Planning For That POS System

Making sure opening day goes well

Ok.  You’ve chosen a great POS vendor and system.  You’ve paid for at least part of it, and installation is scheduled for sometime next month. 

Is it time to relax? 

Not really… A POS system is a very “connected” part of your business.  Because of this, it relies on a number of external services and systems to get the job done. 

To make sure your POS system is ready when you are, you may want to review the hints below:

Credit Card Payment Systems.  Expect it to take some time to get approved for credit card processing.  Make sure you completely fill out application forms and submit them in a timely fashion.  Also, keep in mind that while you may be approved by your processor, some cards (AMEX) most notably, can take additional time to activate service.

Internet Service.
  Most POS systems require Internet to process credit cards.  Make sure your cable/DSL circuit is installed (in the right place), and working.  Th day the POS shows up is the wrong time to find out your cable modem doesn’t work yet.

Phones & Caller ID.
  If you’re a restaurant which does carry out or delivery, your POS system will most probably need caller ID added to one or more of the phone lines coming into the business.   Make sure they work prior to the POS showing up and ensure the phone lines are in the right place for the POS system.

POS Programming.
  The programming of a POS can be very complex and time-consuming.  Entering menus or lists of inventory items can take your vendor days.  Adding staff with passwords, permissions, and ID are required as well.  Make sure you leave time for this in your plan.  Also, to save time & money make sure your menu/inventory list is finalized (as far as possible) before

POS programming starts!

POS Placement.
  Each POS terminal and printer must be placed on a secure and sturdy table, stand, bench, wall, etc.  A place for each station and printer should be available when the POS system arrives. 

Manager Training.
  ALWAYS make sure managers are well trained on the POS system – as their role is far more complex than servers or clerks.  Managers open and close the system, run reports, void sales, and should be able to add/modify inventory/menu items.

Staff Training.
  Opening day is NOT the time to train your staff on the POS system.   Each staff member should be trained and comfortable on the system before the doors are opened.

Working Out the Kinks.
  Nearly all national chain restaurants/retailers have a soft or “Friends & Family” opening (day/week) prior to the hard opening to allow the staff and systems to settle.  This is WONDERFUL idea and allows mistakes to be made before they hurt.

  Make sure your insurance covers your new POS system (just in case).  Some insurance policies exclude systems unless they are specifically added.

Supplies.  Make sure you have sufficient receipt tape rolls, swipe cards, etc required for operation of the system.

A POS system is a great addition to any business.  Get yours off to a good start by paying attention to the details to make sure your opening day is a great one!

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