How long has it been since you installed that once-new retail point of sale system in your grocery store? As sophisticated as it has become, all hardware has a duty cycle, a time past which it’s better to replace it. At four or five or six years, you expect to replace a few parts here and there. But at some point, it’s just time to upgrade that hardware or replace the whole system.
True, age is a factor in determining when it’s time to upgrade POS hardware—and we’ll talk about that—but it’s hardly the only one. Let’s look at four tell-tale signs that it might be time to upgrade your POS.
Sometimes, birthdays don’t call for a celebration
When kids reach their sixth birthday, it’s a positive milestone: they’re off to school. When your POS hardware reaches that age, it’s close to the end of its duty cycle. You may not have to replace every piece of the POS—a cash drawer, the monitor posts and the checkstand, for instance, but the rest of it becomes almost throw-away material.
Even with retail-hardened hardware, aging equipment simply experiences more failures. After years of near-continuous use, it needs service with increasing regularity. Grocers budget for preventive maintenance and equipment repairs, but the costs of shuttering a lane due to broken equipment goes beyond the cost of the repair itself. It may be hard to quantify, but consider the potential revenue loss when customer sees checkout lines five or six deep and decide, “Maybe I’ll just get this next time” and walks out. All because you had fewer lanes open to handle a surge in traffic.
Skin deep or not, equipment aesthetics matter
The old cliché says that beauty is skin deep. Often grocers pay less attention to aesthetics than to functionality, but older equipment sends a bad message to a grocery’s customers. Retail POS equipment that clearly shows its age, regardless of its functionality, makes a store look and feel dated. That sort of thing matters to many grocery shoppers, especially millennials and gen-Z shoppers, who will go out of their way to visit a store that looks fresh and modern.
How did you feel the last time you went into a retail store, whether a grocery or not, and saw an old CRT monitor at the checkout stand? However functional that CRT may be, when touch panels and LCD screens are the norm, the store gives a customer the impression of being antiquated.
Your people are now faster than the computer
From a retailer’s perspective, computing power is key to getting things done faster. When you first installed your POS, it was fast. That’s normal for a while, even more so since your employees are still getting used to the system. But as they get acclimated, they start performing better and better, and you start using up more of the computing power.
Over time, you demand more and more of the POS system, and your customers’ expectations of speed and convenience rise. Not to mention the inevitable operating system and program updates that take more space and memory to function. Then before you know it, your staff finds itself waiting on the computer, instead of the other way around. If your cashiers, your customers, and even your back-office staff are now becoming impatient with slow system response, it might be time to upgrade your POS.
Regulatory compliance is out of reach
One of the biggest reasons you may need a POS hardware upgrade is to maintain regulatory compliance. As retail regulations evolve, so must your store’s POS system. Remember the recent requirement that stores install new card readers to accept new “chip” cards to better secure credit and debit transactions? Not only do regulators insist on it, but now your customers expect it from their retailers.
Even when, in theory, a regulatory change should require only a software upgrade, hardware replacement is often the only answer. For example, say you have to update the operating system on your devices to the next version of Windows or Linux to patch a security vulnerability, or to maintain compliance with each manufacturer’s “currently supported software”. It’s often the case that grocers have hardware devices that can’t accommodate the newer OS—they simply don’t have the horsepower.
Is your POS hardware telling you it’s time for an upgrade?
Whether your POS is nearing the end of its duty cycle, is looking antique, or any of these or other situations, it’s probably time to upgrade your POS hardware. If it’s that time—or you simply need help deciding—TRUNO’s has the POS hardware and expertise that can bring your systems up to the very latest in POS technology.