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How does a super market POS system work?

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nyc217

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Hey Fastlane forum,

I’m super excited — getting to work on an idea where I finally see an actual market need and can provide value for a specific set of end users.

I am just curious, has anyone on here worked closely with a POS system or just simply knows of POS systems in depth, specifically grocery store POS systems?

After some preliminary research:

You have a POS (point of sale), and this point of sale is made up of:
- A screen
- Scanner
- Credit/debit card reader
- Cash drawer

This POS is connected to a server where the transaction data is sent to.

The database holds all of the relevant data, (I.e. inventory, sales, etc).

Essentially I like to think of it as just entries in a database — nothing too ground breaking.

Mainly my question is, what is the typical architecture for these systems?

And, what else are they used for, other than inventory management, if anything?

Am I missing any crucial components?

I figured I ask here before allocating some time to this research!

If no answers, it’s fine. Thanks for reading through.
 

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Real Deal Denver

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Essentially I like to think of it as just entries in a database — nothing too ground breaking.
This is as ground breaking as it gets.

It keeps track of inventory. It sorts the fastest selling items, and the most profitable items. Crucial data to be successful. It tracks inventory turns. It monitors stock levels and generates reorders. It tracks aging on slow moving products so they can be replaced, if need be. It tracks time analysis of what sells most and when that happens - time of day, and weekly results per individual day.

Not to mention doing the actual accounting, which includes income, cost of goods sold, net profit, and extracting sales tax data.

It monitors response to sales and coupons. What works and how well it works. It can even define this to what isle and what shelf space is most effective. Marketing 101 to 501.

It pretty much runs the entire store - or should I say entire enterprise?

How many people do you think it would take to do all of that?
 
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nyc217

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This is as ground breaking as it gets.

It keeps track of inventory. It sorts the fastest selling items, and the most profitable items. Crucial data to be successful. It tracks inventory turns. It monitors stock levels and generates reorders. It tracks aging on slow moving products so they can be replaced, if need be. It tracks time analysis of what sells most and when that happens - time of day, and weekly results per individual day.

Not to mention doing the actual accounting, which includes income, cost of goods sold, net profit, and extracting sales tax data.

It monitors response to sales and coupons. What works and how well it works. It can even define this to what isle and what shelf space is most effective. Marketing 101 to 501.

It pretty much runs the entire store - or should I say entire enterprise?

How many people do you think it would take to do all of that?

Man this is great insight. Thank you so much. Never knew how much more these systems do.

Thank you for your help
 
Last edited:

jpn

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Worked closely with a lot of POS system providers in the past. Mainly in the fashion retail industry though.

Like @Real Deal Denver said POS systems are a core component of most large retail operations. Look at it this way, modern enterprises run on large ERPs, inventory management, accounting systems, CRM, marketing/loyalty systems, payment providers, eCommerce operations, etc.

These central systems are the brain that stores and processes all the data of the company. The POS systems are the nerve endings that stretch out into the stores and collect data from those locations and send it back to the brain.

Sometimes the POS system and back-end systems are from the same vendor. Often they are not, so you get a patch work of different systems being used together by a retailer.

A friend of mine runs a POS company, its a competitive market.
 

minivanman

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This is my business partner's line of work. Funny thing, every time he mentions POS all I can ever think of is.... piece of shit. lol
 

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