Tag Archives: POS system

The Benefits Of A Mini Rugged As A Point Of Sale Computer

Leveraging Point of Sale

In any competitive business, the point of sale is a lot more than just a place to register the cash flow. When equipped properly, POS becomes your strategic center, your shortcut to the many business processes that help you grow your business. These processes need to be in-sync to provide the blazing fast customer service, and instill the customer satisfaction and loyalty. A powerful POS computer also helps you cut down the inventory costs, increase your POS mobility, durability, and performance.

The most important trend in today’s POS systems is the increasing mobility and scalability of hardware. The ability to mount a mini point of sale computer in more areas than just the traditional cash register station significantly widens their functionality and contributes immensely to the customer satisfaction. The introduction of a mobile POS is literally revolutionizing customer-centric businesses. The ability to hand a rugged point of sale tablet into the hands of an employee for a faster customer inquiry processing leads to shorter waiting times, faster order processing, storage checking and so much more. Your client leaves your premises faster because he/she gets a blazing fast customer service instead of frustrating queues. Likewise, mounted rugged minis as POS computers make purchase processing possible virtually anywhere.

POS As A Data Collection Hub

A balanced POS combines the robust hardware capable of running not only your point of sale software that processes the cash flow in the front of the house. Its integration into the back-end processes is equally important. When your point of sale is the service hub for tracking inventory, cash flow, orders, and customer habits and preferences, its benefits of becoming the data collection center are omnidirectional.

In this respect, mini rugged computers are robust and powerful enough to run complex POS software, handle various inventory databases and accounting, and keep the complex interactions between your different departments in-sync at all times. Its connectivity capabilities allow businesses to sync data between the remote POS stations where WiFi is unavailable and the company headquarters.

Cost-Effective Inventory Tracking

Affordable mini rugged PCs and rugged tablets not only save your retail space but also your money. Inventory tracking is one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive business processes, where having too little, or too much leads to losses. According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. retailers lose $45 billion from insufficient inventory in stock and $224 billion due to excess inventory. Thus, a robust point of sale system that is rugged and can be installed in virtually any industrial, retail or service area cuts down those costs by letting your employees keep your inventory up-to-date at all times.

Having a mini rugged as a point of sale that can also be used for inventory tracking significantly reduces the number of times shopkeepers conduct physical inventory count, too.

Consumer-Grade VS Rugged

The best POS configuration encompasses three vectors – affordability, robust hardware that can be mounted in various environments and handle power- and resource-consuming software, and the ease of use for the employees.

Basic consumer-grade computers stuffed with a regular POS system that can accept payments and process sales are no longer the solution that will keep your business ahead of your competition. Your POS system needs to cover time- and cost-saving features such as accounting, inventory tracking, customer data gathering, staff management, marketing, and task automation.

Consumer-grade PCs don’t make the cut – they can’t withstand the excessive dust of brick and mortar shops and warehouses, or humidity of nursery stores, or excessive heat and grease particles that populate the restaurant and fast food areas. To optimize the performance in these areas, businesses are increasingly deploying rugged mini computers that can be mounted in virtually any place or VESA-mounted near a stand. Rugged mini-PCs come with a perfect combination of robust military-grade hardware and processing capabilities that make them the exceptionally powerful point of sale computers.

Customer Database

A robust POS mini rugged PC that tracks customer preferences will let you know who your best customers are. With the point of sale computer having access to the customer database, you can see a customer’s purchase history at the register. This lets you inform the customer of a new product that is of interest to him/her.

For example, a nursery owner might give a quick heads-up to the orchids lover about the new shipment of those flowers he might have failed to notice during his short soil mix shopping trip. Likewise, a manager at an auto parts store can query the availability of a spare part with the inventory database immediately. More sales, faster customer inquiry processing, more happy customers, ease of use for your employees.

Benefits of Rugged Mini

Your point of sale computer needs to be rugged, which is particularly relevant to retail and warehouse environments. The devices need to withstand the excessive dust, humidity, grease or vibration and be robust enough to provide the computing resources to power all your POS software and accompanying programs.  Whether you mount them in your warehouse, in your store, along the supply chain, or in a restaurant, your POS  is so much more powerful when it’s rugged and made with the military-grade components.

Moreover, retail transactions can take place virtually anywhere – indoors or outdoors. So, your point of sale computers must be able to withstand heat, cold, or humidity. Combine a rugged mini PC with a rugged tablet as your point of sale computer, and you get a mobile system that’s not only dust and waterproof but can withstand drops and bumps, be cleaned frequently and look presentable to feature product images to customers.

Finally, adopting technological advancements is fine, but what if you are using legacy peripherals and aren’t ready to upgrade or replace them just yet? Ensure the computers have sufficient legacy and serial ports to support the hardware add-ons you use. Receipt printers, QR and RFID readers, barcode scanners, card readers, additional displays and the like – you will save a lot of money by integrating your legacy peripherals into a new POS system. Yet, to do that you can’t make do with a consumer-grade PC that does not support legacy extensions.

Summary

A mini rugged as a point of sale computer does not just process payments but offers a wide range of benefits including:

  • Scalable, fits almost anywhere, withstands rugged environments, supports legacy peripherals.
  • Military-grade components and rugged casing lead to a 2% overall failure rate only.
  • Inventory management, purchasing reports, stock replenishment orders.
  • Reduces wastage by minimizing the excessive and the insufficient stock.
  • Generating sales reports.
  • Managing and syncing customer databases.
  • Managing employee timesheets.
  • Handling barcodes.
  • Handling sales and promotions.

A robust POS system syncs your operations from sales to inventory and customer data, improving efficiency and productivity,  decreasing errors and enhancing a customer’s shopping experience. Check out Cybernet’s solutions for the point of sale computers featuring affordability, cutting-edge computing power, and support for legacy systems. Combined with robust rugged casing and military-grade discrete parts, Cybernet’s mini rugged PCs help businesses harness the benefits of smart technologies in their point of sale systems.

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve the Security of Their Point-of-Sale Systems

Many small businesses such as restaurants, bars, or even retailers, use Point-of-Sale (POS) systems to make the process of receiving payments from customers easier. Complete POS systems may include a computer along with a monitor, a cash drawer, a receipt printer, a credit card reader, and a mouse and a keyboard. They tend to be relatively expensive (cost a few thousand dollars on average) and if you, as a small business owner, decide to invest in a POS system, you should be prepared that these devices are often targeted by hackers who attempt to steal credit card information.

The number of cybercrimes committed every year is quite alarming. One of the major POS system security breaches occurred in late 2011. Romanian hackers compromised more than 146,000 credit cards and stole almost $10 million. Hundreds of POS systems were accessed illegally in the process. Here are 5 ways small businesses can protect themselves and their customers from cyberattacks.

Never Use Default Passwords

A significant portion of POS systems use the passwords that were assigned to them in the factory. Retailers have no incentive to change the passwords and the end customers (i.e. small business owners) usually have no idea about the possibility of the POS system getting hacked into. The simplest way a hacker can get access to the data stored on a POS system is to try the original, factory-set password and chances are he/she will be right. For this reason, it is highly recommended to change the password after purchasing the device.

Evaluate Your Risks

There is something called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) protocols. These protocols set requirements to help organizations increase their security and develop formal processes designed to identify vulnerabilities that might reduce card holder data security. By following these requirements companies can evaluate the risk of being hacked and determine which controls can help their businesses be protected. This is not a one-time action. Risk assessment should be an ongoing process, so that if any threat emerges, it can be responded to by taking preventive measures. You should also keep in mind that risk assessment is only a part of all the applicable PCI DSS requirements.

Know Who You Are Dealing With

This could be the most important tip of all. To fully understand cyber criminality and the possibility of yours or your customers’ data being stolen, you should educate yourself in this area. By educating yourself in this field you will no longer be tempted to underestimate the potential consequences data theft could mean to you and your business. Often times criminals are former employees of the particular restaurant or bar that he/she targets. At the end of the day, it is much more comfortable and safe for the hacker to steal the confidential data from a far distance. There is no need for him/her to hold up a cash register at gunpoint anymore. The POS system can be accessed from anywhere in the world and data can be stolen via electronic means with little to no footprints left behind.

Do Business with Trained Resellers

If you are purchasing your POS system from a retailer and not the original manufacturer, you should see to it that the retailer has been trained under the Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) program. This program was put in place by the PCI Council and its purpose is to increase POS security. Professionals and IT experts working in the retail organizations can now receive this training. It is designed to educate them about how Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) applications can be installed securely. By following the methodology taught in the training, companies can make sure they comply with the PCI DSS standards. If you work with a trained individual, he/she will help you to install and maintain the payment applications you are going to be using. You can read more about these applications below.

Use a Reliable All-in-One PC

Small businesses can now protect their customers’ data by complying with the PCI DSS standards. PA-DSS apps can be installed on a number of devices, including tablets and PCs. This PA-DSS validation has to be correctly configured and maintained for it to work as it is supposed to be working. Otherwise it will not provide much benefit at all. Other apps such as ID verification apps can be installed on the PCs or tablets, as well, for increased security.

Conclusion

POS systems are among the most frequent targets of hackers trying to profit from their criminal activities. Since these devices are usually connected to the internet, they can be accessed from anywhere in the world by a capable hacker. This problem is not likely to go away any time soon and for this reason, you’d best be prepared.

Kiosks – Enhancing Productivity and Customer Service

Kiosks are free-standing information and computing portals consisting of a computer (or kiosk PC,) a monitor, other peripherals like credit card readers or printers, and a cabinet to house them. They have been in use since the 1970s, originally targeted for consumers in multiple industries. One of the first widespread uses of kiosks was in the financial services industry, in the form of the ATM. Resistant at first, consumers became very comfortable with them and now expect to have multiple ATMs available 24/7, conveniently located.

There are many types of kiosks in use today. Some deliver information such as maps or tourist information; many take the form of self-checkout or point-of-sale systems; some are placed in retail stores to promote products or search inventory via a private database or the Internet; vending kiosks can actually dispense products, and other kiosks can process service transactions.

Kiosks are used in a wide range of industries for B2C applications, but are also used for B2B applications such as inventory control and operations. In the world of B2C and especially retail, kiosks provide self-service to consumers. Today, the B2C sectors with heaviest kiosk use include airlines, hospitality/tourism, retail grocery, casinos, vending, event ticketing, DVD rental, and of course, banking. Government agencies (such as DMV offices) use kiosks to process transactions, or to provide information to tourists at parks and recreational areas. In B2B, companies use kiosks to process job applicants and for employee time and attendance; in hospitals kiosks are used for patient registration and pharmacy control systems; and in factories, kiosks are used for process control and testing.

There are many business reasons for deploying kiosks.  The most obvious one is reducing labor expense by replacing staff with an information kiosk or point-of-sale system. Another business reason is the opportunity to reduce inventory expense by offering order access to products not currently stocked at physical location via an in-store kiosk. Customer satisfaction is another reason: many consumers prefer self-service because it is faster. In a manufacturing setting, using kiosks can improve productivity and reduce overall computer equipment costs.

Kiosks today are equipped with kiosk PCs that have touch screens, making them easier to use. Originally, the kiosk software had to be installed at each physical location, but once network computing became pervasive, it was possible to update software from a centralized location. When use of the Internet became commonplace (and expected) this became even easier. All these technology advances led to more widespread use of kiosks.

Cybernet’s all-in-one kiosk PCs with touch screens are used in many kiosk applications, and Cybernet also has an all-in-one PC designed for point-of-sale applications, the iPOS-G45. Our success stories provide descriptions of how our customers have deployed Cybernet kiosk PCs for self-service banking (South Jersey Federal Credit Union); in retail point-of-sale (Vin Now); in a medical facility (iMD Health Canada); and in manufacturing systems (Aqueous Technologies.) Read these stories to get more ideas on how kiosks and touch screen all-in-one PCs could enhance your productivity and customer service.