What The Blueprint looks for in a great POS system
There are three critical characteristics we look for when evaluating POS systems. What’s most important is that you take your time to build a list of must-have, nice-to-have, and must-avoid POS components.
Create a literal list and challenge the sales people you’re working with at each vendor to show you how they satisfy the needs on your list. Make sure your new system maps to the sales techniques you and your staff use.
Our three critical must-haves include:
1. Adequate feature set
You want to ensure your POS system provides the must-have features you need to optimally operate your business. More than anything, your new POS should be putting more time back in your day through increased efficiencies and reliability.
If you remove even one critical capability from your POS system’s feature set, that’s taking valuable time away from you and your staff by forcing you to compensate with manual methods or through another system.
If you’re just starting your business, an adequate feature set describes not just what you need immediately but also capabilities that you may want to graduate into as your business grows. For example, you may want to launch an online store after you get your brick and mortar business off the ground.
Keep in mind not only what you need immediately but also what features you may need down the road as you’re making your POS selection.
2. Ease of use
This is quite simple, but your POS system needs to be easy to operate. It’s fine if there’s a learning curve, but the system needs to make sense and provide easy enough tools for your entire staff to efficiently use and benefit from.
More friction added in your day-to-day processes will stress your employees and jeopardize their customer service skills.
To ensure this ease of use, take as many demos and walk-throughs as possible. Read up on the many user reviews to see what real-world peers think about the system. These two steps should help you paint an accurate picture of which systems meet your ease of use requirements and which fall short.
3. Adequate reporting
Reporting capabilities are the most important component of your POS system aside from the day-to-day operations support. Be sure your new POS at least provides integration with robust third-party reporting capabilities if not offered through built-in tools.
The insights you gain and trends you identify through adequate reporting help ensure you’re on the right path and empower you to reach sustained growth. There’s immense value in reporting, and it’s something that you need from the beginning.
How your business can benefit from using POS systems
Your POS system should provide all-around improvements to your business processes and efficiency. Here are three key benefits these improved processes and efficiencies provide.
1. Unlock new capabilities
Whether you’re currently using an inadequate POS or no POS at all, upgrading to a better solution should literally provide newfound capabilities. This could take many different forms.
One example is that most new POS systems provide at least basic if not comprehensive customer management tools to track purchases and administer loyalty programs. This is a nearly impossible manual task and is clunky at best with a third-party system tied to your payment processor.
2. Optimize decision-making
Increased reporting capabilities across sales, inventory, customers, and staff all serves to improve your decision-making. Use year-over-year or month-over-month trends to optimize purchase orders for restock inventory.
Identify your most successful staff members and ensure they’re scheduled during critical sales windows like holiday time for merchants and busy sporting events for bar and restaurant operators.
3. Give you back time
More than anything else, your new POS system should put time back in your day through increased efficiencies. This could be more time to open that second location, organize your inventory, build your online store, or spend with your family and friends.
It doesn’t matter what you do with the time, but what matters is that your investment does indeed free up time otherwise occupied dealing with some component of your previously inadequate system.