How to Choose Right POS Hardware and Software
POS Terminals
ram@justransact.com
23-07-2015 00:00:00
How to Choose Right POS Hardware and Software
The advent of Point of Sale (POS) devices, which come with different variants and prices, has given retailers an access to the systems which can make them competitive with established players. However, choosing the right hardware and software to run your business efficiently needs great attention to details.
 
In order to get the right POS hardware and software solution, retailers should avoid the ten most common mistakes while making the purchase. This is to avoid spending more by duplicating your efforts.
 
Not Understanding Your Needs
Make sure that your vendor has sufficient track record in installing POS products suitable to your kind of business. Explain your needs clearly to the vendor so that the end product will be sustainable and relevant to your business model. For example if you are a retailer, every process in the business - purchasing goods, pricing, inventory, billing, accounting, staff management and backend data storage should be taken care of apart from providing additional features for future usage.
 
Not Having Product References
Don't be in a hurry to purchase POS unless you have at least two local references and made enquiry with them. Visiting these references will help you to personally see the products in action and you can also clarify any doubts thereon. You can also get to know the software versions they use which can help you zero-in on your software. Get their feedback about the vendor and after sales support.
 
Not knowing your brand
You should be sure about the brand you are choosing while making huge investment to buy their POS products for further your business. There are many in the market who can sell you POS devices but very few will have exclusive domain knowledge. You should choose the company which is in the market for very long time and have considerable reputation, knowledge and expertise. One must do a thorough homework before signing the cheque.
 
Not having Sufficient Training
Understanding the features of the POS system is very important. Many a times, we see retailers use the advanced POS system with innumerable features and advantages as "Glorified Cash Register" due to lack of training knowledge. Ensure that your staff and you get adequate training on how to use various features of the POS products. You can document the training procedures to train future staff at the POS counters. Staff should be given training from making day-to-day billing and generating various reports on inventory, staff performance to product movement, customer data and reward point details.
 
Not Buying at Right Price
The moment you start window shopping to choose your POS device and software, you may be bombarded with information on low priced POS hardware and software. You may tempt to go for cheaper version and often ends up with low quality systems. You should desist yourself from choosing such substandard products else, you may end up coughing more to set the things in order. The low priced POS systems and printers won't be rugged to withstand the tough retail environments. Always go for reputed brand for getting the hardware and check with the competency of software provider before deciding on the software part. You can check these details with your references.
 
Not choosing right POS model
Since there is no plug-and-play system available in the POS market, one has to get a tailor-made system for his retail business. Retail sector has several verticals such as general retail, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, food and beverages, textile, home and decor, books and stationery, and so on. Each one needs distinct POS products and software application. Hence, it is essential to find a POS system specific to your business. The features of the chosen software should automate the basic needs of your business. The industry-specific automation will provide better return on investment to you compared to generic point-of-sale software.
 
Not opting for industry specific software
As we mentioned earlier, while choosing software, go for industry specific one which can give you a bundle of features specific to your industry or business. You must try to get maximum number of features in a single package. Customization of software may help, but this will freeze you into the version you purchase and stops you from getting future updates.
 
Not using POS to its potential
An advanced POS system can become a mediocre one if you don't maintain data inputs and standards to your advantage. As software are available which can turn raw data into meaningful information, retailers should use these features effectively. Apart from being a regular billing machine, these machines can be used for extracting data such as sales pattern on daily, weekly or monthly basis, inventory and purchase details, staff-sales performance, individual customer buying pattern, sales comparison charts of other branches, customer retention charts, etc.
 
Neglecting disaster recovery
Even though you use secured and advanced POS system, you will be in quandary when disasters such as data theft, system crash or any other natural disaster strike. Backing up your system is the best way to remain in business. Backups can be done through portable hard drives or internet based backup services.
 
Not checking supportive system
Since you are purchasing the POS product and solutions to sustain your business in the long run, it is essential to check the support system your products will get in future. While checking the company details, you should also analyse type of customer support and technical assistance they provide, training session for your staff, data on user groups, etc.
 
User group meetings are helpful to learn new ideas, latest features in the software and create network with your peers.
-K Ramanathan ram@justransact.com


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