Small merchants these days have it easy compared to the days of old. Once upon a time, a cash register took cash from a customer and ‘registered’ the transaction (most often on paper). And then, at some point during the week or possibly during the month, the owner and management of the company would reconcile the inventory held by the business. The two systems were totally separate.
Not so anymore. These days, the inventory management system and the point-of-sale system are often connected to one another. If you are really savvy, you already know that the point-of-sale should be working as your inventory management system.
Here are four reasons why:
It means one less ‘system’ to keep updated
If the point of sale system is the inventory management system, it necessarily means there is one less ‘system’ to have to log into each day to review whatever needs reviewing. It means there’s one less bill to take care of each month and there’s one less support number you need to keep on your phone. It’s all wrapped up together so there’s no need to have to keep two separate systems in place that may or may not play nice together.
It improves customer satisfaction
How does having your inventory system inside your point-of-sale system improve customer service? It’s simple. The point of sale system ‘talks’ to the inventory management system every time there’s a transaction. The information that goes from the point of sale to the inventory system should result in an update on what items are still in stock and how many of them remain. If the stock reaches a certain level — say 15 percent of what is considered fully stocked — then the inventory system should alert a manager or, even better, it might be able to initiate an order on its own. Either way, it can help keep your most popular items in stock and ready to sell.
It goes without saying that customer satisfaction goes down when they find out that their favorite item is not available. In fact, you might even lose a customer when that happens. Given that possibility, it’s very important that the business not run out when supplies run low.
It keeps overhead costs lower
Speaking of inventory running low, it’s important to keep them as low as possible without running the risk of running out altogether. In essence, we’re saying that businesses should not keep too much inventory on hand because it can be wasteful and expensive to store. By having the inventory management system integrated with the point of sale system, the reporting of the stock levels will stay up to date faster, allowing you to order more supplies only when it’s necessary.
It can automate certain tasks
When two systems are separate, it’s possible they can talk to one another. But, if both functions are part of the same system, they will be tightly aligned and able to work together more efficiently. As a result, many tasks can be automated. Case in point: when supplies run low, it’s possible for the inventory management system to initiate a new order (or, at least send an email to notify a manager). What else? Reporting can also be automated. At its best, emails with reporting highlights can be sent to a manager who can then review the latest results for the business. With that, the automation can help managers have one less thing to do each day and that’s generally assumed to be something managers would be in favor of at most businesses.
Want to see how inventory management can work with a point of sale? Contact us today for a demo.