How to Find the Right Hardware Manufacturer to Suit All Your Clients’ Technology Needs
Being a value-added reseller (VAR) in the point of sale (POS) industry can be challenging. You might have a wide range of clients, from food service (restaurants, bars, school cafeterias) and entertainment venues (theaters, bowling alleys, amusement parks) to various retail stores and even healthcare facilities. You want to make sure you are selling top-of-the-line products that will meet all of the unique needs of these industries. In addition, you need a reliable source — a hardware manufacturer that can support you and your business.
Finding the right partner can be even more vital to success than finding clients. Here are the top three elements to consider when choosing the hardware manufacturers you wish to work with.
1. Extensive Product Catalog
The ideal situation for both you and your clients is to have a “one-stop shopping.” Don’t waste your time having to get your products from multiple sources. Find a manufacturer that has a well-rounded product catalog, including:
- All-in-one POS solutions
- PCs and Servers
- Mobile POS tablets (and ruggedized tablets for warehouse use)
- Custom kiosks
- Accessories and peripherals
Being able to get everything a particular client might need from one centralized location will smooth out your ordering process. It can also give your customers peace of mind because when all of their tech comes from the same place, they can be assured the various elements of their system will be compatible with each other. Additionally, it will be easy for them to add and integrate new technology as their business needs expand.
Multiple providers can create major headaches when it comes to maintenance and service or troubleshooting. However, you can eliminate this pain point with the right comprehensive partner.
Besides the range of product types, look for customization options when considering the catalog. A good custom kiosk manufacturer, for example, can design kiosks for a variety of purposes, such as cinema ticketing, fast-food ordering, or healthcare patient check-ins. Providing custom configurations suited for all your customer’s needs, including a printer, scanner, card reader, or even mounting capabilities, is critical.
2. Industry Presence and Localized Sales Reps
Name and reputation are everything in the POS industry. You’ll want to ensure that your hardware manufacturer has a presence in the industry — for example, by displaying industry knowledge and leadership through an informative blog and website and maintaining an active social media presence. Not only showing these content pieces but also being recognized for them as one of the top ten providers in the industry.
Holding memberships within the industry helps boost presence as well. For example, if a hardware manufacturer is a member of the RSPA, has VAE awards, or sponsors events within the industry, you know they are a significant player in the POS game and should be working with them.
You want a partner with years of experience and familiarity with the needs of your various clients (retail, hospitality, healthcare, and more).
The right hardware manufacturer will also have a presence in your area. Having local sales reps creates a more personable connection and helps you get your questions answered fast and efficiently, as well as build a rapport with your manufacturing team.
3. Lead Times and Shipping
A related advantage to having local sales reps is the ability to get your products quickly. Ideally, there will be a hardware manufacturing location close enough to your area to ship your orders with no more than a two-week lead time. Your clients need to get their systems up and running as soon as possible — so look for a hardware manufacturer that can accommodate rush orders as needed.
Manufacturers in many industries are still struggling to cope with supply-chain issues caused by the disruptions of the pandemic and global political upheavals, impacting their shipping times. Look for a manufacturer that has adapted well to these issues by implementing innovative component sourcing, forecasting, and shipping strategies to provide optimal lead times.
For the most efficient and speedy setup for your clients, also consider how the products are shipped. Look for a hardware manufacturer that can ship your clients’ tech all in one box, with no assembly required. This is the quickest and easiest way to ship products and increase customer satisfaction with delivery and implementation.
Some manufacturers will send orders in three or four shipments, causing the end users to add labor hours to their minimal staff to assemble everything themselves. Your clients don’t want extra IT burdens; they want “plug and play” ease of installation. Choose a hardware manufacturer who can provide that.
One of the Best Business Decisions You Can Make
Finding the right technology partner is crucial to growing the success of your business. Clients will be able to turn to you for all of the solutions they need because you’ll have access to a catalog of the most up-to-date technology created by an industry leader and shipped quickly to help your clients’ businesses take off.
What are you waiting for? Connect with a hardware manufacturer today to start selling top-of-the-line products.