Editor's note: The January 2020 issue of NOLN takes a look at some of the newer, stripped-down POS products that are web-based and evolving alongside more powerful internet networks and software. This is the second of a two-part blog leading up to the magazine story, which will be available on Jan. 1. Read part one here.
Sage Microsystems has been in the point-of-sale business and has grown to provide a full suite of shop management products and technology. The company's website boasts more than 1,500 system installations. Sage and NOLN had a Q and A about the future of the POS system. Answers came courtesy of senior sales account representative Chuck Brewer.
In terms of tech, what advances have been made in the platform of POS systems?
Real-time data is now available from the POS online, allowing shop owners to access critical data and make changes from anywhere. These systems are also providing advanced marketing functions, particularly when it comes to customer follow-up. One such example is the ability to email videos to customers who have declined services. Central office capabilities allow locations to share customer information and purchase history. Finally, the Epicor repair interface gives technicians the ability to order parts online and see labor guides for small repair work.
How has that allowed POS products to grow?
These advances have transformed the quick lube POS system from a mere transactional tool to a true business management and growth system. The POS provides shop owners unprecedented insight into their business, helping them make informed decisions that help them meet their growth potential. Meanwhile, they are achieving efficiencies that further fuel their growth and foster customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Having been early to market with the Mobile Solution, how have you seen that portability evolve in POS and related systems?
It creates a great impression on the customer, presenting the shop as technologically advanced while speeding up the service. Technicians also love it because it eliminates the back and forth from computer to vehicle. The tablets and handhelds are not only used to check cars in but also used to give professional sales presentations, educating customers on what services are due on their vehicles.
What's the newest thing that shop operators expect in a POS system?
Operators expect a modern POS to include:
- Handheld/tablet capabilities
- Invoice and fleet statement emailing
- Vehicle information and specs
- Ease of training and use because turnover is high at these shops
How important are third-party integrations, like Sage's partnership with CarFax?
They are critical. These integrations help ensure that shops are offering the right services and the right time. That not only helps them increase ticket averages but cultivate customer trust and loyalty as well. Our POS also has third-party integrations with marketing and mailing providers, allowing operators to easily send out reminder cards, text messages, customer surveys, etc. We are always looking for ways to offer more value to our customers through these integrations.