Is point of sale technology misunderstood by small business

Take this pill and everything will be okay. That’s you’re told. You do what you’re told, you take the pill and your worries do go away. In some cases the pill is right for the condition and it fixes what ails you. In other cases the pill is not right yet you’re fixed anyway – it acts as a placebo.

Too many small business owners flock to point of sale and inventory management technology to fix problems with their business. Many think that by paying the money and putting the technology on the counter they will get the benefit they need and want.

Most don’t get the benefit.

Point of sale technology is not a pill you take. It’s a process, a daily commitment to performance, adhering to standards and to using the results of the technology – the reports which contain gold about the business.

One of the things I do in my business is analyse how our users are actually using the technology. I’ve been doing this week. It is most disappointing and even depressing to find people wasting time even turning the technology on. Every computer company has users like this. We’re not passive when we find it. We stage an intervention.

We call the owner and talk about the mistakes being made and the cost on the business of the mistakes and the damage to data in the system. We visit the store and retrain employees. We measure again to see that the new processes are being followed with discipline. It’s a free service.

We’re not the only computer company delivering such hands on intervention in this situation. However, not enough do this. At our end of the marketplace most software suppliers are small businesses themselves. They ought to be messianic in their approach to this. Wanting every store using their technology to be a beacon of success as a result of the use of the technology.

The risk of the approach is that your users tell you its none of your business. However, it’s a risk worth taking. I’ve seen too many theft situations and business downturns discovered by our approach. This makes it worthwhile.

Putting technology, any technology, into a business does not, of itself, achieve anything. It’s what the owner, employees and technology supplier cooperatively achieve in using the technology which delivers the difference for the business. It’s a daily challenge which more people need to engage in.

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