The Evolution of POS Software
POS Software systems evolved from mechanical cash registers in the early 1900’s. The early systems were little more than hand cranked making change cash tills that produced a ‘Z’ Tape. The cash register ‘Z’ tape was a journal that gave you a broad overview of the day’s transactions. The ‘Z’ tape did not give you a lot of in depth information, but was the start of departmental reporting and exception reporting.
ProphetLine POS Software still produces a similar report that gives you a five second overview of your store activity. Some functions and ideas are still relevant and have stood the test of time. The first computer-based POS Software systems were introduced in 1973 by IBM, which were large mainframes with proprietary client/server software. That same year was also the beginning of UPC/EAN barcode readers and in 1986; IBM introduced PC-based POS Software systems.
I guess the point of this blog is that most of the POS Software ideas have been around for a long time, it’s the speed and how you use the information gathered that is important and is it affordable to small retailers. Retailers need to do what they do best, which is be on the floor selling, and not be confined to a computer in the back. Your POS Software should do more than just simple point of sale tasks and fully integrate all the essential store functions. Even small retailers can now expect fully integrated accounting, inventory management, open to buy forecasting, customer relation management (CRM), integrated credit, debit, gift card service, rentals, and small business financials. Because of this wide range of functionality, today’s POS Software is truly your full functioning Retail Management System.