As the saying goes, you should work smarter, not harder. If you own a retail chain, it’s especially crucial that you have a point of sale (POS) system that works smarter. Being perpetually chained to your corporate or back office computer is probably not what you envisioned when you started your business. The right retail POS system should give you more freedom and flexibility in running your business, while also allowing you to keep a close eye on your bottom line.

Is your point of sale system saving you valuable time and resources? Here are 10 things your POS solution should do for your business. If it doesn’t, it might be time for an upgrade.

1. MAKE EMPLOYEE TRAINING A BREEZE – One of the retail industry’s toughest challenges remains high employee turnover. According to a survey by Hay Group, “retailers report a median turnover rate of 67 percent for part-time store workers.” Increased turnover rates mean that your POS registers need to be incredibly user-friendly. The easier it is to navigate the POS register, the quicker you can train new employees.

It should allow you to customize your screens, nest multiple items in a single button, and even create buttons for items that don’t have barcodes. Not only does this save you valuable time and money training new employees, but it also decreases your checkout times. 

2. GIVE YOU PRECISE INVENTORY CONTROL – As a retailer, your most valuable commodity is your inventory. Your POS system should be adept at tracking your inventory at a granular level. Tree views and deep item categorization will give you the power to manage your price book precisely in as much detail as you want. 

When entering multiple products by the same parent, does your POS system allow you to create reusable templates? If so, you can save valuable time that would otherwise be wasted on data entry. Being able to create orders, receive invoices, and schedule inventory transfers between stores from the POS home screen will also make your inventory management much more efficient.

Scanning is the most secure way to ensure proper item management for inventory and price. But what if you have items without barcodes? POS systems that allow you to create your own barcodes are essential for retailers.

3. UTILIZE AUTO-CALCULATION TOOLS – Does your point of sale system automatically calculate markup pricing, discounts, buydowns, in-store and manufacturer coupons, and tax information? If you answered "no" then you are wasting time on manual calculations. 

4. BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY – Does your point of sale system come with an integrated customer loyalty rewards program? If not, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to increase sales and build relationships with your customers that will keep them coming back to your store. Does your retail point of sale system make it easy to sign up new customers? If the process is complicated or takes too long, chances are good that even a customer who is interested in signing up will decline.

5. MAKE SMARTER INVENTORY DECISIONS – It’s important to order the right amount of inventory you need to keep up with demand without tying up your cash with a large reserve that’s not selling. Having accurate reporting helps you make smarter decisions about your inventory. A retail point of sale system should give you the freedom to schedule reports in advance to run automatically. A great POS can also schedule regular orders to run automatically on specific days and times, preventing out of stocks.

6. EASILY CREATE AND SCHEDULE DISCOUNTS – Creating effective discount promotions is crucial to driving sales. This is a key task your point of sale system should be doing well. Discounts like dollars off per item, percentage off each item, buy this/get that free, and buy one/get one deals should be easy to configure on your POS. This will save you valuable time. Scheduling your discounts to run automatically on the dates of your choosing will make your workload much more manageable. A hallmark of a great POS system is that it makes automating discounts quick and simple.

7. PREVENT EMPLOYEE THEFT – Having a retail point of sale system that allows you to set permission controls is important. This will give you the ability to prevent loss through employee theft since you can track the use of negative action buttons like cancel sale, void item, item return, and no sale.

Having an integrated time clock with a biometric fingerprint scanner also helps prevent employee time theft. Since you can accurately track employee logins, there is no theft of time due to inaccurate reporting of hours. A biometric fingerprint scanner eliminates time theft due to buddy punching since one employee can’t clock in to the POS using a co-worker’s login credentials.

8. SHOW YOUR REAL-TIME DATA – An inventory count isn’t very useful if it’s inaccurate. Does your POS retail management system utilize a handheld device that allows you to perform inventory counts while your store is still open, showing you real-time data?

A great POS system will allow you to see at a glance the product quantities you have available on hand or on order at any given time. Real-time data allows you to make proactive ordering decisions. It also allows you to easily spot and take advantage of sales trends.

9. LET YOU MANAGE YOUR PRICE BOOK FROM ANYWHERE – Are you stuck at the store managing your price book or running reports? Great POS systems allow you to access your price book, inventory, and sales data from anywhere in the world.

10. INCREASE YOUR SALES – Any point of sales system can track your sales, but does your POS actively increase them? If yours includes a module that will automatically trigger messages on the POS so that your sales associates can effectively communicate your promotions with your customers that is a great tool for generating upsells at checkout.

Your point of sale system should streamline your workload, prevent loss, and drive sales. Having the right POS solution will not only make your operations more efficient, it can actually grow your business! If it doesn't, it might be time to look for a new one.