Some essential components of any Point of Sale system with their respective functions


Aarika Rastogi

Point of sale is a very important place in any retail shop or in any other industry – whether it is hospitality, hotels, restaurant and other business segments as the actual sales or change in the ownership of goods and services takes place at Point of sale. What we see now in any such shop that there is a separate counter, often near the exit point of the store with some equipments where the actual billing takes place. All these equipments together are often referred as Point of sale system. Any point of sale system includes following devices barcode scanner, monitor, and receipt printer, point of sale software, cash drawers and bank card reader. There are some additional devices like optical pen and promotional card readers at few point of sale system as well.

Barcode scanner scans the printed barcode over any product and transfers corresponding electronic date to the terminal. There are basically two types of barcode scanners in any point of sale system Fixed place barcode scanner and moveable barcode scanner Fixed place barcode scanner is often attached to the billing desk and every product needs to moved in front of the barcode scanner for the receipt entry where the moveable scanner can be operated in hand for the same purpose. A store where the products are relatively small and can be moved with ease use fixed barcode scanner while where the size and weight of the product is big then moveable barcode scanner is useful.


Barcode scanner sends the input data to the terminal which is normally a computer. Computer matches the products for the exact barcode number and bills the product. Often this is done through point of sale software. Point of sale software or POS software is specially designed software made to manage point of sale. It has many features apart from regular bill generation purpose. For example any point of sale software can give you exact amount of inventory at a particular frame of time, it can show you the sales trends for a fixed period of time, sales volumes for different days can be compared as well, it serves as inventory management system too and at managerial level point of sale software can be used to prepare presentation also. Some advanced point of sale software is useful in the sale forecasting as well.

After all the products which a particular buyer has chosen are scanned and registered by the POS software, Point of sale system sends a command to the receipt printer to print the invoice and some advanced systems sends a signal to the cash drawer itself and in response receipt printer prints the bill. Receipt printers are special printer particularly in use to print sales receipts. Some thermal receipt printer use heating effect of electricity to print the invoice and do not even need the printing Ink. Infect such printers use heat sensitive paper called thermal paper for the printing purpose.

Some other devices like bank card reader are in use to make payment of the invoice more easy and comfortable for the customers. It is not necessary that all the different industries have the same type of point of sale systems as the need of every industry differs a lot. For example any Hospitality POS is required to perform certain tasks which are not common to other industries like to track down the number of appointments and to manage them. Hospitality POS are completely different then the retail POS as in Hospitality POS client appointment, service level required, type of service booked and other useful information is managed.

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