Time to get in touch with EPOS

Operators should consider future needs when upgrading systems

• Keep in touch: technology has impacted on EPOS systems as well as smartphones and tablets.

THE integration of touch screens and the internet into social life isn’t confined to just smartphones and tablet computers – it also extends to till points, credit card machines and notepads at a number of Scottish bars, restaurants and hotels.

Electronic point of sale (EPOS) firms contacted by SLTN said more operators can benefit from this technology, provided they invest in the right set up for their outlet.
Paul Steven, support manager at ACR Retail Systems, said there are a few points licensees should consider before purchasing a new EPOS system.
“Firstly an operator should ask for reference sites of other operators that are currently using their systems, there is no better advertising than a good customer,” he said.

Ask for reference sites of other operators that are using the system.

“Secondly the operator should find out what back-up service is available from the EPOS supplier, do they offer seven day cover?
“Too many customers purchase systems from one-man businesses these days who can’t offer the back-up service that is required with an EPOS system.”
Despite the potential to introduce a whole range of new features at the till, Steven reminded operators to “be realistic” about what features their business will need.
Edward Caldwell of ECR EPOS Solutions highlighted ‘user-friendliness’ as an “essential” criteria when purchasing a new EPOS system.
“During any demonstration test the more advanced features of the system, such as table transfers, making corrections, bill splitting and reprogramming of menu items and daily specials, etc,” he said.
Caldwell suggested operators invite their staff along to any demonstration of a new EPOS system to help with the decision.
“Your staff may know more about your requirements than you think,” he added.
Touch screen technology in particular was highlighted by Scott Kimm of SCRS (Scotland) as “rapidly” becoming popular in the Scottish trade.
“This is mainly because each system can be configured completely to the customer’s specification,” he explained.
“Integration of devices such as chip and pin, waiter pads for table-side ordering, even weighing scales now means it is far less likely for the operator to make an error while processing a transaction.”
EPOS systems may offer the possibility of improving an outlet’s business for today, but Kimm also advised operators to consider their outlet’s future needs when it comes to upgrading their system.

There is no point in investing money in something that in a couple of years will need upgrading.

“The customer should always make sure that the system they are getting can grow with their business,” he added.
“There is no point in investing money in something that in a couple of years the business has outgrown and needs upgrading.”
Stuart McLean, chief executive of EPOS firm Zonal, agreed that operators should look to the future, “ensuring the system will satisfy their needs not just at the moment but in the years to come as the business develops and grows”.
And with technology showing no sign of slowing up, McLean advised licensees to keep on top of new developments if they want to stay at the cutting edge.
“It is important that operators stay in touch with developments because this is such a fast moving category and there is a high level of product innovation delivering enhanced functions on a regular basis,” added McLean.