Still nowadays cash ledgers often get printed on paper by the POS to be entered manually in accounting later on. This daily exercise is annoying and time consuming, and to make things worse, very error-prone. Contrary to the assumption that cloud solutions are more suitable for larger companies, we want to focus in this issue on the cloud solutions for smaller retailers.
Often POS systems are working as isolated applications without any connection to the accounting software. A solution “state-of-the-art” should consist of one or more registers that are connected online with not only financial accounting but also with the material management. So not only sales but also the inventory get captured online. Connection from the POS to a credit card terminal is mandatory. Also at the POS editing and issuing of delivery notes must be possible at any time. In addition, there must be access to the open accounts receivable, so that bills can be paid directly at the POS. Making the POS complete, cash discount functions, discounts on products or discounts on purchases, as well as a voucher management are necessary in most retail businesses.
Conveniently, both a receipt printer and a standard laser printer are connected to the register. This allows greater sales to be printed on an A4 invoice. It is clear, when a register is connected to the material management system, the products must be labeled with bar codes, so that each item is accurately captured at goods receipt and at the POS register. Barcode label printers and barcode scanners have become standard devices that are very affordable even for small retailers.
Some owners of small businesses may argue that an ERP for a small business is too expensive. By our experience material management also in small business speeds up the sale process significantly by bar code scanning and the customer gets professionalism demonstrated. The continuous and automatic evaluation of inventory value prevails the low cost of a cloud-based material management system by far. And there is the advantage of being able to identify aging inventory timely, and promote the same for sale.
But the biggest advantage of cloud-based material management is the ability to run an additional online store with very little effort. Today the major cloud solutions for the retail industry have an optional functionality for an online shop. Even if the customer wants to go shopping and wants to have the touch & feel experience, he will inform himself in the internet before going shopping. Can you present your offer attractively via the Internet, the customer shall, if he won’t order online, preferably come in your store.
It is important that you have the right partner on your side when planning the administration and IT of your retail business.