So you’ve made the decision to install a POS system… Now what?
There are many factors that go into a successful POS implementation, not the least of which is the partner and products you choose. A myriad of resources will talk about how to choose a system and what hardware will work best to achieve your goals. Not as many discuss the next steps. Here are seven important tips for a successful implementation after your company has made the important choice of partner and system.
1. Define the “point people” for your organization, your POS partner and any other vendor companies involved.
Often the person who made the POS system purchase decision is not the same person responsible for implementation out to the restaurants. It is critically important to make sure that everyone on the project, both within your company and the partner, knows who will be the ‘go-to’ for the installation and instruction. This person must also have and understanding of what features and functionalities are expected from the new POS system and hardware.
2. Set clear expectations.
Setting the expectation of exactly what is to be delivered and accomplished is the most important thing you can do. Before implementation begins, clearly define what your business’s needs are and WRITE THEM DOWN! Make sure that all parties are informed and understand this important document.
3. Get senior management buy-in and keep them in the loop.
Restaurant owners or senior managers are often heavily involved in making the POS purchase decision but don’t have the time to be involved in every step of the implementation process. Make sure the senior team is informed on all the happenings of the implementation process.
4. Use good project management practices.
Empower your project manager with the authority to rein in all parties necessary to make the project successful. Keep an open item list of what is to be done, define responsibilities and due dates. Hold periodic meetings to make sure all parties are completing their tasks on time and don’t be afraid to investigate further if deadlines are not being met.
5. Avoid “too much too early.”
Most mature POS systems are very complicated and have multiple modules. Trying to implement too many modules at one time will only drain your project manager’s time and test his or her patience, but it will also stretch your resources thin and the project will not be done properly. In the planning process, it is important to define what goals will be achieved and then rank these on priority. Hit your biggest needs first. Then as time and resources become available, move down the list. It is very easy to get excited about all the possibilities of your new POS system. Do your best to contain this enthusiasm until you get some of your most basic needs met.
6. Embrace the partnerships formed.
Your organization has made a large investment for the future and your choice of POS partner will be with you for many years to come. You can think of your company’s relationship with the POS partner as a true partnership – your POS partner wants you to succeed as much as you do! Embrace this partnership to help strengthen your business. Engage in conversations to help your POS partner fully understand your business needs so they can deliver solutions beyond your expectations.
7. Communication is king.
When implementing a POS system, there is no such thing as “too much communication”. By opening up to constant communication, both your company and the POS partner can be sure that each and every need and expectation is being met. With constant flows of communication, there is hardly an opportunity for any ‘surprises’ to arise, which will help keep the project on budget and on time. Thorough communication also allows your company to hold the POS partner accountable to any promises or deadlines they may have agreed to.
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