Choosing a Vendor

The vendor you select plays a big role in how well the implementation of POS systems will turn out.  Vendors usually are not the manufacturers of the software or the hardware, they are resellers who sell you a complete package- physical components, software, support, and maintenance.  It is important to choose a vendor that can meet all of your needs.  When choosing a vendor, consider the following:

Product offerings- it is recommended that you purchase your software and hardware from the same vendor, and that you make sure your system will be compatible with your existing merchant services account. If you accept credit cards and want to use the system for credit card processing, the vendor should be able to suggest appropriate hardware, such as a built-in credit card terminal.  A vendor should be able to match a product to your needs, so be careful if you feel you are being steered toward a program that is more sophisticated (usually more expensive) than you need.  Extra features are great, but only if you’re really going to use them.

Reputation- The vendor you choose should have a solid reputation in your industry.  The vendor should be able to provide references of other businesses it has worked with, hopefully businesses similar to yours either in size or POS system needs.  Contact the references, ask about their experience.  A reputable vendor will not hesitate to share the names of satisfied clients.

Customer Service- Maybe the most important factor when it comes to choosing a vendor is how well they respond to your needs.  Will the business provide understandable demonstrations of the software, or even let you have a free trial or “demo” period?  Is the vendor responsive to your concerns?  Will they provide free or discounted upgrades to your system once installed?  How the vendor treats you during the sales process is a good indication of how they will act once you have purchased a system.  Vendors who try to oversell, who don’t return calls, and who are evasive about references should be avoided. 

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