Barron McCann - Delivering Service Excellence

6 things to consider before upgrading store hardware

Beyond appeasing the needs of the CIO, IT Directors, Financial Directors and store designers (and perhaps others) the practical and functional implications of selecting the right piece of IT hardware for your store operations can be fraught with challenges. The implications of a purchase, that will ultimately affect your entire commercial operations, are quite often left to a post-production picture on a website and a specification sheet – which is a great start…but what other considerations do you need to make? And does seeing the physical hardware really matter?
Our top 5 considerations in hardware selection:

2. The ‘Fit’

Aesthetically it is important to see the hardware to ensure that it will fit within your store environment. Seeing the physical hardware allows you to judge the style, colour and finish, to ensure there is a match to your corporate style and ambiance of the stores. Beyond aesthetics, considerations as to the robustness and build quality are critical in ensuring the hardware is fit for purpose. High usage equipment may demand a higher level of build quality, or protection, to minimise the failure rate through normal use.

3. The Brand

There is a tendency to adopt the ‘you get what you pay for’ mentality when purchasing IT for retail, but quite often this doesn’t reflect the truth of hardware offerings. Buying in to a branded article can indeed offer some peace of mind, but there are often equally impressive ‘up and comers’ offering similar, or superior products which shouldn’t simply be discounted on the name.

4. Software

Pre-loading your software onto possible hardware options is valuable in ensuring the hardware fully supports your systems. By implementing this test, early in the buying process, you can ensure there are no surprises closer to rollout.

The smart choice for retail IT solutions

5. Connected

It is unlikely that your hardware will be used in solitude and considering all current connected devices, and future planned upgrades, you can extend the lifecycle of your selection through futureproofing your decision.

6. Vetting

Knowing how quickly replacement parts can be dispatched, typical failure rates, common faults and the complexity of repairs are all critical questions to ask when selecting hardware. The lifecycle of considered hardware can offer reassurance into expected warranty periods, the availability of spares (present and future), product support (in and out of lifecycle), and the strength of the cost (which may take a tumble with the launch of new equipment).


Conclusion: Whilst you can gain a lot of useful knowledge from online reviews there are certain aspects of purchasing IT equipment which benefit from a hands-on approach. Configuration options, sizes and fit within your brand’s operation are often best understood from experiencing the tangible hardware – our Experience Suite provides the opportunity to see a critically selected range to satisfy your retail, hospitality, restaurant and banking operations.

 


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