Frequently asked questions

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EPOS F.A.Q

Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) Systems are specialist business computer systems used by shops and restaurants for the main purposes of processing sales transactions, printing customer receipts, controlling stock, tracking payments and producing management and accounting reports. EPoS systems also provide a wide range of other functions depending on your type of business. They provide much greater efficiency, accuracy and control than paper-based systems and superior functionality to conventional cash registers.

1. How do I order an EPoS System?

1. Please contact us by phone or email. One of our consultants will go through your system requirements with you, advising the most suitable solution (arranging a demonstration if necessary) and specifying the appropriate peripherals, accessories, consumables, add-on software modules, programming, staff training and support services.

2. We will then issue you a formal Quotation for the complete package.

3. If you accept the quotation, we will send you a Proforma Invoice for payment and, if applicable, reserve an installation / training date for each of your sites.

4. We will email you the Programming Form, Training Agenda / Staff Profile Form and Site Installation Requirements which need to be completed and returned to us at least 10 days before the installation / despatch date to allow sufficient time for the programming to be scheduled, completed and tested.

In exceptional cases, we can work to shorter timescales but an additional premium to cover additional staff or overtime costs may be incurred.

5. We will either ship the equipment to you by courier or the installer / trainer will bring it with them.

Following the training, the consultant will reset your system (removing any test data) ready for you to start operating. If you will be using stock control, you may need to set your opening stock levels. If you are a retail operation and didnt send us your full product list, then you may need to complete set up of all your products / barcodes / prices before being able to go live with the new system.

If you purchase a system without installation and on-site training, then we can offer telephone or remote online training on certain systems. We we will ship out the programmed system to you following the programming work, and run through any initial set up and operational advice with you by phone and email.

2. Can I pay for the EPoS system in monthly instalments?

Our prices are very affordable so most of our customers prefer to pay in full at the outset, but if you wish to spread the cost with an instalment plan then we can refer you to Technology Leasing if your order is over £4000. We do not offer instalments or credit terms ourselves.

Some companies do offer ‘pay weekly’ or ‘pay monthly’ schemes for purchase of an EPoS System, but be aware of the True Cost of Pay Weekly / Monthly EPoS Systems and also beware of ongoing software licence fees.

With Technology Leasing, you can take delivery and start benefitting from an advanced epos system now but pay for your system over a typical period of 3 years in monthly instalments, with an initial 3-month deposit and a final 3-month purchase payment. There is very little paperwork required and in most cases the leasing company will give a decision within 24 hours and advise the interest charges.

Unlike a bank, leasing companies don’t require any audited accounts, business plans, cashflow forecasts, personal guarantees, property security or other such hurdles. They will provide a decision principally upon a credit check run on the business owner(s). Sole traders, new startups, partnerships and limited companies are all considered.

The total cost of the whole system implementation, including hardware, software, peripherals and installation / training services can be accomodated into the leasing package.

Leasing is a much more sensible funding method than rental, hire or Pay-As-You-Go type of epos systems. With leasing, you get a brand new system and you permanently own the equipment at the end of the lease term and there is no need to pay ongoing software license or mandatory maintenance contract fees to continue using the system.

Please let us know at the outset if you wish to fund your purchase through leasing, as our standard discounts and special offers do not apply.

3. How long does it take to install an EPoS system?

Hardware is typically configured and ready to ship within 5-7 working days. Programming and training is carried out within our work schedule and usually scheduled and completed within 14-21 days of receiving back the completed form. If your requirements are more advanced or you have a large number of products / services, then more time will need to be allowed.

With the Web Ordering System for food delivery businesses, please allow 4-6 weeks for your online ordering portal to be designed and implemented. You will also need to allow time for SecurePayment to set up your merchant account for card payment processing, which typically takes around 2-3 weeks.

We recommend you order a system at least 4-6 weeks before the requirement date as you will also need to allow further time for you and your staff to become familiar with the system and to load on any barcodes, prices and stock levels.

In exceptional cases, we can prepare systems in shorter timescales but this may be subject to payment of a premium to cover additional staff overtime costs. Alternatively, you may opt to hire a basic cash register for interim use.

Most of our customers simply place the epos system components on their point-of-sale counter, optionally screwing down the cash drawer and terminal base plate. But if you are customising your point-of-sale counter for specialist fitting / mounting of the EPoS System components (eg. cash drawer, barcode scanner, card payment terminal, touch screen etc), then we will need to liase with your designer and project manager beforehand. We advise you not to commence any carpentry or similar work until you physically receive the equipment, as the manufacturers stated dimensions do not always state the measurements for rubber feet, protruding cables and air circulation

4. Who will program the EPoS system with my data?

We will send you our Programming Form to complete and return. It is divided into Basic sections and Advanced sections. Basic Programming is suited to most requirements and the cost is covered with the Service Pack.

On completion of our form, we will configure the system with your personalised details and your products, services and prices. We can also enable and configure other functions such as staff timekeeping, discounts, meal deals and mix & match promotions. If you will be using stock control, the opening stock levels, minimum stock levels and re-ordering information may also need to be entered as well as your suppliers details.

Prior to use, all POS systems need to be configured with your business information before they can be operated. This may include header and footer information to be printed on the sales receipt or sales invoice, your company logo, staff names, product categories (or departments) and each individual product line, the applicable tax rate for each product / service, food / drink item and any services you provide. Other operating parameters and system options may also need to be configured to suit your operating requirements.

For retail operations, we can automatically import a list of products with barcode numbers, descriptions and prices from your supplier if they can provide a compatible file. Alternatively we can set up just the product database infrastructure, ready for you to load all your products individually

Advanced programming is charged at an hourly rate and will be quoted for once we receive the completed Programming Form with details of your specific requirements. If you want to get an idea of total programming cost beforehand, please contact us to send us your menu and products list, with details of your requirements and we will issue you with an estimate.

For some types of business (eg. convenience stores, supermarkets) we have a standard database available with the most popular British consumer products with their barcodes and descriptions (eg. Coca Cola 330ml can, Volvic 1.5l Still Water etc). This can optionally be supplied to you for £150. However, you will still need to specify your own selling prices and opening stock levels.

We recommend you use our Basic Programming Service as a minimum so that your system is delivered in a useable form. Many sophisticated systems cannot be self-programmed if you have not had professional training on the software.

Basic Programming is limited to setup of the first 100 products / variations only on the SPS500 / SPS2200 systems, the first 200 products / variations on other systems and configuration of the functions listed at sections 1-10 of our programming form. Additional product setup, advanced functions or importing of spreadsheets will incur additional cost, which we will quote once we receive the details of your products list.

5. Will we receive training on usage of the EPoS system?

Yes, all the systems we supply offer remote training as a minimum. On-site training is also available for your staff and the management. We cover all of the UK, rest of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Training of your staff and management team is essential to help avoid mistakes and for you to gain the maximum benefits from all the different features of the POS system. Trained staff will be more confident in the use of the system, and you will start to benefit from the systems features much earlier.

We provide training both in the use of the system and in ongoing programming changes and amendments. We will agree the training agenda with you prior to installation, covering all the different functions you want your staff and managers to be familiar with.

We provide training on operational use of the system for start of day and end of day tasks, running reports and performing all the different types of sales / refund transactions you will come across in day to day usage. We also provide training for management on how to make programming changes to the system, such as adding new products, changing prices, adding staff login details and updating other reference information.

We will issue you a Training Agenda prior to the training date and a form to complete for each member of staff. This allows us to adapt the training to meet your particular business objectives and operating procedures, taking into account the skills and experience of each member of staff.

On most of systems, Staff Training is mandatory if you do not have an owner / manager who is already fully familiar with the particular EPoS system. Mandatory training cannot be waived if, for example, you have a family member or a friend who is an “IT Wizard” and “knows all about computers”. The training does not cover IT or general computing issues – it covers the specialist functions of the particular epos software and hardware by an expert EPoS Systems Consultant. The English documentation supplied with epos systems is only a summary reference guide, it is not a step-by-step tutorial and that is why expert training is necessary to supplement it, and the training has to be customised for your particular type of business and your internal procedures.

Remote training costs £65 per hour and 1.5 – 2 hours is sufficient for most of our systems. On-site training sessions start from £325 for a half-day (3.5 hours) session and £495 for a full-day (6 hour) session. The trainer’s reasonable travel expenses are payable for on-site installation and training.

6. What if something goes wrong with the EPoS system?

The hardware systems we supply have been carefully chosen from leading manufacturers for their quality and durability so they are designed to give you years of trouble free usage. All hardware we supply is covered by the manufacturers return-to-base warranty as a minimum, which is normally 3 years on SAM4S products and 1 or 2 years on other equipment – check the equipment profile on our website.

In the unlikely event that something does break down due to manufacturing defect or operating failure, it will be repaired or replaced under warranty. However, physical damage, unauthorised tampering, misuse and liquid damage is not covered. After the warranty period or for non-warranty issues, equipment can still be replaced or repaired subject to standard parts and labour charge and any shipping / call-out charges.

The standard warranty is a Return to Base warranty where equipment diagnosed as faulty will need to be returned to our UK service location by you on receipt of a Returns Authorisation Number. We will cover the cost of returning repaired / replaced equipment to you in the UK. Outside the UK, you will need to pay the shipping costs for return of equipment too.

Typically warranty repairs can take 3-5 working days for turnaround. On-site Warranty Service or a 48-hour Swap Out Service is optionally available – please contact us with your address and equipment details for a quote on this service. Loan equipment may be hired for the duration of any repair, subject to delivery charges and stock availability.

You are responsible for backup of your data on a daily basis to reliable media and to test the backup frequently. Data recovery or re-programming is not covered under the warranty so it is essential you backup your data and the programs to avoid incurring service charges. The backup procedure is covered during training and email step-by-step instructions are also available on request.

7. What if I have any queries using the EPoS software?

A Remote Support Subscription is provided as part of the Sercvie Pack FOR THE FIRST 12 MONTHS. We provide support during our weekday office hours by telephone, remote internet connection (where available on your system) and by email. The service operates on a queuing system basis with most queries responded to the same day or following working day.

There is an optional out-of-hours support service available for purchase as and when required.

If you do not book training or programming, then technical support is still available for 1 year but by email and remote access only.

All support calls are made to our standard landline London telephone number – we do not use premium rate lines. All our support staff are in London, UK – we do not contract support to overseas call centres. Calls are logged and then responded to within the scope of a queuing system.

On Site Support services, Priority Support and Extended Hours Support during evenings/weekends are also available either for ad-hoc purchase or on a paid annual subscription.

If you opt to renew a Remote Support Subscription after the free 12 month period then it will cost only £25+vat per month per site, payable annually.

In our experience, most users have queries during the first few of days of implementation as they master the various features of the software. As our systems are stable and easy to use, we receive very little demand for support beyond the implementation period so we do not make it mandatory to pay for support continuously and indefinitely – it is entirely optional.

Remote Support Subscriptions which have lapsed for more than a month can be renewed at anytime for £32+vat per month per site but the service start date will commence 14 days after renewal.

8. Will I receive program upgrades?

The program upgrade policy varies depending on the particular software vendor. Please ask us about the policy for your intended software package.

With the rom-based systems such as the SPS500 and SPS2000 / SPS2200, there are no future program upgrades included. The latest version of the program, available at the time you order, will be pre-installed onto the terminal before being delivered to you.

With some of the Windows-based EPoS software we supply, future program upgrades are issued free if you have a paid support subscription in place. Without a subscription, if you specifically require the new features of a program upgrade you will need to purchase the upgrade separately.

As the systems we supply are stable, tested, universally used and well established, many of our users are satisfied with the delivered version of the system and do not have requirements for future software upgrades. We suggest you carefully define your current and foreseeable requirements at the outset and then choose a system which meets those needs, rather than having to rely on future program upgrades.

Providers who need to issue regular program upgrades are usually indicative of bug-ridden software or incomplete functionality. Stable, reliable software with comprehensive functions does not require regular program upgrades.

9. Are there any ongoing costs?

There are NO mandatory ongoing costs with any of our EPoS systems – you pay once and the hardware and EPoS software license is yours indefinitely. There are no ongoing monthly or quarterly license fees to continue using the EPoS system and EPoS software.

If you opted for leasing, then obviously you will have your agreed payment obligations direct to the leasing company.

Exceptions:
1. If you purchased the Postcode Anywhere service for or use with our Food Delivery systems, then you will need to purchase credits to use this facility from PCA Predict or an annual subscription.
2. If you purchased the Newspaper Round Software then the monthly or annual subscription for that module is payable to the software vendor each year.
3. If you purchased the integrated credit card processing module, then you will need to pay the monthly payment gateway fee to the service provider and transaction charges to the merchant account provider.
4. The optional Management Real-Time Control Software for Sentinel Touch has an annual fee of £150 after the first year.
5. The Web Ordering System costs £85+vat per month, plus any card payment merchant account fees.

If you require technical support from us beyond the first year, then you can optionally subscribe to one of our paid service subscriptions. These start from £25+vat per month per site, offering support by phone and email during weekday office hours. Alternatively, you can pay for ad-hoc services such as additional traning or support as and when required at our standard consultancy rates.

Regardless of your support subscription, your hardware is always covered for the full duration of the warranty. This is 3 years on Sam4s equipment, and 1 or 2 years on other brand equipment (check the product profile page on our website). We will be the first point of contact for assisting with any hardware faults and warranty claims.

You will obviously need to allow for ongoing purchase of consumables (eg. receipt printer rolls, credit card machine rolls, ink ribbons for kitchen printers). All our equipment uses universal type and sizes of consumables that are widely available. These can be purchased from us or your local stationery supplier.

10. What about credit card processing?

There are 2 options. You can either use a stand-alone card payment terminal alongside any of our epos systems, or alternatively (with some of our specific epos systems in the UK) you can take out a subscription for an integrated card payment terminal.

With your own stand-alone card payment terminal, you will simply need to re-key the transaction amount onto the payment terminal and then press “paid by card” on the epos system. With an integrated card payment terminal, the epos system will automate entry of the amount – the cardholder simply needs to confirm the amount and key-in their pin number on the secure pin pad that is connected to the system.

If you wish to go for the integrated card payment solution, then on our Windows-based Touch solutions (Q5, V400, T3000 and T5000 packages) you can add an integrated credit card processing module in the UK. A chargeable on-site visit by a technician is usually required to configure and integrate the terminal to the epos system. There is a monthly rental cost for the PIN Pad and payment gateway (connected through an internet connection). You will also need to apply to set up a new merchant account through Consolis Payments, SagePay or Payment Sense. The merchant account provider will also charge its usual card payment processing fees. Typically most banks charge around 0.5-0.9% for debit card payments, between 1.3% – 1.9% for credit card payments and 2.0% – 2.4% for corporate credit cards. The subscription is usually for 3 years and can be terminated thereafter with 1 months notice. Integration is only available with a wired terminal, it will not work with a mobile or portable card payment terminal.

Integrated credit card processing is also available in the UK on our ROM-based solutions such as the SPS500 and SPS2200 systems at around £18 – £24.99+vat per month on a 3 year agreement. You will need to sign up to a merchant account and payment services gateway through Consolis Payments.

Note: The merchant account and secure payment gateway subscription will form a direct contract between you and the service provider. EposSystems.Com is not party to this contract and you are advised to check the full terms and conditions directly with the provider prior to sign up.

11. Will I be able to delete transactions without trace?

Like with any accounts system, our EPoS systems do allow errors to be corrected at the time or the same day and allow credit notes and invoice adjustments to be posted afterwards provided the user has sufficient permission. There will be a sequentially numbered audit trail of each transaction. If you purposefully delete any entries, there will be a gap in the numbering sequence.

One of the main purposes of an EPoS system is to provide you with accurate sales analysis data, gross profit reports, accurate stock control and monthly / yearly comparison and trends. Using this information you can properly assess the true performance of your business and make decisions on your stock holding, your sales pricing and on your sales and marketing activities. Deleting actual sales data just defeats the primary objectives of having a sophisticated EPoS system and it is not a practice we recommend or support – you may be better off using a simple cash register or a paper-based invoice pad.

12. Where will my data be stored?

All your business data will be stored on your own server or master terminal locally at your premises. Our systems do not store your data on remote cloud servers where other people or companies may have access to it. Your sales data, supplier data, prices, customer database, accounting and all other data is exclusively held by you. That makes operation of our systems much faster than any cloud based system.

During training, we teach you how to regularly back up your data to an external device to protect against fire, theft, flood, virus, disk failure or other unforeseen damage. You may back up your data to a USB pen drive, a memory card, an external CD/DVD disk, an external hard drive or to another computer.

You are responsible for backing up your business data. Please contact us if you didnt book training and need instructions for backup. Computer data can get damaged at any time through a number of reasons from virus infection, hardware failure to disk corruption or your equipment may be subject to theft or damage from fire, flood or other catastrophe. You must ensure you back up your data at least daily, maintain a log sheet of each back up, test and label the back up and store it in a safe place. A month-end back up should also be taken, labelled and retained and we recommend it is stored off-site.

13. What else might I need?

INTERNET CONNECTION:
If you have one of our Windows-based systems or back office software and require remote access or multii-site connectivity, or if you are using Integrated Credit Card Processing, then you will require an Internet connection. With the SamStock software, a Static IP address will be required at each site from your internet services provider and only our Draytek Router is compatible. With any of our other systems, any compatible broadband router may be used. If you are providing your own Router/Switch, please ensure it has sufficient ports for each till / terminal and back-office PC.

If you will be using Wireless Waiter Terminals or Wireless Ethernet Kitchen Printer, then you will require a good quality WiFi signal throughout the areas of your premises where these devices will be used.

CAT5 CABLING:
If you are having multiple terminals, then these will be networked together using CAT5 Ethernet cabling. (CAT6 is also compatible). A CAT5 socket will need to be fitted within 1 metre of each till point, with all the cables being run back to the central position where your Router/Switch is installed. You can either use a local electrician or data cabling company to do the cabling, or we can arrange a site-survey and quote you. Typically, most cablers charge between £25-40 per point. The cables must be properly terminated with a socket and tested – please do not leave loose wires.

REMOTE KITCHEN / BAR PRINTER :
If you are using remote order printers, then a Serial or CAT5 cable (depending on which printer model/interface you have ordered) will need to be run between one of the terminals and the printers. Please let us know the length of cable required, and we will make up and supply the correct cable for you. You will need to arrange for a local tradesman to install the cable if it involves any carpentry or drilling work, removing any ceiling tiles, skirting boards or fitting any trunking / clipping.

REMOTE KITCHEN MONITOR SYSTEM:
If you are using remote kitchen monitor, then a CAT5 cable will need to be run to the kitchen monitor system. You may also need a wall bracket or ceiling bracket fitted to hold the kitchen monitor and a shelf to mount the mouse/keypad and a shelf / box to hold the computer unit.

POWER POINTS:
Each till / terminal will require a power point. Each receipt printer / kitchen printer will require a power point. Each kitchen monitor system will require 2 power points. Cables are typically 1metre in length, so the power socket should be within that range, and closer if you wish to have a tidy cable run. If you will be using a card payment terminal and counterfeit note detection equipment, they may also require their own power points. If you will be using wireless waiter terminals or handheld mobile scanners, then their charging cradles will also require power points. We always advise the use of fixed sockets, not extension cable or multi-way adapters. It is also advisable to have an UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) on the main terminal in case of power cut, power surge or spikes in the supply as these are a common cause of problems that can damage your data, hard drive and/or motherboard.

ACCESSORIES & CONSUMABLES that you may require:
* Dallas keys for staff login and belt clips/reels
* Wall mount brackets for kitchen printer
* Splash cover for kitchen printer
* Undercounter brackets for cash drawers
* Paper rolls for receipt printers, kitchen printers and credit card terminals
* Label rolls for shelf edge labels and product barcode labels
* Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) battery backup for server and terminals
* Ink Cartridges for Kitchen/Bar printers