Shopping for the Right POS System
In looking for a POS system, the choices are many, the price can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, and the final decision can be difficult. Here are some guidelines to help.
- Three words of advice: inventory, inventory, inventory. All POS systems ring up sales and track inventory. But a good one will let you assess your inventory easily and thoroughly. You should be able to set alerts for items running low, readily add new items when they come in, account for back-orders, and even generate purchase orders to send to vendors.
- Weigh ease-of-use against functionality. Generally speaking, the more complex your orders are, the more features you’ll need. But consider as well the time needed to bring new employees up to speed and the time you’ll invest training them. The best systems offer a balance of both.
- Look for a system that can start small and grow with your needs. If you are on a tight budget, you can begin with a basic setup: POS software running on a PC with just a drawer and receipt printer. Later on, you can add on as your needs dictate, perhaps a bar code scanner and credit card reader to begin with, then add an inventory tag printer, pole display, or PIN debit pad. Also, you should pick a system, based on your needs, that doesn’t require having someone set it up for you, which can add thousands of dollars to the cost.