory write-down.

3. Seamless employee management

By monitoring sales levels, a POS system can provide a glimpse of your business’s peak and off-peak hours, allowing you to schedule the appropriate number of employees at any given time. No longer will members of your staff stand idly by for hours with nobody to attend to or find themselves short-handed and overwhelmed by customers. 

Furthermore, integrating the correct employee management module can allow you to identify and reward high performers who meet or exceed expectations, keeping them motivated. Simultaneously, you can recognise which workers might require more guidance in their roles. With this information, you can fine-tune your man-management approach to suit different employees.

4. Prevent internal theft

While no business owner likes to distrust their employees, there is no denying the fact that robust security measures are essential to prevent internal theft. After all, you are not a mind reader. By setting adequate management features and employee profiles on your POS system, you can view and manage your workers with a higher degree of precision. 

Various settings are available to help you set boundaries on what your employees can do and what aspects of the system they can access. These features create multiple layers of security clearances, maintaining workplace hierarchies and reducing instances of corporate fraud or employee theft.

5. Increase sales

The benefits that a POS system brings to your enterprise are cumulative. With better inventory management processes, an enhanced customer relationship management system, greater insights into your business performance, and more in place, you can capitalise on these perks to kickstart your business growth and increase sales.

3.2. Finding The Ideal POS System For Your Needs

A Happily Women While Working On Her Laptop

Now that you have a clear understanding of the benefits a POS system delivers to your organisation, you are undoubtedly eager to get started on choosing your ideal equipment. However, where do you even begin? At this initial stage, it helps to start outlining your business requirements by asking yourself the following questions.

1. What is the state of your business?

The state of your business plays a significant role in determining the type of POS system you require. For example, new business ventures may want something straightforward and easy to use to elevate business efficiency. Conversely, those switching to another POS platform will need to understand what is not working for them with their current solution and consider how a newer system can help resolve these issues.

2. What are your biggest struggles?

Whether you are running an established business or starting a new enterprise, every entrepreneur faces different pain points. Given that your POS system is intended to aid your business operations, you will want to ensure your ideal platform is the significant time-saver it promises to be by addressing the pressing problems you face.

3. What tasks do you want your POS system to simplify?

If you are a small business owner with limited resources, you will likely need to wear multiple hats, acting as the CEO, accountant, marketing manager, and more, to ensure every facet of your enterprise is operating seamlessly. However, shouldering multiple responsibilities can quickly lead to burnout.

With the right POS solution, you can automate various menial tasks and focus on your core duties. Do you need help managing your employees? There is dedicated POS software that can help with everything from creating schedules to ensuring timely payroll and handling time-off requests.

Alternatively, if you require assistance with compiling timely data to evaluate your business performance, a POS system can come in handy as well, providing you with relevant charts and graphs to understand the health of your company in relation to industry standards. So, it is vital to figure out what you need help with so that you can identify the perfect solution for your needs.

3.3. What To Consider When Looking For A POS System

What To Consider When Looking For A POS System

Beyond examining your business requirements with the above questions, it is essential to consider the following factors when exploring the ideal POS solution to meet your needs.

1. Ease of use

Operating your POS system should not be rocket science. Instead, it should be user-friendly and straightforward enough to navigate without you or your employees having to consult a user manual or call for tech support constantly. Remember, the POS solution is meant to streamline your processes, not complicate things further.

2. Ensure the service provider offers comprehensive support

Regardless of its ease of use or how technically savvy you are, it is wise to ensure your service provider provides comprehensive customer support with the purchase of its POS solution, whether via email, phone, or in-person appointments. With this guarantee, you know who to turn to whenever you encounter issues or need help setting up the system.

3. Ensure the POS system can scale with your business

Every enterprise craves growth and expansion. When it comes time to expand, you will want to ensure your POS system can scale with your business accordingly to accommodate the increasing transaction volume and adapt to changing needs. Besides, having spent countless hours searching for your ideal POS system, you will not want to repeat the entire process again.

Investing in a scalable POS solution will also minimise the need for frequent upgrades or replacements, helping you avoid the costly expenses associated with purchasing new hardware or software to accommodate expansion. As a result, you enjoy significant long-term cost savings and a better return on your investment.

4. Features of the POS system

Integrating the correct POS software can transform your POS system into the one-stop business tool your enterprise needs to thrive in a competitive landscape. However, with various choices available, aligning the most suitable features with your company’s requirements is essential. Examine your business needs and each option’s capabilities and costs to ensure they are the ideal fit for your organisation.

PART 4 – FAQs ABOUT OUR POS SYSTEMS

While we have strived to provide as much information about POS systems as possible in our comprehensive guide, we understand that you might have lingering questions that may not be covered above. So, let us compile the most pressing questions we received from our clients about our POS systems and our response to these queries.

Question #1: What is the cost of a POS system at Suntoyo Technology?

The cost of our POS systems varies depending on the complexity and features of the software and hardware chosen. As such, we recommend speaking with our knowledgeable and friendly staff, who can advise you based on your needs and provide you with the most relevant quotation.

Question #2: Can I transfer the data from my current POS system to Suntoyo Technology’s POS system?

It is understandable that you do not want to lose your valuable business data when upgrading to the latest POS system. Fortunately, it is possible to transfer your data into our system if your current POS software is capable of exporting customer and inventory details. With that said, each case needs to be evaluated individually.

Question #3: How many users can I have on one terminal?

Good news! There is no limit to the number of employee logins or product codes with our software.

Question #4: Does Suntoyo Technology provide installation and training?

Yes! Our POS experts will assist you with the setup and walk you through the process to ensure everything runs smoothly before you go live. We can also provide additional training if your staff requires further assistance or a new employee needs to learn the ropes of your POS system.

PART 5 – CONCLUSION

Your POS system is more than a point-of-sale; it is also a point of growth. When maximised, it can provide you with a competitive advantage, making it a crucial investment to make. So, consider every aspect of your enterprise, especially your business needs and budget, before committing to any single solution.

At Suntoyo Technology, we understand that selecting the ideal POS system can be overwhelming if you do not know what you are looking for. So, do not hesitate to contact us if you need help identifying a programme and compatible accessories that align with your needs. We can tailor the correct POS solution to address all your business requirements.

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