POS systems are designed to save your business time and money, but restaurants and retail stores that simply purchasing one without taking any further measures have failed to realize their system’s full potential. Improving productivity and increasing return-on-investment is an ongoing process, not something that can be accomplished all at once.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to make the most of your system.

1. Update your system

An old, outdated system can run slow or cause problems for your employees, which causes disruptions in their workflow. Not to mention, downtime due to frequent problems with your POS can be a huge time suck. To keep up with current technology and keep your system running smoothly, consider updating to a new one that is built to perform for the next several years.

Your POS vendor will be able to give recommendations for upgrades, add-on software modules and POS peripherals as they become available.

2. Keep your menus organized

To make the checkout process quicker and easier for your employees, make sure that they can easily access popular items or promotions on the menu screen. You can also stay organized and reduce confusion by removing old and unused pay screen options. You will be surprised at how much more quickly your employees will be able to keep the lines moving.

By keeping your menus organized, you can save time and money on both training and labor costs, as well as eliminate costly checkout mistakes.

3. Implement mobile POS

Not only can mobile POS give your restaurant or retail store the ability to make more sales in more places, it allows you to speed up your service and save time. When equipped with mobile devices, your employees can bust long lines by processing payments on the go, split group checks table-side to prevent crowding and take advantage of cross-selling and upselling opportunities to increase sales.

This will help your restaurant or retail store streamline service, increase customer throughput and, overall, improve customer service.

4. Optimize labor

By monitoring labor percentages and peak sales periods with your POS system’s reporting features, you can make sure you have enough employees scheduled to meet customer needs, but not so many that you are wasting money. You can plan your schedules according to promotional events, historically busy days or seasonal overflow. You can also use your system to ensure that employees aren’t clocking in early or clocking out late.

5. Go green with peripherals

You may not notice a change right away, but going green can pave the way for significant savings over time. Your POS vendor can offer several POS peripherals that will allow you to cut out unnecessary paper waste and printing costs – which can definitely add up.

For example, kitchen display systems and bump bars allow restaurant employees to view orders on a digital screen, eliminating the need to print order tickets to the kitchen area.

For both restaurants and retail stores, reloadable gift cards (as opposed to one-use ones or punch cards) can also help you save paper waste over time. Many modern POS software support customer loyalty and gift card programs that allow reloadable cards. Not to mention, reloadable cards will save your business money on reprinting new ones.

In addition, signature capture pads and the ability to send email receipts can eliminate the need for a receipt printer, printer paper and receipt paper waste.

Individually, these tips may not seem like much, but a combined effort to increase productivity and eliminate wastes over time can make a big difference for your business’ bottom line.