When it comes to the retail and restaurant landscape, the point of sale solution is at the heart of how the company operates. This is a system that focuses on funds, inventory control and touches on nearly every aspect of what goes in or leaves a business. However, many organizations are not doing enough to make sure the system is being used as effectively as possible.

A recent article from Hospitality Technology examined the current landscape and found that one of the biggest challenges decision makers have is when to upgrade the solution. In many cases, the traditional lifespan of a point of sale system is five to seven years. However, many companies hold on to them for much longer than that.

"Many restaurant IT directors and store managers struggle to determine when the right time to upgrade POS workstations is," the article reads. "Although there is a significant cost for purchasing new POS systems, what many restaurants do not realize is the associated return on investment that comes from upgrading versus keeping old POS technology."

Knowing when it is time to make the switch for something new can be difficult for any company. The article goes on to layout several different things that decision-makers should be on the lookout for that will be indicators that an upgrade is needed. These include:

  • Power consumption – POS systems are required to be powered on and connected at all times. This can be a massive power drain. New systems are designed to be more cost effective and can cut costs by 30 percent.
  • Speed – Older systems can cause hang ups on the network, especially if other systems like back of house applications and digital signage are on the same network. This can also happen when older hardware tries to run newer software. Because it is not optimize for this software, there is going to be slowdown as the computer tries to catch up.
  • Mobility – Consumers are starting to embrace mobile devices and adopting this technology helps businesses attract new customers. This will require not only new hardware but a cloud-based POS solution to run successfully.
  • Customer experience – An upgraded system is more appealing to the eye and offers the ability to create loyalty programs that can drive repeat business.

If you are using outdated technology, everything from sales reporting to credit card payment software will not be running at optimum efficiency. This is where a retail solution provider can make a major difference.