Grocery Stores Use Bar-Code Scanners To Read Upcs On Products How Are "Point of Sale" (POS) Systems Different From a Cash Register?

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How Are "Point of Sale" (POS) Systems Different From a Cash Register?

Point of sale (POS) is a technology for financial transactions in retail establishments, for example, in a supermarket. A POS system includes the hardware and software used for checkouts, the computer age equivalent of a cash register. The most important difference between a POS system and a cash register is communication. When a customer processes a transaction at the supermarket, the automated response includes an inventory update. If necessary, a reorder to replace the item is processed, the tax record is maintained, and the store management system is notified.

The main component of a point of sale system is the computer. It is wise to use the POS computer only for sales transactions, reports, and inventory control, and isolate the use of POS computers from general purpose activities. Use a separate computer for web surfing.

Two standardized software systems commonly used in POS are JavaPOS and OPOS. These standards are consistent with UnifiedPOS promoted by the National Retail Foundation. JavaPOS was designed by Sun Microsystems, IBM, and NCR, and is standard compatible with JAVA. OPOS (OLE for POS) is a standard followed by Microsoft, NCR, Epson, and Fujitsu. OPOS is a Windows compatible standard (COM). Celerant, Intuit, MICROS Retail, Microsoft, NCR, Oracle, and SAP are the most popular POS software solution providers.

Security is an issue for POS systems. Poorly implemented systems are one of the leading causes of credit card data compromises. A well-designed system will encrypt wireless transmissions, and will not retain the entire magnetic stripe, credit card validation code, or PIN numbers. All sensitive traffic on public networks must be encrypted.

There are many subsets of POS systems, each of which is worthy of further study. Industry-specific POS packages are available for auto repair shops, beauty salons, pharmacists, dry cleaners and more.

The restaurant industry is well served by many different POS systems. Kitchen monitors are used to view orders, and manage operations. The systems are constantly being improved with wireless systems capable of communication. This allows servers to send customer orders to the kitchen from anywhere inside the restaurant and can be used to make credit card transactions more secure because the customer’s credit card is never out of their sight.

A new trend in POS, especially in supermarkets, is self-checkout. In a self-checkout system, the customer scans the barcodes of individual items. In the case of products, a standard is used, and the customer enters a code from a menu. Usually some kind of validation is used to compare the scanned items to the weight of the product. Paying in these systems is similar to using an ATM machine. The benefits of this system include reducing overhead for staff, and also from reducing the time the customer has to wait at checkout.

RFID (radio frequency identification) is a technology that shows promise for self-checkout. With this technology, the POS process can eliminate the reading of bar-codes. Since RFID requires line of sight (LOS), customers can update their purchases as they make their selections, and don’t have to remove their items from the bag to collect them. an inventory of purchases. Integrating RFID readers with POS systems is not complicated. The interface is comparable to a bar-code reader.

Retail POS systems cost between $1,500 and $20,000. Options include a bar-code scanner, credit card reader, and receipt/invoice printer. POS systems are often offered with integrated accounting modules and inventory control systems. Reports can be generated to include sales, costs, and profits by item, salesperson, category, or time period.

The computer is an excellent tool for the retail industry. By marrying the cash register with a well-implemented computer system, significant operational improvements are possible.

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