Aloha POS Right For You?
If you want to go bare bones, you could get by with a pocket calculator and a ledger. But if you’re serving more than two customers a day then that can get pretty unwieldy pretty quick. It’s very difficult to operate a thriving business without a good point of sale system in place. Today we will review Aloha POS system.
The problem is that settling on one is a big commitment, and unlike with, say, photo editing software, there’s usually no way to try before you buy. The best you can do is see what others are saying, and make your decision accordingly. To some extent, you have to buy blind when it comes to POS systems, but you can get informed all the same.
If you’ve been shopping around for a point of sale system, then you’ve probably come across Aloha POS from NCR. Aloha is a leading product on the market right now, and NCR comes with a strong reputation for delivering quality service. But again, it’s a big commitment. You might be using the software for years, even decades, so it’s natural to want to proceed with caution and make sure that you’re making the right call before diving in and signing up. So what is it that you need to know before making your decision? What information do you really need before you feel comfortable putting the money down?
What Is Aloha POS All About?
Aloha advertises itself as being focused on improving efficiency and effectiveness in how you run your business. They promise that their reports, bookkeeping features and so on will help you to run your business better, saving and making more money in the day to day operations of running your retail shop, restaurant, warehouse or whatever it is you do for a living. But, every developer of POS software says something along these lines. The question is whether NCR is on the level with these claims.
These are big promises to make, but if you run a business, then you’re not a stranger to disappointment. If you’re shopping for a POS system, then you want to know before you put any money down whether it’s really what it promises to be. It’s a competitive marketplace, and you have a lot of POS systems to choose from. Anyone can promise to be efficient, anyone can promise to make it a little easier to run your business, but you’re probably going to find a lot of duds out there. Making promises is a lot easier than keeping them.
Fortunately, Aloha put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.
The financial reports are easy to read, and the system really does make it easier to run your business efficiently and effectively. The system is both in-depth and intuitive, and it allows you to design the system to run based on your needs, rather than being forced to adapt to how the system wants you to do business. The depth of options here goes quite a ways for any business owner.
The key to Aloha’s effectiveness comes down to customizability. It’s very easy to go into the menus and features in Aloha POS and change what you need to change. Customer loyalty programs are easy to build and other rewards, promotions and deals are just as easy to add to the system. You can change the items on the menus however you like and generally just build the program to do what you want it to do. This is considerably better than the many POS systems out there that essentially leave you using the software as it comes out of the box, and may not feature loyalty programs at all. Why anyone is producing POS systems that are difficult to use in this manner is beyond us, but there it is: Far too many developers of the point of sale systems completely neglect some of the most basic features users expect.
How Does Your POS System Improve Business?
If you’ve read The Tipping Point, then you know that it’s the little things that make a business work. You don’t run a successful business by offering the world’s greatest burger, because who’s to judge? You don’t succeed by overspending on marketing. You succeed because you keep the bathrooms clean, you succeed because you have ample parking, you succeed because you play oldies on the sound system to lend the diner a 1950’s feel. Success comes down to the little things. You do enough of the little things right, and it all adds up.
The right POS system can contribute a lot of those “little things” that will help your business to thrive. One of the main things that users love about Aloha is the sheer speed of it. It will make your business run faster and more efficiently. You’ll spend less time managing the books and more time focusing on improving your business overall. If you’re still a new business owner, it’s easy to forget how much money your time is worth.
Repeat business is key, and this is where Aloha POS can help you the most. Simply not having your customer sit there waiting for your server to figure out how to add pickles to their order, it goes a lot farther than you might think. Fast, responsive service is key to earning repeat business and bringing your customers back over and over again.
Is Aloha Easy To Use?
A powerful point of sale system can be a tremendous tool in running your business, but what good is it if it’s not user-friendly?
The challenge in adopting a new POS system generally comes down to training your staff with it. Just because you can get the results you want out of your POS system doesn’t mean every new trainee will. You’ve probably had this experience before: You’re excited about your new software, you love it, it does everything you want it to do. You show it to your assistant manager and… they can’t make heads or tails of it. They fumble through the menu and they ask for your help every single time they take an order with it.
Fortunately, Aloha is one of the more intuitive POS systems out there right now, however, there are other choices such as poslavu. The live demo will run you through the basics, and they have great support if you need someone to walk you through it. But you can figure it out yourself with a few minutes of fiddling around with the system’s menus. This means you won’t be spending a bunch of money bringing your staff in on weekends to learn how to use the system. They can learn on the job with ease.
Is There Any Room For Improvement From Aloha?
No software is perfect, and Aloha is no exception. Although the reviews we can find online are overwhelmingly positive, there are some negative comments out there. They say that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. If you’re not disappointing anyone, then it’s probably because they’re not invested in what you’re doing in the first place.
So, with that in mind, what are the problems relating to Aloha POS, and are they a dealbreaker for you and for your business?
The fact that there’s no free trial available is too bad, but kind of par for the course with POS software. It’s hard to install a whole system just to give it a test drive. Fortunately, there is a demo available. However, one of the biggest complaints is that the system is a bit expensive to update and upgrade. We can’t tell you what it costs because NCR asks that you contact them directly to get a quote. No two businesses are the same, and the price point will vary whether you’re running a simple food truck or a multi-location chain.
The downsides of using Aloha POS are there, but they’re fairly minor, and NCR do take user feedback into account. Again, no piece of software is perfect. What we like about Aloha, though, is that NCR really is listening to users, releasing regular updates, and addressing concerns. It’s still a work in progress. Some POS systems, you get what you pay for. With Aloha, you get what you pay for, and then some. You might be looking for something a little cheaper right now, but you’ll have to call NCR up and see for yourself.
Is The Aloha Point Of Sale Machine Right For You?
So now you have a pretty good idea of Aloha POS. The question is: Is it right for you?
There’s really no objective “best” choice when it comes to making decisions for your business and there are plenty of choices from first data pos system to clover pos first data. We all have a different customer base, we all run businesses in different industries at different sizes. You might be happy with one location or you might have plans to expand at some point in the future. You need to take your time to figure out what is best for you and your business.
The ideal user for Aloha POS is small to medium-sized business. Aloha is great if you run a business in this range. It comes up a little lacking when you’re talking about running a business with dozens or hundreds of locations if you’re processing thousands and thousands of sales a day. On the other hand, it’s not really perfect for bootstrapping salad-days startups, either. If you’re still finding your feet, then Aloha POS is a bit much and a bit pricey when you’re still uncertain of what you’re going to be earning and what you’re going to be spending each month to keep your business running. The system is really designed for restaurants. It’s good for retail, perfect for restaurants, but maybe not ideal if you’re not running a business that fits that model.
Our advice: Get in touch with NCR and ask them what they can do for you and what it’s going to cost. For some businesses, the service might be a little expensive at this point in their progress. For others, it might be just right. Again, Aloha POS isn’t a system that just advertises a flat price. Rather, they will adjust the plan and charge according to your business size and your needs in operating your company.
If you’ve decided that Aloha is right for your business needs, then you probably won’t regret committing to Aloha POS. NCR offer great service and fast, friendly customer response. The price point can be a bit high for many small businesses, but it is generally reported to be fair, and considerably more affordable than many other leading POS systems. Ultimately Aloha POS is easy to use, well designed, NCR offers great service as a business, and though the system will run you more than a calculator and a legal pad, the money that it saves you in the long run if you use it effectively, will more than make up the difference.