Wondering about the life of your POS hardware?

If you are like most small businesses you are doing your best to extract every minute from your hardware and software without having to replace them.

But have you ever thought about what the “cost” to your business will be if you wait until the hardware or software dies. The thing is, especially with hardware, it is all good until it isn’t!! Talk to any store owner who has experienced the nightmare of a server or host till that is down. Staff scrambling around to find calculators to manually tally purchases, customers, who may or may not be sympathetic to the technological plight and an inventory that was pretty much spot on, is now out of whack!

And…bottom line, with some planning and a proactive approach to their store’s hardware, they could have greatly reduced the chance of this happening.

Should you replace your hardware?

Research says a good place to start is with the manufacturer’s warranty. Although today many of the warranties are only a few years, it is a good bet that if the manufacturer is prepared to provide support for that period of time, you can probably rest easy. Once the warranty expires, it does not mean that the equipment is on its way to “crashing”, but it does mean that it is now past its optimum performance and reliability and you should start thinking about your plan to replace and upgrade.

Here is a guide to the life of hardware:

Servers: 3-5 years                                                            Printers: 3 years

Laptops: 3 years                                                               Networking equipment: 3-5 years

Desktop PCs: 3-5 years                                                  Cell Phones: 2-3 years

Let’s face it…most of us have cell phones and have had for many years. And, are guilty of counting down the days when we can upgrade our phone to the newer, faster, sleeker model. Once the day arrives, we rush into the store, current model in hand only too happy to hand it over to the Sales Associate to then leave with our upgraded phone! And…not for free. Sure, they spin the numbers and talk about plans, but the truth is, we are paying for the upgrade. And, surprisingly, we are happy to do so!!

What is your financial plan?

The phone is not the heartbeat of your business…the server or host till is. Why not adopt the same approach and upgrade to a newer, faster, sleeker model? I know what you are thinking…this is going to cost much more than my cell phone. True, but affordable payment options are available. Or, start now and create an IT budget in the same way you may have a marketing budget or training budget for your store. By having a plan in place, it will remove the “nightmare” of a server crashing or sluggish PCs and the cost of replacing them.

And… the best plan is to avoid “cutting and pasting” to fix an IT problem with the hopes of getting another a few more years out of your system. If you tally up the time, productivity and money it takes to band-aid, it is not worth it in the long run.

What to do now?

  • Start by reviewing all the warranties on your current hardware and software.
  • Create a budget or projected plan for the upgrades.
  • Have a contingency plan. In our experience, when there is a system failure, it takes TIME to get a store up and running again – purchasing and shipping the hardware, programming, data transfer, etc.

Being proactive and prepared will always be your best defense.  Still not sure…check out this video from Lenovo.  It might help change your mind!