The first step in implementing a POS system in your business is making the decision that you actually need one, and what type of system you actually need.
In today's modern competitive market the decision of whether or not you should have a point of sale system is an easy one. The dropping prices of point of sale systems together with all their benefits and the option of using cloud based or web based point of sale systems makes it easier to all business owners to switch from old fashioned cash registers or invoice books to a modern point of sale system.
After defining the needs of your business you should choose the right system for your business. You should look into features, service, reliability and price. As a general rule you should try and use local suppliers and make sure you can access your information from remote locations and not just from the shop.
Once you choose a system it's time for you to integrate the system into your business. You should get your staff involved from the first stage. This will not only make it easier for them to use the system but it will also create a deeper commitment from them towards the new system and the new work processes and procedures.
It is important before you rush and start feeding information into the system to analyse and understand what information you need to use and what sort of reports you want to get from the system. The reports can give you information about staff achievements, sales, stock levels, suppliers, GP, best products and best categories and much more. As a general rule, the more data you feed into the system the more information you'll be able to get from it. It is important however not to create overheads which will cost you more than the benefits you'll get from the system.
A critical stage of the implementation is defining a clear and simple processes and procedures for the staff to follow. i.e. - How to enter stock codes, how to give discounts and when to give discounts, what to do if an item has no bar-code sticker etc. It is very important that all the people using the point of sale system will use it in the same way and will keep the consistency of the information in it.
Once all the above decisions are made, it's time to actually install the system and start working with it. As with any changes it takes some time to get used to it, sale process, and data entry might take longer, but with time it will get easier and quicker.
During the first period of using a new point of sale system, you should stay in touch with the system supplier and ask him to guide you as to the best way of using their system in your business. Most systems will have many features and usually you will need only some of them for your business. A good point of sale supplier will be able to guide you and to pick for you the features you really need.
Once you and your staff get used to work with the point of sale you will be able to get all the relevant information you need for your business. If it’s a web based or cloud based system you will be able to manage and control your business even from remote locations – your home or even your vacation place. Another big advantage of cloud based point of sale systems is that during the implementation process you don’t need to worry about hardware, servers, data bases or back-ups – your supplier will take care of all these issues for you.