What Does Your EPOS System Cost Your Charity?

8 January 2020

By Paul HUDSON, AURES UK Business Development Manager

Charities are no different from commercial organisations in wanting to keep as tight a lid as possible on expenditure. There are just slightly different reasons for doing so – for businesses, it’s all about turning a profit, for charities, maximising fundraising and having cash left over to invest in projects.

Technology these days represents a major outlay, whatever type of organisation you are. Whether you’re a campaigning charity that runs its own retail outlets or a not-for-profit operator of a museum, theatre or other place of cultural interest, you will probably run an EPOS system for selling goods, tickets, refreshments and so on.

Modern EPOS software can play a key role in helping charitable organisations with end-to-end operational management, linking sales processing directly to accounts and inventory, automatically calculating Gift Aid, rapidly generating campaign reports and so on. Paired with high-performance touchscreen terminals, including cutting edge mobile tablet options, charities can benefit from fast, efficient, flexible solutions that make it easier to deliver great service and run your operations effectively.

But as with most types of digital technology, such all-singing, all-dancing EPOS systems come with a caveat – cost. Charities tend to be particularly sensitive to the cost pressure of capital outlays, especially when money could be diverted instead to campaigns and projects. Instead of upgrading to the latest EPOS software and cutting edge terminals, couldn’t you make do with your older tills and cash registers, and use the money instead on core areas?

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

What it is very important to consider with any type of technology is that the upfront purchasing and installation costs do not represent the full financial obligation involved in running it over many years – what is known as the Total Cost of Ownership. In fact, our own research tells us that, with EPOS, the initial outlay represents only about a third of the TCO. The rest goes on things like maintenance, repairs and general running costs.

Although investing in a new EPOS system might seem daunting because of the initial capital outlay, in the long term you may well end up saving yourself money. If your tills and terminals are getting a little old, you should ask yourself questions like these – how regularly are you experiencing issues and having to call out engineers to repair them? How much is that costing you, both in call-out fees and in terms of lost productivity because of downtime? How many sales might your shop be losing because your EPOS is slow or not working at all?

One of our aims at AURES is to build EPOS terminals that help to lower TCO for end users because they deliver such robust, reliable and efficient performance. We use durable, high-quality components that are designed to stand up to years and years of heavy use – solid state drives and fanless temperature controls that minimise the number of vulnerable moving parts in each unit, tough PCT touchscreens, integrated terminals that eliminate potential compatibility issues between modular parts. As a result, our products have a failure rate of less than 1%. That’s potentially a lot of money saved on repairs and services.

On the flipside of this, better performance adds value as well as protects it. We’ve already mentioned how modern EPOS software helps charitable organisations with integrated task management, business intelligence, customer service and more. Well the better the hardware you run these platforms on, the faster and more fluidly they will perform all of the tasks you ask of them, the more efficiently everything will run. Efficiency and productivity gains can be offset against the TCO – the more you get out of your EPOS, the greater the margin between input and output, the less of a weight operational costs are.

If you would like to know more on the TCO or if you have any specific questions on our products or services please contact us today.