It's July, and that means this year's RSPA (Retail Solutions Providers Association) conference is just around the corner (July 18-21 in Las Vegas). A throng of POS (point of sale) VARs will flock to Sin City for the numerous sales, service, and executive seminars held at this conference. Between sessions, attendees will peruse the exhibit hall in search of the latest-and-greatest products.
If you are like a lot of POS VARs who read Business Solutions, your time is limited, so you want to get the most out of this yearly event. What do you hope to walk away with at this show? A new or better product to sell? A partnership? A clearer understanding of some new technologies? Some of that money you brought to gamble with?
We've all heard the old saying, "Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." I'm suggesting breaking that rule at RSPA (at least from a business standpoint). Let me explain. Conferences like RSPA often open our eyes to new ways of doing business or new products/technologies to sell. We leave these shows with big plans. Unfortunately, those big plans usually get relegated to the back burner as the reality of our daily business routines sets in. I feel now, because POS technology sales are hot, it is especially important to reevaluate your current business model. Indeed, customers are seeking to replace and upgrade equipment. But they probably expect more -- and want more -- from their new POS equipment. Can your current line card fulfill their needs? What kind of CRM (customer relationship management) functionality can you offer? Do you offer all-in-one terminals? How about wireless LAN installation and security services? Did you know that according to a study by the Aberdeen Group, 38% of manufacturers surveyed believed RFID (radio frequency identification) technology would improve their customer service? Aren't your clients interested in improving customer service? If so, what do you know about RFID in the POS world?
For 10 years, Business Solutions has included POS technology-related articles. The purpose of this editorial is the same today as it was when we started: show VARs and integrators how they can make more money selling POS or technologies complementary to POS. This message is even more important today, since conferences like RSPA are likely to attract a mob of resellers seeking to cash in on the current upswing in retail spending. VARs specializing in networking, data collection, and wireless technologies are all investigating POS as a new complementary technology to sell.
Our POS Buyer's Guide that starts on page 19 will give you a sampling of today's newer products. Check it out, attend shows like RSPA, and make your plans. While there are no sure bets -- especially in Vegas -- one thing you can count on is that if you don't start offering newer technologies or products, your competition sure will.