Point of sale (POS) software is making the world of sales significantly easier. With a quality POS system you can significantly increase revenue, reduce overhead, and grow your business by putting funds more toward where they are needed to make your business run more smoothly. By quickly giving you solutions to problems with inventory management, loss prevention, planning for the future, reducing labor, improving vendor relations, and directed marketing you and your employees will have more time and money to spend focusing on what your business was created to do.
Keeping track of your inventory at all times is one of the most important things that a business can do. In fact, retailers lose $224 billion due to excess inventory and $43 billion from not having inventory in stock. Many POS systems take much of the guesswork out of your inventory by continually tracking what you have and what you’ve sold. Obviously, there will still be times where you and your employees will have to manually count inventory but the need won’t be nearly as frequent.
Loss prevention is a reality that no business wants to deal with, but every business has (and is the reason for the aforementioned inventory checks and bay audits). Luckily, the same POS system software that tracks your inventory can also help you keep track of your loss over time after your inventory checks or, in the case of food service or grocery stores, after you calculate waste. This will help you determine your usual loss margin, and in some cases even allow you to label what types of loss (breakages, waste, and unknown/theft) were incurred, allowing you to modify your inventory that considers your usual loss.
Assessing the Future
The other, more positive, side of preparing an inventory for the future is by tracking your sales over time. With most POS system like those from Shopify, you will be able to track your inventory in real time and view reports for over any period of time. This access to detailed sales reports will allow you to spot trends and keep the correct stocks on hands. Many times you may be surprised as to what is being sold at what time and that knowledge can help put you ahead of your competitors.
Tracking your inventory doesn’t just mean tracking inventory that is going out the door or even simply counting inventory coming in. The detailed sales reports that you can get from your POS software can calculate overall gain or loss by keeping track of how much your company has paid for specific items. Keeping tabs on the cost of your inventory can allow you to hunt for better deals from different vendors, become educated on why the market for certain products fluctuates at different times, or strike deals with your current vendors.
In one of the biggest stories of customer-directed marketing, Target sent a young woman coupons for various baby items such as formula and diapers. Her father, not being very happy with the fact that his daughter was receiving these promotions, became angry at Target. Later, the father realized the error of his ways when his daughter revealed that she was, in fact, pregnant. Target had been sending her the coupons based on her changing buying habits. Allowing your POS system to give coupons and recommendations to your customers based on their buying habits may frequently strike a chord and win you repeat customers.
Reduction in Costs
Almost all of these effects of POS software mean that there is a significant reduction in labor costs. Inventory management allows your back of house team to concentrate on unloading, shipping, receiving, and stocking. Your front of house team can easily be alleviated from long amounts of time searching for products for a customer. If it’s not on the floor, they are able to quickly and easily inquire at a computer station. This allows for less time to be spent searching for products which increases customer satisfaction.
When your team is able to track loss it becomes significantly easier to determine how much of which product should be ordered in the future. There won’t be any long nights with paper and a calculator. And there won’t be any over- or under-ordering hassles because loss wasn’t accounted for or it was calculated incorrectly. In this way, you can assess the future with little or no problems.
These ordering trends and inventory management tools will allow you to save money before you even get product by keeping an eye on how much you’re spending on certain items. This can allow you to strike a deal with vendors and find other vendors to use who may sell the same goods at a better price. This is especially good for grocery stores that may see prices on items like produce fluctuate greatly throughout the year.
Although the main point of customer-directed marketing is to gain revenue based on a customer’s purchases, it can also prevent your company from using significant amounts of paper products on people who simply don’t want the products you currently have for sale. Although this may not be a whole lot per coupon, it may be thousands of dollars per year, as your company gets bigger.
Investing in quality, scalable POS software will allow your business to save money regardless of how large it gets while saving you significant amounts of money along the way.