A large-scale POS system implementation is a complex and interdisciplinary venture, and one that requires a significant level of soft skills. It is not only about the technical knowledge of POS software and hardware, their integration into existing systems and interface management – although that’s, of course, important too. On top of the technical know-how, iterative project management and transparent processes are required for a successful implementation, and to ensure satisfied users at the end of the journey. Here are three main lessons we at Poresy have learned from doing large POS implementations:
1. Finding an appropriate implementation partnerThe success of the implementation depends heavily on the implementation partner. Hence, when going about a POS system installation in your company, your highest priority should be to find an appropriate partner. It is important to have someone trustworthy and competent on your side. Your partner should have well-founded knowledge not only on POS software, hardware and your industrial sector, but also on ERP systems, and country-specific requirements for the POS system. Especially in case of fiscal requirements, your partner’s know-how, references and network are of essential importance.
2. Close coordination and clear communicationAnother important lesson we learned is the importance of maintaining close coordination with the partner. Misunderstandings are easy to come by, and in many cases, they are caused by unclear communication between the parties. A molehill can, unfortunately, become a mountain if left to grow, and cause substantial problems later in the project. Having an extensive knowledge of inner processes and exercising close coordination with the partner can help discover and prevent those misunderstandings before they transform into actual problems.
3. Early involvement of the end user
The level of acceptance of the project among end users plays an important part in its success. The new POS application can be hard to sell to people who have been using the old system for years, and have gotten familiar with it – even when the new one would actually simplify their daily tasks. To prevent rejection and unwanted behaviour during and after the installation, you should include as many end-users as possible into the implementation process. User-tests should be part of the early phases of development and implementation. By including the test results, you will make users feel respected throughout the implementation process, and grow the chances of acceptance of the new POS system along the way.
About the author
Maximilian Harms is a project manager at PORESY Consulting GmbH in Hamburg. With several years of professional experience, he works for the company in the field of implementation of Point of Sale solutions in the retail sector.