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Old 01-23-2018, 12:37 AM   #1
bvelke
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Default Point of Sale system?

Does any tour operator use a Point of Sale (POS) system that they recommend? After 10 years, I'm fed up with the one that I've been using (ezPower), especially its lack of bug fixes and poor reporting.

Note that I am NOT looking for a reservation system (I have one) and I will NOT buy any software or service which takes a fee based on a percentage of my business (like FareHarbor). I am willing to pay a fair price, including a maintenance contract or upgrade fees - but not based on a percentage of each ticket.

I don't think that I need a POS system that is designed specifically for tour operators. Those that I've seen want to integrate the reservation system and I don't need that. I just need to ring up sales of tours and retail products (with different tax rates), optionally print receipts, and generate flexible reports. It is not even necessary that it be integrated with the credit card processor and/or cash drawer, although I know that those features are typical and I wouldn't mind them.

I'd be interested in your experiences. Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:17 AM   #2
dmurphy
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Originally Posted by bvelke View Post
Does any tour operator use a Point of Sale (POS) system that they recommend? After 10 years, I'm fed up with the one that I've been using (ezPower), especially its lack of bug fixes and poor reporting.

Note that I am NOT looking for a reservation system (I have one) and I will NOT buy any software or service which takes a fee based on a percentage of my business (like FareHarbor). I am willing to pay a fair price, including a maintenance contract or upgrade fees - but not based on a percentage of each ticket.

I don't think that I need a POS system that is designed specifically for tour operators. Those that I've seen want to integrate the reservation system and I don't need that. I just need to ring up sales of tours and retail products (with different tax rates), optionally print receipts, and generate flexible reports. It is not even necessary that it be integrated with the credit card processor and/or cash drawer, although I know that those features are typical and I wouldn't mind them.

I'd be interested in your experiences. Thanks.
Bob - I donít run a tour biz, and in fact donít run ANY biz, but Iíve been somewhat fascinated with this software: http://keyhut.com/pos.htm

Simply because itís so lightweight, simple, easy, and harkens back to an easier time. No need for massive complexity. I donít know if itíll meet your needs - but something simple with minimal maintenance sure sounds appealing. And this is from an IT guy. :-)
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:45 AM   #3
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Bob - I don’t run a tour biz, and in fact don’t run ANY biz, but I’ve been somewhat fascinated with this software: http://keyhut.com/pos.htm

Simply because it’s so lightweight, simple, easy, and harkens back to an easier time. No need for massive complexity. I don’t know if it’ll meet your needs - but something simple with minimal maintenance sure sounds appealing. And this is from an IT guy. :-)
Yeah, in addition to my tour company, I'm a programmer and have run a software development company for almost 30 years, starting with MS/DOS. So it was fun reviewing the web site and details of the software. The developer reluctantly created a Facebook page too (https://www.facebook.com/daleharrispos/). But through all of this, the picture is clear to me.

The developer is "retired" and tinkers with the program on the side. It is DOS so he is constantly frustrated by changes to hardware and has to deal with umpteen compatibility issues, hardware drivers, control codes, etc. -- problems that are mostly nonexistent in modern operating systems. He's getting older and is a little grumpy. In other words, the program (and his users) needs his constant attention and nobody else can pick up the slack.

But the real deal-breaker for me is that he uses a proprietary file format. The file structure is documented but there are no professional tools with which a programmer like me can natively open and work with the files -- or maintain the system when he is not around. I'd consider it otherwise.

Don't get me wrong - the developer reminds me a lot of me! He seems like a nice guy, often funny in his grumpiness, and I'd like to have a beer with him. But I can't commit my company to him.

Thanks for the blast from the past, however.
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Old 01-23-2018, 09:22 AM   #4
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Truthfully, I wouldnít commit my business to it either. BUT ... it does make me stop and think about a back-to-basics approach. Weíve overcomplicated so many things that, frankly, donít need to be that complex.

Iíll use Costco as an example. Their registers are still terminal-based, connected back to a mainframe (either an IBM zSeries or AS/400-type midrange.)

Either way, theyíre not complex terminals, efficient, simple to operate and clearly meeting the needs of their business. Why GUIfy that? To what advantage?

So - yes I totally agree. The free POS software is interesting but not something to bet the business on. But the simpler-is-better mentality has some merit!
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