Manage customer orders for your retail and restaurant business

Traditional order management solutions require merchants to lock themselves into a proprietary vendor controlled order management solution. These proprietary systems are expensive, difficult to implement and lack the flexibility to customize deployments based upon the specific needs of the merchant. Open source solutions have forever altered the marketplace by providing enterprise quality software without requiring vendor lock in.

Retail and restaurant merchants require a state-of-the-art order management solution in order to provide their customers with a quality shopping experience. In the past, merchants had few choices when selecting an order management application for processing and tracking customer orders. Further, the lack of viable options resulted in artificially higher cost and inconsistent customer service.

Openbravo POS is an open source point of sale solution for retail and restaurant merchants. Merchants who are interested in deploying a powerful, flexible and secure point of sale solution can implement a full featured order management and fulfillment application in days not weeks. Merchants can break the chains of proprietary vendor solutions and deliver a better product; customized to their specific requirements. With over 10,000 downloads per month, open source POS solutions have quickly gathered market share and have begun to lower costs and break the stranglehold of proprietary vendors in the payment space.

Payment Processing and Acceptance

When deciding to deploy an order management solution merchants must be careful to select a product that integrates with their respective payment processing engine. In order to accept all major credit cards in your retail or restaurant business a merchant will require a merchant account, a point of sale solution and if conducting business online a certified shopping cart. The ability to accept and process multiple electronic payments, including credit cards and checks, is considered a standard feature in today’s marketplace.

International merchants have the added concern of ensuring they have the ability to deploy a point-of-sale solution that can be used globally by their respective locations. To be successful the POS solution deployed by the merchant must offer the following features:

• Support for multiple currencies
• Support for multiple credit cards
• Support for electronic check processing
• Real-time sales reporting
• Support for card-present and card-not-present transactions
• The ability to load and support multiple merchant accounts in a single POS solution
• PCI Compliance
o Encrypted data transmissions
o Secure customer data management
• Fast response times
• User audit trails
• Advanced fraud protection
• Risk management tools
• Third party software support

Planetauthorize.Net payment gateway supports all the features described above and integrates seamlessly with the leading open source POS solution from Openbravo.

Lower Deployment Costs

Traditionally, merchants who managed multiple locations required the purchase of additional software licenses per server, CPU or user. Open source solutions are generally available without requiring the additional deployment cost. Vendors typically try to “build the ticket” by including costs for consulting, customizations and training. Some vendors even charge merchants to fix software defects. Open source software includes access to all source code which provides an avenue for merchants and their developers to customize their deployment without the added expense of proprietary systems.

Strong Community Support

Before deploying an open source solution the merchant must ensure the product receives support by an active community of software developers. In order to verify the product is supported by an active community of software developers should:

• locate and review the technology roadmap
• review the frequency and maintenance releases
• review the history of security patches
• verify there is an up-to-date release schedule

In addition, merchants should spend some time reviewing the product forums. Forums are an excellent vehicle for gauging the level of support for an active open source product. Merchants should also determine if a third party technical support contract can be purchased.

Choosing an open source POS solution to manage your retail or restaurant business can generate huge savings and deliver a flexible and customized solution to support the most important aspects of your business; order management.

Author's Bio: 

Ricky Bracken is President & CEO of SaleManager Merchant Services. SaleManager Merchant Services provides enterprise class payment solutions to small and mid-size businesses. Our payment solutions include Planetauthorize Payment Gateway, Certified Shoppibg Carts, CRM Payment Modules, Retail and Restaurant Payment Solutions, POS Terminals, Mobile payment solutions and Merchant Accounts.