What Equipment Makes a Complete POS Solution?

A POS solution is generally the combination of a cash register / POS system and other peripheral devices such as a keyboard, display, cash drawer, bar code scanner, card reader, receipt printer, and beverage dispensers or portable ordering terminals. Each component integrates to create a single POS solution, which you can use standalone or integrated with other systems to function throughout your store or even across chains. As a store/business owner you may find it difficult to choose the right point of sale system for your business, if you do not know what constitutes a POS solution (either cash register or POS system). Below we have made a brief overview available on the general POS hardware that is usually part of a complete POS solution.

General Hardware Found in a POS Solution

The following equipment and devices should be part of your POS solution. The equipment will vary depending upon the type of business you have. Scales and scanners are ideal for retail, whereas beverage dispensers help a restaurant.

ECR/POS System

This is the brain behind the POS solution and houses the POS software.

Input Device

Retailers can use touch screens, programmable keyboards, scanners, or other handheld devices such a PC mouse to enter data into a POS system and navigate through options. Cash registers already have a built-in keyboard. Staff often uses scanners to quickly ring up many items during a sale. These items must be labeled with bar codes, so that the POS system can automatically identify which item to register.

Restaurant businesses deploy POS systems with touch screens, because it is easier and faster to navigate though menus.

Display

Used by the clerk and customer to view sales totals. Graphic capable displays have the capability to show personalized promotions as well.

Receipt Printer

Allows you to print out receipts for the customer. Dot-matrix printers cost less, but use mechanical components such as pins and ink ribbons. Unfortunately, these tend to fail more often. Thermal receipt printers are more expensive, but are faster and quieter. They should come with an Easy-Load mechanism to speed up paper loading.

Cash Drawer

This is where you store the cash. The cash register controls, when the drawer opens - usually when you finish a transaction. Because of continued, repetitive usage, the cash drawer must be well constructed to handle the stress.

Other Devices

Wireless Ordering Terminals - It allows staff to remain mobile, while taking orders from customers. This way they can attend more tables, for instance, and do not need to return to the kitchen to place orders.

Card Readers - You require these to read magnetic and credit cards.

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