NCR’s POS pedigree needs little introduction. The massively popular restaurant and retail POS solution from NCR does many things well, and a few things excellently.
In contrast to NCR’s more specialized Aloha and Counterpoint POS range, NCR Silver sets out to cover all restaurant and retail bases. There is a choice of two software subscription plans, NCR Silver and NCR Silver Pro – Silver is geared towards all-purpose retailers, while Silver Pro is aimed at restaurants.
Whichever plan you opt for, it’s easy to switch between them to add features to your POS without ever needing to change the hardware.
Although NCR, as a company, caters to businesses of all sizes, in our experience, NCR Silver isn’t quite ideal for franchises. NCR Silver was originally designed with small and medium-sized businesses in mind. Until recently, it lacked Cloud back office functionality, which meant limited multi-store management features. And that meant there were other, smarter choices for multi-location enterprises looking for cross-business sales and inventory reporting.
NCR did bolster its capabilities in this area with the acquisition of a smaller company, CimpleBox, in 2016. For example, you can now view sales reporting dashboards for all your locations in the back office mobile or web app. However, it’s still not quite up to the mark set by some competitors.
Getting Started with NCR Silver
Unlike other POSs, NCR Silver removes backend business management features from the main employee-POS terminal interface. You instead access these features through your NCR Silver account by logging in on your computer or tablet.
The desktop setup process is easy, and installing and configuring the app on a tablet is even easier. To make things as smooth as possible for first-time users, NCR offers setup assistance with every subscription plan.
Here’s a look at how easy it is to add inventory through the NCR Silver’s straightforward back office interface:
NCR Silver Features
Both NCR Silver and Silver Pro subscription plans include the following standout features:
NCR Console is NCR Silver’s analytics hub. It lets you view hourly and daily sales data to help you manage your staffing requirements. You can also see your best and worst selling items, and create quick reports to identify seasonal trends. Exporting your data into Excel or other spreadsheet software is similarly simple.
You can configure NCR Silver to send you alerts when stocks of a particular inventory item are low. Unfortunately, one thing you can’t do within the system is create purchase orders or save supplier information. This makes ordering popular stock items more hassle than it needs to be.
Customer Relationship Management
NCR Silver’s built-in customer database makes storing contacting information for follow-up marketing a breeze. There’s also the option to set up email marketing and loyalty campaigns, enabling you to mail coupons and promos to customers directly from the system.
Going above and beyond standard POS CRM fare, NCR Silver boasts social media integrations too. With little effort, the system lets you generate weekly reports to see how email, Facebook and Twitter communications are performing.
NCR Silver Third Party Integrations
NCR’s reputation goes a long way in the POS world. There’s a long line of third party software suppliers clamoring to integrate with the NCR Silver. Paychex, Xero, PassMarket and Quickbooks are just a few of ones currently supported. Notably, NCR Silver is also one of the only POS solutions that’s currently able to facilitate Bitcoin payments, via BitPay.
Understandably for POS purchasers, particularly those in the hospitality industry, customer service is often of premium importance. Suppliers such as Epos Now and Breadcrumb set very high standards for the rest of the industry to live up to with the quality of their support.
Customers’ wallets are the biggest winners with NCR Silver customer service; seven day phone and online support is included with every system purchase at no extra cost.
Although this represents good value for money, some customers have expressed mixed opinions online about the quality of service they received. The most commonly cited issue is a long delay between sending a support ticket and receiving a response from support staff.
Note: NCR’s room for improvement with the NCR Silver shouldn’t obscure the outstanding customer service they offer with their other POS solutions. In our review of Aloha, their signature hospitality POS, we welcomed their commitment to on-site troubleshooting and same-day delivery of replacement hardware.
Smokey John's Dallas
Dallas-based eatery Smokey John’s used to have to track sales and employee hours manually.
NCR Silver’s real-time hours tracking has saved the owners hundreds of admin hours and thousands of dollars in a few short months.
NCR advertises a very reasonable pricing structure for the NCR Silver:
- Silver Basic: $99 per month, with training for new features
- NCR Silver Pro for Restaurants: $169 per month, with free NCR hardware replacements
The above rates are lower if you sign an annual contract. But these contracts can sting if you’re not truly sold on the system for the long term.
Thankfully, there’s a 14-day free trial, which does a lot to eliminate the risk of making such a high value purchase. If you’re looking at this as your first POS purchase, it’s a good idea to trial it for free before taking things further.
The NCR Silver is proof that the makers of the world’s first cash register still have what it takes to make a great modern POS system.
Feature-wise, the ability to tweak your software subscription to fit both restaurant and retail settings sets the table for a versatile POS solution. On the other hand, the prohibitive length of software subscriptions somewhat negates this flexibility.
Still, these flaws aren’t enough to dull the Silver’s shine, even in a highly competitive POS market.