Integrating point-of-sale (POS) systems with different operations can boost business functionality by optimizing workflow regardless of the business size or industry.
Integrated POS systems connect dependent operations, such as demand forecasting and inventory management software, that rely on data from other systems to function. With an integration solution, all like processes are interconnected, promoting the flow of real-time data. This key feature automates information exchange, streamlining communication, reporting, and analyses.
For example, integrating POS, inventory control, and procurement systems allows the software to update item quantities with every transaction and stock purchase order. Employees can access this information through one user interface to monitor inventory levels and prevent stockouts. Some systems can even be programmed to trigger purchase orders whenever items levels fall to their reorder points.
Without an integration solution, businesses would need to designate an employee to aggregate information from all systems and input data entries manually. Not only is this method time-consuming and likely to introduce human error, but it also uses excessive company time and capital. Therefore, business owners should consider how integrating their POS systems with other internal processes can enhance productivity and functionality.
Benefits of Integrated POS Systems
Integrated POS systems do not just enhance businesses with several back-office services, they also specialize in connecting networks of independent POS platforms. By linking multiple payment processing terminals, companies can focus on promoting customer service and revenue.
Additionally, integrated POS software offers several other advantages, such as-
- Enhance Efficiency
By integrating in-store and online POS systems, businesses can efficiently navigate through their network of payment processors and item catalogs to adequately serve customers. This connectivity streamlines the transaction, item exchange, return, and sales procedures by reducing the time it takes to process requests. Minimizing customer wait times increases loyalty and advocacy, which can promote revenue.
- Minimize Human Error
By connecting POS solutions to payment processors, such as a card reader, credit card transactions are automated using accounting software to generate totals, update item quantities, and store customer information. Even traditional purchase methods are streamlined when integrating cash register and POS terminals. This solution eliminates the risk of over or undercharging buyers, mistyping card numbers, and mistakes during data consolidation for end-of-day sales reports.
- Generate Reports and Insights
When this information is connected with demand forecasting software, management can see projected fluctuation in demand for specific items. This allows inventory and marketing teams to adequately prepare stock and campaigns to optimize sales.
- Reduce Expenses
How to Successfully Integrate POS Systems
Before embarking on an integration project, management should understand the best preparation stages.
1. Evaluate Established POS Systems
Businesses with existing solutions must evaluate their system capabilities to determine if integration is possible. If the services have an application program interface (API) or are compatible with APIs, it can seamlessly integrate with similar software. However, if the POS system is outdated or management is unaware of its functionality, the provider should be contacted to address any concerns. This will determine whether the company should begin implementing an integration solution or invest in new software.
Advanced POS software should be able to connect in-store terminals to online payment processors. It should also have modern features that accept multiple forms of payment from cash to contactless payments. For organizations with established clientele, the system should recognize loyalty programs. This would trigger an automatic pull of purchase history and personal information to enhance marketing efforts and customer experience.
With a modern POS platform, companies can meet their integration needs and ensure all necessary functions are available, such as-
- Hardware - Besides accepting different forms of payment, POS systems have evolved to portable equipment, such as tablets. This allows sales employees to travel the floor and finalize transactions on the spot. Modern solutions also allow additional tools to integrate, such as receipt printers and barcode scanners.
- Returns and Exchanges- Sometimes, customer engagement does not end at the transaction. In the case of returns, exchanges, or refunds, integrated software can efficiently process requests and update records to show returning items.
- Customer Experience - Modern software can create individual customer profiles that display purchases, store preferences, and payment methods. This is an excellent resource for marketing and also customizes the customer experience, enhancing satisfaction and advocacy.
- Inventory Control - With integrated POS systems, inventory data is continuously updated with each purchase to ensure real-time quantities consider outgoing items. This allows warehouse managers to accurately decide when to place stock orders to prevent under and overstocking, saving unnecessary inventory expenses.
2. Ask Questions
Once the company decides whether to move forward with existing solutions or invest in modern software, more research is required. Management should understand the answers to vital questions-
How does POS integration work?
Through programming, developers integrate POS systems to allow information synchronizations. This means that real-time data is continually updating online and in-store systems to ensure that employees can perform their tasks accurately. Therefore, whenever an online purchase is made, the transaction alerts connected in-store systems and vice versa, preventing stockouts and backorders.
Can POS software integrate with disparate systems and tools?
As long as established software has compatible architecture, systems can seamlessly integrate functions, tools, and data.
Data integration between systems can provide businesses with updated-
- Stock Levels
- Employee Sales Performance
- Shipping Details
- Purchase Order Information
- Delivery Estimates
- Customer Demand Forecasts
How much does POS integration cost?
The cost of integration depends on the provider, type of business, and add-ons. If the company strictly operates virtually, the e-commerce platform must be contacted. Additionally, if a business has existing systems they want to integrate, it depends on the extent of alterations needed to integrate successfully.
Legacy systems may require additional expenses to re-engineer to implement integration components. However, modern solutions may only require a commercial integration platform that can connect systems with same day use. Ultimately, the cost of integration depends on the provider, the systems' functionality, and the desired features.
Businesses can significantly improve their functionality, customer experience, and productivity with integrated POS systems by gaining access to real-time data. When all service functions and information are synchronized, workflow is enhanced, driving scalability, profitability, and business intelligence.