What are EPOS Systems – Part 2

Whilst the EPOS systems available may vary substantially, leading solutions have undergone years of development and refinement, to such an extent that large scale issues are hard to come by. However, we feel it’s important to make you aware of some of the limitations that merchants face when adopting new systems:

  • Cost

The cost of an EPOS System is the major downfall, compared with other products this is expensive.  There are options to rent an EPOS System, which allows you to trial the product and see if it’s useful which is a handy bonus. But if you want to purchase this system outright then “Prices for a basic system start at around £1,000” (expertmarket.co.uk) then if you want industry-specific or extensive features it can cost £500 more and an advanced system can be beyond £3000.

The main issue is with the requirement for EPOS and whether your business needs it, not about the issues with the system itself. Therefore, the main issues are surrounding companies not researching into EPOS Systems and evaluating its feasibility for themselves. Because of this, I will highlight some of the pitfalls below:

  • Money related aspects

One aspect is the contracts, be careful not to sign up to a lengthy and rigid contract, especially if you haven’t used EPOS solutions before. Always consider renting – you can rent for a certain amount each month – which, for some, can ensure feasibility for your company before signing a long contract.

Another money-related issue if choosing an EPOS System based mainly or solely around the price is to make sure you are not giving up key features that you may require or are beneficial. The last aspect is the hidden costs of EPOS… a merchant isn’t only purchasing the product, licensing and subscription fees but there are other costs such as maintenance of the systems, training to use efficiently and effectively and payment processing. If these costs aren’t considered, you cannot do an accurate cost analysis and therefore it might end up being more of an expense and cut into your company profit margin.

  • Research and Organisation

With this, you need to ensure if you are purchasing an EPOS System to work with your current equipment and systems, that it is compatible. Otherwise, you will need to replace all your current retail hardware and software, so research into this is key. Once you have decided on an EPOS System, you will need to organise how and when you will implement this. Establishing a migration plan from your current system to the new system is an important step to take. Migrating customer and inventory data can be long-winded, so this needs to be organised beforehand or you may deal with a time-consuming and expensive process. The last thing you want to do once you have decided on which EPOS System to use, researching its compatibility and organising the changeover of systems, is to not be forward-thinking and the system becoming obsolete. Because of the outlay of funding for this system you want a long-lasting system so do not just consider immediate requirements but long-term potential needs too, look back at your business plan and mission statement to work out what you could need this for in the future.

(adapted from vendhq.com)

In conclusion, as EPOS Systems evolve in their design and functionality, we see them becoming more and more popular. The systems themselves and some of the features of these systems are amazing and can be a huge advantage in the productivity of your business. But for a company, there is a need to research the usability and feasibility of an EPOS System for their business. For example, a fish and chip shop doesn’t need a full-blown EPOS System as it will not have the need for features such as table management and will be expensive for them. There are other pitfalls such as compatibility with current products you use to order/take payments/manage stock as again this can be a costly expense if it cannot be implemented with what you already have.

Therefore, whilst we are excited by the technological advancements in the payment industry, if someone offers your company an EPOS System that is going to have many positives and will appear to be a real bonus for your company (which it may well be), it doesn’t always mean this will fit in with your current hardware/software setup and it may come with a range of costly features your business simply doesn’t need. This will require an investigation process and migration plan to be considered to ensure the effectiveness of any adopted solution.

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