Sunday, April 10, 2011

Point of Sales

POS stands for Point of Sales. It is a software that is usually used by a clerk when handling purchase transactions. On the left is a complete package of POS software that has been developed for small retail businesses such as  bookstores, supermarket or mom and pop grocery stores can use it. The 15" monitor is manufactured by ACER with receipt printer from Touch Dynamic/ Epson.
Some fifty years ago, bookstore owners relied on transaction book to calculate and record all the transactions during the whole day of their business hours. Their jobs of recording business transaction were getting easier when electronic cash register was invented in 1970s. When I was a child, I saw an electronic calculator whose head was installed with rolled paper. When the calculator was used, all of the items that were added or subtracted would be printed on the paper. The calculator made the record keeping of booksales became faster and more accurate.
In 1990s, new electronic cash register machines were introduced into the retail industry. Supermarkets, department stores, restaurant and bookstores adopted them as part of business revolution in 20th century. Later these cash register machines were considered outdated due to the operation of the retail stores which demand more integration of data processing between the front office and the back office and the control of inventory of goods on the shelves.
The arrival of POS system that uses computer database and network greatly revolutionized how people run their stores and their companies as a whole. POS software now is not only used for receiving payments of goods or books but also for sending inventory information to the outlet server via LAN cables or wireless data connections. POS system today is equipped with touch screen monitor and barcode scanner that process every business transaction faster than ever before.
In global business environment like what we have to day, a company can have more than one bookstore, say one hundred outlets scattered in several different countries. To serve a vast network of chained bookstore, Point of Sale software system that is installed in every checkout terminal must perform its duty without any interuption. Such POS needs to be supported with a DBMS (Data Base Management) system that is reliable and scalable. Store managers and bookstore owners can follow every minute of their shop performance. They can make better decisions based on the amount of sales that they have achieved and the level of inventory merchandise that they still have.
All of these softwares can work if the computer servers that are used to handle the flow of information have faster processors. In case when the servers cannot perform their jobs well, the whole business system can stop and we will be going back to manual way of recording purchase transaction one by one again. by Charles Roring

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