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New Year, New POS - Same Problems

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

A store closed during the pandemic
Retail Stores

Hit the ground running when the latest wave subsides, and trading resumes in earnest - POS system

  • Ongoing pandemic-related issues mean havoc for all kinds of businesses

  • We’re seeing a move from ‘just in time’ to ‘just in case’ supply models

  • Element’s stock position means we are uniquely placed to support you

COVID is not going away, and one of the ways in which this is painfully evident is through closures of businesses such as restaurants. These establishments simply don’t have enough staff available in order to function -- too many people are either actively unwell or isolating. Throughout this time, for businesses such as these, POS systems are obviously not getting used. But for legacy hardware, the clock doesn’t stop ticking as the use-by date for the 4:3 format creeps ever closer.

The same staffing challenges have led to conspicuously empty shelves in supermarkets, not to mention major supply chain problems in a diverse variety of industries.

Fishin’ for chips

The global chip shortage is a direct result of COVID-19: key factories and manufacturing plants had to be closed down in order to help contain the virus. At the time of writing, the Omicron variant is causing unprecedented levels of infection across Australia, with associated absences from onsite work -- for example, at shipping terminals -- as people are compelled to self-isolate.

Meanwhile, demand for semiconductors is greater than ever before, as technologies such as IoT (internet of things), 5g connectivity and electric cars are becoming increasingly desirable. Another major factor is that working from home -- which forced many people to upgrade their hardware -- became an essential part of ‘the new normal’, leading to a spike in sales of computer-related tech.

These shortages are not going to start easing until at least the third quarter of 2022, although some experts suggest that supply may not catch up with demand until 2023.

This just in

This combination of shortages has influenced a shift from ‘just in time’ to ‘just in case’ supply models. With the ‘just in time’ framework, businesses would wait until stock declined to a set threshold before resupplying. Now that unpredictable peaks in demand have become the norm, coupled with inconsistencies in supply, manufacturers and vendors are under pressure for stock to be available ‘just in case’.

At Element, we have been working very closely with Sektor, our distribution partner for Australia and New Zealand, to proactively navigate supply droughts. We adopted the ‘just in case’ model more than a year ago, enabling us to stock up on terminals, and we are looking ahead to new technologies -- including a modular POS system designed by Element from the ground up.

This allows us to support your business with the right POS hardware to maximise transaction speeds, empowering you to hit the ground running once business resumes in earnest.

Ways to survive the pandemic

Being in the grip of yet another COVID outbreak puts you in a position of having to do more with less staff and an unreliable supply chain. Squeeze every cent of revenue you can from the business you DO get by making sure you are working with the right supplier and you’ve got the right technology platform, as well as the right software vendor.

  • Faster transaction speeds allow retailers, gyms, hotels and other businesses to minimise queueing and increase customer satisfaction. In an age of Google reviews, can you really afford a slow and clumsy transaction?

  • Improved layout efficiency on a 16:9 screen with higher resolution offers space for more buttons. Factor in support for scalable omnichannel software, and you end up with less layers to click through in order to finalise a sale.

  • More efficient transaction experience reduces stress for staff and impatience for customers. Especially if you’re operating at minimum staffing levels and existing personnel have to work harder than ever, the last thing they need is potential frustration caused by legacy hardware.

At Element, we are all too keenly aware of the same old problems that retailers are facing. That’s why we’re here to make the #lastmile a smooth and effortless experience for you, your staff and your customers.

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