Jargon and its Uses: Point of sale systems

“Point of sale system” sounds like a rather complex concept. The actual fact of the matter is that it’s nothing unfamiliar. The term might sound like something you need a college degree for, but in actuality it’s a system you’ve probably used in your life if you’ve ever worked retail. NYC is littered with point of sale systems; it’s pretty much guaranteed that all 8 million of the city’s residents have run across one of its point of sale systems. Point of sale systems are cash registers and the technology involved in checking out. Now the complex sounding name is actually an appropriate use of jargon.

What people don’t understand about jargon is that it’s a useful form of technical slang. What jargon does when used properly is take something that’s a mouthful to say and shorten it to something useful. So “things employees use to check customers out, including cash registers, scanning technology, and credit card systems” becomes “point of sale systems”. It’s not out of a desire to make it sound more complex, but to make it more understandable. One of the best examples of the value of jargon is to read an early book in any academic field. For example Adam Smith’s famous “On the Wealth of Nations” would actually have benefited from the use of jargon and graphs.

Why would the term be so complex otherwise? It’s simply because there is so much variation in terms of what types of things can be checked out, and the processes involved. Think about the grocery store, the point of sale system there is typically complex (sometimes simplified in the small single purpose store that bigger cities like NYC have like a butcher shop) including a device to scan barcodes (sometimes multiple) a scale to check the weight on produce, a cash register with a computer (sometimes touch screen) to look up things without barcodes, and a machine to read and charge credit cards.

It obviously matters to a business to get the right point of sale systems in place for their store in NYC. A green grocer cannot get by without having a scale in place, and trying to use a separate scale attached to a basic cash register can be tricky because it introduces more human error. A musical instrument store on the other hand isn’t likely to need a scale, but they will need an easy to use cash register to put in the marked price of the big items, and a scanner for the barcodes. It all comes down to having the right tools to fit the applications of day to day use. To see the difference in what’s used, you can pay attention when checking out at the various different types of stores in NYC, the specialization helps show how different needs are filled.

Hire An IT Pro is a company dedicated to helping you do just that. They set out to match companies in NYC with the people to set them up with a point of sale systemv, or more. With them you don’t have to spend nights flipping through the yellow pages or tabbing through the internet looking for the right people.

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