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Caroline Gooding

Best practices when integrating POS with hardware

It can seem like the retail environment changes daily. As you consider how overwhelmed your customers may feel as they strategize about reacting to these changes, remember ScanSource has the point-of-sale experience that can simplify this process. We also offer the resources needed to create POS solutions that boost your business—and your customer’s business, too. Learn more below.

Point-of-sale (POS) resellers looking to boost brand recognition often turn to hardware manufacturers— because a partnership integrating their software solutions with hardware is an effective way of going to market. Teaming up with hardware vendors allows resellers actively to participate in the retail ecosystem as they gain a good understanding of the channels, players, and value that retail-specific hardware delivers.

For best results, resellers should get acquainted with the needs and challenges of their products’ consumers—the retailers—to learn the grade of product required. Zero in on hardware that’s the best fit, and identify a partner with a well-developed channel program and a solid support structure.

To help you choose the best-possible vendor partner—one with a good market position, reputation, and track record of delivering high-quality products—consider the following:

Communication = smooth integration

For a painless transition, there should be ongoing communication between resellers and hardware manufacturers, so you can ask questions and seek assistance when necessary. Having a dedicated staff working closely with the hardware partner is a good idea. Check that the technologies and standards underpinning the hardware devices are stable and reliable, and then identify any assumptions and paradigms. This all happens through communication, which helps build trust.

Have questions ready

As you start working with vendors, questions are bound to come up about topics like available SDKs (software development kits) and APIs, so try to anticipate as many as possible. When questions are answered upfront, you and your partner will more quickly understand the functionality of the hardware and its interaction with the software—so you can prepare the product documentation and support materials to guide integration.

Support each other

Resellers need to offer technical and sales support to their hardware partners. Integration also is new for the hardware manufacturer, so it may be necessary to create APIs and documentation to make the process work.

Keep hardware partners up to date on your solutions, informing them of any software upgrades that might affect them. The same is true when making product updates. Set up a lab to test integration and updates, to ensure they function properly before customer rollouts.

Set a realistic timeline

The length of integration varies based on several factors, including the effort required to get the hardware and software to work together. It’s important that resellers not “rush to hardware” and, instead, take time to explore, learn, and vet their partner. Be realistic about how much time the process will take, to avoid making promises you can’t keep. As the integration progresses, and the vendor partnership evolves, be ready to deal with the unexpected. The better prepared you are, the smoother the process.

Integration with vendors and third-party applications is crucial to success and scalability. Sales and development teams want this process to be fast and efficient, and hardware providers can help make that happen. To learn more about integrating POS with hardware, to create a total solution, visit ScanSource and APG Cash Drawer today. ScanSource has exactly what you need to make this process as easy as possible for your retail customers—including the valuable resources to help build your business, and your bottom line.