COMMON POS MISTAKES

24 October 2018
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by Jason Southern, UK Channel Manager, AURES UK

For any retail or hospitality business, point of sale is an essential piece of the operational jigsaw. A well-managed, efficient, smooth running POS system can play a significant role in how the business performs overall. On the flipside, errors made with POS can have unforeseen consequences that you probably would rather not have to learn about the hard way. Here, we take a look at four common POS mistakes to avoid, particularly when planning or upgrading a new system.

Inadequate Hardware Specifications

Not so long ago it was commonplace for many retailers to use standard PC consoles to run their POS software platforms on. In the early days of POS software when programmes were relatively basic, this would work fine. But as POS platforms became increasingly sophisticated, it gradually became apparent that many ordinary, run-of-the-mill desktop computers just didn’t have the speed or capacity to process the most advanced programmes efficiently. Things have changed slightly with the advent of cloud-based POS software, where you don’t need to install the programme on a physical drive. Still, you need a good amount of RAM as well as a reliable internet connection to run cloud POS without glitches. It is also worth bearing in mind that standard PCs and tablets aimed at consumer markets are not built with the kind of industrial-grade components intended to handle hours and hours of run time every day for years on end. With modular boxes or dedicated POS terminals like the AURES YUNO and AURES SANGO, you get hardware built specifically to run the most advanced integrated POS platforms and to handle the rigours of continuous daily use.  

Poor WiFi Security

Some of the biggest cases of identity theft and credit card fraud have stemmed from poor security around networked POS services. In the mid-2000s, notorious hacker Albert Gonzalez led a gang that stole the details of more than 90 million credit cards used across TJX group stores and other retail and restaurant chains in the US. How did they do it? They hacked into poorly protected WiFi networks on store premises, which gave them access to POS systems and, ultimately, to card payment data. Following the introduction of GDPR across Europe, nowadays it isn’t just the criminal hackers who would face sanctions in cases involving lax POS network security. Such breaches could land a company with enormous fines of up to €20m or 4% of total global turnover, whichever is higher.

Cabling Mishaps

Alongside data security, another key area of compliance for retailers and hospitality businesses is health and safety. All companies have a legal obligation to ensure the risk of accidents and injuries on their premises are minimised by taking appropriate steps – and that includes removing tripping hazards posed by POS equipment cables. Having cables suddenly ripped out by someone tripping over them doesn’t do your hardware any favours either, and can potentially lead to extended system downtime. Good cable management is something that should be prioritised during installation to make sure power supply, ethernet and other leads are safely concealed out of the way. 

Underuse of Software Features

Whatever type of asset you invest in as a business, you want to get the best returns possible. As already stated, modern POS software platforms are highly sophisticated and capable of managing or even automating all sorts of front-line tasks for your business. To only use your EPOS as a cash draw and to process sales is to under-utilise its capabilities, and therefore to miss out on some of the value it can deliver. It pays to take time to get to know the range of features your POS platform offers, and perhaps to ask your supplier about systems training for your staff. This can range from data logging and processing applications, which if used correctly can greatly benefit your overall CRM and business intelligence, to allowing your console to be used for a range of other tasks during quiet periods, such as stock taking, updating loyalty schemes and promotions, handling online customer queries and so on.