Multiple POS systems for a growing business
By Bethany Ramos
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A business with more than one location will need multiple POS systems when integrating a complete point-of-sale solution. The good news is that many vendors specialize in multi-location POS installation. This service is ideal for a growing business with one or more locations.
POS expansion for chains and franchises
A number of POS vendors cater to multi-location businesses with software features that specialize in “chain management.”
If your business only has one location, you may still want to keep your ears open. A POS system with a chain management feature opens the door for expansion in the future. A POS with multi-location capabilities will allow a growing business to simply add another location and purchase new terminals to integrate with the software.
Multiple POS terminals will connect to the main store point-of-sale system. Many POS systems with a multi-store setup allow the main store to perform admin and management functions on other store locations; this feature can be used to monitor sales and audit employees remotely.
POS software that caters to multiple locations may include features like:
- Central management for chains/franchises
- Improved virus threat security
- System administrator control
- Real-time reporting from any location
- Customer targeting/tracking for loyalty programs
- Synchronized inventory tracking
- Product item transfers between locations
- Item replication for all locations
- Vendor replication for all locations
- Streamlined accounting applications
Multi-location POS in the cloud
The latest technology to hit the POS scene is cloud-based point-of-sale systems. Business owners looking toward future expansion often consider cloud-based POS systems to be advantageous over standard hard-wired POS terminals.
For starters, cost is an attractive selling point. A traditional hard-wired POS may cost anywhere from $3000-$5000 compared to a cloud-based POS with a price tag of $1000 or less. In addition, a cloud-based POS offers seamless integration for multiple systems “in the cloud.”
A cloud-based POS may be used in a restaurant or retail setting. All POS features can function simultaneously at multiple locations to process customer transactions, manage inventory levels for all stores, and track daily sales in detailed reports.
Cloud-based POS systems focus on real-time access. Software in the cloud will store customer transactions and sales data, along with updated inventory levels, in real-time. The system administrator, or manager, of a business has the freedom to access live data reports for any store, at any time, from any location.
For many business owners, this cloud access gives a greater perspective of the performance of all stores at any given moment. POS terminal use in any store location will update new data into the cloud as it happens; if Internet connection is lost at a terminal, transactions processed off-line will be uploaded to the cloud instantaneously once connection resumes.
Whether in the cloud or out, multi-location POS systems offer consolidated data management. All of the intricate details of the daily operations in a retail store or restaurant will be synchronized in all store locations. One POS hub will manage inventory, sales, customer information, gift cards, loyalty programs, and more.