The computerized system of handling sales and inventory, the point of sale system is utilized by retail establishments, restaurants and other businesses where customer sales take place. Point of sale systems track sales as they happen, manage inventory levels in real time, improve pricing accuracy and generate tracking reports. Consisting of a main server with linked check out terminals, the point of sale system assists in managing costs, individual sales results, end of day reconciliations and more. There are a wide variety of out of the box point of sale systems available for purchase, or companies may opt to have custom programs designed to meet their specific needs.

The point of sale system can be as extensive as a company desires. A complete POS system may include capabilities to enter customer information to populate a mailing list, collect information for customer loyalty programs and locate materials or products in other locations. The newest forms of POS systems are often cloud based, allowing for real time information to be at the customer service representative’s fingertips. Every transaction has the potential to generate a relationship with customers that can drive future sales. By collecting information at the point of sale, the information is entered directly into the networked system. This allows for instant communication with the customer in the form of email marketing, special notifications of upcoming sales and other tools.

Point of sale systems are more than the calculator/receipt tape machines of the past. Today’s POS system is a robust system that empowers the customer service rep, while giving the company the real time information that they need to grow their business. It can be a valuable resource for almost every aspect of a company that has customer interaction. Whether the point of sale system is a stand-alone computer, a hand held device such as an iPad or Kindle, or part of a larger network of computers, the system will generate usable information that can help spot trends, manage inventory and track sales.