Retail and hospitality businesses increasingly depend on their point-of-sale (POS) systems for much more than simply handling and recording transactions. As POS technologies have grown more sophisticated, they have taken on additional “jobs,” ranging from tracking inventory to timekeeping to managing prices and promotions. And even with all these additional responsibilities, businesses still rely on their POS systems to serve their primary transactional functions with no (or at least only minimal) downtime.
With increased data communication, storage requirements, and the many additional roles POS systems are now playing, traditional server-based systems may no longer be adequate. In such cases, a POS solution with cloud-based reporting can handle higher levels of complexity – while also offering a more centralized and simple management system with lower operational costs to boot.
There are three strong reasons why switching to a POS solution with cloud-based reporting might be the right move for your business:
1. Real-Time Reporting: Retail and hospitality businesses often operate at a fast pace, requiring managers to deal with challenges – or seize opportunities – by acting quickly. POS solutions with cloud-based reporting offer real-time access to the latest data about inventory counts, labor usage percentages, productivity, daily/hourly sales, etc., and can centralize this data from multiple locations. Armed with this information, managers can call in more workers, change the price of a slow-moving item, or place an order to deal with an impending out-of-stock situation, without needing to be on site at the store or restaurant.
2. Anytime, Anywhere Data Access: Today’s POS solution with cloud-based reporting can make data available on a wide range of Internet-connected devices, from laptops to smartphones to tablets. This is particularly helpful for multi-unit chains, where managers and executives may be based at a corporate headquarters but still want to keep an eye on several stores or restaurants. Improved data access also helps maintain productivity and tightens control even when managers are traveling.
3. Lower Total Cost of Ownership: A POS solution with cloud-based reporting offers several ways for businesses to cut costs. You’ll want to find a solution that works directly with your software, cutting out the need for a back office solution. This saves money by eliminating the need for a back office computer, the software and licensing fees, the setup and support fees, as well as the cost of training. Software patches and upgrades can also be delivered in a single instance for all POS systems within a chain, saving time and manpower (and reducing the potential for human error that can occur with multiple individual upgrades to each server or terminal).
POS systems with cloud-based reporting offer a wide range of benefits, particularly for retail and hospitality businesses operating in multiple locations or via multiple sales channels. With increasing amounts of data flowing through today’s POS systems, the centralized storage and memory capabilities of a POS solution with cloud-based reporting systems offer a dynamic set of tools for keeping a real-time eye on operations from virtually anywhere.