The answers may lie in your POS system.
Top five ways your POS can eliminate problem areas in your business.
By JOHN MAYLEBEN
With all the disruptions experienced over the past year, from less staff to reduced inventories, many businesses experienced a higher-than average loss rate. If you find yourself in the same camp, now may be the time to examine your point-of-sale (POS) system, whether that is in the form of a software tool or your own inventory management system. If you’ve been contemplating making a switch to a comprehensive solution, here are five ways POS software may help your business.
1 KEEPS YOUR PRICING CONSISTENT
Unfortunately, price switching is a common theft practice. POS systems utilize bar codes that are scanned at checkout. Not only does scanning alert the clerk of a pricing error, it also reduces the possibility of employees keying in the wrong price. A good POS system can keep track of sales promotions, daily discount deals, and coupons. If you do decide to put something on sale at the last minute, a POS system makes it easier to track versus doing it manually.
2 PREVENTS INVENTORY “SQUISH”
If you are in the restaurant and bar industry, a POS system can track ingredient volume levels and signals if a behavior is affecting your inventory, such as a bartender who over-pours or a cook who puts too many fries in the fryer. Your POS system can help you in establishing ingredient thresholds, help you in identifying use patterns, and alert you if inventory levels go out of balance that can be addressed with impromptu training. Plus, this can help you in analyzing recent business decisions such as adding a new line of spirits or testing a new menu that could be costing your business more than you originally intended.
3 PROTECTS YOUR BUSINESS AGAINST A DATA BREACH
Cyber-attacks against supply chains received considerable attention in 2020 when supply chain giant SolarWinds experienced a major breach of its Orion platform affecting 18,000 customers, including Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. According to a report by VMWare, 50 percent of cyber-attacks today not only target a network, but also those connected via a supply chain. Cyber crooks look for vulnerabilities between a business and a vendor. Most POS systems offer hacker detection, a secure connection, permission settings, and data encryption. If you maintain a virtual office, POS systems provide a two-step verification process commonly referred to as multi-factor authentication (MFA) for employees that log into the system offsite. Having these extra security measures in place ensures that unsuspecting employees do not inadvertently expose your business.
4 ALERTS YOU OF EMPLOYEE THEFT
This is always a sticky situation, especially if you suspect it but do not have clear evidence. Most employee theft begins with trial and error, with thieves becoming more brazen over time. A POS system not only monitors inventory levels but comes with employee management tools such as time tracking and scheduling, helping you put “two-and-two” together with real-time data. Additionally, informing new employees of monitoring tools like this during your onboarding process may cause potential thieves to think twice.
5 LIMITS MISSED SALES OPPORTUNITIES
Nothing is worse than telling a customer, “Sorry, we don’t have it in stock,” and watching them walk out the door. The analytical capabilities of a POS system enable you to identify sales trends and popular items that may be close to going out-of-stock. Knowing this helps you in making smarter purchasing decisions, carry the right amount of inventory, and keeps you in touch more frequently with vendors to help avoid out-of-stocks.
ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES USING YOUR POS SYSTEM CORRECTLY?
Monitoring the action in these five areas can help you in identifying if your employees are using your POS system correctly. In many cases, business owners buy systems that look easy to use but end up causing more problems because their employees were not properly trained. If you suspect this is happening, contact your POS software provider to see if they offer training videos or on-site training.
John Mayleben, one of the nation’s first Certified Payments Professionals designated by the Electronic Transaction Association, is an MRA consultant and national expert on payment processing.