Point of sale (POS) software is a computerized tool to automate the retail sale process in the retail business. The point of sales is the place and time where a retail transaction takes place. At the point of sales, the retailer calculates how much the product or item purchased by the client is worth, marks the price, can prepare an invoice for the client, and refers the buyer to the supplier for payment. This whole process can be automated and easily integrated with accounting software, bar code scanners, wireless computers, and credit card machines.
There are different types of POS software, including POS software for software and hardware. The latter consists of small devices that are embedded in the retail establishment for processing of sales transactions. These devices are known as a POS interface or POS modules. An integrated system can have as many as 100 of these modules. The main advantage of using this type of POS software is that all transactions are recorded digitally. The second major advantage is that all data is secure and protected from loss due to theft, fraud, sabotage, or hacking.
Point of sales systems can be customized to meet the requirements of the owner. Retail owners can use one system to process all the sales transactions in the store. But for heavy transaction processing, a number of hardware devices might be needed. For instance, a POS software that processes hundreds of sales transactions per hour using only one device is impractical. In such cases, a comprehensive inventory management system will be best used.
In inventory management systems, data is entered into the computer system regarding the items on the shelf and how much they are sold. If a manufacturer sells a million units of a product in a year, all the information entered in the computer system will have to be processed by a POS software. Again, the best option is a local server computer system with a single PC for processing all the data. The local server can also process the data to a print out by using a bar code scanner.
Many manufacturers sell POS software on the internet. But if you want to use a real life working version, you need a local server from a software company. Some of the software company offer a free trial of their POS software. But you must buy the hardware, too, if you want to test the software. You cannot use the trial version to do the final testing and optimization.
In addition, you must upgrade your hardware to support the new software version. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing all the changes and tracking done using the old hardware.