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Pricing Guidelines For a POS System
POS systems can vary in prices typically based on the type of the system. It is advisable to price compare between different providers as well as types of POS systems available in the market. However, on average below are some pricing guidelines of a complete system installed:

Type of System and typical estimated Cost

Programmed, Installed, Customized:- $2,300 - $6,000 per terminal
Off-the-shelf systems:- $1,000 - $3,000 per terminal
Note: Prices per POS System terminal drops considerably as more terminals are installed

Are these POS Systems worth it?

Like with many systems, the return on investment (ROI) is only realized over time. However, when buying a POS System, it is important to research and price compare different Systems available in the market. Selecting a one that is right for your business needs, will deliver a quicker ROI. Below are typical POS System ROIs.

Company Size (annual revenue) and when ROI is typically realized

For a $1,000,000+, company ROI is typically realized in 6 months - 1.5 years

For a $700,000 - $900,000, ROI is typically realized in 1 - 2 years

For a $400,000 - $600,000, ROI is typically realized in 2 - 3 years

What do these systems provide?

POS systems are designed to increase productivity and get more control and intelligence on your business, thereby saving money. In general they will ultimately lead to reduced expenses and increased sales. Some ways improved efficiencies and control of business help you save money are:

Eliminate Loss of Product (Shrinkage): A POS System can drastically reduces inventory shrinkage from your store or restaurant due to theft, wastage and employee misuse. Because the employees know inventory is carefully tracked, inventory loss would reduce.

Accuracy and connectivity of all locations: Ensuring that every item in your store or menu is sold at the correct price is one of the attributes of a POS System. Prices can also be changed in seconds within the computer and be reflected on products (and SKUs), so your employees will never have to guess the price. These machines allows connectivity with other terminals located in different locations, so if desired a simple tweak in the system can implement the change in all locations.

Reporting and higher margins: POS Systems allow detailed sales reporting, indicating higher margin or popular products. This allows you to focus on more profitable items and make sure high turnover items are always stocked or promoting under-performing items in a restaurant setting, to generate higher margins.

Know where you stand without a paper trail: The detailed sales reporting of a POS System instantly tells you amount of product sold at a particular time, inventory levels by product, amount of cash you have in your drawer and how much of it is profit. All this information is stored within the computerized POS system, so you are not bogged down by maintaining paper work for inventory tracking, sales figures etc.
Know who your customers are: In today's competitive landscape, knowing your customers and being able to communicate to them regularly is a key factor in retaining them. A POS System captures the names and contact information of your regular customers as part of the standard transaction. This allows you to conduct targeted advertising and promotions to those customers.

Choosing a POS System provider

Due to the nature of a POS System, choosing the right vendor is a big decision. Since there are many things to consider in a POS System, the right vendor will guide you through the different options based on your business needs and budget.

The right vendor will provide, explain and recommend options for:

POS System hardware - printers, cash drawers, customer displays, magnetic strip readers, check readers etc.
Pos systems software - credit card processing, discounts, refunds, accounting reports, integration with accounting software, inventory tracking, moving diner from bar to a table, waiting list management etc.
Input Device - Keyboards versus touch screens, scanners, handheld terminals etc.
POS System providers will also vary in providing ongoing support and services. Some provide guarantees parts and labor for 1 year, others provide free phone support 24x7, some charge per-incident and some provide annual service contracts where prices range from $200-$1,000+ annually.
Negotiating on the total price and service support beforehand is the best practice and getting all equipment, support and devices from the same vendor will save you a bundle.

While doing a price compare is important, experience, quality of work and references are equally important, because the POS System provider is a partner in delivering something that will affect your financial bottom line.

Finding a good Point of Sale System Provider:

With so many different options, the natural question is how best to find a good provider, who understands your business, has the capability of providing all the options and is experienced.

A simple Google search on pos software providers may bring up many qualified vendors, but you would have to research each one thoroughly and ask the right questions to each.

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