Retailers and restaurants utilize point-of-sale (POS) inventory systems to handle customer sales and product or ingredient stock levels. Most POS inventory software includes ringing sales, counting inventory, and generating basic reports. They enable firms to streamline back-office operations by allowing centralized tracking across many channels and locations. The top POS systems also simplify product purchases and start at less than $100 per month.
If your company sells actual goods, you must keep track of inventory. Inadequate inventory management may lead to many issues, including excessive storage expenses, not having things available for consumers, having products in the incorrect place, and having too much effect, leading you to sell at a loss. Continue reading to see how the correct POS system and POS security may help you improve inventory management, increase earnings, and enhance customer happiness.
What is a POS system?
A point-of-sale (POS) system mixes hardware and software that a cashier uses to handle sales payments. Although third-party POS systems exist, most POS systems are acquired straight from payment processing providers. POS hardware costs from $299 to $1,400, based on the employer and the equipment. POS software costs range from $20 to $272 each month, with the price increasing with the number of registers that use the program.
A touchscreen device on a stand, a credit card reader, a cash drawer, a receipt printer, and a portable scanner are all standard pieces of POS gear. At its most basic, POS software accepts several payment forms and allows the cashier to pick things to sell from a product list. It displays the pricing of the products, calculates sales tax, and applies discounts, promotions, and other charges. Many current point-of-sale software systems include more extensive features, such as inventory management.
What exactly is inventory management?
Inventory management entails having enough items to fulfil demand and having your products available in the right location at the right time. If you have too much of a product, you will run out of storage space, perhaps paying storage or warehouse fees and requiring you to sell leftovers at a lower price, reducing your profit margin.
You will lose sales if you do not have enough of a product. Customers will begin shopping with competitors, and your customer happiness and reviews will decrease. Consider the following critical elements when considering inventory management:
- Visibility: Know precisely what you have and where your items are positioned.
- Inventory: Make an informed prediction of how much of each item you’ll need to satisfy demand within a given time frame.
- Purchasing/replenishment: Understand when stock has to be acquired to arrive in time to fulfil demand.
- Storage: Determine how much space you have for inventory storage and, if required, send your items to an appropriate storage place. Analyze the data to gain insight on how to order inventory more efficiently in the future.
- Inventory levels: should be allocated across physical sites and fulfilment centres for e-commerce orders, and inventory should be shifted as needed.
Who thinks regarding inventory management?
Retailers and restaurants often have the most demand for inventory management among small and medium-sized enterprises. Retailers often have a wide range of items, many of which varies in size, material, and colour. Keeping track of all of these things – and ensuring that they are available when clients are ready to buy – is vital to a company’s success.
Restaurants have a somewhat different problem in that their inventory includes ingredients. If one element is absent, the chef will be unable to prepare a specific meal, and consumers will be unhappy. The same is true for establishments that provide mixed cocktails. Many restaurants must also deal with the seasonality of their ingredients. A solid inventory management system helps guarantee that all required materials are readily available.
Best Inventory Management Software for POS
Inventory management is not available in all POS systems. Here are our top selections for inventory management POS systems.
The best option for startups and small companies
Square’s POS system comes in three flavours: Square POS, Square for Retail, and Square for Restaurants. An accessible technology like Square POS may make a difference for startups and extremely tiny enterprises when every dollar matters, and it’s scalable as the firm expands. The inventory management section provides daily warnings for low-stock or out-of-stock products, and the program includes downloadable reports.
Square POS can manage hundreds of SKUs. However, it is best suited for businesses with relatively modest inventory requirements. It does not enable more complicated inventory chores for firms with more complex inventory management needs, such as packing, components, assembling, and bespoke orders. Square POS is also compatible with third-party inventory management software providers such as Shopventory, SKU IQ, and Stitch Labs. The price for payment processing is 2.6 percent + 10 cents for each transaction.
Best value overall
Hike’s POS system enables multi-location businesses and provides extensive data so you can delve deep into inventory and sales details. It is simple and offers extensive capabilities such as handling variant items, composite product management, and layaway. Its low-cost options, which begin at $69 per month and can be scaled up or down, make it an excellent alternative for seasonal businesses and pop-up shops. The program installs on an iPad to establish an iPad POS security, allowing you to carry it everywhere you go.
Hike may not be the most excellent choice if you sell in storefronts and online because only its higher-priced services, starting at $89 per month, offer e-commerce. The more expensive plans additionally include an integrated label-printing function, support for multiple delivery address profiles, and multi-outlet capabilities like stock transfer and outlet-based user access. Unlike the other POS system providers, Hike does not act as a payment processor; thus, you must use a third party to handle credit cards and other non-cash payments. Hike supports Square, Worldpay, Clearent, Evo, PayJunction, Elavon, and PayPal.
Best for Retail
Lightspeed for Retail can help retailers with extensive, complicated inventories better their inventory management. Businesses may use it to maintain stock on a granular level, offer unique product variants and bundles, manage work orders, track by serial numbers and SKUs, define custom reorder points, and fulfil special orders.
Its supplier network is a notable feature, allowing you to find new items, buy and renew things, and monitor shipments all within the app. It features strong reporting capabilities, with over 40 built-in customizable reports, graphs, and recommendations. Lightspeed offers a free trial but no free plan. Plans begin at $69 per month for a single register. The price for payment processing is 2.6 percent + 10 cents for each transaction.
Best for restaurants
Toast is a restaurant-specific point-of-sale system with a variety of industry-specific features. Extra chef manages Toast’s inventory management software, which connects with Toast’s POS system and other systems. Toast’s different chef provides pervasive inventory management and control and a great menu analysis report that includes recipe and food cost calculators to assist you in managing your profit margins and planning future menus.
It can track the freshness of ingredients based on when they were acquired and provides countdowns to out-of-stock products. You may order components, manage distributors, make purchase orders, and import distributor invoices in the app. Other notable features include a cost-of-goods-sold analysis, food waste statistics, product mix analyses, and a shelf layout map that shows where your actual kitchen inventory is housed.
Finally, point-of-sale systems enable tiny, independent retailers and restaurants to operate as efficiently as larger enterprises. The advantages of a point-of-sale system may outweigh your expectations. Choose the right point-of-sale system and watch your sales soar! Every retail and restaurant establishment requires the processing of deals and the reordering of supplies and items. A POS inventory system enables businesses to handle all of these requirements in one location—you can ring sales, track objects, analyze statistics, and reorder things.