Inside RSS | An Interview with Mark Love

Written by  on 21 January 2020

Meet Our Leader!

Mark Love is the CEO and President of RSS also known as RSS Technology Solutions. A resident of Louisville, Kentucky, Mark has worked in the POS industry for over 40 years and has owned RSS since 2008. I recently sat down with Mark to get his thoughts about RSS, the Future, and the Restaurant Industry. Here's our conversation...

As the CEO and President of RSS what has been most rewarding for you?

Mark Love's PictureI think that the ability to see something come from really almost nothing to, over a period of a dozen years or so, quite an operation. So it starts with a basic service call that I had nothing to do with, even before my time, but to engage with that and see it just grow, grow, grow.

And it brought people into it that then start to create a fabric, a kind of fiber of people's talents that together one builds on the other. So, you have a product and you have a person. The product grows because of the person, and the person grows because of the product.  To see something just birth into existence and then become something out of its inertia, that's kind of been fun.

The service calls were related to fast-food restaurants, and what kind of service are we talking about?

Broke-Fix kind of service.

So, it was hardware?

Yes, very much hardware. Since the company didn't sell anything it had to go service somebody else’s products. So it was very much, “I have a problem can you come to fix it.” There was not any consultative flavor to it at all.

POS software is kind of a core product now for RSS. When did the decision come about to start being a reseller of POS software?

When I came into the company in 2006, as I said before, the company didn't sell anything. It sold the parts it needed to fix the broken things, but there was not a solicitation to buy something that we were selling. So, when I arrived, it was a perspective that I brought that we needed to control our destiny a little more than just waiting for a customer tp whom we didn't sell anything to suddenly discover us. So, if we start selling something then we are creating a need for our services. The company would have been 4 years old when that all started rolling and the idea was to sell point of sale initially. So we picked up a hardware brand and we picked up a software product.

So what is it about RSS that you think makes it a great company?

Well my reaction to that is to think about what differentiates us, and I don't really think that's the question you're asking, but that's my initial train of thought. What makes it a great company? I think we strive to reach a level of owning the problem that maybe others don't really have as a natural response. It's one thing to say this is what we need, to take this on, to coach this in, but we just seem to have a group of people who have it on instinct that we own this problem. Even though it's a customer that has a problem we're going to try to own it. I think that's what makes us great. The products we have are not what makes us great. Anybody can have the same products that we have. It's the attitude about deployment and support of those. So, I'd say in a single word its attitude.

From an employee perspective, what would you say makes RSS a great company to work for?

The RSS TeamTeam, a team attitude, the thought that this is an environment that allows anyone to have an input, to have a contribution. From reception to accounting to help desk to shipping, everyone has an opportunity to contribute at any level.

Thinking about 2020 and what's ahead of us, what are you most excited about as you look forward?

Well, that's interesting because of the thought patterns over the Holidays, kind of breed the vision toward the New Year. The area that I'm probably the most sensitive to or the most engaged in my own mental thoughts is driving Top line sales. So, the thing that I'm most interested in is adding to the sales force. There is the answer to the direct question, how to go about it is paragraphs.

Now let’s talk to restaurant owners. What do you think restaurant owners should be most concerned about in 2020?

I think we're in a spot right now where technology is confusing. There are so many directions you can go. I have come through a 40-year period where there were pretty much certain players and you engaged with one of four or five choices, and you picked one, and you went saddled up with a good vendor like us.

Now there are a plethora of technology choices. Just take delivery for example. How many different companies are there out there that will do the delivery?  Am I picking the right one? So I think the noise of all of the technology. And there are technology topics and then there are choices inside those topics that just can drive our customers nuts trying to sift through it all.

I mean just take credit card processing. That's a beast just trying to understand. From a merchant's perspective, it's hard to comprehend even how the costs are calculated and then there are the choices and then they start to control the merchant in ways that I don't know… It's a great place to be in our business, to be in technology because it's alive, it's vibrant, it's not stale. But from our customers' perspective, there's just so many things to choose from.

So you mentioned technology in general but then you focused on delivery and credit card processing. Thinking about credit card processing, give us two or three bullets about things that an owner needs to consider when they're thinking about a credit card processor.

Alright, so does my point of sale system work well with it? How do I engage with the card itself? There is the move to chip reading which is a fog for some merchants. Then the rates. While some people jump to processing rates first, how much is processing going cost me, that actually isn't really the number one thing a merchant should be focused on. Now that is obviously going to be eventually part of the discussion, but there are mistakes to be made that won't have anything to do with how much it cost. Contracts - how long is it? How long am I in this for? Am I stuck here or can I get out at some point? If I change my point of sale system, how are you going to react to that? How is my processing going to follow along with my decisions that I might make in a year or two? I’m happy with this processing but the new point of sale system that I'm choosing may not work well with that decision.

Read 832 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 January 2020 15:09

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