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10-19-10, 06:53 PM
Looking to open a bike shop after 7 years as a mobile repair service we need to expand our service bay area and feel we should open up a retail outlet. I need a management software system/POS system. The key needs are, work with my mobile repair, labor management, invantory and cash controls. Other questions is Bike-alog good or not. Any suggestions.
After almost 40 years selling to dealers, I can tell you that there's no correlation between any particular POS system and profitability. POS systems are just tools, and like mechanics tools it isn't about the tool, but how it's used and the skill of the user.
In my experience, those who have the most success with their POS systems are those who are basically organized and would have done well with almost any or no POS system. Those who do worst aren't organized, and their problems are more related to the owners and staff rather than the particular hardware.
Shop the various systems, but ask tough questions about ease of implementation, ease of use, simplicity of transaction processing, and flexibility to handle non normal sales.
Here's an example. A customer comes in on a Friday, having just crashed and needing a pair of wheels ASAP as in NOW. You have a leftover bike in an odd size or color that isn't going anywhere, so you decide to cut him a deal for those wheels, figuring you'll get more for the bike as parts than as a discounted leftover model. Ask the POS vendor how you'd need to process that kind of sale. Also check to see how you'd have to account for front of store parts like cable kits used in the service dept.
In a small shop with few employees, many POS systems generate more work than they save, and the sales history data they accumulate has little value because things change so much year to year. Make sure you understand the time demands maintaining a POS system, before locking yourself that takes you off the sales floor, or away from the workbench, and makes you a data clerk.
BTW- one of the most successful shops I know, does multi-millions in sales, using an old fashioned price marking gun, and simple cash register, whose most complex feature is automatic calculation of sales tax.