The Latest Trends in POS Systems For 2021
Andres Prieto
/ Categories: All, All, Opinion, Blog

The Latest Trends in POS Systems For 2021

It wasn’t really that long ago that the primary tool a golf operator used to manage their business was a paper tee sheet, and there are still some operators today using this as a solution for scheduling and tracking golfers on the tee sheet.  However, if your needs are more complex than just time and name based reservations, you probably recognize that few areas of the golf business are changing faster than point of sale business management solutions. Your system today has countless responsibilities ranging from digital transactions and PCI Compliance to full revenue management, tracking and reporting.  Considering the benefits of a new system with contemporary functionality and capabilities is always interesting but getting managers and staff members on board for a change, that’s a different story altogether. 

 

But My System is Only a Few Years Old

Technology moves fast today, with changes happening in very short time windows and customers believing your business should offer the same efficiencies and conveniences that other businesses provide them every day.  Just a few of the characteristics that are expected today, that weren’t expected 18 months ago:

  • Prepaid Online Tee Times
  • Dynamic Pricing and Yield Management Tools
  • Frictionless Payments with Credit Cards on File and Tap-to-Pay Apple and google wallet.
  • Online/Mobile Tournament registration and payment
  • Online/Mobile Dining Reservations
  • Automated Open-to-Buy systems
  • Automated Integrations with Accounting solutions
  • Interactive and customized reporting views and reports
  • Member self-service tools that include automated statements, online statement review and profile management.

Often, the challenge with legacy software systems is that they have caused operators to supplement their weaknesses with standalone tools that better serve their needs.  All too often we find a property with 3-4 different technology systems, all isolated within departments, and none of them fully integrated to improve and enhance the member and customer experience.  There has never been a stronger need for a fully integrated, single database system that shares information in real time across all departments.  The operational efficiencies alone often deliver a significant return on investment in the first year.

Legacy golf course software systems also rely upon expensive hardware at your property that means you’re never running the latest software version available, often trapped in a version that is several years old, and without software upgrades, bug fixes, and new tools. 

 

Is a Cloud based system right for you?

There are generally two types of systems, on-premise and cloud based.  With an on-premise solution your server sits on your property and stores all your critical data.  Frequently, an on-premise server is desirable when your internet provider is slow, unreliable, or inconsistent.  If this is your reality, then an on-premise system is likely your only choice since the cost of having the internet cause your system to be down is too impactful to member and guest experiences. 

However, if your internet service is strong, reliable, and rarely disconnected, a cloud based system might be a very attractive alternative.  With a cloud provider, software updates are completed immediately, so you are always running the latest and greatest version of the platform.

A cloud based system is also a more secure system.  If you’ve never heard of ransomware attacks be thankful, as these cryptovirology attacks can perpetually block access to the system unless a ransom is paid.  As a victim of a ransomware attack, I can tell you this is both shocking and expensive.  Imagine having to tell owners, members, and customers that all of their private information has been hacked and your system is inoperable unless you pay thousands of dollars to a cyber hacker.

 

Old Systems Equal Old Data

Shouldn’t your POS system be more than just a tool to process transactions and record sales?

While many operators are collecting data, it’s those who are actually taking action with the insights from those metrics that are finding real and actionable opportunities for improved sales and profits.

Are you managing one BIG list of customers?  Is this the list you use every time you send an email announcement?  Or are you segmenting your database into smaller and more refined lists that reflect behavioral purchases that you know customers in your database have actually done?

Your POS data can provide you with plenty of product-specific insights:

  • Purchase History- Learn what specific customers like, then make smart recommendations for future purchases and retargeting campaigns. Consumers want personalized offers that reflect their tastes and preferences.
  • Sales by product: Identify sales trends by product (or category) and evaluate pricing increases on those items to drive incremental profit, while removing those items that are failing to gain popularity and sales in both retail and food and beverage.
  • Track what your members and customers aren’t doing as well. Do you have an idea of the behavior a member exhibits prior to cancelling their membership?  Do their transactions suddenly stop and they don’t make a F&B purchase in 6 months, or don’t buy golf balls for 90 days.  Tracking what your members and customers do is important, but equally so is what they haven’t done, giving you the opportunity to reach out to them before they get comfortable resigning or taking their business elsewhere.

 

Time for a Technology Review

The 1st Quarter of every year is usually the time operators take an inventory of what the new technology trends are in the industry and how those trends can be a point of leverage for business growth and performance.  Contact a provider that you’re interested in and see what they have that’s new, ask them about the client examples that solved a problem that you face today, and lastly, outline a pain point you currently have today, that if you solved would really improve your quality of work life.  There are a lot of great technology providers that are very capable and very experienced.  Who knows, you just might find yourself preparing for a new system that changes the way your busines operates!

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