Selecting the right automation system for your store is quite a challenge. For one, successful implementation of the process requires the attention and involvement of the management of the store. At the same time, the issue of selecting the right solution among the many, many products available in the market is a challenge in itself.
The benefits of automating the store and installing a comprehensive retail management system with POS and allied services cannot be overstated. The checkout becomes faster, inventory management becomes streamlined and the best of all the customers and the suppliers are happy with the speed of order processing.
Selecting the right automation platform is more than just opting for a software solution. A well rounded automation system would have both software and hardware components that are custom developed to complement each other. You should consider various factors before finalizing your choice.
The very first thing that you should do is to get the management involved in the process of selection and implementation. This is because of the fact that management has an overall perspective on the entire business and is in the best position to recommend the best possible combination for the business.
Requirement analysis is the phase that many people skip over. This is the root cause of many failed implementation of POS systems. Storeowners and management often opt for a system in a hurry and then discover that the system does not provide all the functionality that they require.
Requirement analysis gives a fresh perspective to the management. The result of requirement analysis could be used for organization wide improvements as well. Once the requirement analysis has been completed, it is time to go looking for a perfect match. In several cases, what the store needs is just a few high end cash machines. For others, an entire system of inventory management and sales processing is required.
One of the most important thing to remember at this stage is that the market has both generic and niche specific products. Generic retail management systems are designed to cater to a large selection of clients. On the other hand of the spectrum are the niche products that cater to a specific section of the retail industry.
The decision of opting for a generic or niche POS system should be made solely on the result of requirement analysis. This is another stage where things could go wrong. Before the contract could be awarded to the vendor, all the features of the system should be evaluated to make sure that the vendor and its products fit the requirements of the store.
The process does not finish at the installation and the formal handover of the system to the store. Reputable vendors continue to support their clients with on-site assistance and product upgrades. The maintenance schedule should be a part of the original contract so that it become binding on both the vendor and the store.
A high quality POS system will add great value to any business.