POS scalability could save your money in the long run
By Bethany Ramos
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When shopping for a multi-faceted POS, seek out scalability. Any POS vendor worth their salt will understand that a single-location business may consider expansion in the future. A POS system with the potential for scalability can accommodate one or multiple stores within the same database. Each location can benefit from the use of the same advanced features to provide uniform inventory, employee, and customer management.
POS price versus upgrade potential
As with any major purchase, it can be tempting to focus on price as a bottom line. But skimping on POS technology will only hurt your business in the long run. If you go for bare-bones POS hardware just to save a buck, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to upgrade your POS if your business expands in the future.
To play out the scenario for you, if your business grows, and you decide to open another branch, a well-rounded POS should be able to expand with you. If a POS doesn’t have the potential for scalability, you’ll have to pay to reinstall a brand-new system in multiple store locations. In comparison, expanding on an existing POS will cost significantly less, won’t require training, and will have drastically shorter installation time.
With many vendors, scalability depends on the POS software itself. POS software may be advertised in different editions from the same vendor; some point-of-sale software editions are designed to scale smoothly from one to multiple chains.
Where to find a scalable point-of-sale system
There are two ways to locate a scalable POS for your business:
- Seek out a POS advertised for scalability or business growth.
- Look for a POS vendor that already services large chains.
If you choose option number one, you’re going to have to do your research to verify that a point-of-sale system has the technology needed to support multiple stores when and if your business expands. If you choose option number two, you’ll know that a POS vendor is already capable of supporting a large franchise, meaning that the expansion of your business should be seamless.
As a final test in POS scalability, examine the unique features of each system you’re considering. A POS system with basic technology may not be able to control inventory and customer management in more than one store. On the other hand, a POS system with robust reporting and analytics will offer a smoother transition in managing a new store location; many tech-forward features are easy to upgrade in one store or many.
According to PizzaMarketplace.com, scalable features are a major defining factor in any customer-oriented business, “A scalable POS system can connect historical data with automated planning tools… Inventory controls also can help managers use the POS system to schedule staff, meet demand and achieve labor-efficiency goals.”
When these intuitive tools are used across multiple restaurant or retail locations, the possibilities are endless. As a business expands further, new POS technologies can be integrated within the same system. For example, an online ordering platform can be added to a multi-location takeout/delivery POS; customers will be guided to the right store in their delivery zone when ordering online or via a mobile phone.
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