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7 Points to consider when implementing a POS system

Credit Card for Point of Sale (POS) Payment

Searching for a new Point of Sale (POS) system can be a complicated process. What features are required? What support will I get on the system? How will the system work with other software I use in my business? Making the right decision is important and needs to consider several factors. We’ve put together a list of the key points to consider when purchasing a new POS system.

 

Ease of use

Systems which are easy to use will mean a better customer experience at the till, less errors, more customers served and better reports/information. It will also reduce the time spent on training inexperienced staff on the system. A good POS system should offer employees the information they need, immediately, so they can serve customers.

It’s crucial to remember that a key element of how customers view your business is driven by their experience of the payment process. If their bill is presented quickly and accurately, and they can pay promptly with their choice of payment – then they leave your business with a good impression. If, on the other hand, there is a problem with their bill or payment then the quality of the product or service you have sold is forgotten and they leave with a very poor impression.

Points to consider:

  • Intuitive interface that minimizes training time
  • Easy-to-use tools that employees feel comfortable using
  • A fast and accurate bill presentation and payment process
  • Secure login for every employee on the POS system
  • Dashboards that can be customized for every employee

 

Functionality

Ensuring your new POS has the right features to help you run your business is crucial. However, while people typically focus on the payment process, there are several other factors which should be considered.

For example, in a restaurant and bar setting the following functionality can be very useful:

  • Adjustable floorplans – Floorplan adjustments allow your staff to be clear where tables are and allows them to be altered if required
  • Kitchen display – Helps the kitchen deliver orders in less time with a display that lists the orders as they are sent
  • Flexible billing – Ensuring customers can split bills, manage large groups and print multiple copies of receipts for business customers
  • Clock in and out – Allows your staff to clock in and clock out of the system when they start and end their day to better calculate work hours
  • Employee profiles and permissions – Not everyone needs to check the stock or sales numbers for the whole team. Decide who can see what in the system for more efficiency

 

Reporting

A good POS will show you how well you’re doing, and where you can improve.

Points to consider:

  • Reports that show your most profitable items, top-selling items, lowest selling items, busiest hours, etc.
  • Dashboards highlighting the information you need
  • Easy access to information for better decision-making, such as for inventory purchasing and staff scheduling

 

How will the new POS link to other software you will use?

When choosing a POS system, there is more to consider than just the features of the POS software itself. You should also consider how the POS will link to other software you use day-to-day or might need in the future.

Points to consider:

  • Accounting system – A POS system integrated with your accounting software will eliminate double data entry, reduce margin for error and help you produce meaningful reports
  • Marketing – Increasingly businesses are looking to maximise their customer data to improve customer loyalty. Many POS systems offer options to link customer transactions together and build a detailed view of their customer across the board. This information can then be used to match existing customers to promotional campaigns through emails, Facebook campaigns and even loyalty cards

 

Training and Support

Each business is different and comes with its own preferred workflows, challenges, preferences, requirements and goals. A good POS vendor helps you figure out if the software fits your needs (if it will help your business succeed) and will help you with onboarding sessions as well as offer technical support for those times when something just doesn’t make sense. You shouldn’t be left alone as soon as the purchase is made, so always make sure to ask about what kind of post-sales support the provider offers.

Points to consider:

  • Are there multiple ways to reach the providers’ support team, such as over the phone, online tickets, and live chat?
  • Is there a variety of training materials, including online help and product information, courses, videos or webinars available to you and your team?
  • What are other business owners saying about this POS system online in forums and product reviews?
  • Are there specific onboarding sessions for managers and employees?
  • Are there guaranteed response times for issues? And do those response times work for the hours of business you will run? For example, 9-5 support Monday to Friday won’t be helpful if you have a problem with the POS system in your bar at 1am on a Saturday night
  • How long is the hardware guaranteed for and how fast can replacement units be provided and configured?
  • When it comes to buying technology, it’s always important to think about what you may need in the future. For example, will your business require new registers to be added? What if you change your product mix and begin offering food in a bar for example? Overall how scalable is the system you are buying?

 

Reliability of the POS hardware

Ultimately, your POS system is only as good and reliable as the hardware supporting it. A hardware failure which can’t be fixed quickly could result in customers not being able to pay impacting your revenues and reputation. Your equipment needs to work quickly and reliably day after day, night after night without interruption.

Points to consider:

  • Each element of the POS system hardware – the terminal, cash drawer, screens, receipt printer – needs to be robust and match the working environment of your business. For example, card readers can be dropped, have drinks spilled on them, touch screens (particularly in a bar) could end up with liquid on them. How tolerant is the hardware you plan to buy to wear and tear?
  • Payment terminals need to connect to a server to authorise a payment. Therefore, if your connection drops you will have a problem. How reliable is your connection for accepting payments? And is there a backup means of connecting if required?

 

POS Costs

Finally, the overall cost of the POS system needs to be considered, including any hidden costs that may not be obvious at the outset.

Points to consider:

  • The upfront and ongoing cost of the hardware and software to run the POS including any rental agreements for the hardware
  • Transaction processing costs, payment gateway costs or specific fees for the merchant account to accept payments
  • Maintenance costs for hardware or replacement hardware costs
  • Costs of training staff on the POS system

 

Contact Us

aperio have over 5 years’ experience using technology to help our clients deliver. Please get in touch if you would like more detail on how to get the most from your business systems.

E: info@aperiofinance.ie

Cork: +353 (0) 21 242 7950

Dublin: +353 (0) 1 531 0303