June 13, 2017

Using POS software to streamline your supply chain

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Today’s installment is a guest post from the experts at TechnologyAdvice, who specialize in connecting companies with technology vendors.

 

Point-of-sale (POS) systems have evolved significantly in recent years. While many transactions used to involve clunky cash registers and manual records, today’s POS software can integrate with other platforms to automate tasks, making supply chain management more efficient.

 

More companies are upgrading from dated, standalone systems to integrated software that can help improve the supply chain and provide increased visibility. If you implement and use your POS software correctly, adding the proper data integrations for functions like currency management, you’ll be able to streamline your supply chain management, improve efficiency, cut overhead costs, boost revenue, and increase security.

 

If you’re ready to invest in a new system or make better use of your current software, here are a few ways using POS software can streamline your supply chain:

 

Inventory management

Inventory management can make or break the efficiency of every transaction you have with a customer. Some experts believe companies can improve revenue 20 to 50 percent through careful inventory management. When your inventory and purchase order systems are unstable, it can be difficult to fill customer requests, ship items on time, and restock your showroom or retail space. In addition, lost merchandise can take a serious toll on revenue.

 

Many POS programs have features that can improve inventory management by tracking the items you sell most often, helping you determine what to stock and when to reorder items. Software can also create and transmit purchase orders automatically, saving you time and headaches. When a customer wants an item that is out of stock, you can track it as a lost sale. Reporting tools can help you determine how many sales you lose due to low inventory, and you can adjust your stock accordingly.  

 

Currency management 

Currency management is the process your company uses to count, reconcile and manage cash. Without a good currency management process in place, employees often spend too much time handling cash with manual processes and reporting. This not only takes up valuable time your team could spend filling orders, merchandising, and improving customer service, it also leaves your cash open to unnecessary exposure.

 

When integrated with a currency management platform, POS software can help you manage currency by giving you insight into how much cash your stores have on hand and exactly how much they need. Such an integration is the ideal solution for anyone managing hundreds or thousands of locations — each with different needs for cash and coin — because it provides visibility and planning that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Using cash analytics will help you collect data from each location and make informed decisions about how much to keep on hand.

 

Corporate reporting 

When you’re managing hundreds or thousands of stores, it can be difficult to keep an eye on what’s happening at every location. Too often, you don’t realize you have a problem with staffing, cash management, or inventory management until weeks or months after your stores have started to have issues.

 

Using the data from your POS, you can integrate with a currency management platform for complete insight and reporting into the daily progress at each location. From that integrated data view, you can even monitor for compliance issues to cut off problems or inconsistencies before they get out of control.

 

To put it simply, supply chain management is the oversight of your materials, information and finances through every step of the supply chain process — that is, from supplier, to manufacturer, to wholesaler, to retailer, and then into the hands of the consumer. Supply chain management can include everything from tracking orders and shipping items to managing cash flow and overseeing transportation costs.

 

It can be difficult to streamline supply chain management if you use different systems for different tasks. For example, using separate corporate systems and POS software and hardware can prevent you from getting the benefits of efficiency and security. The right POS will be capable of integrating with other essential tools, like a currency management platform, creating a digital infrastructure that’s unfractured, thus creating improved efficiency, more insightful reporting, cross-location visibility, and tighter security.  

 

Image: iStock