3. DEFINING YOUR OBJECTIVES AND REQUIREMENTS

Faster sales transaction processing, reduced errors and mistakes, instant availability of management and accounting information are some of the common objectives stated by most businesses for requiring a POS system.

The tasks of accurate registering of items being sold, printing customer receipts, tracking VAT and generating various reports are also typical requirements for all organisations and businesses. All the epos systems and cash registers sold by EposSystems.Com perform these.

Beyond that, your objectives, functional requirements and service requirements for a pos system will be determined by your type of business, any particular operating characteristics and any other custom requirements you as the business owner, your accountant or your sales staff may have. Cafes, take-aways and restaurants will have different requirements than retail shops and kiosks. Specialist shops like dry cleaners and service providers (eg. hair salons, medical practitioners) will also have unique functionality requirements.

For example, stock control varies from sector to sector. For basic stock control, you would want to specify the initial stock quantity for an item and then deduct 1 unit from that quantity each item an item is sold. But if you are selling pizza slices from a whole pizza, pints from a barrel, shots from a bottle, or different sizes and colours for an item of clothing or shoes, or electrical items with a serial number then your stock control requirements will be more intricate. You may also wish to automate the re-ordering process and track supplier deliveries.

You may have considerations for counter space if your outlet is small and only a compact system will fit. You may wish to consider cosmetic design and colour of the epos system if you wish it to match the deco of your store and corporate image. You may have specific requirements for reporting - either for management purposes or accounting requirements. Also consider staff monitoring and security issues. You should therefore start by making a list of the objectives you wish to achieve and any particular functionality and reports you require from an EPoS system. We would encourage you to be comprehensive when specifying your requirements and look at every aspect of your business from purchasing, labelling, selling, marketing, customer service, stock control, management reporting and financial accounting. Also look at the associated long term labour and service costs of tasks that are performed outside the EPoS system and compare these with the initial capital cost of the epos system.

Some people skimp on a cheap cash register or a budget epos system, and then later pay hundreds or thousands of pounds on an ongoing basis to an accountant or clerk each period to produce financial and management reports. Whereas if they had invested in a more suitable POS system, such tasks would be done instantaneously by the system and done more cost-effectively, saving thousands of pounds and many man hours.

Another example, in some restaurants or take-aways, the cashier registers the order on the till but then hand writes a slip for the chef in the kitchen or shouts the order through to staff who may be busy and not concentrating. Simply by adding a kitchen printer or kitchen display monitor or handheld waiter terminal, such a task would be automated resulting in faster service for your customers, less errors and mistakes, greater staff productivity at the checkout and in the kitchen, and ultimately more profit for your business. We would suggest to read through all the guidance below, look through the features of the different EPoS software packages and flash-memory based EPoS programs available from EposSystems.Com, take a look through the features on other POS software products available on the market by browsing the internet and also add any other special requirements you have.

You should also define your service level requirements and whether your chosen solution provider is able to provide the services you require - programming, on-site installation, network cabling, staff training, remote support, ongoing on-site support and maintenance. At EposSystems.Com we provide a complete solution and have variouslevels of service contract depending your budget and requirements.

On POS hardware items, check the warranty terms of all equipment and peripherals - the length of the warranty and whether it provides for returning the item for repair/replacement, an on-site swap out service or an engineer call out if there is a major fault or system failure. Some software is supplied on a periodic license and you have to pay license fees monthly or annually to keep using it. At EposSystems.Com, we only supply software with a permanent license so you only pay once and there is no need to keep paying to use the hardware and software.

Once you have determined the objectives you wish to achieve with an epos system and the functionality requirements and service requirements, the next stage is to choose a software package or a till (with integrated software) that will best deliver these within your budget.

 

If you wish to discuss your EPoS system requirements and require additional buying advice, please call us at EposSystems.com on 020 7127 4250.


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