It’s fair to say that most of us have a tendency to ignore problems for as long as we possibly can. Often, this means that by the time we pay attention, it’s already too late. For some things, this isn’t too much of an issue, but when it comes to high-value business assets like your EPoS system, this can be an extremely serious matter.
Retailers invest heavily in EPoS systems because they know that they will improve customer service, streamline sales and automate financial and stock control. They act as a vital cog in the overall machinery of a retail business and are in operation all day, every day that a business is open. Constant use creates inevitable wear and tear, and this can soon impact performance if left unaddressed.
Downtime means poor customer service, harm to your reputation, lost productivity, lost sales and, ultimately, lost profits. At the top end of the scale, a network failure across dozens of Starbucks stores in 2015 is believed to have cost the chain millions in lost revenue. 40% of retailers estimate that a 1-hour long systems outage would cost them £10,000, and the relative costs actually increase the smaller the business is. Especially in today’s highly challenging retail environment, a prolonged system outage could represent a major threat to your business.
However, you don’t have to wait for things to start going wrong before you take action. Just like taking your car for an MOT, or going to your GP for a routine check-up, preventative maintenance is all about detecting potential problems early. This allows you to correct them before they can cause real damage, and lets you proactively ensure that your EPoS system is always in optimum working order.
Below are five reasons why it’s so vital for your retail business to protect its investment by having a preventative maintenance contract in place for your EPoS system:
1) Potential loss of revenue
Having a maintenance strategy is essential because EPoS hardware and software is critical for your retail business to trade. It is very different from a home purchase, you can replace your broken TV without causing a major problem, but if you have to unexpectedly replace your EPoS hardware you could lose out on business. You could also lose revenue if you do not maintain your EPoS software with patch management. If the software goes down, or a virus infects your systems, it can take time to fix.
2) Improve Efficiency
With a digital system like EPoS, it is important to keep on top of software updates to make sure it’s always running at its best. Updated elements in the network will also need configuring so that they work with the rest of the system properly, otherwise they just slow everything down. Updates are also vital for ensuring that your system remains secure, and can protect your business and your customers from fraud, viruses and other threats.
3) Improve Performance
No system maintains an optimum level of performance from the moment it is plugged in. Over time small glitches and faults will start to build up until they begin to have an impact on the level of service you can deliver. Regular preventative maintenance can return a system to that ‘just new’ state, optimising performance as a cyclical process. It also helps to prevent downtime and therefore maintain service levels for longer.
4) Maintain Profitability
No business runs any form of equipment just for the sake of it; it’s there to enable the business to function and, in doing so, make money. Preventative system maintenance can (and should) therefore be viewed as nothing less than protecting your profitability. This is especially true of EPoS systems; downtime means sales cannot be made, creating bottlenecks elsewhere and damaging customer service, your brand, and your reputation.
5) Prepare for Peak Periods
Most businesses have periods of peak activity; retailers at Christmas, or summer for the tourism and leisure industries, for example. It is often crucial that businesses maximise turnover during these periods to offset much quieter times.
Maximising turnover during a peak period takes months of preparation in all aspects of the retail business. During peak times, a system failure could be particularly catastrophic for the business. In 2017, US department store Macy’s suffered nationwide problems with their card machines on Black Friday, leading to long queues, and causing severe reputational damage.
It makes sense to prepare thoroughly by booking a service ahead of these peak times in order to greatly reduce the risk of a system failure happening, and so make sure your EPOS equipment is working at its very best when you need it most.
Your EPoS system is central to your ability to serve your customers and do business. If it fails unexpectedly, it could have disastrous consequences for you and your organisation. This being the case, it only makes sense for you to take proactive steps to ensure that it keeps on working at optimum efficiency, allowing you to continue to serve your customers reliably and profitably.
RMS cares about your business and helping you maintain revenue and profits. That is why we take preventative maintenance very seriously. We provide patch management for our EPoS software and offer on-site warranties for our world-class EPoS hardware. If you have any questions about how you can best protect your EPoS system, please contact us today on 0800 138 0050 or via our enquiry form.