Forget POS – think EPOS!
- January 5, 2016
It is always very easy when installing any sort of new system to think about the great advantages and the cost savings, the staff motivation, etc, etc, but when installing such a system, it is as well to do a bit of a SWOT analysis in order to make sure that you are getting value for money and that you are not just buying a system for the sake of it, or because all of your competitors appear to have a system.
Cost is always going to be a major factor in considering the type of system you are going to install. The old adage is that you should always consider value rather than cost, although you should certainly be considering long-term costs as well as maintenance.
The long-term cost is of paramount importance because cash registers or terminals that crash or break incur costs, two of which are the downtime, as well as the cost of repairs. Just those two factors may impact on your bottom line and perhaps make you decide that cost v benefit does not quite stack up.
Whenever you are installing a system talk to your supplier and try to get him to tell you how he sees the future so that you can make sure that whatever it is that you buy or install is not going to be obsolete tomorrow and it will cope with any new technology on the horizon. Having to install and purchase new equipment every time there’s a major technological change is not the way forward. You should be convinced that whatever you buy today will stand you in very good stead for the foreseeable future. For instance, you need to be able to add new peripherals without the expense of investing in new central hardware. By the same token, if everyone suddenly moves to contactless payment technology, the system you buy today needs to be able to cope with it.
Be careful with warranties and read them thoroughly. Most people who are not technologically minded, imagine that a warranty is only for breakages or when bits of you should want to know exactly what you’re covered for. For instance, are you covered for parts or are you covered for parts and their installation and for how long?
You probably also want to know how long you are likely to be ‘down’ for and how quickly a technician will take to arrive on your doorstep to put things right for you. All these items need to be either in the warranty or in the contract.
At the front end of the process, after you have parted with a deposit or even the full amount, make sure you have a contract which specifies the date on which your equipment is not only installed, but is up and running to your satisfaction.
The general rule is that the better the hardware build, the longer it will last. Which brings me on to yet another point. If you are a commercial enterprise, you are quite correct to expect the equipment to be of commercial quality rather than domestic quality. It may be an idea for you to ask an IT engineer to look over the quality of the build as well as the quality of the components in order to make sure that you are buying something that will last you for several years, rather than just for the life of the warranty.
All these things are doubly important because if they do go wrong, it makes your business very vulnerable. Do not rely on a consultants salesman’s promise.
In fairness, POS is an industry which has excellent technical sales people who are in it for the long term, so it is very unlikely that you will come across a disreputable company or a rogue salesmen, but nevertheless it is best to be sure.
The key feature of any system which is helping you to run your business is reliability.
Functionality, cost, ergonomics and even system speed are secondary.
Go for the best that you can afford.
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