Low Tech Products in a High Tech Industry (Third of a 4 Part Series)

By: Larry Greenberg, Director of Sales and Marketing at MMF POS

Let’s continue our analysis of low tech products by focusing on the Tablet Stands and Enclosures, which are a vital element to protect tablet computers from damage and tampering. The DC/POS world is filled with the latest high tech devices and software.  Often overlooked (or last to be considered) are the basic, and yet most essential pieces of hardware that complete and support the entire POS system —  cash drawers, payment terminal stands, tablet enclosures, and other secured mounts. 

Top Ten questions that should be considered when selecting a tablet stand or enclosure: 

  1. What size tablet is going to be used? Does the stand need to be adjustable based on size?
  2. Does the level of security incorporated in the stand need to have anti-skimming features?
  3. Will the tablet need to be totally enclosed with ports blocked and the cables hidden?
  4. Can the tablet stand sustain constant use by customers in a high traffic or industrial environment. If so, it will probably require a heavy duty metal part.  If not, will plastic suffice?
  5. How will the stand attach to or sit on the counter or wherever it’s mounted? (Screws, adhesive pads, rubber feet)
  6. Does the stand need to swivel in order for both the customer and the cashier to complete the transaction?
  7. Will the stand be in an outdoor environment (e.g., amusement park) and require a weather resistant cover?
  8. Does the tablet need to be lowered to wheelchair height to help meet ADA requirements if the counter is above 36”?
  9. Are there special peripherals (speakers, barcode scanners, etc.) that will need to access some of the ports?
  10. Does the customer have specific design considerations? (e.g., color, size, shape)

Considering the environment where the equipment will be deployed and your customers’ design requirements are fundamental in selecting the most viable option to meet expectations.

Plastic vs. Metal Fabrication
Design flexibility can be achieved with both metal and plastics to a certain degree.  While metal creates a robust and durable design, there are certain limitations on aesthetic features. Curved lines, a “euro-look”, and upscale designs are available in plastic where metal has its limitations.

Custom Options
Does the situation require a part that’s totally custom or will a customized existing part suffice? (Different color, logo imprint, or minor modification) The challenge is that the cost of low volume quantities can be price prohibitive.  Longer lead times can also be a factor.  The key questions are: How many? How soon?  How much?

So now what?
Contact a manufacturer with a good reputation to evaluate their hardware offering with your system.

  1. Select a manufacturer that has capabilities in more than one material or offers unique products that aren’t available through other sources.
  2. Make sure the enclosure is adjustable in the field if the customer switches to another size or tablet.
  3. Look for a good-better-best or light-medium-heavy duty product offering.
  4. Request a demo for your own evaluation.
  5. Compare cost and lead time, though keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
  6. Make sure the products are readily available through your current channels of distribution.

About the author:
Larry Greenberg is the Director of Sales and Marketing for MMF POS (www.mmfpos.com), a leading manufacturer and innovative supplier of cash drawers, POS mounting systems, and other accessories. The company provides a complete line of product solutions to enhance the retail checkout environment.