How to evaluate your current POS solution
What is POS?
First things first, what is a POS? A Point of Sale, also called point of purchase, refers to the software and hardware a venue uses to proceed all its transactions. From retail & services to hospitality & ticketing, a Point of Sale should allow you to sell any type of product or service.
But is it really the case?
When running an attraction business, may it be a theme park, a museum, a zoo or an aquarium, one of the most important things to consider is the quality of your Point of Sale (POS). Nobody enjoys being let down by their POS system in the middle of rush hour (oh the misery…).
This is why it's important to know how to evaluate your current system, and ask yourself if it really fits your needs.
Are you able to easily sell all the products and services you offer?
Do you face a lot of downtime?
Are your employees at ease with the software?
Those are just 3 of the many questions that you might have when thinking about your POS.
Which is why we will give you a few considerations to keep in mind when evaluating your POS.
What are the common issues of a POS?
A lot of venue managers have testified about their experiences with different types of POS. Here are the main issues that they pointed out. If you work with a POS, then you will probably recognise your own issues.
Outdated legacy systems
If you've ever searched for "how to set up a point of sale system?" on Google, then you might be familiar with this problem. This is probably the number one issue we hear about every-time we talk to attractions managers. The truth is that most POS systems were created by huge companies that are pretty ancient and traditional (for the majority of them). This resulting in hardware that can't be replaced easily because it requires them to run on their own operating system – which of course gives the supplier the ultimate power.
These legacy systems are usually pretty hard to use, and to get a grip of. You need to heavily train your employees before they're able to sell anything with it, and sometimes that is not even enough. Because again, the supplier is the only way out since no other company can help out with the maintenance or even just understand how it works.
Which brings us to our next point, all these outdated systems that run the market nowadays are very often sold like a simple product. Meaning that the supplier would install your POS and sell you the license, but if you need any extra development for it to fit your venue they would sell it to you as an upgrade - rather than a part of the product that you've already paid good money for. Or they don’t make it happen at all. And since you don't really have a choice anyway, you end up paying for it or with an incomplete solution
So, in the end you're stuck in a loveless relationship with your POS supplier who doesn't look at you the way they did before. But since you are completely dependent on them, and you think switching systems would cost you too much money and time, you keep enduring it.
Down-time at the worst times
Picture this: you're in the middle of high season, more than a hundred visitors are waiting outside, and your POS system just crashed. And since you're dependent on your supplier to get it back live, your entire business day will suffer.
This is a situation that many of the venues we talked to have faced in the past. And they all believed that down-time was a part of the equation in any POS they would choose. But this is what the suppliers have been telling their customers, that it's just normal to have down-time when working with heavy hardware. Because it is their own reality.
But nowadays with all the digital solutions that exist, you shouldn't have to face another minute of down-time. You just have to know where to look!
How to evaluate your own POS system?
All these issues we listed are real, it is the sad conclusion of the many conversations we had with attractions talking about their experience with different POS systems suppliers.
So if you are looking for a way to evaluate your current POS solution, what we can suggest is to take a look at all these common problems, and try to apply them to your own system.
Do you also face them?
How often does it happen?
If the answer to these questions is not satisfactory, then you should probably start looking elsewhere.
And remember that change is never a bad thing. Just make sure to change for the better.
If you are already looking into other POS systems, then we might have just what you need. Make sure to stay tuned, and feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss this topic further.
We are always happy to help!