Waiting five days

I was contacted by a retailer last night who has not had his computer system running for five days. He has a one register system running on hardware designed specifically for retailers. He bought this because it was recommended by his software supplier.

The problem with specialist hardware is that repairs can usually only be carried out by a limited number of technicians and spare parts are forever in short supply.

Even though we did not supply the system, the business owner called me because he thought we might sell the same hardware. We don’t. We stopped selling specialist retail hardware around ten years ago – it’s not worth the hassle and the benefits for retailers is minimal. I see others using specialist hardware as a means of driving margin in a sale. It’s unfortunate.

It is rare that a retailer needs specialist hardware. Today’s scanners, touch screens, computers, laser printers and thermal receipt printers can work in just about any situation. Sure they may not be as compact as an all-in-one unit, however, anyone can fix them. You won;t have to wait five days for your supplier to get you up and running.

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