Monday, April 27, 2015

The Enterprises TV Show Reviews the Complexity of Cash Registers

The sophistication of today’s cash registers goes beyond collecting and storing money. They are interconnected to a spider web of applications and processes running throughout major companies, around the country, as the Enterprises TV show explains.

The computer “glitch” that mega coffee store Starbucks recently experienced closed thousands of company-owned stores across the U.S. and Canada recently.  It seems all it takes is one main sever to malfunction, and those connected to it go down too.

Today’s cash registers don’t just ring up sales. They also process credit cards, e-payments, send orders to computer screens in kitchens, collect data on which items sell or don’t sell and can manage loyalty programs. The point-of-sale terminals, or POS terminals, are small banks of customer data.  These machines can help managers schedule employees. They can run sophisticated reports so store owners know how much of one item to buy or not buy. The Enterprises TV show has seen how a system refresh to thousands of computerized registers can close stores and lose revenue, as happened at Starbucks.  However, these system crashes are relatively rare.  It is a minor inconvenience at best to the store owner or franchisee and consumer. The complexity of the modern 21st century cash register is that they are well-connected to the applications needed to run every day transactions. When one part goes creates a blip, the effect can be local or global.