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Lowering the cost of business: Point of Sale Consumable costs


There comes a time in most business operations where focusing on cutting costs has to progress down to even the smallest level of expenditure. Many business owners and managers overlook certain areas where common savings are possible.

One example of consumables where people often look is in the office, where paper suppliers are often sourced for bulk lots of A4 office paper commonly used for printing, but there are a wide range of other consumable items which are very commonly overlooked.

The primary overlooked area tends to occur on the point of sale end, and this is not because management or business owners are careless in this regard, they simply often purchase point of sale systems which also come with not only the point of sale hardware and software, but the supplier of these two areas often also provides them with their point of sale consumable paper products.

Hence most people assume that simply because they purchased both hardware and software for point of sale, that their point of sale supply company is also giving them a good deal on their receipt paper rolls, using in the receipt printers and eftpos machines attached to their point of sale solution.

The truth is, this is one area where point of sale supply companies often make a small fortune from their customers, as it is an ever recurring requirement which they can take advantage of.

To look into savings in this area, it is important to understand more about point of sale consumable receipt papers, the different types of receipt printers, the printer paper sizes, and also the costs which you are paying.

This involves a little experimentation on your part to bypass the ignorance your point of sale supply company has positioned you in, and hence will allow you to expand to other suppliers of point of sale receipt paper products.

The first step is to determine the type of paper you are looking for, there are two common types of hardware which will require specially receipt papers, these are general receipt printers and eftpos machines. Customers in hospitality often also have kitchen printers, which relay orders from the point of sale terminal to the kitchen so chefs can prepare the food faster.

The first step is your eftpos machine, eftpos machines use special sized eftpos thermal paper rolls which has been common in the industry since the introduction of point of sale receipt printing, and hence are often smaller in width than modern regular receipt printers.

Eftpos machines also commonly utilise what is known as thermal paper printing, this means that the printer does not contain ink, but rather a heating element which transfers heat to reactive paper to create a readable receipt, this is primarily to keep the costs of running eftpos machines to a minimum. Thermal paper has this advantage, but has a disadvantage in that thermal paper once printed upon, tends to expire when exposed to the elements fairly quickly, making the receipt unreadable often within 1 to 3 months after printing.

Lower cost is often preferred for eftpos as the majority of receipts of this nature are disregarded and disposed of fairly soon after supply to the customer.

In order to save money on your eftpos costs, it is worth knowing that all modern eftpos machines use 57mm wide paper rolls. The width therefore is not what you need to use to find replacement thermal paper rolls for these machines, the main variable is the thickness of brand new rolls which can fit in your machine. So you should measure the thickness of a brand new receipt paper roll supplied by your bank or point of sale supplier, there are 3 main thicknesses of paper used in modern eftpos machines, these thicknesses are 37mm, 45mm and 57mm.

Hence if your rolls are 45mm thick, you can look for paper with the specifications of 57mm x 45mm for cheap replacements.

For kitchen and point of sale terminal receipt paper, you will first need to determine the type of printer you use, this is fairly simple.

If your printer requires you to replace ink cartridges on a regular basis, then you have what is known as a dot matrix receipt printer. If however you do not require ink cartridges for your receipt printer, then you most likely have a thermal printer.

If you are still unsure whether your printer is thermal, take some of your plain receipt paper supplied to you, and place it under a source of mild heat (not flame!), if the paper begins to turn black, this indicates it is thermal paper, hence you know you have a thermal printer.

There are a variety of paper widths for both dot matrix and thermal paper printers, so in this instance to find replacements you will measure the width of your paper from left to right.

For dot matrix printers, the paper used is known as bond paper rolls, and they come in 3 variants, single ply, two ply and triplicate receipt paper rolls.

Single ply which prints only one single receipt copy, two ply which prints one receipt copy so you can keep a copy yourself, and three ply which prints 3 variants of the receipt for customer, yourself and attachment to paperwork.

It’s simple to tell which you have as you count the number of paper layers in each, also two ply will often look yellowish from the side, while three ply will look blue.

All bond paper printers use 76mm paper which is also 76mm in thickness, meaning you only need to figure out why ply you require to find cheaper alternatives.

Using these methods, you can source lower cost receipt paper rolls from various paper suppliers with ease, and avoid the confusion or ignorance placed upon you by your point of sale suppliers which benefit their business operations rather than the customer.

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