POS systems are the lifeblood of many businesses, but with finicky parts such as touchscreens and printer ribbons, they are also prone to malfunctions. Having to break out the manual credit card imprint machines is the bane of both your customers and your employees, but some simple steps can help you get the most out of your POS system and allow you to serve your customers efficiently.
Purchase quality products and accessories
Most business owners choose to buy the best quality POS system that they can afford, only to forget that the hardware’s performance also depends on peripherals and accessories such as cables. If you’re having difficulty with your POS system but can’t detect any problems with the software or firmware, make sure you are employing effective tools such as cables and displays before paying for expensive repairs for the entire system.
Stay up to date on software upgrades
It’s easy to overlook software and firmware updates when they aren’t a core process of your business, but doing so can result in costly downtime if your POS system crashes due to a bug. POS software carries a significant and diverse workload, so it’s understandable that glitches are going to happen from time to time. By taking the time to proactively update your software on a regular schedule, your system will be less susceptible to small problems that can turn into big issues.
Manage your power wisely
If you pay the electric bill on a retail store, then you know that they are power hogs that need numerous appliances to keep them running. This is especially true for restaurants, which have to rely on multiple sources of heating and cooling that can wreak havoc on a building’s electrical wiring. All of these sources of power are liable to cause spikes and surges, which can render your POS system useless. If your POS equipment shares a power supply with other volatile appliances, it is a good idea to invest in power protection add-ons, many of which are manufactured to be compatible with POS hardware.
Clean printers regularly
With hundreds of tiny and sensitive parts, printers are notorious for their tendency to break down at a moment’s notice. Once they do, it’s almost always a time-consuming process to troubleshoot the problem and figure out if something needs to be repaired and replaced. By frequently inspecting and cleaning areas that are prone to collecting dust and grime, such as printer heads, you can help to stave off any crippling problems.
Have a backup plan in place
In a fast-paced retail environment, it’s crucial to have a solid plan in place in case your POS system goes down and to train employees on the plan from time to time. You also may want to consider employing a managed IT services company, like Great Lakes Computer, who can perform regular POS maintenance and respond to you quickly in emergency situations.