Select the Right Partner
Prior to selecting a partner evaluate and outline your needs in a partner. If onsite training and ongoing support are important, select a local POS provider that can fully provide this. It is important to investigate references and really do your homework before moving forward with a partner. This will eliminate the possibility of working with a company who might disappear after a purchase is made, not stand behind their promises and product, or selecting equipment that is not easily serviceable or repairable.
Select One Provider
By using a single source for all Point of Sale hardware components you eliminate finger pointing and headaches when you need support. One partner will be responsible for ensuring the entire system works properly. Making a “bundled” purchase from one vendor could also present opportunities for discounts on the overall cost of a system.
Before purchasing any software or hardware request an onsite demo of a total solution to see how the application will appear and function on screen. Is a 15” monitor large enough to accommodate all icons and buttons in a user-friendly way? Would a 17” monitor allow the icons to be more visible and therefore help employees to work more efficiently? An onsite product demonstration will also allow you to confirm that all of the peripherals will work together seamlessly.
What action will you take if a unit goes down? What support options are covered under the standard warranty? How serviceable are the units for onsite repairs? A lot of All in One systems are designed with easy to access hard disk drive and motherboard cores. The benefit of this feature is that some maintenance can easily be performed on site by the operator minimizing downtime. Understand the flexibility and availability of the support team should you need additional support. Understand the hours of the service center and how long the RMA process might take for the products you are purchasing. It is wise to consider what your back-up options are should you need to send a unit in for repair. Consider whether or not it is worth it to purchase a back up unit to prevent disruptions to business operations during the RMA process.
Calculate the Total Cost of Ownership
First, understand exactly what the upfront costs cover. If training is included, understand in what format it is provided. Will it be onsite or over the phone and how long will it be? Also, the cost involved with ongoing support. The more details you have about the initial training, the more you can take advantage of the service. Understand the warranty and policies for the products you are looking to purchase, the coverage could have a significant impact on the cost of ownership down the road. Some units may be covered for up to three years, where others may only be covered for one year. Factor in the locations of repair centers and how much shipping costs could be to send a unit in for repair. Find out if there is an opportunity for additional coverage such as an Advance Exchange Program. Is the cost of the coverage worth it to avoid being completely without a system during the RMA process? Consider this, if a business has one Point of Sale station and the computer goes down, can the business function without it for several days until the unit is returned from the manufacturer? Under a AEP a functioning unit could be delivered the next day alleviating a lot of potential POS downtime.