While POS inventory systems are not new–large chains have been using them for more than 20 years–what is new is the price. POS inventory systems are typically sold as modules. Most systems include at least two computers and printers, one at the checkout counter for POS activities and the second in the back room for inventory reporting. There is POS software specific to almost every kind of business imaginable – hotels, retail, restaurant, auto mechanic, etc. Most POS systems are able to be plugged in to the business’ high speed internet connection. They can process credit card and check authorizations very quickly, as compared to the usual dial-up connection of an ordinary “black box” credit card terminal.
Be cautious, therefore, about setting up with any proprietary POS software systems. These systems are designed to run only under that merchant processor and you will be locked in to any future processing rate increases they decide to impose. To change from them down the road would be a huge task and they count on this that is why their POS software is so cheap up front. They will have you locked in as a merchant customer forever. POS systems provide reports that list merchandise that should be reordered because stock has fallen below the recommended level.
A computer point-of-sale (POS) inventory system, on the other hand, automatically captures a host of information about each sale and instantly updates the inventory database. Retailers can then view on a screen up-to-the-minute information about stock on hand or create printed reports that help in making buying decisions.