“A good provider will also not only ensure the user experience is simplified through the system UI [user interface] but also in clear and concise training materials, as well as knowledgeable staff who can train and guide throughout the implementation and on,” says Nolan.
There are several questions a retailer needs to answer before he or she sets out to choose a POS system for their store: What are some things that are currently problems for the store and can the potential POS system improve on this? Is the POS system scalable? What is the financial, technical and operational overhead associated with the POS system? Tobacco retailers should also make sure the POS system they are looking to bring into their business can address certain industry needs, including age verification, manufacturer scan data, management/reporting, automated buydown management and reporting, automatic parent/child inventory breakdown and rollup management, and tax handling—in both receiving and sales.
Filling in the Gaps
A POS system can and will address some of the weak points in a retail business. For example, a good POS system will be able to print scannable barcodes of different types and sizes to accommodate most products, including loose cigars. If scanning isn’t an option, a POS system should offer the cashier the option of looking up and entering items by their assigned short reference numbers, which allows them to look up an item by description, image or vendor part.
Also, don’t forget to use the helpful reports that a POS system can easily generate. Retailers can improve their business by reviewing and acting on the data received from transactions being processed through the POS system. Retailers should regularly check their POS reports to confirm proper pricing, taxes, discount application and inventory movement. Retailers should also evaluate negative actions, such as cancels, voids, returns and price alterations, to ensure that their inventory is being managed properly.
This story first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.