I was recently interviewed by Justin Guinn, retail market researcher at Software Advice, a Gartner company. Our conversation focused on the many issues small retailers face when deciding how to select and implement a new POS system. Given two-thirds of single-store retailers don’t have a POS system in place, I think this is a highly-relevant topic. The problem is that so many small retailers simply don’t know how to choose and implement the best POS system for their stores, especially now with the new credit card compliancy requirements (EMV).
During our conversation, Justin and I touched on some tips for successful POS implementation. You can see a summary of those below, or view Software Advice’s full checklist.
Get Staff From the Start of the Selection Process:
The point I stressed the most in our conversation is that all too often retailers don’t realize successful implementations start long before any software is being considered. Rather than focus on POS system capabilities, business owners have to first understand the common pain points and inefficiencies their staff is facing. Only with this information in mind can any features and capabilities of a POS system have an impact.
A great benefit of these insightful conversations with your staff is that you can organize the information into a ‘needs document’ that you can then share with POS vendors. This needs document will enable you to quickly weed out ineligible vendors who don’t offer all the capabilities you and your team require.
Get Your Staff to Practice Using the System:
Obviously, no matter how great your system and its capabilities are, it means nothing if your employees don’t know how to properly leverage it. That’s why I also stressed how important it is to train your staff on the new system. Again, the needs document is a great reference point, this time for determining which functions and capabilities the corresponding employees need to build an understanding around.
The training should directly align with the various goals that have prompted you to adopt the new POS system in the first place. With that in mind, a great idea or fail-safe rather, is to have a point person on your staff who is the expert on all things regarding your POS. This employee would be in charge of training new staff on the system and would also be a go-between for your team and your POS vendor’s account rep.
Keep System Security Top of Mind From the Beginning:
Another area that I place a lot of importance on is with system security. Credit card information and customer profiles and purchase histories are of utmost importance in today’s POS market. And the recent EMV compliance deadline has added another layer of required security measures that business owners must take or potentially face severe negative financial consequences.
Aside from system compliance, one of the most significant types of loss in retail spaces is with employee theft. Though it may seem insignificant if an employee discounts their friend’s blouse or comps a meal for their family, these actions add up over time. Proper safeguard should be in place to alert you and enable you to audit sales at an employee level to hold them accountable for any wrongdoings.
By following these best practices and the rest I discussed with Software Advice, you essentially have a pos implementation guide with all the information you need to properly adopt your new POS system. If you still need help choosing the best system for your business, Software Advice can help you narrow your options down with a free consultation call. And if you require further assistance, I’m always here to help consult you on your journey.