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"How to Choose MAC POS Software"

- By Jeff Haefner


Mac OS ("MAC"), including the Mac OS X currently used with Apple Computers, are very good operating systems. They're very popular with graphics design companies, educators, and the home user but not so popular in the retail business world. Unfortunately, for the die hard Mac user, most of the world is run by PCs and Windows and very few POS systems run on MACs.

Drawbacks to using MAC POS software

If you decide to stick with a MAC Operating System, your choices for POS Software will be very limited, which means that you'll most likely miss out on the time and money saving features that POS software packages for other operating systems may offer.

Another problem with MAC-based computers in the retail environment is that you'll be limiting your choices with other retail technology that might be useful like accounting and payroll software. Often, accounting software can interface with point of sale software but MAC based systems, due to limited software options, might preclude this.

Not as many people know how to use MAC-based systems, which means that your employee training time may take longer and be more involved. Additionally, finding a tech person to repair or configure your system may be harder to come by and more expensive to hire.

Advantages to the MAC-based system

The MAC is a very stable and reliable operating system with relatively few bugs and failures. Properly configured, your system will often run until you're ready to change or upgrade.

Additionally, you won't find as many bugs and viruses as you might find in other operating systems like Windows.

MAC is a very easy to use operating system, particularly for the home user, designer, or educator.

Point of Sale Software Options

We've talked about the advantages and disadvantages of MAC Pos Software and if you're a die hard Mac user then you have some factors to consider when researching and purchasing your POS Software.

Consider setting your operating system aside for a moment and focusing on what your business point of sale software needs are. Do you need inventory control? Do you need customer tracking? Do you need a point of sale system that integrates with your current accounting software?

In essence, write up a 'wish list' of operations that you desire in your point of sale system and prioritize them. This will not only help in the decision phase of your purchase, but also in the research phase.

If necessary, consider an alternative operating system when purchasing your optimal point of sale software system. Making sure that your software package meets all your needs, or as many as possible, and will help to ensure that you don't need to upgrade your software system right away which will save you money in the long run.

Look for Industry Specific Software

There are generic MAC-based point of sale software packages available, but your investment and your business may be better served if you look for an industry designed software package. For example ICARZ makes pos software for the MAC, which is specific for the auto parts industry and Carpetsoftware.com makes point of sale software for the carpeting and flooring industry.

By utilizing industry specific software for your retail establishment, you may end up saving both time and money because the software tasks and applications are designed specifically for you, often eliminating the extra steps that a generic program would require.

Consider Available Training and Longevity of Software Manufacturer

It is extremely important to evaluate the company that you're considering. You need to not only find a company that has been established for several years but you need to look for one that has great support service.

When you purchase your software product you're not just purchasing a product, you're purchasing a relationship. Consider what might happen if your system goes down in the middle of a busy Saturday morning and your customer support isn't available until Monday. How many sales will you lose? How much money?

Additionally, it is important that you get the right type of training for your product. It is most helpful to get on site training from, possibly in addition to computer based training, from someone that has experience in your industry and with a company of your size.

Consider the Size of Your Company

Also know that point of sale software packages are designed for the size of your company. To know which packages are optimal for you, first determine what category or 'tier' you fall into. Retailers are categorized into tiers according to the number of employees they have and their annual sales. For more information on the retail tier system visit
http://www.possoftwareguide.com/articles/small-business-pos-software.html

By first determining your tier, you can then eliminate all MAC POS Software that does not cater specifically to your tier. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that 80% of your software product's customers are in the same tier that you are. You can find this out by simply asking your sales representative.

The real trick to finding the optimal MAC POS software package for your business is to find a searchable index of possible packages. Take heart! There are reliable sources of unbiased information readily available to you.

For more information on point of sale software and specifically MAC POS software including a searchable index of software options based on operating systems, industry size, company size and much more, visit www.possoftwareguide.com

To Your Success!

Jeff Haefner



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