8 signs it’s time to switch your POS system
8 signs it’s time to switch your POS system
Like all technology, retail management systems are always undergoing improvement. There’s a constant stream of new hardware and software technology reaching the market. To optimise a store’s point of sale features, it’s not unusual for retailers to change or upgrade their system every 6-8 years.
Time moves quickly and most of us don’t keep track of such things, so if everything is still basically working, how do you know when it’s time to consider a change?
Here are 8 telltale signs that it’s time to change your POS system.
1. It’s slow
Probably the first thing you are likely to notice as your system begins to age is that it slows down. There are several reasons that this can happen.
Your software may be outdated and unable to handle increasingly large tasks or programs.
Older systems have less storage capacity. As the storage fills up the system has to search through more and more data, causing processes to take longer.
There may no longer be enough memory (RAM), which is needed to run programs, leading to poor performance. Even updates to the operating system, Windows for example, can cause issues for older systems with less RAM.
2. It’s difficult or impossible to manage inventory and sync data in real-time
Simply put, real-time data syncing means your entire system is always up to date with the latest information, no matter how many components you have.
Time lapses between till purchases and back office updates can lead to stock and sales issues.
Ideally, if you sell something at one till, your central inventory will be updated as soon as possible, so that out of stock products aren’t sold at another purchase point.
The same is true of pricing. When you update your prices, you need the updated prices synced and up to date across the store, instantly.
If your prices, promotions, stock, electronic signage or shelf labels aren’t all being updated in real time, it might be time to consider a more efficient option.
3. It can’t help with staff management
There are a few ways that modern POS systems can help with staff management. Some allow layers of access so that staff members, managers, or area managers for example can be set up with specific permissions. This allows staff members to view and manage only the data that’s appropriate to their role.
With unique logins, you can manage and monitor individual performances and key activity information, such as login times, usage, and transaction data.
Your historic sales figures will assist you in building your roster, helping you to predict busy or quiet periods by day, month, or year. Department reports can also help you to determine which areas of the store might need more or less staff at any given time.
4. You need mobility
Your EPOS system should be flexible to your store’s needs. So if you find your existing system is chunky and lacks portability, it might be time to consider your options.
Modern monitors are slim and streamlined. Some EPOS systems can incorporate a till and back office in one unit, if you need power but are short on space.
Maybe you would benefit from the convenience of having access to your back office in a portable tablet, or a mobile app to monitor your business from anywhere.
You might want portable wireless accessories such as printers, scanners and payment machines.
Cloud services increase your options even further, allowing you to access, manage, and back up your data from anywhere in the world.
5. It is too expensive
If your costs are slowly creeping up, you might find that a modern EPOS system could help you to manage and control your expenditure.
With a better retail management system, you can improve and automate your processes, for example stock control, reconciliations, and reporting. This can save valuable time and reduce costly mistakes.
With the latest software, you can also benefit from all kinds of useful integrations such as waste control, accounts management, and performance monitoring.
Thanks to improvements in technology, EPOS systems are more affordable than ever.
If you’re worried about the initial outlay of a new system, there are usually flexible options available. Payment or rental plans can reduce your capex, or you might opt for an ongoing Software as a Service option (SaaS) option.
6. It can’t support a customer loyalty program
Gaining a new customer costs around 5 times as much as retain an existing one. Loyalty programs are proven to help businesses with customer retention and loyalty.
If your till system doesn’t support the use of loyalty, you should probably consider investing in one that does. There are loads of loyalty options out there, so it’s easy to find one that’s right for your kind of business. With the latest in EPOS technology, you’ll be able to integrate your EPOS system with the loyalty scheme that is perfect for you and your customers.
7. It doesn’t integrate with your online store
It’s important for all businesses to have some kind of online presence now.
Many businesses are already enjoying the benefits of multichannel or omnichannel selling. If having an online store appeals to you, then the process can be made easier with a modern EPOS system.
It’s possible for your web shop to share data and inventory with your bricks and mortar store. When these two are integrated, prices can be rolled out across all channels together, and your single inventory is updated with every sale. This creates a simpler transaction history and leaves far less room for error, saving you time and effort.
8. Lack of scalability
If you decide to increase your store size, product range or services, your EPOS system should be able to support this.
Many modern EPOS systems are able to grow with your business. Whether you wish to expand into the unit next door and need more tills, or you decide to add a deli, a mobile service, a vending machine, or a car wash, your system should be there to help you manage your expansion. If it doesn’t, it’s time to change up.
When it’s time to switch
Do your research. There are a lot of EPOS providers out there, and not all are created equally. Draw up a list of your requirements to ensure your new system provides everything you need.
Shortlist 3 potential suppliers, and research them thoroughly.
Chat with an expert. Not only can they answer any questions you might have, but they can often provide you with insights and ideas that you might not have even thought of.
Ask about aftersales support, including back up, training, helpdesk services, and ongoing development/updates. This will ensure that are not left on your own after you have made your investment, and that your system will be kept up to date with the latest software improvements.
Once you feel fully informed, get quotes for the most suitable options, making sure everything you need is included. Get an overview of the upfront costs and your possible payment options, plus any ongoing charges before selecting the system that best suits your needs.
Who are we?
Retail Solutions is a market-leading EPOS provider with over 25 years of business experience. Our leading sectors are convenience stores, supermarkets, forecourts, pharmacies and coffee shops.
We are dedicated to providing your store with the most up to date and reliable point of sale hardware, along with software management tools to help you manage your business effectively.
Our self-checkout partners are NCR, who are global leaders in self-checkout technology.
To find out more about what we do, get in touch to chat with one of our knowledgeable consultants:
About the author:
Susan McGuire is originally from London, United Kingdom, and has now lived in Galway, Ireland, for 15 years. She has been with Retail Solutions for almost 7 of those, and during that time has enjoyed various roles within the areas of Maintenance, Finance, & Marketing. You can follow her on LinkedIn!