So you’ve decided you need a new POS or business management system – now what? Well, now you have to decide which system works the best for you. Here are some tips on how to choose a new business system:
- Identify your business needs. If your business has one location with three registers, you may have different business needs than a multi-store operation with a few warehouses. Your POS choice should reflect your business’ activities (retail, wholesale, distribution, manufacturing, etc.) and industry. Some POS systems are customized for certain industries, providing capabilities that make running your business easy. Choosing a system with industry-specific functions, whether it be supplier, regulation, or distribution related, ensures not only that your system will perform the functions you need, but that the provider understands your industry as well.
- Ask yourself: What are the pros and cons of your current system? If you are switching systems, there is probably a reason. It may just be because your current system is due for an upgrade, or because it does not meet some new process needs such as easily sending email notifications when an order comes in. Try to write down some things that you wish your current system had the ability to do, or some things you wish it didn’t do. After this, it is also helpful to jot down a few things you do like about your current system, so you can be sure to keep those features in mind when looking for a new one.
- Take note of any other software you use. If you have a POS system, then you may be using some sort of accounting software as well for back office management. You may also have more software that keeps track of your deliveries, marketing, inventory ordering, or other processes. Decide if you are looking to replace only your POS system, upgrade to a full ERP or business management system, or if you fall somewhere in between. Many retailers fall into the in between category, so it helps to look into finding a system that can integrate with your current software as well.
- Check references and reviews. In a world with Yelp, we are accustomed to having access to reviews at our fingertips. When choosing a POS or business management system, a natural step is to look at reviews, rankings, and reports, such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. These reports can be helpful in determining whether or not the system you are considering is widely used or proprietary, and how it compares to others. Additionally, before committing to a system, I suggest asking for references (don’t be shy!) Speaking to people who use the system daily or have experience working with the company will provide insight, and can help you make the right choice for your business.
- Don’t forget about future development. Yes, absolutely make sure that the POS or business management system you purchase works perfectly for your company at the time of purchase. However, you never know what the future holds, especially for a growing business. Make sure that the system you choose is compatible with add-ons and customizations, just in case your processes change in the future. To do this, research if there are any add-ons currently available, and make sure that your POS provider has a development team for customizations.
- Consider the POS provider. Not only are you selecting a software, you are also choosing a POS provider. This company will be installing your system, transferring your current data, training your employees, and providing technical support. Find out what their support entails (Can you get support on the weekends? Will you have a dedicated account manager? What does training entail?) Make sure that the maintenance and support with the system work for you in addition to the system itself.
If you would like to learn more about what POS or business management system is right for your company, please contact us at System Solutions.