Vendors that sell POS systems usually don’t design or manufacture the software or hardware components. POS vendors are a little like travel agents- while the different purchases are from different companies (hotel, flight, or car rental), purchasing them together from the same source will usually get you a better deal and ensure that the components work together as planned. POS vendors provide everything you need to implement your system, including software installation and programming, hardware selection and setup, maintenance, and even employee training and merchant services compatibility.
A cheaper, poorly implemented or badly customized POS system actually costs your business money in the long run. If a system doesn’t work, is difficult to use, or is confusing, employees won’t use it the way it’s designed. This can result in inventory recording errors, incorrect sales data, and decreased profits. You can also incur hefty fees if you miscalculate tax amounts based on faulty data. A good POS system is well worth the initial coat.
Here are the main cost considerations when evaluating a POS system:
POS equipment doesn’t have to be a large expense. All systems will require a separate computer, which will usually cost less than $1,000. Additional equipment, such as scanners or readers for credit card processing functions will vary in cost depending on the model and number purchased.
Maintenance and Service
These costs are sometimes included in the initial cost of the system, and can apply to both software and hardware. If you have an existing system and are hoping to purchase more up to date hardware, make sure it is covered by a warranty or maintenance contract. Most contracts have time specifications for how long it will take a technician to reach your business. Ask about these options.
Whether you are implementing a system for the first time or replacing an existing one, your employees will need to be trained on how to use it. Some vendors provide this training themselves at a cost.
Compatibility with Existing Merchant Services
If your POS software is not compatible with your existing credit card processing system, you might need to switch merchant account providers or break an existing contract with your current merchant service. Consider any costs associated with switching.
Make sure the system can grow and expand as you add more product offerings or options for customers. Changes like creating a customer database or allowing for additional discounts for frequent clients will require specific changes to your existing system.
Since this is a big purchase, many businesses can experience “sticker shock” when they see a price quote upwards of $10,000. A POS system is a complete sales solution that can increase efficiency and sales. In most cases, the system will be worth the money.