Making sure you have trained staff and clear process on how to maintain point-of-sale hardware is key to increased longevity. Having a plan in place to reduce hardware system downtime will help save you if you have a disaster (Hurricane, Tornado ECT.) or if you’re a seasonal operation who needs to store your hardware in the off season. Knowing when to replace equipment can save you time, money and a lot of headaches. Here are some tips to reduce point-of-sale hardware downtime.
- Preventative Maintenance
Having a regular routine of cleaning your point-of-sale hardware, components and peripherals will help sustain the longevity of your hardware. By doing so it helps prevent the spread of germs and allow proper air flow. Most hardware will have general cleaning recommendation from the manufactures. It is recommended that for every 1000 Plastic ID cards printed you should run a routine cleaning procedure on the card printers. The interior of the Ticket printer should be cleaned whenever there is a visible accumulation of dust. Use a small vacuum for cleaning. Be careful not to jar any of the printer’s parts loose. If the wristband or ticket stock is skipping or stuck its likely that the rollers also need to be cleaned.
- Train Your Operators
Well trained employees can help prevent minor errors or make adjustments to the point-of-sale hardware. Because they are the ones working directly with the equipment, they are in the ideal position to identify problems. Cashiers should understand how to properly load printers with paper stock or ID cards. By doing so the cashier assumes responsibility for their equipment and are properly trained in making daily and weekly checks to care for their machines. Make sure the Operator follows a checklist when doing servicing and keeps a log next to the register so that nothing gets overlooked.
- Replace old and outdated equipment
An employee’s productivity can be hindered by poor performance or PC hangs. Not having proper working tools can hurt employee morale, create frustration, slow customer check out time and create a poor customer experience. There is value in replacing a point-of-sale hardware every 3 – 4 years. VBS It Services suggest these following tips when considering if it is time to upgrade your hardware.
Tips and Thoughts to ConsiderRibeiro, Miguel. “How Often Should Your Company Replace Computers? – Markham, Richmond Hill, Greater Toronto Area.” VBS IT Services Inc, VBS IT Services Inc, 13 Feb. 2016, https://www.vbsitservices.com/2016/02/how-often-should-your-company-replace-computers/.
Are some computers unreliable? Ask the users to clearly list the issues they have.
Think about how your staff use their computers. Could a faster PC help productivity and allow the user to better serve customers?
Slow computers less then 3-4 years, maybe adding RAM memory can help speed up performance.
Are you demanding more of your computers over the years?
Are you planning or have you upgraded software, if so do the system specifications meet the software requirements?
Could some maintenance help computers perform better?
Heavy and advanced users may require an OS reinstall for the machine to work more efficiently?
Is it more cost effective to replace than repair computers?
- Proper storage
Understanding how to properly protect your investment when storing your point-of-sale hardware for any period without damaging it in the process is important, as this could lead to expensive repairs or replacement. Whenever possible we recommend keeping the original boxes for the hardware for shipping and storage. Before storing a computer make sure its back upped to a cloud storage or external hard drive. Keep all hardware component together and as organized as possible. Hardware should be kept off the ground placed on a pallet or shelving. Whenever possible depending on the time of year, you may want to store the hardware units in a climate-controlled environment. Consult the owner’s manual for specific information regarding packaging and storing.