Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Point of Sale Buying Tip: What are "Workarounds"?

If you have ever taken on the task of shopping for a computer or tablet/smartphone point of sale system for your business or organization, you may have asked if the system can perform a specific function and the response was "no but there is a 'workaround'".

If you already have a point of sale system, you may have been told the same thing if you asked about something that you want the system to do for you.  So what the heck is a "workaround"?

Workarounds are creative ways to make your point of sale system do something that it was not officially designed to do. The most common requests are feature/function related like the following:

  • Gift Registries
  • Special Orders
  • Return to Vendor/Return to Manufacture
  • Food Waste
  • Transfers Between Locations
  • Consignment Sales
  • Bar Tabs
  • Order Sequencing
There are plenty more that I have been asked about over the last 15 years but the above are the most common.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you receive a workaround related answer to a "can the system do XYZ?" question:
  1. Have the technician or sales rep show you how the workaround would function in a liver version of the point of sale system.
  2. Make sure that the workaround does not effect other aspects of the system.
    1. ie - causing inaccurate reports
    2. ie - you can use the layaway function for a gift registry but what happens if you also need to use the layaway function for actual layaways?
  3. Make sure the workaround does not negatively effect any financial data
I hope that helps! Please visit my contact page for information on how to reach me.

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