Would you ask an unsuccessful person how to become more successful? Or ask a friend with a run-down car what the best vehicle is on the market? I would think not.

So, it is suffice to say that you shouldn’t ask a fellow retailer who is struggling with their business technology where to get software technology from. In more cases than one, you’ll find they got software that didn’t suit their needs, and have a retail service provider who isn’t helping them succeed.

Having the right technology is one thing. Having a good retail technology partner who knows retail and backed by an excellent support team is quite another. These two things go hand-in-glove.

These service providers, or “Value-added Resellers” (VARS), are a key factor to helping a retailer boost efficiencies and increase profits. They will help a retailer make the right business decisions on technology and ensure that the technology they chose fits their business needs.

A retail technology partner should know retail, not just retail technology. When choosing a VAR, look for these key factors:

* Retail experts able to consult with you about your needs and who help you with making the right technology choice.

* Retail sales consultants who provide the best technology tools to help you in running your business.

* Knowledgeable and highly experienced technical support staff.

* Support staff who are quick to respond and always available when you need them.

* Tailored support plans to get the most out of the system.

* Technicians with the ability to customize the system to fit your needs, handling everything from seamless installation and conversion to project management.

* Retail consultants that help train your employees on a new system and provide on-going training and education.

A home furnishing and gift store in Mesa, California turned to a VAR to help them with their choice in a retail point of sale system. The store Fleur De Lys partnered with One Step Data. The company installed Retail Pro┬« as the best choice for the store and, since the installation, owners Shannon Ritter and Josephine Pfeiffer have maintained a proactive relationship with One Step Data. “We are always getting information regarding new products and system information,” says Ritter. “I certainly don’t feel we’ve been abandoned since our purchase. It’s like having a corporate Help Desk or IT department.”

Having expert help makes a big difference for retailers. Who else can they turn to if they don’t have knowledgeable experts who know retail?

“Technology is an important tool for business, especially for retailers,” says Scott Kreisberg, owner of One Step Data. “The market has exploded with literally thousands of companies offering different technology solutions. But not all companies are alike.”

Kreisberg’s company has been helping retailers with their business and point of sale systems for over 20 years. His confidence in his company being able to offer the right solution to retailers comes from having the best products at their disposal, and over two decades of experience and knowledge implementing technology in retail businesses.

“We have become the central nervous system of our customers,” claims Kreisberg, “and are constantly working on ways to help them improve their store operations.”

Retailers should contact a VAR to meet with them personally and determine whether or not that reseller fully understands retail, not just retail technology. The VAR should be able to find a solution that fits with the way the retailer does business and work with them every step of the way to help them achieve their goals.