Finding the Right POS

In the doggone years when small-time retail players make up the market, keeping track of sales transactions covered throughout the operations was a cinch--business owners would often log sales on paper, and compute them with a calculator on day-end.

But for big businesses such as Wilcon Builders Depot, a large network of retail stores selling building, construction, and interior design supplies, automating the POS (point-of-sale) system became a necessary ingredient for growth and expansion, as they shared during Computerworld Philippines' executive briefing in August on Point-of-Sale Systems.

POS, according to Lorraine Belo, the company's chief information officer, is not just the computer system that logs and tracks transactions within the day. "POS is actually the moment a customer obtains an item and brings it to the person who is selling it," Belo clarifies.

Because of this basic definition, POS can be carried out using a simple combination of a paper and a calculator, Belo says. "But if, for example, you started out with 100 items [on your store], and suddenly you grew to a thousand items, it's hard to keep track of the items and sales manually," she points out.

Computerizing the POS, therefore, becomes an inevitable move for businesses are gunning for, or have already started, growth and expansion, as it brings about certain benefits manual POS couldn't possibly deliver.