The Dieting Approach to changing POS Software

Most businesses looking for a new Point Of Sale (POS) system are looking for some reason, but often fail to follow through with some of the advantages they could gain from the new software due to the mentality “Ëœthat is the way it has always been’. Changing Retail Application software systems such as Point of Sale is much like going on a diet. Unless you identify the problem areas, outline what you want to accomplish and devise a plan to reach your goal, it will typically fail. By the same token, a diet should start with a trip to your doctor. Changing retail software should follow the same paths. You should identify the problem areas of your current POS (or lack thereof), decide what you want to accomplish with a new system and devise a plan to reach your goals.

As with a diet, your business diet should also include a trip to a doctor. Although not a typical doctor, the software manufacture, retail distributor or agent should assist you in your plan. With this stated, how would you feel if you went to a doctor, simply told him you wanted to go on a diet and he quickly wrote you a prescription, gave you a bill and sent you on your way? Although it might seem just what you want, typically it will not give the results you expected. You may be back in the doctor’s office with “Ëœproblems’ such as high blood pressure, mood swings, etc. The same is true for your business software purchase. If you get a quick “Ëœprescription’ (were a perfect fit), a bill and sent on your way, you will most likely be back with the same type of unexpected results from you diet. High blood pressure (I am working twice as hard after the change), mood swings (some days it seems to work and some days it doesn’t), etc.

Another cause of software “Ëœgrowing pains’ is due to a lack of commitment to follow needed steps in order to achieve your goals. Like diets, changing software can be a little painful in the beginning. The pain should go away, however, if you did your homework, created a plan, consulted a doctor/vendor and asked/answered the right questions. The hard step in both a diet and changing software has to be following through. Change is hard, especially when “Ëœit has always been this way’. A change in diet often results in a slight change in lifestyle (fewer trips to fast food restaurants). A change in Point of Sale software also can result in lifestyle changes (new business processes). Both are easy to “Ëœgive up on’ and fall back into the “Ëœold way of doing things’ and both will achieve the same results if that happens: time wasted, money lost and more frustrations.

If business processes are well thought out and examined, the good productive ones can be kept and new streamlined ones added in. Take UPS and FedEx as an example. Do you think they would train drivers on which foot to enter their truck with if it didn’t make a difference in the long run? Sure it may not make a big difference in the split second it takes to step in the truck, but multiple that times the number of times he is in and out of the truck each day, week, and month. The time saved quick starts adding up which means money saved, faster deliveries, happier customers, more repeat business, etc. The same can be true with your business processes. Imagine if you saved a customer 15 seconds when they came to your business. Now 15 seconds is not a lot, but think about the number of customers you have in a day, a week a month or a year. How much time have you saved? How much time have you given your customer? More time allows you to devote more time to your customers giving them a more friendly experience in your business making them want to spend more time (and money) with you.

Although business processes can be a bit painful to change, if done correctly, they can give more benefits to you, your staff and your customers than staying with “Ëœthe way it’s always been’ could ever do.