Three years ago, Jeff Ward, now CEO of Inborne Technologies, wanted a basic two-workstation POS system for his pizzeria, but the two price quotes he got — $11,000 and $13,000 — blew his budget.
Those denials led Ward and a business partner to create Point of Success POS software for pizza operations in 2003.
"The only thing our software requires is Windows 2000 or XP," Ward said. "And provided that the hardware is recent enough, it'll run fine."
When Tom Jans, owner of TJ's Take & Bake, in Hilton Head Island, S.C., was told a two-station POS system would cost him $15,000, he started shopping around. Jans found Point of Success on the Internet, downloaded its working demo and bought the software. After loading it onto new Dell hardware he had sourced through the Internet, he hired a pro to set up his shop's network. All told, Jans spent $3,000 for three workstations.
"There was no way I could spend 15 grand," Jans said. "But my background is in marketing, so I knew I wanted a POS system for my business."
According to Kim Proudfoot, marketing manager at Toronto-based PixelPoint, also a POS software manufacturer, buying software also broadens hardware choices.
"Because our software can be put on almost any hardware, the user has the choice of getting expensive stuff or really cheap stuff," Proudfoot said. "Some customers don't want to pay too much, while other customers like the bigger (hardware) names they recognize."
Ease of operation and low hardware and software costs virtually eliminate operators' reasons for not getting a POS system, Ward said.
"There's really no reason anymore to track information manually or do paper orders," Ward said. "Customers tell us all the time how easy it is to set up the software and start running it themselves. We have a multimedia training CD that helps them customize every operation."
Jans said purchasing the $99 Time Clock module saved him hundreds. "Just to buy a mechanical time clock costs $300 to $400, so I saved a bunch of money there. It's integrated into the system, which a time clock isn't."