The important considerations to make so your software investment pays off now and in the future.
Whether you are just starting your retail shop or have a proven chain seeking to drive more profitability, deciding on a suitable POS system can be critical to your success. These systems have evolved to provide a great deal more than just managing admissions transactions — they now span the entire retail supply chain such as logistics and inventory, loyalty and marketing and total business intelligence.
Careful consideration is necessary to be sure you don’t wind up with a solution that limits your development. So how can you know what to search for in a POS system when it is time to select? Continue reading for our three steps to choosing the ideal solution for your requirements.
How to Select the Right POS system for your business: the 3-step manual
Step 1: List your company requirements to your POS system — near and long term
Before beginning your search for solutions, it makes sense to lay out your guidelines for a point of sale system .
The first and most basic question to ask yourself is’how long do I want this solution to be acceptable for my company?’ . Provided that you probably don’t need to be going through this process many times in the space of a couple of years, it’s sensible to not just consider your company today; however what you expect it to look like later on. A sensible period to future-proof your company is thought of as 2-3 decades.
Once you have decided on the timeframe, think about the following based on it:
How many stores do you feel you’ll be operating?
Will you require a solution that can deal with the complexity of a developing multi-store operation?
Which retail sustainability metrics are healthful and not-so-healthy?
Sketch out your retail value chain from sourcing to after-sales and look at each point in terms of if you can improve profitability/margin and customer lifetime value metrics. Then consider how a new POS System could assist with this. Concerning bottom-line costs, this may indicate identifying and culling slow moving, low margin stock lines or negotiating with providers based on accurate factual information. From a top-line earnings perspective, it might mean improving staff up and cross selling to increase average basket size, ensuring proper stock levels of fast moving, higher margin products and rolling out promotions and loyalty. This can help to frame what regions of a POS System are most important for you — point-of-sale, inventory, marketing & devotion, eCommerce integration etc.. If you are not able to have a clear view of your current performance metrics, then an POS System that enables these analytics capabilities will be fundamental.
Are you going to be running both a physical and online shop, and will these need to sync up?
If your in-store and eCommerce systems do not connect then you risk having a sub-optimal customer experience (e.g. selling products which are really out-of-stock) and plenty of manual effort to keep everything in sync.
What business areas and practices do you need this system to empower?
Do you only require a simple POS system which will help handle store transactions? Or are you wanting to introduce new practices in store for example prompted cross-selling? What about stock management? Do you want to have the ability to identify which products you’re over-stocked and under-stocked on? Or enable real time inventory transfers? Will you wish to profile your clients and create personalised advertising campaigns and loyalty programs from them?
Consider which practices and strategies that you want your business to have the ability to employ; then listing them all as prerequisites to challenge prospective suppliers on later. Consider this as much detail as possible. By way of instance, which specific sales promotions would you prefer to run? Buy one, get one at 20 percent of the price, etc..
What other systems do you need to integrate with?
If you are already using accounting software like Xero or MYOB, think about how much easier things would be if your POS system incorporated with that. The same is true for any eCommerce platforms you’re going to be using. Consider all your business systems and how they ought to work together to allow efficiency and help realise your business aims.
What are your implementation and service expectations?
If anything, this could just be the most important step in deciding on the best POS system for the small or medium sized company. Are you prepared to oversee the majority of the implementation of your system yourself or would you like a dedicated project manager? Likewise, what service expectations do you have? How fast should they react and through which channels? Would you like a support center based in Australia?
Many’low-cost’ POS systems will only include basic service included in the price tag. On the flip side, big ERP systems will typically expect a whole lot of consultancy fees to extent and tailor a bespoke solution, so it’ll be important to get the ideal fit for your requirements.
Step 2: Establish your budget and prioritise
This step is all about identifying what you’re willing and able to spend to be able to accomplish the objectives and practices within the timeframes you identified — factoring in the very real facts of finite funds and cash flow.
Quantifying the possible revenue and cost savings you anticipate you’ll have the ability to drive for every one of your needs from step 1 can help shape what you are prepared to spend (our advisers at ConnectPOS possess an independent calculation methodology to aid retailers with this). It can also help identify which requirements are most impactful and for that reason give you a few ideas of trade-offs in regards to the last step….
Step 3: Assess solutions according to your needs
Take your own requirements and budget from steps 1 and 2 and put them in a comparison table (Excel is perfect ) with a list of potential solution providers you’ve identified. This is your record of whether they can fulfil every one of your requests and a calculation of the anticipated investment.
But before beginning any involvement together guarantee you follow these essential principles:
- Be sure that you are comparing apples with apples — these are the tiny things that can frequently blindside you in building a like-for-like comparison. Variable in exchange rates if you’re taking a look at overseas suppliers, find out what’s all-inclusive versus an add on cost and look at requirements and limitations, etc..
- Ask for case studies of current, local customers within a similar marketplace to you.
- Request a guided walk-through and also to observe a live presentation of all your needs being fulfilled.
- Calculate total pricing within the time you identified…and afterwards — considering that different timeframes can give you a totally new perspective on which solution offers best value for money for your company in the long run.