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01 Sep 2015

Should Point of Sale Be Sold Direct?

My favorite entrepreneurial success story right now is Tesla Motors, manufacturer of the all electric Model S sedan, recently named the best product Consumer Reports has ever tested. Tesla is also famous for breaking the mold of how automobiles are sold to consumers. Tesla sells cars directly to buyers without utilizing a network of independently owned, local resellers. Customers either order their car from Tesla’s website or, in states where it’s legal, order from a Tesla owned store usually located in a shopping mall. Once delivered, you just drive away in your amazingly simple work of engineering genius.

What happens when a Tesla car needs to be fixed? While troubleshooting can happen by speaking with a knowledgeable tech support person in a regional or national call center, cars are hardware and can physically break. Certainly, every Tesla owner can’t take his or her car in need of repair to Tesla’s manufacturing facility where it was built. The only way Tesla is able to sell cars direct is to have LOCAL service centers in every major market where customers can go for repairs.

So how does this relate to restaurant Point of Sale? Many POS companies are selling directly to restaurant customers without utilizing resellers. They spend a great deal of money and effort advertising on the Internet in the hopes of attracting a restaurateur to visit their website and buy their product. In the case of tablet based POS, tablets are readily available for purchase from multiple sources, as are peripheral hardware like cash drawers and printers. A restaurant can put the pieces together on their own, program their own menu, securely configure their own local area network and wifi, configure credit card processing at the best available rates, install their kitchen display monitors, run their own ethernet cables… Wait. Can they really? Should they really? Running a restaurant is hard work. As a restaurant manager with McDonald’s for many years (more on that in a future blog post), I understand how important it is for restaurant owners and managers to be experts in managing sales, people, profit, and operations. That’s how they survive and thrive. Should they need to become technology experts too?

Local POS resellers have, for decades, been there to solve technology problems for their restaurant customers. Resellers remove from restaurant owners the requirement to be experts in “one more thing.” Resellers are there to provide guidance to restaurants about what technology is available to solve a particular need. They are there to take on the complicated pre-live tasks of purchasing and installing hardware, installing networks, programming menus, configuring online ordering, integrating credit card processing, etc. Resellers help restaurants get through their first day on their new POS system, and most importantly, are there when a restaurant needs help after the sale.

MobileBytes services are available for sale through our network of independent local resellers, some of the finest resellers in the industry. We firmly believe an important technology purchase like a POS system should be made in the context of a long term partnership with the software developer, the reseller, and the restaurant all contributing their combined expertise to achieve the most successful outcome.