April 10 2014

POS Training and the Distributed Workforce

Written by Lambda Solutions

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Retail environments are tough training ground for employees. Point of sale (POS) systems are complex, difficult to learn and constantly changing. Yet it cannot be ignored; training on a POS system is critical. It's one thing to have technology challenges in the workplace but quite another to have your system give you trouble when there are six angry customers standing in line. It’s not pretty. From a management point of view the worst-case scenario is having those irate customers give up and leave, taking their stories of poor service with them. Scary stuff--but it doesn't have to be.

The POS Training ​Dilemma

If you have a multi-location business with your retail team distributed broadly, there are a number of issues standing in the way of a good training program for your POS system:

  1. Time is of the essence. If you shut down your stores to send everyone to a centralized course, you lose a lot of money. Few businesses have profit margins that can withstand this sort of downtime.
  2. If you take it down to a minimal staff in order to stay open while everyone else is attending a class you end up with a lot of unhappy customers and a few stressed out employees. Your reputation is too important for this scenario.
  3. You could take the training on the road but you would ultimately spend a lot of time and money sending a trainer from store to store. Is this the ideal solution? Probably not.

The Online Training Solution

Online training is an effective way to overcome these issues. With a system like Totara, you can conduct training around-the-clock while business continues. Your employees can access courses from home or perhaps when there is a slow period in the shop.

Totara is a commercial open source distribution of the popular Moodle LMS. Developed for corporate training and workplace learning, Totara comes tailored for retail environments right out of the box. It can be implemented faster and cheaper than through many proprietary solutions. Your team members may have a variety of technology at their fingertips. The latest version lets you optimize the learning experience for any device: desktop, mobile or tablet.

EASE OF USE

Course creation is a key functionality of Totara. With a wide range of authoring, testing, and management tools, you can create your own content or import courseware from existing external sources. Totara allows you to insert almost any kind of content into your courses, and unlike many other vendors, you can manage all of your coursework easily yourself, without the need for external resources.

ASSESSMENT

Assessment is an important part of any training program. Totara allows you to test employee POS knowledge using questions from a question bank and track scores and completion rates. You or your managers can monitor the ongoing progress of your team’s development by building records of learning for each employee and identifying gaps in knowledge. If you are moving to a Totara system, it's easy to move records from a legacy system into Totara so that no employee records will be lost.

EVER CHANGING POS SYSTEMS

Did your POS vendor just surprise you with a new version? No problem. Online training also makes it easy to update your team when upgrades or additions are made to your POS system. Having the option of tailoring your learning system to take on new learning plans without having to pay for customization is a key benefit of using Totara. It allows you to easily update your training in the ever-evolving POS world.

If your staff are struggling with your POS, you are not alone. Case in point -- there is a fledgling support group on LinkedIn dedicated to the struggle of POS. Help is at hand with a strong learning management system. Totara provides an easy to use, cost effective means of raising your employee expertise. It's no more complex than Totara + POS = confident employees and happy customers.

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