If you enter any hospitality or retail business, you’ll more than likely see the workers using point of sale (POS) systems with rugged tablets as they see to their customers. This trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down either; Juniper Research stated that mobile POS is expected to account for penultimately a third of all point of sale terminals by 2021.
However, while businesses are using mobile POS systems, they’re making the mistake of not streamlining the operations, or they build a POS solution on a consumer tablet. Both of these are big mistakes.
Below, we take a look at this – and why businesses should embrace POS systems on rugged tablets.
Why companies need a POS system
First of all, why do companies need a POS system? They have an array of benefits, like reducing paperwork, tracking inventory, and are easy to use for both the employee and the customer. This allows staff to carry on with their day-to-day work, and customers to have a positive experience.
POS systems vary from company to company – as they all have different needs. Predominately, they are linked to the stock level counts – ensuring businesses now the stock level of all their items. They also include a card machine – which can be used to process made by debit or credit cards. Many modern POS systems will also accept mobile wallets.
Companies need a POS system just to help them run more smoothly and give customers an efficient experience, at the very least.
Why a POS system should not be used with a consumer device
Rugged tablets are much better options for POS systems – this revolves around the differences in their internal and external design.
Firstly, consumer devices aren’t designed with harsh environments in mind. These types of situations are inherent in the retail and hospitality industries. Consumer devices don’t consider extreme climates, water damage, or shocks to the device – meaning they will break easily and will have to be replaced.
Secondly, consumer devices simply aren’t powerful enough. POS applications are power-hungry and will cause a consumer device to run slowly. Obviously, this isn’t ideal for anybody – both staff and customer.
Lastly, a consumer device never survives for long. In fact, they often are only expected to live for 12 months. This not only means that more money is spent in the long-term, but it also means support is challenging.
Choose the right tablet
If you want to stay productive and competitive, you have to choose the right technology device for your business. For retail and hospitality, it’s become almost necessary to invest in a tablet POS. However, as we pointed out above – it’s advisable to stay far away from the tablets that you would use at home.
Instead, you should invest in an industrial-grade tablet or a rugged tablet. Inarguably, if you choose the right device for your company, you’ll provide better customer service, and thus produce more revenue. Hence, a rugged tablet is essential.
Of course, every rugged device is also different. For this reason, you need to choose the perfect rugged device for the challenges and objectives that your company has. This includes features and functions of both the tablet and the POS system.
How can a rugged tablet streamline your POS system?
Rather than looking at rugged tablets as a be-all-end-all solution, it would be best if you looked at it as an extension. For example, you don’t need to replace your traditional POS system with tablets – instead, you can use them to enhance the system that you’re already accustomed to.
Rugged tablets should be seen as a way to streamline your POS system, not completely change the entire dynamic.
Depending on the system that you choose, you can use a tablet POS that uses your traditional system, and this helps retailers and waiting staff (as examples) adapt quickly to the new rugged tablets. There is no need for additional training.
This also means that any information that you had on your previous POS system is available on mobile devices. For instance, real-time inventory, ingredients, and menu updates. Again, this just adds convenience for the staff and reduces down-time.
Rugged tablets should not be seen as a brand new way of working, but rather a way to enhance the current POS system.
Why you should go rugged
As we mentioned, consumer devices don’t suffice when it comes to the retail and hospitality industries. They’re not prepared both internally and externally for the environment. A rugged tablet, on the other hand, works perfectly.
Rugged tablets are designed to perform reliably, even after drops, spills, and dust – or anything else that a restaurant or retail store can subject them to. They also carry on performing exceptionally, even after continuous use. Most consumer devices would run out of battery or overload.
When searching for a rugged device for your POS system, look out for the IP rating – this indicates the level of protection it will provide against liquids and dust. The highest IP ratings are IP68 – which ensures ultimate protection against water, dirt, or dust.
While it’s true that rugged devices have a higher upfront cost, due to extra time and materials that go into creating one, they do results in a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). You won’t have to repair or replace a rugged device nearly as often as a consumer device. Repairs and replacements very often add up to a hefty cost.
It’s also important to point out that so many rugged devices come with a warranty, as well as the opportunity to expand the warranty – to match the longevity of the device. Rugged tablets, because of their focus on business, also come with service contracts and overnight replacements. Obviously, this is crucial when you have a company – you won’t experience any downtime.
What problems do you want to solve?
When you choose your mobile POS system, you have to consider what problems you need to solve. This will help you streamline your POS system, and ensure that your rugged tablet works perfectly for you and your company.
For instance, will the tablet be carried by sales associates or waitresses? Is it for counter use? Will it be for payments or for stock inventory? Alternatively, both?
We ask this because certain tablets and POS systems have different strengths. A restaurant, as an example, will require a different type of tab; let than a retail establishment purely because they have different needs and problems to solve.
Also, consider this; is your device easy for employees to walk around with, and will the battery last a long shift?
It’s also absolutely essential that you know your rugged tablet will support the POS system of your choice. Make sure that it’s compatible with the software of your choice. As a plus, make sure it is easy to use and ensures that employees will be productive.
The basic features you should look for
Regardless of your problems or needs, there are certain features and functions that you should look out for. For instance, choosing a tablet that runs on Windows or Android OS is advisable – these are easy to use and well-known by the majority of people. You should also expect a good battery, especially if you’re expecting them to last entire shifts.
If you’re putting your tablet on a counter, ensure that it has the right base to fit with these needs. Similarly, if you’re planning on walking around with it – make sure it’s easy to carry and lightweight.
A feature like a barcode scanner is always welcomed with POS systems, which is something you could expect.
Other features include NFC technology, Bluetooth, a camera, biometric reader, and EMV. These are essential features that you should expect, even if you’re not sure how to use them, or if you ever will.
Does your existing POS provider accommodate rugged tablet solutions?
Check with your POS provider to make sure that they can integrate rugged tablets with your current software. This is, for obvious reasons, an important step. If the answer is yes, then you can carry on as usual, and reap all the benefits of a rugged tablet.
However, in the unfortunate event that the answer is no, you may want to consider a POS system upgrade. Rugged tablets can be an essential part of reaching your businesses’ competitive needs – they will save time and money in the long run.
With a rugged tablet, you will be able to reach customer’s needs and their ever-increasing expectations.
A rugged tablet is a perfect way to streamline your POS system. Not only will it help to meet ever-growing customer demands, but it will increase revenue and save you time. With unmatched customer service, your business will begin to boom and reach competitive goals.
It’s easy to see why so many companies are integrating their POS systems with rugged tablets. If you follow the above steps, you can ensure that your shift is seamless.
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