What are EPOS Systems – Part 1

In this blog, we are going to cover EPOS Systems, what they are and the positives and negatives surrounding EPOS. I will try to supplement these with examples where applicable. I think the best way of explaining what EPOS Systems are is to get a concise definition of exactly what they are. We’ll look to a quote from a company who provides EPOS solutions themselves:

“Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems are the combination of software and hardware that enable you to take cash & card payments, record sales data, analyse your business performance and tons more.” (storekit.com)

A ‘point of sale’ is simply the time and place where a retail transaction is completed – whether it is electronic and connected to the internet or not (standard cash tills). By upgrading to an EPOS system, merchants are provided with a seamless integration between their card processing hardware and their accounting and stock management. Expanding on this, the EPOS solution can extend to physical products such as tills, cash drawers, digital displays, receipt printers, back-office systems and a variance of card machines…basically anything you need for an efficient checkout system.

EPOS Systems are comprised of hardware (physical products) which is normally a touchscreen display and a pre-loaded software program that is implemented specifically for the merchant’s business. These systems can be amazingly versatile and used for an array of different functions within your business. To give you a bit of a breakdown, we are going to list some of the benefits of the functionality that EPOS Systems hold:

1) Reporting

EPOS systems can provide you with business performance reports, as they record every transaction in detail. This can be useful to provide information on trends and analyse performance on sales or marketing. This can be especially useful for the catering and retail sectors to see when they need more staff as they need to adapt quickly to trends. EPOS Systems can produce a wide range of reports to suit your company.

2) Stock

Can manage stock for your business. It does this by linking shop floor sales with inventories in real-time – therefore, providing accurate levels of stock. This can be trickier for different businesses, for example, a shoe store would be easy as when one pair of shoes is sold, one comes out of inventory, but with a restaurant, one meal includes several ingredients from the inventory.

3) Financial Accuracy

Using this system has a higher accuracy as it reduces the human error involved, you can also do a cash report at any time during the day meaning you know exactly how much is in the cash tills. A good procedure is to double-check by counting the cash at the end of the day and comparing it against the EPOS System’s data. Using EPOS also means that you reduce the amount of cash on the premises, this lowers your risk as having cash on your premises always includes some risk.

4) Speed and Efficiency

This is regarding the customer experience, by providing customers with a speedy service (reducing queue times), but also gives accurate information to the customer. Using this means it increases staff’s productivity as well as them having more time to provide quicker service. In restaurants, it can be especially useful as once the order has been taken this can go straight to the chef to start cooking.

5) Accountability

An EPOS System can record staff’s activity so you can hold them accountable, you can see when somebody has performed well at a cash register. You can also attach your EPOS System up to company fobs to see when employees enter an leave the building and you can then connect this with payroll to pay staff for their hours from the data you receive.

6) Marketing

As mentioned earlier, EPOS Systems can help with reporting and tracking trends, meaning this is an invaluable resource for marketing to use to drive effective marketing campaigns. As well as this, EPOS Systems have the capabilities to take email, postal addresses and telephone numbers which creates a marketing database to send promos and promote to. EPOS Systems can also be used in combination with customer relationship management.

Adapted from 3rtelecom.co.uk and epos.co.uk

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