5 Things C-Stores Should Demand from Their IT Provider
We live in a culture of connectivity. Technology has changed the way that customers interact. The Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled everyday items such as Smart refrigerators, security systems and speakers to be connected to the Web. These days, it seems everything had an IP address. According to IHS Markit, the number of connected IoT devices worldwide will jump 12 percent on average annually, from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030.
This change has already dramatically shaken up the C-store market. Automation options are available at every turn, from digital signage and POS systems, to in-store wireless internet and employee time keeping. As technology continues to drive the convenience store industry, customers have also become more unyielding in their expectations. There is minimal tolerance for delays and downtime, and expectation for, well, convenience
Your store’s technology needs to operate without interruption. This requires a managed IT services provider that not only has a great grasp of the technology you’re using, but one who understands the expectations and demands of the c-store industry.
From our many years of experience serving the C-store industry, we know your IT solution needs to provide you with specific things to help make the business of running a C-store more convenient for you.
Here are 5 things you must insist on from your IT provider:
Offer 24/7 Support. Is your provider available 24 hours a day, seven days a week? When the computer systems running your gas pumps go down late Friday night, can you get them back on track right away or are you left waiting until Monday morning? Your provider should be able to address your needs around the clock, or you’re losing money to downtime.
Understand PCI Compliance. It is imperative to have technology that is PCI compliant. And, unless you want to be the one explaining PCI compliance at every step to your technology contact, working with a managed IT provider who knows, understands and ensures your compliance is going to be a huge relief.
Focus on Preventative Maintenance. With the constant in and out of customers to your store, having maximum uptime is critical to your reputation, your security and your bottom line. An IT provider with c-store experience will know this and take steps to build in redundancy that ensures your technology is up, running, stable and secure.
Provide You Automated Alerts. How much inventory do you lose if your automatic coolers go out overnight? How much money do you lose when pumps can’t communicate with the POS system or when your employee stays clocked in long after leaving? Automated alerts allow your managed IT provider to quickly address these outages and alert you so that you can take quick action to protect your store until the problem is resolved.
Up to Date on C-Store Solutions. Your go-to person for technology should be able to clue you in to the big trends and up-and-coming solutions that will make your C-store chain more competitive. ICS manages IT for 7 C-store chains throughout New York state. We have our finger on the pulse of what’s hot and most importantly, what’s helpful for your stores.
Running a convenience store requires a full team of IT experts and affordable solutions that can keep you on top of the latest technology, prevent downtime and maximize your ability to protect your stores.
You’ve got a convenience store to run. Make sure your IT provider is making it easier for you. Contact us online or call us at 607-757-9551.