A fully integrated EPOS system – The top 5 benefits
Wholesalers, stockists and distributors who offer a customer facing trade counter environment, typically in hardware, plumbing, electrical, tooling and workwear industries, will benefit greatly from a fully integrated trade counter EPOS system.
What’s the difference between POS and EPOS?
Firstly, it’s important to distinguish the difference between a traditional point of sale (POS) system and an electronic point of sale system (EPOS). Traditional POS systems will involve manual operations to reconcile accounts, process orders and manage inventory.
An EPOS system is a connected solution that collects and exchanges data from a central server to operate, manage and analyse transactions. A fully integrated EPOS system means that the trade counter interface used to process orders in your store is connected with your ERP system so stock levels are automatically adjusted, pricing and customer special pricing can be accessed and customer order history can be viewed all from the same interface.
This, as you can imagine, creates a whole host of benefits for your business efficiencies, stock control and customer service.
5 key benefits of an integrated EPOS system
One centralised database
The main benefit of an integrated EPOS system is that the single database you use for your ERP system is the same for your trade counter, and further store fronts such as your eCommerce website, which means you’ll only ever maintain and communicate with the same database. This ensures the stock levels, product information and customer data are secure, reliable and up to date, removing costly errors and admin time across the business.
Your trade counter staff can be confident in the information they can access and ensure they deliver quality customer service. You can be sure that your inventory levels are accurate across all depots and your order processing is managed effectively, which means the sales data and company performance analysis you can extract from your ERP system is a true reflection of your business.
Tighter stock control
Multi-channel selling is key for wholesalers and distributors to stay competitive but selling from a variety of channels can increase the risks of stock level and purchasing errors. A fully integrated EPOS system means your trade counter is working on the same single database as your ERP ensuring the stock information is always correct. This means that if you set up predefined stock measures to determine optimum inventory levels in your ERP software, those measures still apply when stock is allocated from your trade counter. You’ll reduce stock holding and ensure effective stock management to improve cash flow and importantly, allow your trade counter team to deliver great customer service with accurate up to date data.
Improve sales opportunities
Data is the key to unlocking hidden potential and this is the same no matter what channel you’re using to make the sale. Arming your trade counter team with the data they need to close the sale, increase order value or ensure the customer returns will inevitable increase sales revenue. An integrated EPOS system will give staff access to customer data, previous order history, stock levels, latest promotional deals and minimum sales price to maximise their chances of closing a sale.
The data you can retrieve from the sales performance is also a great way to increase sales opportunities, by understanding the busiest times of the day, the bestselling products and other sales performance indicators so you can make more informed decisions moving forward to improve efficiency and profitability.
Improved customer service
All the above benefits will affect your bottom line but they’ll all also influence your customer service levels and allow you to exceed the expectations of your customers. Trade counter business can largely be based on recommendations and if your clients are happy, reviews are 5 star and your recognised as trusted suppliers, you’re existing customers will return, and new customers will visit.
Providing a personal service give you an advantage over your competitors and an integrated EPOS system will enable you to view customer order history, make reorders and also present them with their special pricing so they know they’ll get the same service no matter how they shop with you.
One software supplier & partner
Having different suppliers for your software systems can create extra hassle when things go wrong. It’s difficult to know where a problem lies when the software solutions aren’t communicating effectively with each other.
Choosing a single supplier to provide you with your ERP, EPOS and eCommerce store increases the effectiveness of the solution because you can be confident that all areas of the system communicate with each other seamlessly.
Plus, your provider can become much more than just your supplier and as your software partner they can support you to drive your business forward and ensure you’re maximising the software’s potential to increase effectiveness and boost profitability.
Not sure what makes a good EPOS system? We've put together the top 10 features you need to look out for...