Total Cost of Ownership
by Steve Hanrahan – Business Development Manager, AURES UK
Are You Getting the Best Deal
on your POS system?
The costs of purchasing and running POS terminals and software for Australian, North American and European businesses is going up, like almost everywhere in the world.
In that case, now seems like the ideal time for all users to ask serious questions about whether they are getting the best value out of their POS solution, and if not, what they can do about it.
Evaluating True Cost
The first question POS customers should be asking is whether they have a clear picture of what their point of sale equipment is costing them in the first place. In many cases, businesses equate the cost of POS terminals only, with the initial capital outlay involved in purchasing the system. But this ignores the ongoing running and maintenance costs involved with any computerised system.
According to research commissioned by AURES Technologies, initial capital costs account for as little as a third (34 per cent) of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a system or POS terminal.
Typically, a customer will pay between 210 and 350 USD per terminal a year in support calls and maintenance. More significantly, a terminal failover will cost a retailer an average of 460 USD per hour. When you operate several terminals, that quickly adds up to a considerable ongoing expense.
If these costs continue to rise, this will have a significant impact on retailers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, pub and cafe owners, and businesses in the leisure industry. Getting control of those costs and looking where value savings can be made will become increasingly important. But to do that, more POS system operators will have to look at costs in terms of TCO, rather than just capital outlay.
A number of different factors influence the total cost of ownership of an POS hardware and therefore the ability of a customer to reduce costs. These include build quality and reliability, longevity, scalability and how maintenance service contracts are structured.
The better the build quality of a system, and the less maintenance it needs, the cheaper it is going to be to run over time. This is an important factor when weighing up purchasing decisions in the first place, as you usually end up getting better value over time from a higher priced, higher quality product. This also applies to longevity - the sooner you have to replace a terminal, the sooner you are going to incur the capital purchase costs all over again, quickly cancelling out any savings you made initially.
A number of computer build components have been proven to increase reliability and longevity of POS hardware. Solid state drives and fanless temperature control reduce the number of moving parts in a terminal, which are always weak points. Projective Capacitive Touch (PCT) screens have been shown to be more durable as well as more responsive than normal touchscreen technology. Finally, integrated screen and processor units raise fewer compatibility issues than distributed systems which link up to an ordinary PC.
AURES deploys such components across our integrated POS range – multi-touch projected capacitive (PCAP) screens are standard, while our YUNO terminal is fanless and the SANGO is available as a solid state option. Consequently the AURES POS terminals have a less than 1 per cent failure rate.