Point of sale Hardware and Software

The number and type of hardware involved in a business setting is dependent not only on the location and physical size of the business, but also on marketing and branding. Retailers employ, “store within a store” to capture the sales immediately. The advantages include eliminating long register lines and capitalize on impulse purchase. The hardware comprises peripherals and terminals that involve one or combination of several devices.

  • Cash drawers
  • Check readers
  • Barcode scanners
  • Touch screen (standalone or all-in-one unit)
  • Tablets
  • Of the shelf computer
  • Receipt printers

These devices can work on wireless or mobile platform which further adds on the flexibility regarding terminal placement as well as the environment under which they function. Web enable terminal on the other hand allows tracking of the inventory across locations are geographically apart and also provide diagnostics, operation and remote training.

In terms of software, other industries have diverse point of sale needs eg a hardware store operation has a different software requirement from a restaurant POS. The size of the business also determines the type of software to be used.

Web based (cloud based) platform is increasingly becoming popular since it is largely device and OS-agnostic. Cloud based POS can not only run in any computer with a browser and internet connections but also on tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. Cloud based systems can be remotely run from one or more secure servers.


POS systems may come as a complete bundled package of software, hardware and services that can be incorporated by the original manufacturer. Systems can be bought or leased and some systems are free. After sale service include remote telephone support and repair, upgrade and email support. Additional service include credit card processing, loan services and cash advances, equipment leasing.

POS Packages

Retail: The retail industry is one of the most prominent users of the point of sale terminal which are integrated into accounting and inventory back-office functions. POS systems in addition to processing purchasing transactions, it accommodates the use of loyalty cards, coupons redemption, gift registries and gift cards.

Hospitality: The hotel/hospitality industry needs to track the number of guests as they interact with various services such as playing golf, dining room, spa reservation. POS systems can provide handy display of guest preferences. This allows the staff to anticipate the needs of the guest rather than respond to the request and thus raise their service levels.

Restaurant: Some of the POS touchscreen terminal were used in restaurant industry particularly in fast food shops. There are standard ways to track and input orders, generate customer receipt and process payment. The POS also notifies the waiter when the orders are ready for delivery.

Grocery. POS can be part of self-check-out systems which incorporate wight scales. Some of the grocery systems can allow customers to use barcode scanners to record their selection and therefore expedite the final checkout

Salon: The beauty and hair industry needs to track, modify and enter client preferences and appointments in a system that generate performance loyalty profiles and reports and correct and identify inefficacies in workflow. POS also maintains beauty care product inventory.

Changing Needs

With technological advancements, POS systems have need rapidly changing thus ensuring that the business can go beyond transaction processing. The systems have improved from cash boxes to cash registers to iPad b and other small technologies. We now have features that make business owners work easier, improve employee’s performances and boost sales. To understand the POS systems better, this article present a guide to find the best options for your business

POS system Parts

In addition to accepting cash payments and credit cards, POS systems offer all in one solutions that allows business efficiency. Advanced features includes marketing tools, inventory management, reporting and analytics, budgeting and customer relationship management (CRM). The systems can connect third party apps and thus prevent headaches and saves on time automatically syncing data in real time.

There are two parts of POS: Hardware and software. Hardware can be a mobile phone paired with credit card reader or Ipad, all in one POS terminal with complete printer, mouse, keyboard, scanner, debit and credit card, barcode scanners, cash drawer and monitors.

Factors to consider before buying a POS system.

  • POS software: each Hardware is as good as the software that runs it. It is an important that the business owners choose a system that offers features that fits their need.
  • POS terminal and peripherals: Best POS providers’ offers touchscreen and mobile systems, PIN pads, customer display and barcode printers.
  • After sales care: Customer support is imperative for every business. POS system is the bran of any enterprise, so when a problem rises, the whole business operation can be in standstill
  • Wireless and mobile technology. Business owners should consider a POS that offers inventory and tableside tools. Best providers offers systems that are compatible with mobile and wireless technology.

The best POS systems

Each business has its own set of needs. With so many different options for POS systems and features, it can often be hard for business owners to figure out which systems are the best for them. To help the owners find the right POS, Almiria ltd has done extensive analysis and research to compile the list of the best POS system. We have the best systems for small business, restaurants and retailers, as well as the best POS system for iPad. We have diverse POS system that we considered for our best picks.

Hardware Components

Barcode scanner: checkout and automate process. Scanning barcode pulls product info and integrate inventory management to adjust stock levels.

Tablet/Monitor: Displays the product database and enables other functionalities such as sales reports and employee clock-in.

Credit card reader: Non-compliant retailer face massive losses on account of fraud liability.

Cash drawer. Cash is still king. Until then, you will require a secure a place to store cash.

Receipt printer: Texts and email receipts may be gaining popularity, howbeit receipts remain important for providing customers with a quick snapshot.

What to look for when Buying a POS?

Many tasks in a retail store can be resource exhaustive and tedious. Retailers have the capacity to simplify important daily business operations. Modern POS improves the merchant chances of success by providing them with tools to streamline the process of business.

Common POS software features

  • Sales reporting: analyze and record data to make informed business decisions
  • Inventory Management: Manage quantity of stock to determine when to re-order stock
  • Customer management: Log purchases and keep in touch with customers
  • Employee management: Track employee hours and sale while analyzing top performer

POS system should:

  • Provide quick charts and snapshots on your store sale performance.
  • Generate detailed reports based on cost of item, employee, hour, gross margin, profit percentage and net profit.

Inventory Management: One of the basic functions of inventory management, POS system, at its very essence, keep track of all the products.

Your systems should have the capacity to:

  • Manage stock by creating product variation
  • Count and scan products digitally.
  • Track inventory levels across various location
  • Identify pieces of inventory
  • Consolidating purchases

Customer Management: it should build strong relationship with customers by attaching a sale to a customer, track purchase inventory, capture customer basic information, use email marketing to keep in touch with them.

Questions to ask in purchasing a Point of sale system.

If you are buying a POS system for the first time, make a list of features you need to have and talk with fellow business owners who are operating within the same platform. Start looking at solutions, agility and usability features. Then ask:

  • Can the POS integrate with the existing software
  • What payment methods can the POS accept? Can it accept Airtel Money or MPESA and so on
  • How much does the software cost? Som of the POS systems cost from KSH 20,000 to 80,000.
  • Are there any hidden fees involved in payment processing?
  • Does the POS incorporate hardware proprietary since this can save time while offering other functionalities?

Next Step:

·         Research for the most popular POS systems such as Amador Posfilex, Posifle, and Syble. These are mostly recommended by fellow business

·         Complete a retail software questionnaire which helps in narrowing down your options.

·         Read customer reviews to understand whether they are satisfied

1D (linear) barcodes and 2D (matrix) barcodes.

1D barcode scanners are composed of parallel libe of varying distances and width while the 2D barcode are usually square and scan the QR coding. Depending on your scanning options. It is important to understand your needs before making purchases. There are advantages and disadvantages of using the two options based on the information store to the capability of scanning software.

  • 1D Barcode standards include: Epos, Honeywell and syble
  • 2D Barcode standards include: Syble, Zebra, Aztec and DataMatrix

We at Almiria limited, we help our customers in choosing the best POS system based on the needs. We have a team of qualified POS system technicians who work hand in hand to provide the best product. Irrespective of the software or hardware that you use, the POS system will simplify the format the data is encoded.