POS systems or Point of sale systems are so called because these systems are utilized at the moment of sale or when a customer pays the merchant in exchange for goods. They are utilized in most major restaurants, departmental stores, and in most shops altogether. These systems are used to register the goods the customer has bought, check their price, tell the customer about the final payment and prepare a receipt for the customer to check if the payment is correct and sufficient.
That is the general meaning of POS Systems but what are they? POS systems are usually software in an OS that does all of the necessary functions needed in a business, they can also be a special machine designed for the specific function of registering the goods and giving the receipt. Generally, at most stores, the most common POS system is that which consists of a computer with POS software, a cash drawer, a customer display, a receipt printer, and a barcode scanner or generally called a cash register.
You’ll see this system at most general stores, restaurants, and hotels. Now you might be asking why some small alleyway shops don’t have these systems and just like give you a page receipt for your goods, why does this happen? Well it may seem like POS systems are easily accessible but even with open-source software, you need to have the hardware to function, and most of the time the initial investment in most businesses is the most troublesome one as at that time the user possesses little money and resources. This might not be the case of building another branch of the business but then it won’t be an initial investment rather will be like a normal investment in order to further your business’s influence. The reason why most businesses close down before they even flourish is that there are many problems faced by the user when using the POS system and if these are not dealt with a business might not even bring in any revenue at all.
How to choose the best POS System?
One of the biggest thing users face when buying a POS system are their high prices, Most high-end systems require subscription plans and to even alter the system or alter the API of the system, you need to pay huge amounts of money and even then you won’t have true ownership of the system. This is the case in most legacy POS systems and even now is prevalent in some modern high-end systems. Another thing users have to face is the hardware required for the system as the system requires various hardware requirements and depending on quality can cost moderate to huge amounts of money in itself as the hardware must be attractive to the customer to bring in more people, the money invested in hardware increases. Another thing newcomers have to face is the credit card craze which is going on, according to a survey Credit, debit cards made up 66% of all purchases and that is a big value. Newcomers won’t have the money or the hardware to support such technology and this can create problems as customers who solely rely on their handy credit card will be unable to buy from that newcomer’s store. Also, Point of Sale systems supporting credit card transactions are usually high-end ones and as such is hard for a newcomer to afford. Another problem newcomers will face is security as low-quality systems will make them susceptible to theft, information stealing, and spreading other important things about that particular store, and with the number of skilled hackers everywhere hacking has very much become an everyday phenomenon. Another thing newcomers have to put up with is staying up to date with technology and being able to adapt if for some reason their POS systems die and they need to use another one, they should be able to do so but most newcomers will have a hard time as most of their income is spent on the initial investment and as they are businessmen no computer experts at first at least, they might have a hard time adapting with the situation. There are many open-source POS systems out there and many are not as useful as they might seem the following may be old but are extremely reliable and easily accessible. These will not only provide an easy solution to the initial investment problem but will allow the user to focus on other more pressing matters.
Leading Open Source POS Systems
One of the first ones a newcomer with limited hardware and money must get is KEYHUT. One thing to be aware of is this POS system is best used as a solution for small businesses as the number of functions is limited but does better than even many paid options. It even has some basic employee management, inventory tracking, and CRM features.
Another one some might have heard of is uniCENTA, this system comes with advanced employee management, inventory tracking, and CRM features. It has an easy-to-understand interface and is easily accessible to most people.
If you want to build something very specific to your business, you could use jPOS as a great foundation. JPOS is based on the Java platform. JPOS isn’t so much a POS solution as it is a basis for you to write your own POS solution onto. JPOS team offers a paid consultation/customer service option, as well as a paid version of the code that the people behind JPOS maintain 100% for you.