Take A POSitive Approach To Finding A POS System

When I am out and about at conferences or working with wineries, I am often asked to recommend POS (Point-of-Sale) systems. That is such a hard question to answer, as the right POS varies for each business.

There are many POS systems available and all of them can do the job, the question is what exactly do you want your POS system to do and how do you want it to function? Though I can’t pick out your system, here are a few tips for you:

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

Assess your needs. Consider your present and future needs. What will you need five years from now, and can you add on to the system you choose to meet those needs? Find a company whose products can grow as you grow.

Make a list of the services and features that are important to you. Ask employees who will work with the system what they think is important in a system. You might want to ask your customers to. For example, I find it very handy that I am now able to have my receipts emailed directly to me instead of getting a printed receipt. It’s a lot easier at tax time, as they are all in a file on my computer and I have not got lots of little pieces of paper floating around.

WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?

Put together a budget that factors in everything, the retail software, accounting software, point of sale, terminals, etc. Also factor in the cost (if it’s additional) of training and problem solving, as well as repairs. Once you have your budget, look for the systems that match it.

ARRANGE FOR A DEMO

Get the companies you are interested in to give you a demonstration of the product. It’s a big investment, you need to know the ins and outs, and the company needs to know as much as they can about your business.

CHECK REFERENCES

As well as getting referrals for customers to speak with, from the company, find other businesses like yours that use a system you are considering, and ask what they think.  You want to know that the system is functional, practical and easy to use.

Happy shopping!

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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2 comments on “Take A POSitive Approach To Finding A POS System

  1. I just reviewed over 40 solutions for wine clubs (many included POS) and I found the most informative question that I could ask was “Please show me exactly how that feature works”.

    All to often people assume they understand how a “feature” works when in fact there are many “creative” features to be had. Having the sales person demonstrate in detail how the details of the POS solution works will uncover the solutions strengths and weaknesses as they relate to your business needs.

    * What happens when I have no connection to the internet?
    * What happens when I need to get the information into our accounting solution?
    * Exactly how do I send emails?
    * Exactly how are you PCI compliant and what are my personal responsibilities to support PCI compliance?
    * How much will you charge for support?
    * How much will you charge for initial training? additional training?
    * Can you access the solution from multiple locations?
    * Is the pricing by user, by location, or unlimited?

    I would also advise having the solution provider commit to providing support within a specified time frame and if they fail to meet their commitment there should be a consequence.

    The two top reasons people leave a POS solution is the lack of customer service and hidden fees adding up beyond their expectations. Elizabeth is correct when she says it is worth doing your homework!

    Best regards,
    Theresa Dorr
    Winery Consultant
    510-326-1777

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