Scales have the potential to save your business effort, money, and time. You’ll make less mistakes when your scale and POS system communicate seamlessly. However, not all types of scales are made equal. An understanding of the differences is important to help you choose the kind you need for your POS system.
Types of Scales
There are three main types of scales POS systems use: in-counter scanner scales, barcode printing scales, and standard standalone scales. In this guide we will review all 3 POS scales types.
In-counter scanner scales are located at the checkout register of local supermarkets. The ability to scan barcodes is the most noticeable feature of this scale. Scanner scales use bi-optic technology to scan barcodes, which means scanners contain both a horizontal and vertical scanning surface.
This design renders operation more efficient and enables clerks to read the barcode by drawing a product across the scanner scale at almost any angle. The product is then weighed and priced on the same scanning surface.
These scales are expensive, but indispensible for high-volume retailers.
Barcode Printing Scales are those you see in the meat department. After the product is weighed, the scale prints a barcoded label that identifies the item and its price based on the weight. These types of scales are great not only for meat departments, but also delis, meat markets, seafood markets, cheese shops, and any company selling product by the kilo or pound to be packaged.
Finally, standalone scales are the most basic of all types. Establishments selling items by weight like small markets and ice cream shops usually use them, as do others with a limited volume of barcoded items. When you place a product on these scales, the POS system receives the data of its weight and calculates a price based on the price of the product per unit of weight.
Barcode Printing Scales
The POS system is not directly connected to the barcode printing scale even though the barcodes printed by these scales can be read by the POS. You actually maintain two product databases. If you sell bananas by the pound, you have to enter the fruit into both machines. On the front end, this requires a little extra work, but thereafter the setup is very easy to manage.
If you have multiple barcode printing scales, they’re not necessarily on different databases. You can network your barcode printing scales via wired or wireless connection to make sure all the scales reflect the same product database.
Custom Barcode Labels
Your company can track inventory with custom barcode labels, and not only – it also becomes very easy to access key product data. You can see product pricing, details, and availability in a single barcode scan. Some POS systems let you print and create barcode labels as needed.
Internal SKU Numbers
Based on the numbering system that you set up for your operation or internal inventory tracking, your POS system can create a barcode for each of your products. These are also known as custom internal SKU numbers. Online and conventional retailers who stock items from many suppliers and want to track products under a joint system make use of this type of internal inventory tracking.
Creating Product Codes
You need unique product codes that identify your products to create a custom barcode label. Most companies use either SKU or UPC numbers to track inventory items. They create barcode labels after that. The best inventory numbering or coding system depends on your type of business and inventory tracking needs.
Many retail POS systems make creating barcode labels easy using your internal SKU numbers. They do this by translating your unique codes into barcodes that are then used to generate labels. SKU numbers help you track, find, organize, and identify inventory using a system of your choice. When generated the right way, your SKU numbers help you increase sales, merchandise your sales floor, and better serve customers.
Manufacturers place barcode labels on products, which are unique 8- to 12-digit codes that identify and manage products worldwide.
For a new business, the choice of a POS system cash register may simply depend on your budget. Your staff should not be tasked with this. Before you select a POS system, you need to know your business needs, the cash management options, and the types of hardware and software.
We can say one thing for sure – almost every business needs to run database marketing, which only a POS system can achieve. You can’t capture customer information and buying history any other way.
What do I need to know?
The type of cash register you need will vary by type and size of business. Some questions to ask before choosing a POS system or cash register are:
- What tax must your business collect on a sale?
- How many departments or categories that need tracking are in your business?
- How many products do you carry now?
- Will you need more than one register?
- How many in the future?
- How busy will your venue be?
- Will you do gift cards?
- Will you have a loyalty program?
There are many reasons to choose a POS system with an integrated cash register rather than rely on a conventional ka-ching type register. Integrated cash registers connect with a customer relationship management (CRM) portal. It then becomes very easy to track purchasing behaviors.
Your venue can be sure that when customers come in, they will find what they were looking for. Studies show that repeat customers spend 66% more than first-time customers when they return.
Your POS system can enable loyalty programs, which is the best way to get more regular patrons and keep them coming back for more. It’s a great way to raise your revenue and show customer appreciation. Those who participate in the loyalty program return in half the time it takes those who don’t participate to return.
Exercise extreme caution when you choose your POS system and take these three components into consideration. Without them, your POS system is not likely to take you far.