Point-of-sale systems have become the true command centers of in-store operations, providing a host of applications that leverage customer search histories, generate cross-selling recommendations to prompt add-on purchases, streamline inventory functions, schedule employees and allocate store resources. Yet “traditional” POS technologies — if it’s not too soon to use that term — are already facing threats from mobile POS platforms such as smartphones and tablets. The migration to mobile is particularly evident at independent restaurants and start-ups, where less-expensive options are more readily embraced, says Greg Buzek, president of research and services firm IHL Group. Adopting mobile devices within a POS system requires a lower initial investment and offers a “cool” factor for customers. According to Store Systems Study 2011 released by RIS News Mobile, transaction systems provide a way for retailers to reduce checkout lines without adding expensive checkout counters or staff. Automated systems that use mobile computers and printers add speed, security and professionalism to transaction-processing operations. The results are greater customer satisfaction and fewer carts abandoned by customers who leave the store discouraged by long checkout lines.