10 Most Common Mistakes when choosing a point of sale system

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Friday, June 11, 2010

The first and most common mistake made is not understanding a retailer’s needs. All businesses processes such as purchasing, receiving, and transfers should be demonstrated. The provider should have knowledge of the industry and be able to recommend the best automated point of sale software.

Second is not making sure the product is reputable. At least three verbal references as well as one visual demonstration is needed when choosing a point of sale system. Make sure the references are using the same version software and find out if they enjoy using it. Asking questions about things like customer support is a good way to get a good support network for the product.

Third is not finding out enough about the company you are purchasing the point of sale system from. Many things should be asked about a company when investing their products. How long have they been in business? Is point of sale systems there exclusive business? How large is the company and their support network? A larger company with more employees focusing on point of sale systems will routinely give the best customer support.

Fourth is not learning how to use the product properly. The first day should be at least an overview of the system and how to use it normally done in a classroom. After the installation the first few days should be training employees which normally only takes a couple hours. After a month end reports and questions that have come up during the month are the next step.

Fifth is buying hardware due to its low price. Low priced machines are made for at home consumers and will not be able to take the constant use. Some hardware may work wonderfully but not be compatible with your point of sale system. Although a little money was saved you now have to pay a technician to get it compatible.

Sixth is buying a all around one size fits all type of system. Point of sale systems are made for different markets with unique needs. It is always best to make sure and buy a system that fits your market.

Seventh is customizing software to your own market. When customizing your own software it will leave the point of sale system stuck with the software it is currently using. Due to this same problem many point of sale systems are still running a DOS based operating system.

Eighth is not categorizing inventory properly. The best way to do this would be to set the system with 10 different departments. Each of those departments should then have 10 classes or less.

Ninth is not backing up the system. In case of disaster and the point of sale system is not working you will want to make sure all information is backed up. A portable hard drive can be used as a simple way to back up the system.

The tenth and final most common mistake is choosing the wrong company. Some point of sale company's leave the market just as quickly as they entered it. This leaves the owner with no support for the product. There are things to find out beforehand about a company to avoid this. Are point of sale systems their primary business? Does the company provide ongoing support and on-site technical assistance? Do they offer training and classes? Do they hold regular meetings for their clients?

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