Did you know that there are millions of businesses who use a cash register? Did you know that many of these businesses are very small businesses and in fact might have only a simple, “non-intelligent” cash register. It’s only value is keeping money in a drawer and issuing a receipt.
What else would you want you ask?
Well a “point of sale” (POS) system is a complete system that you can manage customers, inventory, sales, and so much more to get intelligence from your retail operations.
Many vendors make POS systems, IBM, HP, Intuit and others. Microsoft, in fact makes POS software that many PC vendors add hardware to for a full system.
Buying a POS system is like buying a pair of shoes – one size does not fit all.
In this regards, Allbusiness.com has an extensive overview of how to buy a POS system. It reads 1. A Help Desk to support the stores, to keep them working, even during evening store hours and on weekends. You can’t live without your system; if it goes down Saturday afternoon during a sale, your vendor had better be there to answer the phone and get you back up, or you are in big trouble. A serious vendor who understands the business will have serious support (and maybe charge seriously for it, because it’s no joke).
2. Vendor assistance with their software and with the database system. They install it, they train your people on it, they support it every step of the way.
3. Support is the most critical thing of all! Your business will suffer when the system goes down, so get references and invest the time to follow up on them, in depth.
4. If you think you will or might be expanding your chain out of state, or even out of the area, your vendor has to be able to handle that. You don’t want different providers for different regions ó you will have data compatibility and coordination issues that you don’t want.
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