Sales Not Syncing With Back-Office:
Typically, when sales that have been closed on the iPad POS fail to appear in the reporting section of the back office, it can wreak havoc in a restaurant or retail environment, as this means your store manager won’t be able to easily reconcile the end of day reports with the actual takings.
One of the main benefits of cloud-based systems is that no data is stored permanently on any of the local devices in-store, but on remote servers managed by your software provider. In order to establish a connection between the two, an internet connection is required. However, if this internet connection drops out for a prolonged period of time, your POS system will not be able to communicate with the servers, meaning the sales you have put through on the POS will not show in the back office reports until a connection is re-established.
In order to ensure that all sales data reach your back office, you’ll need to ensure your broadband connection has a minimum upload speed of 768kbps, preferably much faster. Furthermore, to avoid any internet drop outs, I’d recommend an additional, back-up internet connection from a separate provider with a different physical line into your business. But, if setting up a redundant broadband line is either impossible or out of budget, there is another way! 3G/4G Routers can be bought from as little as £30 a piece, and with flexible, data-only, sim contracts from £10 a month you can set up a professional, fallback network connection for your POS at consumer prices.
iPad Disconnecting From Printers:
An example of this would be devices like kitchen printers. These are an essential piece of kit in the operations of a restaurant; the same applies to receipt printers in retail stores. When disconnects occur, you are unable to send the orders to the kitchen for them to be prepared, meaning the customers are waiting for their order, leading to delays and errors in customer orders – not ideal at all!
The main reason this would happen is down to what WiFi network the iPad is connected to when you are using LAN (Local Area Network) printers. If the iPad has been connected to more than one WiFi network before this can cause it to jump between WiFi networks, depending on which one is the strongest at that time. The best way to avoid this would be to forget all WiFi networks on the iPad except for your local WiFi network. This can be done by selecting the information button (i) next to the different WiFi networks in the iPad’s settings. Where you will be able to see a ‘forget network’ option at the top of the screen – tap this and then the iPad will never connect to this network again.
Another reason why this issue would occur could be down to the iPad being out of WiFi range. The Wifi range of a network can only go so far, usually (depending on your router) you should be able to get a reliable connection within 15/25m from the router without the wireless occasionally dropping out. In certain cases, the iPad is just too far from the router in order for it to have a solid connection. In order to get better wireless range, I would suggest changing the band that the Wifi is set to. There are two bands of WiFi; 2.4Ghz, which provides better range at slower speeds (not too slow), and 5Ghz, which provides better speed but with a shorter range. Alternatively, there are dual band routers that are now available on the market that can use both bands and alternate between the two depending on how far the connected devices are.
POS Stations Not Syncing:
If there’s more than one point of sale system in your store, then you might encounter issues with orders syncing between iPads/tablets. For example, when orders are opened on a table or customer tab, the table should show as being occupied on the other POS screens. The same applies for customer tabs, if a customer tab is updated this should update on the other point of sale systems.
In order to keep the iPads in sync and in reliable communication with each other, it’s best to keep the iPad locked to the POS app. This is due to when the application is closed it can often cause issues with syncing to the other POS screens – we see this a lot when users try to run music and social media apps from their POS stations, it’s best to have a separate iPad running axially apps like Spotify. Prevent this issue by setting up guided access on the iPads, this will lock the iPads to the POS app so if a user tries to exit it will prompt for an admin password.
iPads will rely on the network in order to keep in communication with each other. So it’s essential to keep them connected to the same network at all times. As explained in the first point, iPads will connect to whatever network appears to be the strongest. To avoid jumping between WiFi networks, you can forget any other network the iPad has been connected to previously, by selecting the information button next to the Wifi name and selecting “forget this network”.
It’s important to make sure that all apps are on the same version. POS systems tend to fail to sync when between iPads when the apps on them are different versions. You can check this by going into the app store and selecting the updates tab at the bottom of the screen. Here it will inform you if the applications need updating.