Arben Ymeraga, CEO, Melita&Partners
3 minutes reading
Point of sale (POS) systems lately have experienced rapid development. On the other hand, with the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is increasing demands of retailers / restaurants / franchisees to be close to their customers, and gain a 360-degree view of each customer. To achieve this by companies, access to data is essential. This shows that the industry is now becoming more intelligent, payments can now be linked to loyalty systems where consumers provide their data in exchange for personalized benefits or promotions, creating a more powerful 360 degree view. All of this combined – personalized data and experiences can boost repeated purchases and loyalty at a time when retailers need more.
So getting data from these systems is essential. But the problem we have today is that many retailers still have decentralized POS systems (i.e. multiple locations with their own independent POS systems, or systems not fully integrated with headquarters). This makes data collection and analysis much more difficult and hinders the ability of a retailer / restaurant / franchisee to turn this POS transformation to their advantage.
How Future Forward?
Now is the right time to update your POS infrastructure. All the elements exists to create a centrally managed system that can support the vision of the future for retail / restaurant / franchise. Some of the benefits are listed as follows:
The money invested today forms a solid foundation for the customer data you need for the future.
With a centralized POS system, retailers / restaurants / franchises install at each location POS which is connected to HQ POS on the central server which is further integrated with the financial system. These linked systems provide headquarters with real-time reports on customer buying trends, workforce management, inventory, and other costs throughout the company, such as food waste, employee meals, depreciation of fixed assets, and more. They also provide in-depth customer shopping info and preference information that can be used to enhance the overall customer experience through customized loyalty programs. By centralizing data at this level, you begin to build the database for the data you need to compete in the market.
Promotional offers – Each company wants to be as close as possible to its customers and for this you need analytical data. Centralized POS systems enable you to follow the sales trend at any time in any store / restaurant / franchise and then based on this data to make different promotions at different locations and time and all that from HQ.
Inventory planning – Every company that deals with the production and sale of goods inventory tracking is must. Inventory planning is about determining the minimum / optimal quantities, the time it takes to reach certain items/goods the certain sales trend, how many days there will be inventory items for a certain good, and other relevant information so the company can plan production and sales and avoid shortages.
Bill of Materials
BoM represent the list of products and the quantity needed to complete a final product. For the restaurant / franchise industry, etc., daily sales and turnover are important, but for management / owner information is incomplete if cost of goods sold is not recorded in order to generate gross profit report. If you do not have inventory planning it can happen that for one item you do not manage to complete the final product and in the balance sheet you will information about inventory as a company asset, that in reality cannot be converted into cash due to lack of information.
With centralized POS system and technologies available you can have real-time reports on sales, which location sells the most which is the least, what are the hours where the flow is greatest etc etc that helps you develop strategy of sales and promotion. Using the knowledge gained from the reports, you can make informed business decisions based on what works and what does not. Once those decisions have been made, you can re-evaluate them to ensure that those changes have been beneficial to your business.
To summarize, there are many more reasons to centralize POS systems and its management, including corporate and in-store monitoring and reporting, information management and analysis, and above all financial system integration. With improvements in integration, data processing speed, now is the best time to evaluate your existing POS infrastructure and create a new growth plan that supports your customers today and tomorrow.