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1) What are the advantages and disadvantages of the new POS system
2) How will this POS system help the business gain competitive advantages
3) What are the advantages of having a centralised database
4) How could this POS system facilitate decision making


Address the following points:
Why do point-of-sale systems process business activities more effectively
Can the information be tracked manually in an effective manner Why or why not
What types of questions could be answered effectively
How could the information be used to better manage the business
5) Recommend telecommunication options for this POS system


Address the following points:
Types of networks – LAN, WAN or MAN
Types of media? --Wired or wireless technologies? Which types of cables should be used for wired technologies Which types of wireless technologies
6) What type of risks does the POS system bring and how to protect the business against the risks


Address the following points:
Security
Privacy
Confidentiality
Your report will be assessed on the quality of your research and quality of report.Discussion must be relevant to the case study business. Your report is to be in the style of a business report.

Advantages and Disadvantages of POS systems

As the world is moving fast in the field of technological advancements, it is important for every business to integrate its business process with advanced technology to make its operations more efficient. The application of information technology in the business sector has brought drastic changes on how business operates and excels. With these technological ramifications, the businesses are now focusing on becoming more efficient than being effective. As such advanced tools provide an advantage of simplifying the process more. Nowadays business are focusing on innovative ways for getting more efficient results in business.

The report will be discussing an example of such advanced technological tool called POS or point of sale system and how it helped a garden center named Four Seasons Greenhouse and Nursery to enhance their business operations. A POS system is used to make transactions for accepting payments from customers. Initially, four seasons used to rely on manual registers to carry out the business process but after implementing the POS system with the business operations, it has helped the business to grow and get information about various aspects of the business process.

In this report, the use of POS will be explained and what are its advantages and disadvantages. Also, the paper will cover how POS helps in excelling the business and gaining competitive advantage along with several other aspects.

Advantages and Disadvantages of POS systems

Every technology once integrated into the business operations provides various advantages, but this technology also has its cons and drawbacks which should also be taken into consideration by the business. There are several advantages and disadvantages of a POS system which are:

By implementing POS system into the business operations, the most important advantage a business can gain is improved efficiency of the process. POS system automates the process and there is no need of manual intervention of people in recording the price of products. It also helps in better management of stock and helps the business to operate on leaner inventory. With the help of POS, users can update the inventory at the time of sale of the product. POS provides a facility of generating reports through which one can identify the sales trend of a product and its demand (Sapolsky et al., 2018).

Although, POS system provides several facilities for improving the efficiency a business process, but it also has few drawbacks. In order to ensure that the POS system is working efficiently, it is mandatory that internet connectivity is available 24x7. Also, the POS system relies completely on software so it is important to update the software from time to time. Failing to do so, the software may crash at any point of time, thus disrupting the whole process. The maintenance of this software is not very cost effective. There is always a risk factor associated with the POS system which is related to data breach. In order to ensure the security of POS, multiple level of authentication should be implemented (Gomzin, 2014)

Gaining competitive advantage through POS

Gaining competitive advantage through POS

Every business strives to be ahead of the rival companies in this competitive environment and in order to make sure of this, it is important to bring innovation in the business process. Through POS system, business owners can gain various insights about its operations and devise strategies accordingly. For four season’s business, it helped the business in keeping track of the important sales data. Through this data, the owners can now accurately update the number of units of inventory needed. This helped the four season business to operate on leaner inventory units which reduced the total cost.

It is very important for a business to strategize the ways through which a business can be more efficient in order to gain competitive advantage. Using the report generation functionality of POS, it helps in providing information of the most profitable product and the product with the most demand. Four seasons, business owners realized that the product they thought was giving them most profits was actually the opposite. With this report feature, it helped the owners in getting real information about that particular product. With all these functionalities combined together, POS system helps in providing accurate results regarding the business which facilitates a business in getting a competitive edge (Schwalbe, 2015).

Advantages of Centralized Database

For a growing business like four seasons, there is a large amount of data that is to be stored and secured which is not possible by using a simple hard drive. As it increases chances of data theft and has security concerns. Having a centralized database for a business like four season, helps in reducing the chances of security issues and ensures the data protection. There are various advantages of having a centralized database which are:

  • Centralized database offers data preservation. Even if there is any case of hardware failure, having a centralized database ensures that the data is protected all the time. It is equipped with a fault tolerance setup that preserves the data even in catastrophic situations.
  • The concern related to physical security is taken care of in case of centralized database. It restricts direct access to the database if there is a proper security of server room. Thus, not allowing any outside agent to get direct physical access.
  • The data collected in databases are very private and has sensitive information. To ensure the data security, centralized database offers better protection (Osman and Knottenbelt, 2012).
  • Having a database at a single location, offers improved security along with less maintenance costs. Rather than establishing databases at various different locations which is very costly.
  • An update of data in a centralized database can be accessed by all the end users having proper authentication. This provides a comprehensive access to the data.
  • The overall space requirement of a centralized database is very less as it is limited to a particular location

Decision making using POS

POS facilitates in answering the Why’s and how’s of a business process which aids in taking an effective decision regarding the business process. With the help of the data collected through POS, one can take decision to improve the business process. The data helps in determining the exact count of inventory needed in order to avoid the situation of ordering bulk inventory. The reporting facility of POS helped the four seasons owners in getting detailed transaction details about a particular product whether it is profitable or not and mark the price of the products accordingly (Kelly and O’Connell, 2015).

The POS system information helped the four season’s owners to implement price changes effectively. POS system has the ability to process sales, transactions and inventory with immediate effect which reduces the manual intervention of humans. This reduces the time which can be used for processing the business activities more effectively. The information gathered through POS system is used to make stable decision which cannot be tracked manually. Four seasons owners used manual register and paper work to keep track of their sales data which resulted in loss as the data collected through this manual process was not accurate (Oppenheimer and Kelso, 2015).

Advantages of Centralized Database

There are several questions that can be answered through the data collected by POS system such as the sales history of a product, the product with most demand, the need of inventory units etc. All such information can be used to effectively allocate resources to each department, mark the prices of a product, offer temporarily discount on a product. The information can also be used to manage the labor expenses by allocating the manpower according to the need (Marchewka, 2014).

Options of Telecommunication for POS

It is important for a POS to have an uninterrupted connection with the internet in order to exchange the data. In order to ensure there is no hindrance in the communication, there are three preferred network configurations which are LAN, WAN and MAN.

A LAN is basically a Local Area Network which is connection of a group of computers connected together within the same building or office. LAN is confined in a particular area and preferred for small businesses. The terminals of POS are connected to the POS servers with the help of Local Area Network. TCP/IP protocol is supported by POS.

MAN is Metropolitan Area Network which is spread across several buildings in a particular city. MAN is typically larger network than LAN.

WAN or Wide Area Network is limited across the boundary of a state or a country. Several LAN’s are connected in order to form a WAN. WAN is not limited to a geographical location. WAN offers a secure mode of transmission of data across the networks. The data transmission is comparatively higher and much more reliable than the other form of network transmission. In order to get direct access to clients who are at distant places, four seasons can use WAN form of network connection (Hasson, Chen and Honey, 2015).

The medium of communication is very important for every business to ensure uninterrupted service. For a small business like four seasons, wired form of technology is recommended as it is more reliable and ensures data security. For high speed transmission, twisted pair unshielded cables can be used for four seasons business. The owners can also opt for wireless technology as it reduces the cost incurred due to wires. Wireless technology example includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology which can also be preferred by four seasons.

Risk related to POS and how to protect?

While on one hand, POS systems offers several facilities that improves the efficiency of a business process, on the other hand, there are also several risk which are related to the confidentiality, security and privacy of data.

Options of Telecommunication for POS

Security risks associated with POS: A risk associated with the security is a serious matter of concern to the business. Such systems which rely on software are always prone to attacks from the external agents like hackers. They can easily break into the system and gain access to data and the emails. These systems usually have weak security system and can be easily breached. The system should be equipped with several layers of encryption which makes it difficult for the hackers to get into the system.

Privacy risks associated with POS: Every business has a huge amount of data which is stored into the database every econd. The data contains private and sensitive information which always raises a security concern. The private data may include the employee’s login credentials, personal information, digital IDs of customers which is to be ensured that they might not fall into an unknown person’s hand as it may result in getting access to all the private information of an organization. In order to ensure that the privacy related risk is minimized, the access of such data and system should be given only to some specific peoples or authorized peoples of the business (Cannataci et al., 2016).

Confidentiality risk associated with POS: Confidential data are those data which are limited to a specific person or group of few persons. POS systems have several confidential information like name of the business owner, the dealer of the business, client and other payment related confidential data. These data are always a soft target for the hackers which may give access to insights of business operations. It should be ensured that such confidential data should always be encrypted which becomes difficult to crack (Turner and Musman, 2018).

Conclusion

 The above discussion can be concluded on the fact that POS systems facilitate business operations and improves the overall efficiency by automating the process. It helps in tracking sales data at the time when a product is sold and get accurate results regarding the inventory units needed. The technology curtails the need of manual intervention in the business which makes the process faster and there is less chances of human error.

Having so many advantages on one hand, the drawbacks associated with such systems is also discussed. An effective way of telecommunication option for POS has been described. In order to make sure that the business is making profit, proper analysis of the data collected through POS should be done. This will ensure that the business is growing at an exponential rate.

References

Cannataci, J.A., Zhao, B., Torres Vives, G., Monteleone, S., Bonnici, J.M. and Moyakine, E., 2016. Privacy, free expression and transparency: redefining their new boundaries in the digital age. UNESCO Publishing.

Gomzin, S., 2014. Hacking Point of Sale: Payment Application Secrets, Threats, and Solutions. John Wiley & Sons.

Hasson, U., Chen, J. and Honey, C.J., 2015. Hierarchical process memory: memory as an integral component of information processing. Trends in cognitive sciences, 19(6), pp.304-313.

Kelly, S.P. and O’Connell, R.G., 2015. The neural processes underlying perceptual decision making in humans: recent progress and future directions. Journal of Physiology-Paris, 109(1-3), pp.27-37.

Marchewka, J.T., 2014. Information technology project management. John Wiley & Sons.

Oppenheimer, D.M. and Kelso, E., 2015. Information processing as a paradigm for decision making. Annual review of psychology, 66, pp.277-294.

Osman, R. and Knottenbelt, W.J., 2012. Database system performance evaluation models: A survey. Performance Evaluation, 69(10), pp.471-493.

Sapolsky, H.M., Crane, R.J., Neuman, W.R. and Noam, E.M., 2018. The Telecommunications Revolution: Past, Present and Future. Routledge.

Schwalbe, K., 2015. Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.

Titterington,J., 2018.POS REVIEW.

Turner, A.J. and Musman, S., 2018. Applying the Cybersecurity Game to a Point-of-Sale System. In Disciplinary Convergence in Systems Engineering Research (pp. 129-144). Springer, Cham.

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