Point Of Sale Machines Made My Friend A Smart Shop Owner
“Point of sale machines have changed my life”, said my friend with a great smile of containment and joy in his next visit. Let me narrate what had happened a year back.
I was moving in a shopping mall with one of my childhood friend, who actually owns a shop in my native village. This is his first visit to a mega city, so I took him with me shopping.
My good friend is educated, has a sharp mind, and good business acumen, and that is why he runs one of the biggest shops in his regions.
However being confined to a limited geography, he lacks a bit of exposure about what is going on around the globe and current trends. While on the move, we decided to have something light and entered into a bakery shop.
I picked some packets snacks and two chocolate doughnuts. I got it billed at the counter and we went out. My friend waited there for a while until I called him.
At dinner too, the same thing happened; the waiter attended us with a machine in hand and asked what we would wish to have. I placed the order and within moments, the food was served. After we finished, he again came with the same machine, pulled out the bill, and handed over to me.
My dear friend was again speechless.
And, I silently kept on watching his curiosity.
However, on the way back home, he could not hold his curiosity for long and asked me what that thing was in the hand of the waiter and that he saw at the bakery shop. I smiled at him, and he smiled back too…
‘It is a point of sale machine – POS’, I said.
‘How can it work automatically’, he asked again.
‘Let us reach home; I will explain it to you’, I replied.
I opened my laptop opened up the websites that talk exhaustively about point of sale machines. I kept on my narration…
Point of sale machine is a kind of automatic billing assistants those do all the following activities:
• Reading the price information
• Entering the price in the list of goods
• Making the final count
• Applying discounts, offers (if any)
• Printing the bill
• Processing the credit card/debit card (thanks God, my friend had a debit card, I saved myself from this description )
• Keeping the cash counter safe
• Managing the total inventory in the store
Let me describe each of the components in details.
Point of Sale Machine / Processor
The POS machine (or technically the processor) is a computer that operates or manages the entire system – the software and the peripherals systems. This exactly works the way a computer works.
You can find a machine much similar to the traditional computers and some touch systems, mostly the iPad POS (where the iPad is integrated as interface).
This is the heart of the entire setup. The POS software coordinates all the commands given through various input systems.
There are different POS software developed keeping in view the various business needs and operation models.
The barcode scanner is the machine that reads the special pattern printed on the packaging of the goods and enters the required details from there.
The data so obtained gets automatically inserted into the respective filed in the bills.
The touch screen in the system works both as an input as well as output device. It shows the result as per the command given as well as the operator can enter data through the touch-screen.
The job of the keyboard is to do manual entry of the various items, prices, scroll between the items and give other commands. Keyboards, many times become lifesaver, when the touch-screen or the barcode scanner fail to respond.
Some items, such as vegetables, wet & unpackaged goods do not have barcodes with them. They; however, needs to be weighed and billed.
In this case, the scale integrated with the POS machine helps getting the weight of the good and feeding it to the system software for further calculations.
This is the main component. The customer display shows whatever details are entered in to the system.
It brings in a sense of transparency in the system and customers do not have further queries.
This combines both cash payment and card (credit or debit) payment. When it is cash payment, the machine also manages the cash counter. It is responsible for opening cash drawer and locking it after the transaction is complete. The card processor helps in entering the card details of the customers.
Receipt printer prints the final bill as well as the receipt of the card transaction details as applicable. All the details pertaining to the particular transaction or as set by the shop management are printed in the final receipt.
Signature Capture Pad
Some POS machines also have signature capture pad.
When I finished my narration, it was already 2 O’clock at night. I wished him good night and went o sleep.
To my surprise, when I woke up at seven in the morning, my friend was still glued to the computer. He had made his mind up to buy a point of sale machine for his store. He extended his stay for another week and went home with his setup.
I called him up after a month to know how the things were going on. He said, ‘my traditional style of working had actually kept me busy all the day and I was deprived from this knowledge.
Earlier I was waiting so lot of PAPE, INK, TIME, and MY BRAIN doing the mathematics. Now I have much time to think on better business expansion…’
Point of Sale machines or systems have made life easy for shop owners of operating at all capacities.
While it is a standard for big retail chains and super markets to have POS systems, small shop owners in big and small cities also are embracing these machines for better management and control of their operation.
What About You?
How do these POS machines fascinate you? Do you see the difference between two shops – with and without POS machines? As a shop owner, have you integrated or would you integrate these systems in future? Do share with us your experience about point of sale machines.
Follow & Share
Want more stories on breaking with the status quo? See our category Trends & Innovations, join us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, RSS and get our weekly E-mail Newsletter for updates and free bonus content.
About the Author
Mohit Aggarwal is a seasoned blog writer and technology enthusiast. He has been contributing to several blogs on topics like technology, cloud computing, social media, internet marketing, travel etc. for past couple of years.