POS system

4 DOs and DON’Ts When Choosing a POS System

Picking a POS system and adding it to your business’ operations is a very important decision to make. You are committing to a sizable investment on a system that could significantly enhance your operations while requiring an initial on-boarding period for, both, your staff and yourself – irrespective of the type of business you run.

Whether you own a business that currently runs on a manual tilling system, or you run an establishment that already has an existing system that you want to move away from, choosing a new POS system is made even more difficult by the sheer number of service providers out there. However, we encourage all of you to take that step in the direction of finding a comprehensive solution that works perfectly for your business.

Given that our own POS system has helped business across the retail, wholesale, and hospitality sectors, we have listed several points below for anyone looking at adding a POS system to their operations. These pointers are just a few of our suggestions based on conversations with our clients and first-hand implementation experience. Feel free to reach out to us if you would like more information!

Now, here are our 4 DOs and DON’Ts!

The Dos

Know your needs

Much like with anything else you need to always ask yourself what it is you, your staff, and your overall business needs. This is the most important part of the buying process because it will determine what you end up buying, what you use it for, and, ultimately, whether or not your investment is successful. The same is true for picking an Electronic Point of Sales system.

Know your needs, your business’ needs, and, more importantly, what your business’ needs will be in the future. Whether you are a restaurant, hotel, store, or wholesaler, be sure to pick a point of sales system that will meet the unique requirements of your business.

The first step in going about this? Conduct a needs assessment of what you need and filter your prospective options based on whether they meet this preliminary criterion.

Pick a comprehensive and easily integrated POS system

Each business has its own existing processes and systems in place – many of which it will not be able to simply chuck aside once a system is added into the fold. While these systems started off as “electronic cash tills” many years ago, many have evolved into comprehensive end-to-end systems that manage everything from inventory and stock, payment and credit card operations, data security, customer relationships, and store/location security.

Make sure you pick a system that has the ability to facilitate a wide array of external 3rd party integrations – like CCTV cameras, credit card payment, and accounting systems.

The first step in going about this? List out your existing 3rd-party systems and hardware, filter your prospective options based on whether they can integrate these components.

Make sure training is available

Adding a new system, under any circumstances, has an initial familiarizing period where users need to get acclimated to the solution and its interface. This is particularly true when it comes to businesses who are adding an automated system to an operation that, for many years, has relied on manual processes and/or a limited system functionality. Support and training are, therefore, extremely essential.

Always pick a supplier that provides training and support services as a core offering of their services. Whether it is in the form of a one-off training session, working hours support, or 24/7 support, pick the option that works best for you, but, always have support as an option.

You run a business that relies heavily on the smooth running of operations – having support on standby when something goes wrong will always be helpful. As an added tip, opt for a supplier who offers site visits. This does not just make support services better – it also shows you that your provider cares about your operations and overall success.

The first step in going about this? Determine the kind of support and training you require, based on hours of operation – pick a supplier who provides support that meets these needs.

Pick an established supplier

This may seem quite obvious – always be sure to pick a supplier who is established in the POS system provision space and one who has significant experience in serving clients that match your business and it’s specific needs. At the end of the day, you are running a business, with an inspired staff and dedicated leadership – making sure your system is on par with these standards is critical.

Always opt for a supplier who has many years of experience in the sector, consists of staff who are experts in the services they provide, and boasts a wide breadth of functionality. It does not matter how large or small a supplier’s business may be – what matters, in this case, is how well-versed and knowledgeable the personnel are in providing you with the service.

The first step of going about this? Do research and filter your prospective service providers based on their experience levels and knowledge. Pick the supplier who has the best expertise!

The Don’ts

Do not opt for a one-size-fits-all solution

One-size-fits-all sounds very nice on paper, however, practically speaking, it is very implausible. Particularly in businesses who are from various sectors, there simply is no single solution that provides the unique functionality required by your business. If you have a provider claiming to give you a one-size-fits-all solution for any type of business, chances are, it does not fit most of them.

Always make it a point to look at the in-depth functionality of a solution you are looking at. Do not settle. If you cannot find the information you need on resources, call up your potential supplier and/or point of contact for more information and clarification. Your business needs specific functionality – so be sure to support it accordingly!

The first step of going about this? In your search, always look for products and services that uniquely cater to your industry and business type. Your provider and their system need to understand your operations and segment in order to effectively cater to your needs.

Do not base your decision on price

POS systems come with a wide array of criteria for businesses to choose and decide from. From features and functionality to pricing and support services, multiple factors need to be considered before a decision is made. It is for this reason that choosing a system solely based on price would be a mistake.

Price is often misunderstood as a sign of quality – consumers often associate high prices with high quality and low prices with poor quality. This is not always true – especially in the case of point of sales systems. Undoubtedly, the price will play a role in your decision, however, keep in mind that there are instances that you could get a system that suits your needs at below-market cost or above-market cost.

Some EPOS vendors will also give you the option of a payment plan rather than a one-off payment. Opting to spend on a better system would be much more beneficial and effective in the long-term.

The first step of going about this? Determine a budget range – a maximum amount you are willing to spend – and filter your options accordingly. If you do find a vendor who is out of your range, speak to your point of contact about your spending limitation – they may offer you a discount if they really want your business!

Do not ignore customer comments and references

One key success factor behind any product or service is the manner and regard in which it is held by its customers. Granted, not all customers have the exact same experience as others – there may be some who absolutely love their service and others who do not. Therefore, it is important to factor in all comments and feedback – positive and negative – when procuring a service.

Customer feedback, much like the factors, should not be a sole qualifying or disqualifying feature, however, it should be considered when a decision is being made as to which system and service to purchase. We also recommend that you demo solutions before committing.

The first step of going about this? If customer feedback is not readily visible, speak to your prospective provider, ask for references/customer success stories. If you hear recurring concerns, clarify it with them and attempt to find out how these concerns have been rectified.

Do not opt for non-recommended hardware

Point of sales systems requires a combination of hardware and software that need to complement each other in order for the system to operate smoothly and effectively. If you are opting for a new POS system, be sure to use the hardware recommended by the provider – specifically if overall functionality may be jeopardized with incompatible hardware.

It is important to note that some existing hardware components can be used to implement new POS software, however, be sure to confirm with your new provider that this is possible. In some instances, integration of software may take longer and cost more if the non-supplier hardware is used. It is, therefore, recommended that you opt to use the hardware available through your new supplier.

The first step of going about this? Once you have decided on a new supplier, check if your existing hardware can be utilized and how much it will cost. At the same time, browse through your new supplier’s hardware, evaluate specifications, and make a decision.

Key POS System Takeaways

There are many factors to consider when incorporating a new point of sales system into your operations.  While we have highlighted a few in this piece, it is important for you to speak to your peers and counterparts, consult your staff about their needs, and ask your supplier questions, in detail, about the kind of system you could potentially implement.  Whatever your choice is, make sure you choose what is best for you, your staff, your business, and its future requirements. Remember, its a big decision, but, its an important one!

For more information like this, check out our blog!

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