Do you run a business? With Apple’s newest iPads on the market you now have an even more powerful weapon in your corner. Here’s why you might consider using one….
Using an iPad as your point of sale terminal has a huge advantage for retailers: it does inventory management a whole lot better than traditional methods. People who now need a low-cost but highly efficient system can find them even at nine shops such as Shopify, unsurprisingly.
Here’s how effective iPad point of sale systems can give you a leg up when it comes to automatic inventory management:
Real Time Update of Inventory Data
Inventory data updates the moment sales happen. Now it’s simple to monitor levels within your inventory and set up automatic orders when an item drops below a pre-selected amount. Now you’re not caught off guard without a popular product AND you’re not sitting on too much inventory because you decided to “order a few extras just in case.”
Of course, this doesn’t help you much if an item suddenly gets “hot” and moves faster than the normal demand, but you’ll still be better off than if the inventory were managed by regular means. Here’s how: Real time data updates help you track and project the performance of different items, so non-performing items can be put on sale to raise their attractiveness and move them off the shelves to make room for your biggest sellers.
If you run a retail operation you know that having items sitting in inventory and not moving wastes valuable space. Top marketers are intimately aware of what’s selling and what’s not. Even with a small store it’s easy to miss some key clues without using technology to help you work more effectively. Real time data allows you to see in a simple, understandable way when an item might become a burden.
The real time data is extremely effective at helping multiple location operations track the performance of a single point of sale terminal against a cadre of other stores. In the case of multiple stores being managed, it can give an inventory manager a heads up as to what store needs to be supplied with what item. This is especially useful in stores that are geographically distant from the head office.
Linked Inventory and Pricing
Let’s dig in a little on how the technology works. Inventory data is usually linked to a price database in order to be used with the iPad point of sale system. The terminal first scans a bar code which is referenced to the database. The database references the inventory number and then checks the price of the item and adds it to the bill amount. The price can be changed to reflect if the item goes on sale or not. The use of the inventory system for pricing ensures that stores that have multiple outlets have similar pricing at all of the outlets. It requires a lot less technical expertise to do a change in price across a large number of stores if the integrated inventory system is used to update the price information.
Efficient Management of Inventory Resources
Inventory resources need to be managed much like human resources. Ordering from the up-line of a chain can be automated the same way that distribution to multiple outlets can be arranged by use of the inventory management system. Linked iPad point of sales systems can send data directly to the inventory manager to inform him or her of a pending lack of items of a certain type. These alerts are extremely helpful, especially in the case of big chains. It allows them to distribute resources to branch stores efficiently while at the same time keeping an eye on the stockpile of items that they have in the case of a reorder. The inventory database can also help to manage which location each particular item goes to and this can be fed back into the system to update inventory records. End of year stocktaking would be far easier in this case.
The stand-mounted iPad you’ve begun seeing lately in many stores is a real trend that won’t go away….you’re going to see it more often. More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of including an iPad based processing platform for use with their inventory management. The companies that adopt this solution tend to be more efficient in getting their products where they need to go, but at the same time being able to redirect resources in the event of an emergency. iPad based point of sale terminals present the best parts of retail cashing with the best parts of inventory management into one nice, neat package. They cover bases that other point of sale terminals are only able to cover with the addition of costly software add-ons.
It turns out that the iPad isn’t simply a great way to watch Netflix movies at home. It is one that can, and is, changing the face of modern retail for the better. It’ll even help you beat J Crew.
Photo: Kai Hendry