Let’s be honest. It requires a little technical background to get into how a system as complex as an EPOS system WORKs. Let’s assume no one here knows anything about computers and technical things.
Therefore, maybe “How does an EPOS system work?” is not the best question to ask. A better alternative may be how does it help with your business or simply what is it good for. Or even what does it have to offer?
Nonetheless, if you want to know how a system works as a whole, you can start by learning how its individual components work and what value they add to your business. So let’s start with what EPOS systems are comprised of and then learn how some of the devices and features take the hassles out of your business.
An EPOS system usually consists of two major areas; hardware and software. The hardware side includes various components – also known as peripherals or devices – such as barcode scanners and touch screens and the software side has countless features like Rota or stock management tools. However, to be frank, only few businesses will ever need all the devices and features. That is why we have picked only 3 of the most common hardware components as well as 3 software features that have changed the game of handling businesses in the retail and hospitality industries. Now let’s see how each one works to help you advance your business.
3 Most Common Devices You Will Need From an EPOS System
As just mentioned, there are a multitude of hardware components working in tandem with one another. However, only a handful may be necessary for a business. These are the integral devices without which you can’t call it an EPOS system. Below are the 3 most used devices of EPOS systems. However, there are some devices such as barcode scanners, card terminals and cash drawers that seem too common or may be used in one business type and not in the others. For example, a barcode scanner is essential for a department retail store, while it is useless for a restaurant where there is no barcode to scan. So we decided to exclude them from this article.
This device has been in use for so long that we almost forget how important it is. While the digital life has made paper and whatever it is associated with – things like printers – obsolete, receipt printers are still widely used. The reason is obvious: you still need to inform your customers of the details of their purchase. They are the payers, so they need to know exactly what and how much they are paying or have paid for each item, right away. So, unless a new digital idea comes around to challenge paper receipts, businesses still need a receipt printer.
Just like printers, touch screens are essential. I mean, how else can you input all that various data into software?! Besides, data entry is just the tip of the iceberg. The bottom of the iceberg is the visual things like floor plans (exclusive for eateries) you will see. You can’t have that, unless you have a screen in place. In more technical terms, touch screens are what connect you with what is behind the scenes. That is why it’s sometimes, however maybe mistakenly, called interface. There are lots of things going on in the background hidden by the interface. You would have a very difficult time working with the functionalities if it weren’t for touch screens (interfaces). I didn’t want to get technical on this, but I couldn’t help it. Sorry for that!
If you are in hospitality or are a huge retailer with quite large stockrooms, you would really appreciate tablets as a part of your EPOS system. In case of hospitality, it will come to your attention when your waiting staff want to send the head chef a quick note, informing him or her of an order change. Unless they use tablets to easily do so, they have to walk all the way to the kitchen to just leave a note. Or in case of that huge retailer, you would have to carry all the checklists and probably a calculator for a simple stock-take. Not to mention the likely errors you are going to make.
3 Software Feature That Turn Your Business Around
As discussed EPOS systems have a software side, which is actually what defines EPOS systems. The features of EPOS software are literary countless. Some of them are really game changers. These features help with fundamental issues such as management, gathering data, and data security. These are things you couldn’t achieve without EPOS systems. Out of many features and functionalities of EPOS software, we have picked three, just to give you a snapshot of what the software bear in general.
Analytics and Reports
No argument can do justice to the importance of data in the business world. Gathering data has never been easier in the hospitality and retail sectors. But there is still more to come. With EPOS systems it is not just about having raw data. Actually, the bigger focus is on enabling you to simply analyse them. EPOS software equips you with as much information as you need to find the gaps and plan for the future. It may even give you analysis.
Remember the data we just talked about? If you have any doubt that this data can be useful, you need to look at it from a manager’s point of view. Managers are concerned with knowing staff performance, stock levels, and bottom line growth by the end of each quarter, among many others. These are the priorities of a manager. This is where this data comes into the play. This is where this data and analysis gets practical. Simply put, EPOS offers features and tools to help with managing the business seamlessly.
Let’s assume you have data (gathering data and analysis) and you have put it to good use (management stuff). One day, you wake up, go to work, turn on the system and get petrified. All the data is gone. You will be lucky if someone has had the sense to make a backup. But what if no one has. That is why the Cloud matters. It is one of the most important features software can have. Without the Cloud, it looks like you are inputting the data on offshore sands, waiting for the tide to wash it off. That is why an EPOS system works towards incorporating cloud-based features in order to secure your data in one place for a lifetime.
EPOS systems have too many different technical facets to get into. And it might not be the best idea to learn entirely how an EPOS system works. Think of a car as a metaphor. You don’t want to get bogged down with the technical stuff, unless you want to fix it or make it. It hides all the dirty mechanisms and lets you interact with a fine, neat interface (steering wheel, pedals, etc.). This is all made for you to kick back and leave the technical things to those who have made it. Just note that your EPOS provider has experienced developers and supporters. This way you can make sure your EPOS is in good hands and is less likely to suffer from glitches. And even if bugs come up, you will be fully supported.
At Selected EPOS, we only partner with EPOS makers that we are certain employ the most knowledgeable developers who are passionate about what they do. Also, we provide continued 24/7 support to help you get back on your feet, if need be. You can simply contact us to learn about our latest offers.