You do your job, and now it’s time for a customer to give you some money. An age old, time honoured process. The fancy term: Point-of-Sale. It seems like a simple thing, but in today’s world of digital sales and prosperous capitalism, the industry of moving and tracking money (and goods) from customer to service provider is a $46 billion dollar global business. The experts expect it to be well over $100 billion by 2025.
Cash registers sure have come a long way.
There are many topics to cover, but let’s quickly look at three big drivers of the Point-of-Sale revolution and how they impact the auto shop business (whether you’re glass, collision or mechanical).
Point-of-Sale driver 1: Mobility
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The smartphone, we believe, is not a passing fad. With the explosion of apps and affordable(ish) data plans, anyone can fit a fully functional “cash” register in their pocket. This has huge implications for shops and auto services that operate outside of brick and mortar establishments, such as mobile mechanics, PDR folks and glass repairers.
What’s more: the normalization of the digital age means that more people will be comfortable paying with their phone, fingerprint, or face (seriously)—as well as accepting invoice by email. With a POS application on their phone, you can not only collect payment, but also capture email, phone number, or upsell: all with a few taps, practically anywhere.
Point-of-Sale driver 2: Centralization
The idea of doing everything from one’s phone (we’re waiting for the ability to fix cracks using an app… that technology might take some time) extends from the device right up into the good ol’ cloud.
What does this mean? Well, since so many business processes are now web-based, all the data and associated operations get stored in “one place,” which makes it much easier for all these things to help each other out.
For example, consider the case of the single shop operator who has two in-house techs and two mobile techs. The shop’s website, scheduler and POS system are all online, and all connected to that enigmatic cloud. Thanks to this, the techs can operate independently, yet the shop manager can see all their schedules. Customers who visit the website can see a redacted version of the full schedule, and request appointments based on open slots. When they do this, the next available tech gets an alert on their phone (and can immediately call, email, text or confirm with the customer).
Extend this example to the multi-store operator—all this activity is going on across 40 shops, times 10 techs each, over three geographies with different tax laws. Corporate would really like to see accurate comparisons between sales volumes, especially the customer self-booking stuff versus traditional appointments. Imagine trying to gather all that data using email, spreadsheets, paper invoices… no thank you.
However, a centralized POS system—integrated with a scheduler and reporting tool—can deliver insights automatically, with fancy charts, and in real or near real time.
The future is a fun place.
Point-of-Sale driver 3: Speed
That last piece was hefty, so let’s end on a dead simple concept.
At the end of the day, all these digitized and mobile tools have the aim to take time away from administrative tasks and give you more time to do what you do best: fix stuff. As processing power keeps speeding up, computers can do more and more.
Faster POS = more time fixing = more customers, happier customers, happier insurance carriers = more profit.
All across the Point-of-Sale world, customers and services providers alike will come to expect lightning fast, seamless experiences.
This is because of superfast, super tiny computers that we carry around with us, whether they be in our phones or grafted under our skin (oh yeah, it’s happening). The centralization of all the data will add further convenience, from the techs on the front line to the COO’s office down at corporate.
Here at Ritty, we are pumped to be part of this journey. We’re a fully online POS designed specifically for auto shops. Part of the way we use centralization is via integrations with auto-specific systems like NAGS and GLAXIS, and business tools like QuickBooks. And nothing out there beats Ritty on speed—sign up in less than a minute, create a full invoice in less than five, master the whole system in an hour (or less).
That’s our quick pitch! To learn more and try it free for 14 days, hit the button below!