Walmart, like many larger companies, uses proprietary software for their point of sale system. This essentially means it has been tailored for their specific needs, but the system is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service (SLEPOS).
SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service has many great features that have helped Walmart create the advanced technology needed to run one of the world's most complex supply chains.
Some of the system's key features include:
- Graphical user interface for creating and managing images.
- Easy installation process making it easy to roll out new service environments fast.
- Centralized administration tools
Walmart's point of sale system also incorporates Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which involves attaching tags with electronically stored information to products. These can then then be read at the till electromagnetically by a file system which gives it an association.
The SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service is designed specifically for the retail environment and supplies hardware ranging from self-service systems to traditional kiosks. This is system designed to be utilized by companies with multiple retail outlets. As a result, the system is built with a centralized server and multiple branch servers, which are responsible for booting all the client-facing terminals.
A Brief History of Walmart's POS Technology
The first Walmart store opened in 1962 and by 1975, Walmart had cataloged their inventory within an IMB computer system. With this, they placed electronic cash registers in over one hundred stores.
In 1983, Walmart sped up their POS process by adding the functionality of bar codes and by 1987, Walmart had completed their satellite system, which connected all stores and offices. 1996 saw Walmart use the internet to host their communication links and in 2002 they chose to use the internet to transfer data with suppliers. RFID (radio frequency identification technology) was introduced in 2005. Finally, 2007 saw Walmart launch their Site to Store service.Image Source: 1