In today’s economy retail sales outlets find it necessary to keep a close eye on their inventory levels. No longer can a company afford to maintain a massive inventory, just to insure they have enough to meet customer’s needs. They need to be able to restock the day’s sales back to their normal inventory level quickly and accurately.
Point of Sales inventory control systems have been developed to meet this very need. Computerized cash registers connect to computers at each retail outlet; these computers tally the day’s sales, adjust the inventory level, and generate orders to restock sold inventory.
Before the advent of virtual private networks, point of sales inventory systems could only communicate through dial-up modems, or through dedicated phone lines. The first option is very slow, often requiring several calls to be made in order to insure that the information gets through to the company’s mainframe. On the other hand, dedicated phone lines are highly reliable and allow the retail outlet to maintain constant communication with the mainframe. However, the cost can be prohibitive to all but larger retail outlets.
Now, with virtual private networks, which connect through the internet, even the smallest retail outlets can take advantage of point of sales inventory control. Daily sales and inventory reports can automatically be sent to the company’s central office, allowing for automatic reordering and restocking of that day’s inventory.
Retail companies can even go farther than maintaining stock in their stores, by maintaining a broader stock in a regional warehouse. With a virtual private network, salespeople at their retail stores can access this inventory and instantly “special order” items for the customer. Since their order is directly connected to the regional warehouse computer, the order can be picked and pulled that same day.
All in all virtual private networks help the retailer maintain their inventory levels and satisfy customers; and that’s what retail is all about.