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Getting the Best Out of Your POS (Part 3)

Planning for both short-term and long-term success

CHICAGO — While it doesn’t clean anything on its own, the modern POS system is an indispensable piece of equipment for many dry cleaners, allowing them to take better control over all facets of their business.

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the evolution of the POS, and in Part 2, we examined ways this technology can teach cleaners about their customers’ wants and needs. Today, we’ll see how a properly installed and utilized system can not only pay benefits in the short term, but also allows dry cleaners to plan for the future of their companies.

Wins for Today and Tomorrow

When a cleaner adds a modern POS system or updates their existing one, they can expect both immediate benefits and long-term advantages, says Pete Peterson, vice president of sales for iDryclean.

“In the short term, you can get control of your pricing, overrides, voids and discounts immediately,” he says. “We hear from cleaners all the time who tell us they lost thousands of dollars because a clerk was stealing from them. You can get control now with a good POS system and check for exceptions to normal workflow and dollar amounts weekly, if not daily.”

In addition to being more powerful and capable, Tom Beidle, CEO of SPOT by Xplor, says a state-of-the-art system can help flatten the learning curve for employees and for the store’s customers.

“Antiquated systems can be difficult to train on,” he says. “If you don’t understand how they work, it’s difficult to interact with them. A modern system will give an improved experience to both the employee and the customer.”

Having such a system can also help with the everyday tasks that, if not handled properly, can hurt a drycleaner’s business.

“One of the biggest benefits is that pricing discrepancies go away,” says Ali Khan, president of Dajisoft. “As the owner, you might handwrite a ticket and charge $5 for a blouse and a $2 silk upcharge. Your employee might not add that $2 upcharge. If you multiply this type of oversight by 2,000 pieces a month, you’ve just lost $4,000. Also, the customer might argue with you if they are charged different prices at different times for the same piece.”

As for the long-term benefits, Peterson says that a POS system can allow dry cleaners to understand their business at a much deeper level than ever before.

“You can see trends that are happening this year versus last year and beyond,” he says. “A well-deployed POS system can give you historical trends very quickly. Checking 2021 against 2020 totals, for example, would let you know how much business is down and can justify government funds to help you survive the pandemic.”

“Owners have access to robust data that can provide insight to sales, customer trends, consistent pricing, and measure employee time and theft cases, which makes for overall better business management,” says Cleaner Business Systems Sales Executive Jared Epstein.

Beidle believes that having a history of data available can lead to better decision making for future efforts, as well.

“Cleaners can view their business holistically,” he says. “They can understand customer behavior and changes, whether it's an increase or decrease in dry cleaning volume. It also helps in building a subscription service. Cleaners often think about how they can get their customers into a recurring revenue model, and the data gathered from a POS system can help with this effort.”

Another benefit of modern POS systems, Ee Sef Lee, director of sales for UP Solution, says is that the technology has advanced to the point where powerful tools are as available to smaller business as they are to large corporations.

“In the general marketplace, the majority of POS software is transitioning from legacy to cloud-based models,” he says. “With these changes, businesses can now add new services such as online pickup, delivery scheduling and tighter website integrations to the cloud-based POS system. It enables mom-and-pop stores to effectively compete with larger multiple locations or national brands. The new POS systems help level the playing field for all cleaners.”

Come back Thursday for the conclusion of this series, where we’ll list some of the questions dry cleaners need to ask when considering upgrading their POS system or adding a new one. For Part 1 of this series, click HERE. For Part 2, click HERE.