A point of sale system is not always given much thought on a day to day basis by decision-makers in multi-location organizations. But a POS solution is a pivotal element to business operations and strategy, even if it’s not glamorous. Transactional data collected via your point of sale is the fuel your business needs to grow. With a legacy solution in place, your business is bound to lose important ground as the demands of the industry evolve.
So, let’s break it down.
What are some of the ways that your point of sale should serve your business today, perhaps in ways that weren’t in place even a few years ago? How should your current POS continue to support your business strategy and goals and help you keep pace with and exceed those of your competitors?
Here are 3 things your point of sale should do for your business to help you stay competitive and to create opportunities for growth.
1. Make it easier for staff to serve customers
Serving people fast and accurately is vital to how your guests and customers perceive their experience with your brand. Your point of sale should support that goal first and foremost. But, your POS should also support your staff in helping them facilitate that experience.
POS solutions shouldn’t demand too many steps to complete a sale. It should be easy for staff to make corrections to a transaction before it goes through. Your point of sale should be reliable, and not depend on the quality of a connection to an onsite server. It should be seamlessly compatible to debit and credit tap and swipe functions and integrations with payment solutions without frequent errors. It should reflect guest investments in rewards programs like the ones we’ve recently enhanced for our Infor POS solution. If complaints associated with these elements are common at your locations, it might be time to take another look at your current solution.
2. Make it easier for guests and customers to interact with your offering at their own pace
People don’t always behave in a predictable, linear way. So, your POS should support that. For instance, we’ve added what we call a “checkout later” function that operates in conjunction between our Infor POS solution and Infor Kiosk in a hospitality and food services context. It allows the guest to place an initial order at a kiosk and print out a ticket with a bar code that represents it. From there, they can complete that order at their leisure, adding other items later as needed at the staff-operated terminal or self-checkout. This allows the guest to interact with an offering at their own pace without creating bottlenecks in a line up or putting undo pressure on guests to make fast decisions that don’t serve them.
Putting the customer in control of the process is vital to success. Whatever setup you’ve got in place at your locations, your POS should help you accomplish that. It’s important to let your customers explore your locations and your offering without being rushed and without interfering with the experience of other customers. That principle should be typical of your customer’s interaction with your offering and your brand.
3. Make it easier for decision-makers to support a business strategy
Visibility is vital to creating a sustainable business strategy. So is being able to act on what you can see as quickly as you can. This is another important way that your point of sale solution should serve you. At the highest level, every transaction at any brand location should roll up into a bigger picture about how your business is performing and how every item and service you offer is adding to efforts to help accomplish specific business goals.
What leaders in nearly every industry are doing is investing in cloud technology to maximize their visibility and their capacity to act on what their incoming business data is telling them. Cloud infrastructure allows them to efficiently connect POS data from every location to enterprise management tools and analysis in real or near-real time, and to allow reporting on POS data to be exported easily and quickly. They’re then able to scale operations more intelligently and affordably as their businesses grow.
Point of sale must contribute to a larger picture
Smarter operations with point of sale transactions at the location level must contribute to a larger picture. A company’s competitive edge depends on it. That starts with the right point of sale solution; the day-to-day positive value a POS solution helps to create for customers and staff alike, the quality of the data it generates from every location, and the strategic directions that decision-makers can take with greater confidence as a result.
As much as the POS isn’t necessarily a glamorous technology, it is certainly one that’s definitive to success. And for your business, it may be time to take a closer look at it.
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