Getting To The Root Cause Of

Underperforming POS Equipment



For small grocery stores – and really any retail location – the point-of-sale system is their lifeblood. Without these terminals and related back-end infrastructure, the business can’t make sales. A small shop can only rely on manual ledgers and cash transactions for so long before records become incomprehensible and sales slow down to a trickle and then nothing. Needless to say, any company that wants to stay afloat needs its POS system running smoothly all the time.

This is even the case for stores that might seem like they’re a quaint throwback. Behind the fresh produce and baked goods right out of the oven is typically a POS system underpinning everything. When this POS network goes down or lags, the whole business suffers. This exact unfortunate scenario was felt by one small East Coast retailer in 2015. After much trial and error, it luckily found the ideal solution: Powervar. By protecting its POS infrastructure with Powervar power conditioning equipment, this small retailer was able to keep its cash flow going unabated and stay running smoothly.

Getting to the root of POS problems

For the first 18 months of operation, one small East Coast food retailer – which specializes in selling freshly grown fruits and vegetables, fresh baked goods, quality pasta, homemade wines and other jarred goods – had no problem with its POS system. This infrastructure consisted of four POS terminals within the main store plus a fifth one in the office that had the credit card terminal attached to it.

However, by July 2015, things started to go downhill for the shop. At that time, staff members noticed that it took them much longer than before to process credit card transactions. What used to take about 5 seconds at the four in-store registers now took close to 5 minutes. This clearly needed to be fixed right away, as staff couldn’t spend so much time processing every single customer’s credit and debit card information. A five-minute wait for every patron would have meant constant long lines, upset customers, lost business and a severely diminished reputation in the community.

Additionally, the store was having difficulty using and communicating with the PC software underpinning its POS infrastructure. The software would send data, but only intermittently. A failure in the data transfer process would cause them to have to resend information, resulting in a lot of wasted time.

Revealing power as the hidden culprit

With seemingly all other possibilities checked off as not the cause of the problems, Gonzalez went to see if power quality concerns were the source of the issues for the store. To that end, POS and Credit Solutions installed Powervar ABCG065-11 ground guard power conditioners on every router and register in the business. Lo and behold, all of the previous problems disappeared once Powervar power conditioning solutions were installed.

At first, the business’s owner was skeptical about needing to invest in power conditioning. After all, the store went 18 months with no problems, and presumably the electricity within the environment had not changed rapidly. But power conditions can easily shift, and new and even minor disturbances can lead to outages and other issues. With Powervar power conditioners in place, POS and Credit Solutions actually discovered that there was a major voltage discrepancy between the store and the office and that volts would sometimes fluctuate between ground and neutral. Once Powervar power conditioners were installed, however, the shop experienced no issues with its POS infrastructure and was able to continue business uninterrupted.

Unfortunately, the shop owner’s skepticism is far too common. Many businesses simply don’t realize the effect power can have on mission-critical equipment like point- of-sale terminals. However, electrical issues are often the culprit of problems seen on-site, especially when other causes are quickly ruled out – like what happened with this store. With Powervar solutions in place, though, these previously mysterious disturbances become a thing of the past, allowing operations to continue unabated in the future. If the above situation sounds like something you’ve dealt with before or would like to avoid confronting, then be sure to contact CBE for Powervar solutions.

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