All-in-one POS systems are a great alternative to traditional cash register/credit card reader combinations. Such systems go beyond giving retailers the ability to accept payments; they provide all of the hardware and software needed to track sales, control inventory, manage customers, and simplify accounting procedures. However, not all all-in-one POS systems are created equal. Look for an all-in-one POS system that offers:
The ability to be serviced in the field. Be it major or minor, every all-in-one POS system will eventually require some type of service. However, sending the unit back to the manufacturer or taking it to some other source for repair probably is not the best way to address service issues. Shipping time to and from the manufacturer can add up to several days, and another few days will be needed to complete the service process itself. During this period, there will almost definitely be an impact on your ability to conduct business and serve customers efficiently. Selecting an all-in-one POS system that can be serviced by a field technician on-site eliminates these and related headaches.
One caveat to remember about field service: Much like all-in-one POS systems, not all field service is of the same caliber. In evaluating different options, ensure—by checking with the vendor or VAR/integrator as well as with retailer references, if provided—that a technician will be dispatched to your store promptly when you request service. Around-the-clock service is ideal.
The option to upgrade: Even if a basic all-in-one POS system will work for you now, your needs will almost certainly change with time as your business grows and as you attempt to keep up with competitors by implementing the newest, most powerful technology on the market. A viable all-in-one POS configuration is designed to allow for such change. For example, some all-in-one POS systems have a rackable motherboard design, allowing upgrades—as well as service—to be handled right in the store.
Add-on features: Some retailers want to start with a basic all-in-one POS, and that is fine. However, the need to stay abreast of and adjust to retail technology trends makes a configuration that allows you to add new peripherals and other features down the road an absolute must. A good all-in-one POS system will accommodate the addition of options, such as an integrated mag stripe reader, fingerprint biometrics, a customer display, rear LCD displays, an integrated barcode scanner and dual RAID storage.
An all-in-one POS system that includes the options listed above can really help a business grow and succeed. As important as products and services are, a business’ potential depends greatly on the way it is run. Having a POS system that can be upgraded, customized, and fixed quickly is extremely important.
The idea of migrating from a traditional point-of-sale hardware configuration to an all-in-one POS model and choosing from among available offerings may seem daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be. Carefully evaluating whether an all-in-one POS system meets the requirements of your business, as well as ensuring that it fits the three criteria mentioned above, should lead to a painless process and successful operation now and in the future.