When it comes to saving time for business, several strategies and systems are applied by the management so that they can both entice the client to buy to them and get their loyalty for fast and excellent service. In Atlanta, a need for a system to document stocks and supplies was an issue especially for furniture shops. One of the major problems when it comes to documentation of stocks is the fact that it takes a lot of time to detect and locate as some use tattered records, which are often lost due to often use and mishandled storage. Clients often have to wait for hours, or even days before the shop can tell them if they have the furniture or stock or when an order can be placed.
This trend when it comes to detecting stocks and documentation is still a trend especially in many furniture shops today since many are unable to purchase a more updated way to document their stocks easier and safer. When I went to a store to buy some furniture last year, the sales clerk was almost 70 years old or older. I asked him to find a particular kind of furniture I wished to purchase for my house and instead of telling me if they have it, he went to his office and started search in many files to locate their records. After one hour of waiting, I left the store as the clerk failed to find the record and I was already getting impatient with waiting. The next day, he called and told me they did not have the piece I want. I had to mutter to myself that I did not have to waste my time to wait if they only had a Point on Sale system that could serve as their online-offline records so they can immediately state to me if they have it or not. It could have saved me time to do other things instead of waiting, and the old sales clerk could have used the time to monitor the shop better. This research will discuss the importance of using a modern Point on Sale System that could save time for both client and seller, and to document supplies more accurately.
Statement of the Problem
The main problem for this study is why it is important or necessary to use an updated record, like a POS System, to create a more efficient and time-saving service for clients, and a time-saver for the management. Of course, if a new system is involved, there is bound to have some problems when it comes to its cost and effectiveness. For Atlanta-based furniture shops, companies would have a difficulty to use a new system as they have already dealt with numerous clients and readjusting may lose them some time. The situation above shows that they also lose time with cataloguing and documentation, causing some urgent orders to be missed. The sub-questions this research would also try to answer are the following:
1. How much changes and fees do companies have to pay for a POS system?
2. What may be the repercussions of integrating the system into any type of organization?
3. What are the breakthroughs under POS system users in improving its benefits?
4. What are the differences between the different types of POS systems available in the market?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to identify the importance of an updated documentation and cataloguing system, especially for furniture and supply sellers, to ensure fast and immediate service to its clientele. Time is very important for both merchant and client as this time could have been used for more productive activities on both ends. Merchants could use the extra time to serve other clients, and document. Clients can do their other activities set for the day or more after the quick visit to the shop. There have already been updates in sale systems throughout history and it is necessary for shops to keep up with the need to save more time and still provide quality service. A POS system would enable marketing to be dynamic, and accommodate to the demand in the market for a particular commodity. Another purpose of this study is to indicate the capacity of this technology in the demand for a more time-efficient service.
Definition of Terms:
The definitions stated below appeared on the sources the researcher has reviewed for the study and is also noted in this study to fully explain the concepts.
1. System integration- it is the process of installation of a computer based system to play the same roles played by the people for the purpose of automation.
2. Customization- means the process of making the system to as desired by the owner in order to solve certain specific roles.
3. Feasibility- this basically implies the workability of the system or the ability by that system to solve specific roles without incurring unnecessary costs.
4. POS or Point of Sale or Point of Purchase- it is the place were a transaction is done through a terminal, running in special software for checkout and stock documentation.
5. POS Terminal or System – it handles the order and normally serves as the electronic cash register in one. A POS Terminal often has a scanner, a card reader, a monitor which has the memory of all the documentation, and a keyboard.
Many people would often complain about the slow services and the lack of organization when it comes to visiting furniture stores and other supply establishments. This is often because they still use the manual system of rank and file, which often causes them to use a lot of hours before they can find a product the client wishes to see. Marketing strategies have slowly been developed to solve this problem and offered an even more organized method to use machines to help in this dilemma. One of these proposals is the use of a Point of Sale system or POS. The POS is a computer based system which enhances a smooth flow during transactions in a particular organization. The system was devised in the early 1970s by huge operating businesses like McDonalds .
The POS system is generally used for tracking and documenting sales and stocks in record time, through the use of POS devices that can scan and detect transactions in both stock handling and documenting. One can refer to the POS system as the digital version of the traditional record book since it acts as a computerized cash register, and tracks the stocks by stock-keeping unit. It also is capable of updating the databases, and generates accurate inventory reports upon the end of each week or month. Depending on the need, a variety of hardware and software can be used for the system. Some systems are custom-fitted to fit specific fields especially for restaurants, grocery stores, and furniture boutiques . POS terminals are used by the system to enter information in the database, and then it serves as the cash register for the final transactions .
There have been many types of point of sale systems available in the market since the first system was sold. One of the most prominent one is the RFID point-of-sale system that can both scan and do transactions. The RFID technology can enable the system to scan the whole cart, and then tell the customer and cashier how much it will be. The payment system installed in this system will compute and process the quantities and entire cost, then display the full amount of the purchase. The client is given a choice whether or not he or she will continue the transaction or pay the items bought either by card or by cash. This system is implemented the most in supermarkets and department stores such as Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and even in Gilette. Companies see this system as a reduction of the costs they would normally pay for documentation and cycles. Some have even developed a contactless smart card system for the POS using RFID technology as they see it as the revolution for the POS system for the 21st century .
Many stores around the United States have admired the capacity of the POS system to update and revolutionize its marketing strategy in two fold. Home Depot, one of the largest furniture and hardware store, even launched its own point-of-sale system, which would replace four sales applications the company uses for its 1,300 branches. The application is seen to be an incorporation of the POS system and the XML program, which would reduce costs and development when linking the branches together. Home Depot also sees that this system is faster, reliable, and the XML system would properly document the transactions for all stores . Florida stores also see the benefits of point-of-sale systems as it allows marketing staff to properly report their decisions with pure accuracy. POS also enables them to also see the trends in the market as before, it would take days before they could consolidate data. Reports are seen by the users as a critical step in revolutionizing their sales data documentation, giving them time to create promotional programs to gain more customers .
In its entirety, the system is seen to give a wide variety of benefits. One is the reduction of costs that is normally big, depending on the cataloguing and transaction handling. This also reduces the need for companies to get the services of cash counter operators since the system will be able to easily do the whole process itself. Recording of stocks will also be updated immediately as it can tell the market which supplies they lack in real time. The POS system also creates reports depending on the settings it is set on. POS systems can also reduce the possibilities of shoplifting and stock documentation area. Since the POS system uses a state-of-the-art sensor for the barcodes, it can easily detect the barcode that has not passed by the checkout area before it can be taken out by the culprit. Stock-out reports are also one of the revolutionary benefits of the POS system, enabling immediate replenishing .
Concerns as to the effectiveness of the system is questioned by some business groups and the public. Some companies have opted to use the slap-and-ship approach in their transactions handling and stock documentations, as they see that there are immature standards over the POS system. Others also argued that there are low tag-read rates, tag prices, and the uncertain investment returns over the POS system that may put businesses on risk. There are also been suggestions and ideas that the ROI (return on investment) for the RFID POS system would go to the retailer alone, rather than share it with the supplier who paid more for the supply and shipping. Experts noted that both supplier and retailer would have to upgrade and purchase the new system for their businesses, and they would continuously pay for new tags and attaching them. Suppliers would be spending more on this as they continuously provide the retailer what they need. There is also a concern over the unnoticed benefit of supply chain efficiency in terms of manufacturers . Further research will be done to answer the sub-questions for this study due to the nature of requiring additional literature to support each answer.
Anticipated ethical issues
The study would be experiencing and anticipating several ethical issues that may hinder this paper’s flow. As this is a study that would require an interaction with interviewees and survey participants to determine their position in the topic, it is necessary to understand their special needs, especially upon knowing their participation to such project. It is important that they are given attention to their preferences upon their statements, as well as their feelings to the interview. Since this paper will concentrate on marketing and the effect of POS system, specific marketing books and POS-related articles will be used for this study. This then leads to the next ethical issue of gaining proper permission from libraries in using their data library, and assuring that the paper is unique in its own way. Data collection procedures are also anticipated as the researcher will need to ask permission, and at the same time to ask assistance from these experts and institutions to bring a conducive and workable topic. Other anticipated ethical issues would revolve into the researcher’s role in the study and his capacity to cater to any possible issues that may occur.
Significance of the Study
Many would agree that there are still shops and stores who use the archaic or traditional documentation and marketing strategy when it comes to their businesses. Sometimes, it is effective especially in small businesses but for businesses such as furniture retail, supply stocking and large businesses, it is a tad tedious to still use the old system to keep in track of all the supplies, stocks, and even the orders that would enter the company or business. This study is significant to show that there is a need to update this archaic system as the world rapidly needs supplies and the demand cannot keep up with it due to the systems still used in documentation and transaction handling. With this study, leaning towards an application of POS systems in each business, it can help showcase the benefits this system could have over businesses in Atlanta or also in areas still lacking information about this system. This topic is also significant as to the fact that there are many specialized strategies and marketing systems available and this will be able to provide information to at least one of these strategies.
In part of this study and its relationship with marketing, a mixed-method approach will be used to answer the main and sub-questions raised for the topic. A mixed-method approach fits this topic perfectly as the topic question would need to show numerical data to show how efficient a POS system is once applied in the business, at the same time, identify the characteristics that will be supported by the numerical data. This is also a case study paper as this will identify the differences between using the traditional method and the POS strategy, especially in documentation, ordering, and selling. Although this paper will use quantitative data collection, it will be more of a qualitative data collection research due to the nature of the questions given.
Role of the Researcher
For this research, the researcher’s role is to give light regarding the need for modernization in businesses and selling establishments to keep up with the demand in the market. It is also the researcher’s role to identify the risks, the breakthroughs, the differences, and the known benefits of both traditional and the POS system when it comes to helping marketing staff for businesses and the factors that must be considered upon updating. There have been some cases before that businesses upgraded to the POS system without formal training and research, which eventually ruined their businesses. The researcher also serves as the third party or the client’s point of view and gives some small input as to the research questions raised. The experience of the researcher in this problem is crucial for him to understand the topic properly as he writes the whole paper. Learning also is a role of the researcher in this paper as new information about the system can help in introducing the topic to other readers. The most important role of the researcher is to provide an accurate and clear research that would answer the questions raised and support it with information. Without it, the research will surely fail in terms of its goal to introduce the system.
This research will first concentrate in understanding what the POS system means, how it is done, and the benefits it has over the traditional marketing strategy of using manual writing for documentation and order listing. Then, the discussion will revolve along the lines for on the repercussions and problems seen in the POS system. This study will mostly use secondary sources due to the marketing aspects of the topic, as well as the region selected. Books and journals explaining the functions of a POS system, and other related topics to it will be used, as well as secondary sources outlining the negative and repercussions revolving around this system. Newspaper articles will also be included, should any newspaper feature showcases the importance of a modern marketing strategy. Aside from this, data collection through interviews, and surveys will also be done as this will reflect the market’s view over the importance of time-management, easier service, and the efficiency of the seller to provide them of the services and items they need.
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