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By Alberto Jessurun / August 11, 2021 / Blog

9 Tips for Switching to a New POS System

What to consider when getting a new POS system

Key Takeaways
  • Make a list of the functions you need
  • Consider industry-specific requirements
  • Decide which payment options you’ll need to process
  • Think about customer relationship management
  • Review management features
  • Look at the need for mobility
  • Ask about the system's offline capabilities
  • Decide if you need an omnichannel POS
  • Make sure the system integrates with the right software
Perhaps you've outgrown your existing point-of-sale system. Maybe your software is lagging, or you want to add new capabilities. Regardless of the reason you're switching to a new POS system, you’ll need to ensure that you make the right choice for your business. 

Investing in a new POS improves your business's ability to organize cash inflows, maximize sales, and optimize the customer experience. The options range from very simple software that can be run on a phone to complicated omnichannel integrated POS systems.

With so many choices, where do you start? You need to ensure that you select a platform that meets the demands of today and the future. This guide will take you through the steps you should consider if you're switching to a new POS. 

1. Make a list of the functions you need

What do you want your POS to do? What does your current system do that you can't live without, and what features do you want to add? This list will vary based on your industry, your particular business, and your clienteles' expectations. As you look at different POS options, you may also end up adding new features to your wish list as you learn more about the different options. 

You need basic capabilities, such as pricing, discounting, tax, tendering, voiding, and refunding, but you may also want extended capabilities such as the following:
  • Price changes, discounts, and special offers
  • Product search and look-up
  • Sale commissions
  • Layaway
  • Special orders with in-store pick-up or customer delivery
  • Online order handling
  • Inventory management tools
  • Training modes
You may also want to look for tools that help generate corporate or store-level reports and audit tools for loss prevention. 

2. Consider industry-specific needs

The most effective POS software varies based on your unique industry, and you may want to look for an option that has been customized for your industry. If you run a restaurant, for example, you may want a POS with advanced features such as raw ingredient tracking across multiple locations. 

As your servers enter different meals into the POS, the system does the basics of calculating the cost and tax for the customer's bill, but it also goes a step further by noting which ingredients were used in the food sold and helping you to craft orders for your vendors. Regardless of your industry, contemporary POS systems can help with product management and process optimization. 

3. Decide which payment options you want

Adding additional payment options is a main reason that many businesses decide to upgrade their POS systems. You need a system that can facilitate cash and credit sales, but you may also want to be able to accept multiple currencies, digital currencies, gift cards, or mobile payments. 

Depending on your business model, you may want to be able to generate invoices for payment at a future date or set up and save tabs for customers. 

4. Think about customer relationship management

You may also want your POS to have customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. These include storing customer contact details and, often, the ability to track the entire customer relationship from first encounter through sales. If CRM capabilities are important to you, look for a system that can organize customers by groups and subgroups so you can customize sales and offers based on customer's purchase habits. 

5. Review management features

Management features let you determine which users can take certain actions. For example, you may want to require employees to obtain a manager's permission to do refunds. POS management features can also affect sharing data between systems, changing configuration settings, and handling system upgrades.

As you look at different systems, consider what these workflows look like and ensure that you choose the simplest process for your needs. If you have multiple POS systems, you will want a real-time dashboard where you can get an overview of everything happening in your business.

6. Look at the need for mobility

Do you want a mobile aspect to your POS? Do you need a tablet that you can take on the road to trade shows or for sales in the field?

Do you want mobile capabilities in your brick-and-mortar business? For example, you may want to equip servers with a tablet that allows them to ring up customers' orders at their tables. Or if you have a retail location, you may want a solution that lets salespeople answer inventory questions regardless of where they are in the store. 

7. Ask about the system's offline capabilities

Contemporary POS systems do a lot of their work online, but what happens if the internet goes down or you have a network failure? Find out how the POS works offline and how it syncs to the host once you're back online. Ideally, you should ensure these types of issues cause the least disruption possible. 

8. Decide if you need omnichannel capabilities

Omnichannel POS systems connect to databases in different locations. For example, you may need a POS that can track inventory levels in multiple locations and facilitate orders from store to store. Alternatively, you may need a POS that can sync sales from your website to your physical store.

9. Think about integrations

The POS should be able to sync data between your other systems. You may want the POS to sync with your timekeeping, accounting, CRM, and other types of business management software. Make sure it syncs with the systems you use now or anticipate using in the future.

Once you have thought about these nine essentials, you can start to make a technology roadmap. You need to ensure that you choose the right hardware and infrastructure to support your POS now, but you also want to ensure your solutions can be scaled as you grow. 

Contact Unisol International about your POS

The team at Unisol Int'l can help you select and deploy your next POS. We are a one-stop-shop and can provide everything you need to help you choose and install your new POS equipment, including professional services such as installation and set-up if desired. 

We also help clients scope and quote out technology products related to security cameras, security video management software, networking equipment, video wall and commercial displays, servers, and data storage systems. Contact us at Unisol International today to learn more.

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