Businesses all over the world are trading in their old cash drawers and legacy point of sale systems for smarter solutions. Point of sale software, particularly iPad POS systems, have grown hugely in popularity and demand, particularly for smaller retailers who are noticing the range of benefits afforded by these newer systems. Despite being superior to traditional point of sale methods, they do have their own shortcomings. This is particularly noticeable for business owners that are in need of a more complete management system, which single-purpose POS software just can’t provide. As a result, integrating multiple software has become standard practice in order to compensate for the lack of key elements needed for a growing business, such as staff management, stock control, and accounting. However, forcing several pieces of business software to work together has its challenges. These apps were developed by completely separate companies for different purposes. Imagine trying to stick mismatched jigsaw pieces together; you probably won’t get the picture you’re looking for.
Impractical and Expensive
Integrating multiple software with a POS system can cause a number of issues relating to speed, reliability and data security. Connections need to be established and maintained so that the integrated apps can communicate with one another and exchange information, such as sending sales data from the point of sale to the accounting application. One small software bug from any of these apps can cripple business operation by causing the entire integration to break down, leaving business owners without a working system. A major disadvantage of integration is the multiple software expense, whereby users must pay several monthly subscriptions to use the various applications. Users may sometimes have to also pay for the ability to even integrate!
Lack of Accountability
The level of customer support is something every business owner should consider when upgrading their point of sale, for both legacy systems and an iPad POS solution. The legacy systems are generally quite rudimentary in terms of functionality compared with a mobile POS, and usually offer an out-dated method of support, whereby a technician would physically come to your store and manually fix the problem. This differs with an iPad POS software, where problems can be solved remotely and quickly. However, when you have various apps integrated into your iPad point of sale, and a breakdown occurs, it’s not always clear which software is causing the problem and the blame can be thrown from one company to another, with none accepting responsibility. Who do you turn to when your software stops working?
A Solution to the Problem
The next-generation of business software may provide a solution to the problems associated with integration. These newer platforms, such as Tillpoint or Odoo, contain a system of apps, each dedicated to running a different component of business operation – one app for the point of sale, another for the accounting, and so on. The introduction of the smartphone eliminated the need for people to carry several peripheral devices, such as a camera, maps, as well as a standalone phone. Similarly, these newer platforms have apps that covers the requirements of any business, removing the need to integrate several pieces of business software. This has the benefit of being highly cost-effective as only one subscription cost is required from the user, instead of several. These systems are easily scalable, allowing users to simply use more apps, as and when required, with no additional costs.
Cordy Bartlett is the Senior Marketing Executive at Tillpoint, the cloud-based POS & management platform that gives retailers and restaurateurs a way to run every part of their business through its suite of business apps and access to powerful growth tools.