BLOOMING WITH TECHNOLOGY-POINT OF SALE SYSTEM
This report lists out the challenges and potential pitfalls of using the Point of Sale (POS) system in the Four Seasons Greenhouse and Nursery located in Colorado. POS system can help the garden management enterprise to overcome these challenges on a daily basis to increase their sales, streamline their business, reduce costs and eventually increase efficiency and profits. The management is able to effectively lower the costs, improve the service, and consolidate the position and minimising the redundancy. The POS system helped by provision of a central database which helps in faster processing of information and accelerating decision making.
Point of Sale system is a pointor location where the transaction or a ‘check out’ takes place. The systems are able to track the internal stock and reschedule the restocking from the external source. This management of inventory is an importantaspect of the business of garden company. It is mainly mapping out everything about inventory management which deals with replacement lead time, carrying cost of inventory, inventory and demand evaluation, stock visibility, forecasting of price, quality management, and management of return policy.
Advantages and disadvantages of POS system
POS system is an automated system. It can be integrated in existing inventory control of the management. When POS system was applied to garden company, they were able to automatically reduce the work, expenses and time associated withrunning the business. The system helped the management of the garden company to keep track of the popularity of each item and the quantity of each item sold so that restocking can be effectively managed. The system helps to track seasonal growth patterns and those related to certain events so as to plan appropriate inventory management (Reyhanoglu, 2014). On the flip side POS system requires an initial cost of setup. Apart from that, it needs regular updates. These have to be scheduled or the vendor is to be allowed to download and install them. These require a maintenance fee on a regular basis. Each technology comes with its own pros and cons. POS system also poses their own kind of security risks ( Ahn, Moon, Kim, Shin, & Kim, 2012). POS systems are connected to a central network which has its own drawbacks. Security breach can happen if the system is not updated on a regular basis. This could also mean leak of sensitive and protected data like bank details.
POS system helps the business to gain competitive advantage
With an effective POS system in Placedgarden Company is at a competitive advantage. POS systems fast track transactions and remove the need to keep the customer waiting in line( Huang, Dyerson, Wu & Harindranath, 2015). This enhances the shopping experience for the customer making him want to come back for more. POS system helps by hourly data reporting.to give a clear insight into times when there is need for more staff and when there is not much requirement of staff. If there are not enough employees to answer queries of customers and retrieve merchandise when needed, then the customer is bound to go elsewhere for better service. The garden company can keep itself refreshed in the customer’s memory by keeping in touch through social media and mail. POS systems help can in marketing of the garden company’s products across various channels. If the customer came to buy a particular product which is not in stock, then he is bound to go looking somewhere else. The POS system applied at the garden company helps in keeping inventory updated and driving sales by keeping it sufficiently stocked. By using a POS system, the garden company is able to allow tech savvy customers to pay in whatever mode they wish. This in turn helps drive sales and retain customer loyalty.
Advantages of having a centralised database
Centralised database storage offers some substantial advantages to the customers of the Four Seasons Greenhouse and Nursery. The centralised storage often includes a backup which allow preservation of data. The system can continue in spite of hardware failure which generally happens in case of localised computational networks. Tablets and laptops might get stolen or lost and an unattended PC is susceptible to access by anyone. Centralised storage and server room security restricts access to a small number of people. Data storage in the centralised version helps in keeping critical information safe as it implements encrypted virtual private networks, firewalls and rigorous password protection (Iacobucci, 2014). Centralised system put the garden company at an advantage by reducing the costs. It is economical and less space consuming to maintain combined storage system than to run multiple ones at multiple locations.
Facilitation of decision making by POS system
The new technology in the form of POS system helps accelerate decision making process and drive up sales. The implementation of POS system enables sales associates to leverage the system, deliever product recommendations, resolve queries and many other concerns. The decision making process of the garden company was further heightened by charting out information related to customers such as product preferences which helps in responsiveness to customer needs. For example, promotional messages will most likely be delivered to the inbox of specific individuals who are more likely to be interested in the product. POS systems can be effectively integrated into the inventory management system of the organisation. The implementation of the POS system at the garden company helped to stock up the inventory, streamlining order fulfilment, empowering the staff to service the customer effectively, retrieve the demanded product and even drop ship it if necessary. The system helps the Four Seasons Greenhouse and Nursery to act more effectively because of analytics and reporting capability which help in interpreting business trends and accurate forecasting. The statistics generated bythe POS system helps to better manage the business by providing access to quick-glance at sales numbers, staffing levels, trends, and location dashboards. Moreover the information can also be tracked manually and effectively fulfilling an order
Types of network are differentiated based on their size which means in terms of number of machines; their data transfer speed and their outreach. Depending on this, the networks can be LAN (Local Area Network), MAN (Metropolitan Area Network), WAN (Wide Area Network)
Local Area Networks (LAN) are the networks internal to the organisation that means connections between the machines that belong to the specific organisation. These can be connected to the internet using interconnection equipment when the business needs to communicate with its customers or staff who may physically located atlong distance. But this makes data vulnerable as it travels through a public domain (Mastroeni & Naldi, 2010). For this reason, the information which is crucial and sensitive for the organisation should not be sent through this route. Additionally, if it still needs to be sent, security can be tightened by encapsulating it in tunnelling protocol which means
creation of a Virtual Private Network.A promising telecommunication option for the garden centre.
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) connects close by LANs which are not too distant geographically in an area of few dozen kilometres at high speeds. MAN usually works through fibre optic cables and is connected via switches or routers. MAN connects two remote LAN as if they were a part of same LAN. This mode can be used when the garden centre scales up its business.
Wide Area Network (WAN) connects multiple LANs to each other over huge geographical distances. The speed depends on the cost of connections which is in direct connection with the distance it travels ( Mastroeni & Naldi, 2010). WAN s operate using routers which itself chooses the appropriate path for data transfer. The internet is the best example.
There are diverse telecommunication solutions; the most common being wireless technology and wired technology such as copper and fibre optic cables. While both have their own pros and cons, the wireless technology is being more frequently coming into use. Wireless technologies are easy to install, run and maintain. There are many factors that have an important role to play like cost savings, flexibility and power consumption (Mar, 2012). Communication networks are critical utilities security and individual needs will decide upon the best solution ( Mastroeni & Naldi, 2010).
Types of risks which come withPOS system and business protection
Cyber security is a major issue in every business concern. Large amounts of information is stored and transferred between cloud systems. The Point of Sale is the weakest point in the security plan of a business. Hackers can steal valuable information regarding customers like their credit card details, bank account information and other vitals. POS technology should be kept on a separate password encrypted network to address the issues (Kienie, German, Tilley & Muller, 2008). Keeping software updated is criticalto address security, privacy and confidentiality issues. The devices need to be secured with passcodes. Privacy is much easier to invade as the POS systems operate on World Wide Web which is an open source medium. The problem becomes more acute if the operating system isout dated as then it can become easier and free for hacking by cyber thieves. Even though a majority of us lead normal, boring lives but data about us which includes clients is being gathered continuously. It may lead to synthesising of innocent looking data into creation of a profile we may not want; moreover it may lead to identity theft. Privacy concern may not seem to be an issue right now but it can become one anytime in near future because it is like someone is keeping a watch every second. Client confidentiality ensures that information pertaining to a client will not be revealed to a third party without the consent of the client or their legal advisors. The issues can be addressed by following protocol and secure back office system.
Points of Sale system automates many processes of Four Seasons Green house and Nursery, improves security and brings add- on value for the customers of garden centre. POS system isdesignedand suitable to all scales of business, especially SMEs, it is perhaps the most reliable, robust and dynamic solution for the retail management. It is practically the most simple and cost efficient management of the diverse environment as it is a one stop solution. It also keeps track of customer consideration for future use. Using a POS system is a wise decision as it is a scalable model but necessary actions need to be taken to address issues pertaining to security, privacy, confidentiality, cost and maintenance issues.
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