Being ‘simply smart’

2013-10-16 00:00

YOU know something is a good idea when your reaction to hearing about it is: “I wish I’d thought of that!”

Pietermaritzburg business Posisolve is a company that tends to elicit such a response. It is developing such innovative products as an Android app that will turn a standard smartphone into a specialised stocktaking scanner, and is creating a machine that is a barcode scanner and electromagnetic security tag magnetiser in one.

Electromagnetic security tags are the devices that activate alarms at shop doors when an item hasn’t been paid for. These tags, basically an adhesive iron-rich strip, are not usually removed in the store, but simply made inactive with the application of a specific high-intensity magnetic field.

“Presently, magnetising and barcode scanning are separate processes,” says Vernon Naik, owner of Posisolve.

This presents a potential security loophole where the magnetic strip can be deactivated without scanning the barcode, thereby enabling someone to take an item without paying, he explained. Combining a barcode scanner and magnetiser would eliminate this opportunity.

It would be a first for South Africa, said Naik, and may represent a significant saving for companies, just as replacing expensive stocktaking scanners with smart phones running Posisolve’s Android app would also be a boon for many businesses.

It’s the kind of “simply smart” thinking that made this company stand out at the recent Durban Business Fair, where Posisolve’s innovative point-of-sale (POS) software — which provides businesses with a full-featured sales software solution for the price of a cash register system — helped it win a Best Stand award.

Posisolve’s Poswizard Simply Smart POS software was launched officially at the Durban Business Fair in October, but customers have been realising the benefits of the system for over a year now.

To understand why it’s good news for businesses, you need to understand what POS software does.

Unlike a stand-alone cash register, where changes to prices and information on sales have to be uploaded and downloaded manually to each cash register, a POS system is a computerised system that links cash registers or computers and can keep track of sales, price changes and stock levels, among other functions — in real time.

It is a powerful way to manage business transactions because it can generate reports to keep a business owner in complete control at all times.

By providing this software for the cost of a stand-alone cash register, Posisolve is empowering small businesses that would not have previously been able to afford such a level of sophistication. “We found that many small and medium-sized businesses wanted to progress from cash register systems to POS systems,” Naik explained.

However, the cost of existing systems was an issue — some top-level POS software systems cost R25 000 per lane — so Posisolve developed its own system.

“Poswizard is a fully functioning POS software that works online and off­line,” he said. “It is simple to use and generates all the management reports necessary to run a business.”

The software even “has enviable features that larger systems do not have”, Naik said.

One of these is its ability to link to electronic shelf labels to enable automated, wireless price changes storewide. Posisolve imports these labels too.

Naik said his company has plans to further develop Poswizard into a cloud-based POS system in the future, which will enable clients to keep their sales information safely offsite and provide the capability to sell airtime and conduct EFT transactions at the point of sale.

“We try to innovate all the time to grow,” Naik explained, adding that he estimates Posisolve’s market share to be around 65% of local independent businesses. He says the company has a turnover of around R5 million per annum, but that “next year we expect significant growth as a result of the innovations we are introducing”.

Posisolve is also the KZN agent for Unisolv Business Management software and counts a number of large, 30-lane local supermarkets as customers, including SuperSave, Aheers Supermarket and Save You Supermarket. The company also supplies CCTV systems, cash registers, scales, barcode scanners and similar business machinery.

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