How to Choose the Right POS Software Company
- By Bob Twain
You've made the decision to purchase a POS system. That's an excellent idea! POS software can dramatically change your business processes and improve your bottom line. You will probably even find that managing your retail business is so much smoother and easier with your POS system.
Now that you've made that important decision, it is time to evaluate the POS software company that you are strongly considering.
Don't Miss This Step!
Probably one of the biggest mistakes retailers round the world make when selecting POS software is that they don't spend enough (or any) time evaluating the actual company selling the POS software.
This step is just as important as the software you are selecting. Why?
Because you'll be relying heavily on the software company to give you:
Remember, you're entering into a relationship with the POS software company - you are not just buying a product! You will be in continual contact with company for POS software updates, support, training, hardware and consulting.
- support when you need help
- help you properly configure the POS software
- send you software updates
- teach you how to use the software
- and more...
In my experience, the POS software company's level of support could be the major difference between an experience that is great and one that is awful. Computers are involved so there are bound to be problems. Making sure the POS software company is experienced; reputable and financially stable is important to ensure a long, prosperous POS relationship!
How to Evaluate the POS Software Company
I hope that you recognize how vitally important it is that you spend considerable time evaluating the POS software company in addition to evaluating the POS software. Here are the types of elements you should review in your company POS software evaluation:
Purchasing POS software for your retail business is a wise decision. Make that decision the best it possibly can be by investing time and effort in evaluating the POS software company. You want to ensure that you are investing your hard-earned dollars into a product from a company that is financially stable, provides excellent installation, training and support, has a good understanding of your industry and will continue to supply bug fixes and product enhancements.
- Is the company profitable and stable? A company that's struggling financially could be out of business in a few months. That would leave you with an unsupported POS program that will basically become obsolete with no company support. Ask to see financial statements. If they won't show them to you, ask yourself - why?
- Does the POS software company have a solid customer base? It is important to find out how many customers the company has in order to help you determine their vested interest in the software and the company. You don't want to invest your hard-earned dollars into a POS system, only to discover that the company has few clients and little motivation to improve and support the software.
- Does the POS software company have a good understanding of your niche industry? POS software varies greatly depending on the size of retail organization it serves, as well as the industry. For example, a shoe store has vastly different POS requirements than a motorcycle retailer. Ask questions about their experience in your industry and ask for concrete examples of how the POS software works in that industry.
- How will the POS software company install your software? Find out how they will get your program up and running. Do they offer on-site software installation, on-site hardware and network installation? Will they convert your data if you have an existing system? Make sure their answers are comfortable for you because you do not want to be stuck trying to figure out how to install the system on your own.
- Will the POS software company offer training services that suit your learning style? POS software can be rather complex. You want to ensure the company you are working with has training available so that you can learn all the tools and tricks so you get maximum value from the software. Find out if the training is on site, off site in a classroom, on the telephone, computer based, etc.
- Will your package be supported after the installation and training is complete? It is essential that the POS software company offer telephone support during your retail store hours. Not having support available during half your business day would be useless and frustrating. Support hours are incredibly important!
- Have you experienced fast call back times when you've had inquiries throughout your selection process? If you've been dissatisfied with your ability to get answers during the selection process, then chances are, you will continue to be dissatisfied once you've purchase the product. You might even want to ask them about their average support call back times as many companies keep these types of statistics.
- Is the software available from a direct seller or a VAR (value added reseller)? A POS VAR refers to a business that resells another vendor's product together with the software, hardware, applications, training, support and consulting on its own, thus adding value. Many POS companies will have VARs spread all over the country. And the quality can dramatically vary from one VAR to the other. That's why the VAR needs to be evaluated in just the same manner as if you were purchasing the software directly from the developer. Just ensure no matter whether you are buying directly or through a VAR that you spend the time upfront to evaluate the company supporting your POS software.
To help you learn more about what is important when selecting a POS software program and POS software company, why not register for the The Point of Sale Software Buyer's Guide. This highly valuable guide provides you with even more in depth information regarding the evaluation of the POS software companies. Before you invest a dime in your POS software, invest in the guide, it will more than pay for itself with the valuable information it provides.
For more information about the Point of Sale Software Buyers Guide, visit www.possoftwareguide.com.
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