Let’s define what an EPOS Stock System means
Top to Toe enables clothing, sportswear, footwear and school wear retailers to process size and colour stock seconds and to obtain analysis that would otherwise take hours and hours
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Eccleshall Saddlery (Equestrian)
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Pie Clothing (Fashion)
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Angels Uniforms (Schoolwear)
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Mr Cricket (Sportswear)
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Sheen Sports (Sportswear)
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Claudio Lugli (Fashion)
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Uniform 4 Kids (Schoolwear)
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Michael Leigh Menswear (Fashion)
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Burrs Shoes (Footwear)
What is an EPOS Stock System?
The term EPOS has come to mean many things. By itself EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) could refer to the hardware (ie screen, receipt printer etc) that looks and feels like a modern till. However, for this hardware to function as a till it also needs EPOS software. Sometime the term EPOS might mean any one, or both, of these.
An EPOS till by itself might just control money and provide some high-level departmental reports
If, however, the EPOS till is linked into stock management software that enables the user to input stock receipts and the system adjust stock positions as sales are made, then the EPOS unit has become part of an EPOS Stock System.
An EPOS stock system then is a business wide piece of software that as a minimum tracks stock and sales; but that is just the beginning, a retail business is often about much more than stock and shop sales. To get the complete picture the system might need to incorporate purchase orders, customer purchase history, multiple mobile devices such as stock checking and goods receipt, plus integrate with external systems such as web sites and accounting platforms.
The more of these a system covers the greater its claim to being a full stock control or stock management system. The more comprehensive the stock management system the more likely it will be a solution that fits your business and has the capacity to grow as you take advantage of the opportunities the system offers to develop the business and grow profitability.
Comprehensive features however are just one of the key criteria you should be looking for. What differentiates one system from another goes far beyond a wide-ranging features list. So in choosing a system it is vital to understand how each can be used and how each fits into your business processes – from system to system they will be very different!
Summary of Terms
EPOS Stock System, Stock Control, Stock Management: an explanation
These are all terms used to define a computerised system that allows a retailer to input stock on arrival, record sales and see what stock remains. To achieve this, it’s clear you need computer hardware (a modern EPOS unit is just a standard computer dressed up with a receipt printer, barcode scanner and cash draw to behave as a till) and software designed to make stock entry and analysis as fast and easy as possible.
All these terms contain the word “Stock” but none of them really relate to stock only – it’s a shorthand for everything to do with stock, sales and all related retail transactions. This means that as well as stock and sales a Stock Management System may cover a large range of other functions.
EPOS Stock Control Possibilities
These may vary from EPOS system to EPOS system and even when available you need to check how extensive they are and how easy to use. Broadly, the list below covers the major areas you might find:
Standard computers, EPOS till hardware and possibly mobile tablet devices for barcode scanning, to help with stock checking, transfers etc. These are all relatively standard and the rest is software – the modules you need to make the hardware perform as required so as to maximise your business efficiency
Stock and sales information – your ability to make the most of this date, especially for clothing and footwear retailers, will depend upon how efficiently the system lets you input stock and how well it turns the basic raw number data into really useful information you can really use to improve growth.
Industry specific features – for example in fashion, sports and footwear, analysis at the style level and size/colour matrix displays are essential if you want an efficient and accurate EPOS system. These elements are best if they are fully integrated within all parts of the system, rather than in the form of separate stand-alone module.
Purchase orders from suppliers – so you know what’s due to arrive and when plus how much it costs
Customer tracking which tells you who bought what and lets you keep in touch and run loyalty campaigns – often referred to as CRM, short for Customer Relationship Management)
Web links so that as your stock position changes your web sites are automatically adjusted – this lets you take advantage of all the opportunities the web offers. For fashion, sports and footwear retailers it’s a great way to get rid of end of lines and slow sellers.
Accounts links – lets you send sales and other data directly to your accounts system so that it does not have to be laboriously re-keyed; particularly useful for the UK governments Making Tax Digital program
Deep data analysis – this would usually take the form of an enhanced reporting module, allowing more precise and flexible data analysis along with a powerful timescale component which allows analysis over extended time periods.
Mobile devices that make it quick and easy to scan barcodes so you can undertake stock checks, scan stock receipts or transfers etc.
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