Your ability to accept credit cards is critical to your business, and your POS software is at the center of it all. Its ability to process credit cards is the difference between a smooth customer experience and a difficult one. In the case of MC BIN-2, poor customer experience isn't the only risk associated with running an out of date POS. Non-compliance could cost your business thousands of dollars.

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POS Buyers GuideNothing lasts forever, including your point of sale (POS) hardware. But with proper POS maintenance, you can extend the life of your systems and avoid costly and frustrating downtime.

In a restaurant environment, the terminals, touchscreens, and printers you rely on for customer transactions run for hours on end while exposed to heat, moisture, dirt, and grease. That can greatly reduce their lifecycle. Below are some important steps to take to extend the life of your POS system:

  • Invest in a POS maintenance and service package. Your vendor, integrator, or reseller likely offers various levels of remote and on-site service, including help desk, depot repair, on-site repair, or advanced exchange programs, as well as remote login to give the vendor online access to the system to troubleshoot and fix problems. For example, RSS offers an advanced exchange service so that if a restaurant’s POS system is down, they can request and receive replacement hardware the next day. RSS even offers a similar program for headset repair. While many restaurants view headsets as disposable, over time the cost of discarding damaged headsets can quickly add up. RSS provides free inbound shipping, with options for repair, replacement, or reconditioning the headsets. There’s also a Headset Care Plan that provides unlimited repairs for a monthly fee.
  • Spot check the hardware. Have staff in each area of the restaurant check the printers for paper, and make sure the POS terminals or kitchen printers are working and inspect them for any damage. You should also test the printers and credit card systems prior to each shift so that you aren’t caught by surprise later if something has gone wrong. Repeat these POS maintenance inspections at the end of each shift as well.
  • Clean the equipment. Restaurants are messy places for computer hardware. Touchscreens can be cleaned with a cloth that has been sprayed with ammonia-free glass cleaner (don’t’ spray it directly on the screen), while the exterior of the printers and terminals can be cleaned with a soft cloth.
  • Arrange professional inspections. At least once a year, have a trained technician inspect the hardware. Your vendor or reseller can provide these services, some times as part of a larger POS maintenance package.
  • Restart the system periodically. You don’t have to shut everything down every night, but periodically restarting the POS system can help clear bugs and glitches.
  • Know the lifecycle of the hardware. Find out what the expected lifecycle of the terminals, card readers, and printers should be and perform an evaluation to see what needs replaced once you reach the end of those time periods. Equipment in the kitchen, in particular, will experience a lot more wear and tear than other POS hardware.
  • Keep the system updated with the latest software and firmware. This is especially critical for payment systems, since you have to ensure PCI compliance and keep security patches up to date to avoid breaches. Again, this can be rolled into a POS maintenance agreement with your vendor or reseller.

For restaurants, having a POS system go down can be a disaster, which means you need immediate service. Getting an on-site technician at the last minute is expensive and inconvenient. Regular POS maintenance is critical for ensuring system uptime.

Make POS maintenance a priority, and you will reap the benefits of lower repair costs and fewer system outages.

POS Buyers Guide

Your business’s point of sale system is a critical part of your operations. Not only is it a huge monetary investment, but it’s an investment of time and effort. Your employees are trained to use it; your customers trust that it will properly accept their payments; you rely on it for your daily operations. With all that’s riding on this single piece of equipment, you need to ensure that you’re doing all that you can to protect your investment. One of the simplest and most beneficial ways is to get a POS maintenance agreement.

  1. Predictable costs

Each year, you budget costs for labor, inventory, and other expenses. Without a POS maintenance agreement, however, unpredictable (and large) expenditures could be lurking around every corner. You can’t choose when your POS system will go down, or how much it will cost to repair it out of pocket. What you can predict is the regular costs of a POS maintenance agreement. You can budget monthly, quarterly, or annual payments to keep your system operating properly—offering you (and your accountant) total peace of mind.

  1. Easier decision making

Maintaining a POS system without a contract can be expensive. You never want to put yourself in a position where you’re unsure if you should maintain your POS or put your money into other important facets of your business. With a POS maintenance agreement, the decision is made up front with smaller regular installments, so you can focus on running your business.

POS maintenance agreements can also enable you to view reports on your service. If you have multiple restaurants or locations, reports from your maintenance providers can tell you how often specific restaurants are requesting service. High requests could indicate operator errors or system misuse. This can also help you monitor the maintenance requirements throughout the life of your equipment. If after five years, there’s a trend towards more frequent maintenance, it may be time to upgrade your equipment. This reporting function simplifies the decision process by providing you with the critical information you need.

  1. Software Updates

Updating your software can require additional expenses, including both the software and the installation. However, with a POS maintenance agreement, those updates can be included with the contract. Again, allowing you to easily budget for the future of your POS system.

  1. Preventative Maintenance

In life, we take preventative measures all the time. We take vitamins to protect our health. We change our car’s oil to prevent engine failure. We get security systems to guard our home. Likewise, you should be taking steps to prevent the failure of your POS system, averting downtime and critical data loss. With a POS maintenance agreement, your service provider will indicate if they notice any potential red flags. Say you’re having the screen fixed, but there’s also a fan failing. With a POS maintenance agreement, your provider will also fix the fan—preventing you from paying for the additional fixes you would have incurred if you didn’t have a contract.

You can’t predict the future of your POS system, but you can make managing its maintenance easier with an agreement from your vendor. More predictable costs, easier decisions, software updates, and preventative maintenance are just a few of the many benefits of a POS maintenance agreement. Stop worrying about the life of your equipment and start focusing on running your business.

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Louisville, KY 40299

Phone: (502) 753-0154
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