C’mon, Do I Really Need a Point Of Sale System?

A fully functional system can make all the difference

By Rich Lindblom, YSN

Like many of you, I was a part of a family-owned business, and my father was old school.  And when I say old school, I mean really old school.  Every single sales order or service call was written by hand, then typed onto an index card and filed in filing a cabinet. When it came time to look up a customer, you had to cross your fingers that it was filed away properly the last time it was accessed, or you’d spend hours trying to find it. 

Does that sound familiar to any of you?

Fortunately, in 1993, my brother and I convinced him to let us buy a computer system for the company. We chose Swiftlink as our point of sale system. At the time it was without a doubt the best POS system for the appliance industry and it served us well for many, many years. 

But as the adage goes, time waits for no one and every year the industry evolves, meaning dealers are forced to constantly change the way they do business if they want to survive and thrive.

If you’re still doing business the same way you did five, 10, 20 or 30 years ago, I’ve got news for you … It’s time to change!

As business gets more and more complicated, so does your job. Whether you want to admit it or not, you need more help; everyone does.  So why not let technology be your assistant? A modern POS system can do so much for you and your company:

  • Fully integrate your website with up-to-the-minute pricing and real time inventory to grab a larger share of potential customers.
  • Eliminate duplication of efforts by not making you or your employees enter the same information multiple times.
  • Save money and the environment by going paperless.
  • Create all your sales and service orders in one easy to use system. 
  • No more handwritten, illegible sales orders or service call tickets.
  • No more overselling of merchandise or confusion about whether you have a product in stock.
  • No more selling products for the wrong price or forgetting to charge for your services.
  • Make customer communication and invoicing as easy as a click of a button.
  • Receive payments instantly.
  • Increase your extended warranty and add-ons attachments.
  • Drag and drop schedule and routing of deliveries and service calls.
  • Retrieve customer history with the click of a button.

Sounds great right? But also maybe a little scary?

Believe me, I understand that completely changing the way your company conducts its business sounds hard and I guess it probably is. But, isn’t a couple of weeks of living outside your comfort zone worth the return you will get on your investment?

Maybe it’s just the nature of an independent business owner to be skeptical about new things, but I know some dealers that are downright paranoid about change. Yes, there will be a learning curve, but once you know how to use a good point of sale system, you will wonder how you ever got by without it. The fact of the matter is that change is all around us whether you like it or not.

The bottom line is instead of fearing change and missing out on opportunities, you need to start embracing it. Change is critical to your long-term success, profitability and sanity.

While I’d love it if you considered AVB’s new SYNC point of sale system, the most important thing is that you find yourself a modern, fully functional POS system to run your business into the next decade and beyond.

Rich Lindblom is a past principal of Advanced Maytag Home Appliance Center, a family business founded 64 years ago in Schaumburg, Ill. After working at and eventually leading the company for more than four decades, he and his brother sold the operation. Lindblom is now sharing his 40-plus years of hard-won retail experience with fellow BrandSource members in a regularly appearing column for YourSourceNews and is the Product Manager for AVB’s new SYNC Point of Sale System. Contact him at rich.lindblom@avb.net.