Replacing your payment processing terminal and cash register with Point of Sale Solutions is one of the excellent ways to take your business to the next level. Some of the purchases can have a dramatic effect on your hospitality or retail business as a POS system.
Choosing the best implemented retail POS software solution can provide you a new level of control over your functions, boost productivity, increase profits and assist you to fine-tune your business model. Apart from an increase in productivity over your cash register, custom POS applications give details and reports which can help you to take more informed business decisions.
As per the recent survey of National Retail Federation, U.S. retailers lose $224 billion because of excess inventory and $45 billion due to lack of inventory stock. Many shopkeepers had to face this because of inventory mismanagement; this is where POS can be helpful for them.
If you’re a retailer, you need to keep a constant watch on your inventory stock. Point of sale systems will help in managing stock by keeping numbers and data up-to-date with every single transaction. And with the use of a wireless portable scanner, in combination with a POS solution, can definitely decrease your footsteps, thereby saving hours in the procedure.
On the other hand, the ready to buy POS software can give several headaches and cause you to spend more money and valuable time on supporting a technology which distracts you from running and developing your business.
This article will help you to learn how to make a proper POS purchase decision. If you know what questions to ask, it will assist to save yourself from making the mistakes of a first-time buyer.
Do proper research- Invest time in evaluating POS Solution Companies
Finding the best pos application takes efforts and times. It is a vital decision that will affect how your business works. Make sure you do a proper background research in finding your prospective POS solution providing companies.
When selecting a POS solution, experienced buyers will tell you that it is important to purchase from a good company. Investing the time to evaluate companies to ensure that they are customer-oriented and are dedicated to great services for the whole lifetime of your business is a smart move which saves you from headaches now and in future also.
Ask the below questions to Evaluate POS companies:
How long have you been in business?
Application development takes time. So the newer the company, the greater the chances of application bugs. If the company is more established and older, you can assume that they have gone through the pains of growth of new applications and have come out with a successful solution.
What is your growth rate?
You need a company which is actively growing. Today the software industry is highly competitive. Companies need to keep growing and enhance their product offer to stay ahead in this competitive era. Not having proper development indicates that the company may not be using advanced technology as much as they should and ultimately be left behind. Go with the pioneering companies that are leading the way.
How many customers do you have?
The number of customers is a sign of how successful the company is. If the company only has a few customers, it’s either a) a new company, no doubt which you should avoid, or b) the company has a poor service or bad product leading in high turnover of customer and handful new customers.
How do you sell your products?
The company has more control over process and support; if they are selling directly which means you get reliable rates and services. In case, if they are using a reseller medium – be prepared for inconsistent service and high rates. Selling through a middleman confines the company’s capacity to control service and rate.
Invest the time in evaluating levels of service
When you buy point of sale systems, you are entering into a long-term relationship with a seller. Let’s face it, there’s no such thing as a fool-proof application. Understanding that you will be in constant touch with your selected POS Company for application updates, training, support, hardware and consulting could be an essential consideration in your decision making procedure. The level of company’s support can be the difference between a good and bad customer experience. Give appropriate time to inquire about support service levels. If the company you are talking is not offering you with proper support measures, they may not support seriously.
Ask the below questions to evaluate the service levels:
Do you provide 7 X 24 X 365 support?
You require support which works on your time. Why adjust for anything less? Look for a company which you know will be there for you when you require help and support.
How do you identify issues?
With cloud-based pos systems, support issues can be identified instantly allowing the support team to start solving your issues instantly. While on-site, you have to wait for someone to come down to your location to first evaluate the issue and then take actions to fix it.
What is your average support wait time?
How long will the support phone ring before it’s picked? Waiting more than 30 seconds is terrible! Usually, if a company takes long in picking the calls, shows that they don’t have concerns for their consumers.
What is your 1st call answer level?
Companies may say that they answered their support phone in less than 30 seconds, but how long does it take to talk directly with actual support one. Support lines can be picked by an automated system that put you in a queue of call waiting or they send you directly to voicemail. This can be very irritating and time-consuming when you want to talk to an ‘actual’ person. By asking this question, you can discover how often you will speak to an ‘actual’ person when you call the first time. The higher the percentage, the greater the possibility of talking with someone sooner.
What is your system performance uptime?
Your point of sale pos systems needs to operate 99.9% of the time. A 98% uptime assurance may sound good at first but this actually means that the application can be down for around 30 minutes a day or 14 hours a month and they’ve still met their requirement!
Choose for a POS system that’s designed specifically for your business type
Every business is unique. As such, you require an application that suits your particular requirements. Though many POS companies claim their application works for every type of business (i.e. restaurant, retail, fast food to fine dining), as an entrepreneur, you are totally aware that you can’t be all things to all people. Why adjust for something basic when you can get an application that was built with you in mind? Understand what business problem you require to address with your POS in advance, and then look for POS that is suited to your requirements. In the long run, you will be much happier.
Ask for Demo if you are buying pre-build POS Appliation
Before you buy a car, you’d test drive. Asking for a demo from a salesperson is the best way to see how the application works and if it’s a likely fit for your business. Be careful of a salesperson that just starts introducing their product without first taking the time to understand your business requirements. Utilize the salesperson as a resource. The best salespersons are those who solve the queries you may have and assist you to find the best solution – even if it’s not their product.
Ask Salesperson for Quotes if you are going for custom built POS Application
By now, you should have a good understanding of what your requirements are and you can start asking for quotes. Remember that getting quotes from companies that you are interested in, will add another element to the decision making procedure.
Several POS companies will provide everything in their quotations while others will leave things out to make their cost seem more pleasant – ensure you are comparing quotes to quotes. It’s also essential to ask about the charges that may arise at the time of life of your POS, such as upgrades, maintenance, and support. You should also ask the sales representative to provide you a quote on all training, installation, support, upgrades, and maintenance.
Ask below questions to the salesperson:
Is application support included for the full term?
We can’t deny the fact about how essential the support is. The majority of providers will give free support for the initial year of the contract, leaving you with costly on-require support for the rest of your contract. Make sure to clear up the support service when you are evaluating companies.
Is there internal cost which should be considered?
With several traditional POS systems, a back office computer needs to run your complete POS action. It is your duty to maintain this computer. The maintaining and running cost of this computer needs to be included when you are considering buying a traditional POS system. Conversely, a cloud pos system would cover this added cost.
How often do you offer updates?
You need the best software available. You can take advantage of a company who keeps updating and enhancing their product.
Do you charge for updates?
There are several companies who charge for updates. As a customer, you deserve the most updated and bug-free version of the application. Find a company which includes upgrades for the full term of your contract.
Talk to References
Asking the salespeople to provide references will provide you the opportunity to speak with someone who has experience of using the product first-hand. Making the call to references and asking them right questions will assist you to choose right solution and avoid any issues.
Apart from asking for references from businesses which are similar to your own business, ask for references from businesses which have successfully addressed problems that are similar to your own issues. By having a word with related references, you can know if the POS Company keeps their sales promise.
Ask References below questions:
Why did you purchase this POS Solution?
If you can take away one thing from reading these tips, it would be to find a POS application that is best-match for your business requirements. Definitely, you will learn ‘what not to do’ from someone who purchased solely on the basis of low cost, but it will be more worthwhile if you talk to someone with a similar business problem as that of you, and have found a solution that best suits their requirements.
Is the POS up to the promises?
You need to find a company that stands by the promises that they make.
What specific issues you faced with your POS if any?
As mentioned earlier, software is not perfect. They may have some issues. It is essential to find out if the issues were only minor or if the software had major faults that prohibited the customer from carrying out basic tasks.
How the POS Company addressed these issues?
Responsiveness is the main thing that you should look for. A company that addressed quickly to issues is a sign of great service. Find out how quickly the company addressed the issue and took the essential tasks to solve the issues.
It is essential to think about your future. Right now you may have one location, but in future, you may dream of having multiple locations you should consider scalability. Ask the provider about the software’s ability to include multiple locations. How are the multiple locations integrated? How will rates and menu items change for multiple locations? What are the rates related to having multiple locations?
Purchasing POS software can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, but with proper dedication and patience, you can have the POS that best suits your requirements and take you to the next level of success.
i-Verve INC is the leading design and development solution provider of custom pos application software and also offers high-quality, cost-effective order management system. Feel free to contact us to find out how your business can be more profitable.