Xilnex is one of the most comprehensive POS systems we’ve ever used, but all that detail makes the learning curve for their system a little difficult compared to the competition. Best for detail oriented business owners! Learn more.
Xilnex Review – 8 Things Done Right & 5 Things Done Wrong!
November 28, 2019
If you’re in the market for a cloud POS service provider, we’re pretty sure that you want to get the best bang for your buck, at a service level that is at the very least, satisfactory.
We heard some whispers from our friends in business that Xilnex is one of the better Cloud POS providers out there, so we went on ahead and reached out to Xilnex to see if their services are fancy enough to meet our lofty standards.
If you want to know whether or not Xilnex is the best POS provider for your business, then you best make sure you read till the end because this review is as comprehensive as it gets.
A Little Something About Xilnex
Nobody likes going into business with total strangers, so here’s a little something about Xilnex so you can get comfy with them.
Having been in business since 2007, Xilnex has made it their mission to simplify sales for their clients.
Starting off in just a humble office in Penang, Xilnex have grown to provide their services to clients all over Malaysia, as well as neighbouring countries like Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia.
They’ve recently expanded and built a new office in Kuala Lumpur, and currently has over 100 staff under their payroll. Not bad at all, for a bootstrapped self-made company.
But what do they do that actually simplify sales for their customers?
Well lads, let’s find out.
8 Things That Xilnex Did Right
1. Xilnex is Windows-based
If you know me in person, you’ll know that I’m an avid supporter of Windows-based products. I love how much software integration it has, I love how familiar it feels, I love how much cheaper the hardware is, although it is known to be quite buggy.
Most importantly, I can customize my computer’s hardware in accordance with what I need at a price point that doesn’t make me want to shoot myself.
Since the Xilnex POS program is Windows-based, you can use any old computer you’ve got lying around, as long as the hardware meets the minimum recommended specifications.
In other words, you don’t need to spend extra to run the POS as long as you have an old computer lying around!
Keep in mind though, that if you probably might want to invest in Xilnex’s accessories like their cash drawer and barcode scanner. 3rd party ones don’t always play well with specially made programs, so you might want to go with Xilnex’s recommended hardware.
2. POS system is super comprehensive
Xilnex POS has one of the most comprehensive systems I’ve ever seen.
From the main menu, we were presented with 5 main tabs (Master data, Sales, Inventory, Listing & Marketing) and within those tabs, you’ll find options that enable you to do whatever you can imagine doing in a POS system
The Master Data tab is where you’ll key in information regarding your products, clients, vendors, table management, delivery instructions, etc. This is where you’ll find yourself spending most of your time in the beginning, because you’ll need to fill in all your product details here for the POS to work.
Xilnex POS Master Data Tab.
The Sales tab is where the POS system comes to life. It’s where sales invoices, quotations, consignments, safebox, order fulfilment, and most importantly, POS systems are.
Xilnex POS Sales Tab.
You’ll find an extensive list of inventory controls under the Inventory tab, and most of your reports can be generated from the Listing tab.
Xilnex POS Inventory Tab.
Xilnex POS Listing Tab.
Finally, we come upon the Marketing tab where you’ll be able to control your promotions, loyalty programs, vouchers, and even SMS marketing.
Xilnex POS Marketing Tab.
Note that we’re only scratching the tip of the iceberg here; Xilnex’s system is definitely capable of so much more, we just didn’t have the time to figure everything out.
There is definitely a steep learning curve to the POS, but once you’ve crossed that threshold, you’ll be happy with the functionalities that Xilnex is able to provide.
3. The best thing about Cloud POS – Remote access
Personally, this is the one feature that makes me feel that regular POS systems just can’t cut it anymore. If you’ve got multiple outlets or if you’re always travelling, there is no way for you to check on each individual outlet’s sales performance unless you get to an outlet where you can physically access the POS.
With Cloud POS, you’ll be able to check on each individual outlet wherever you are, straight from Xilnex’s Web App.
The web app allows you to perform complex functions on the go, like creating promotion campaigns, generate reports, terminal monitoring, check attendance, deal with vendors, etc.
In short, you’ll be able to check and create tasks wherever you are, whenever you want. Just make sure that you’ve got an internet connection and you’re good to go!
4. Extensive membership system
You know, one of the best ways to create brand loyalty is to make your customers feel special.
They’ve gotta be given that VIP treatment, that whenever they walk into your shop, they feel welcomed, known by name, served their favourite items, and given their privileged discounts all without having to say a word.
This was only possible if your staff or waiters are trained well enough to remember your customers, but staff will not stick around forever and you lose precious time retraining new people to remember the same old things.
With Xilnex’s customer categorization feature, all you need to do is to key in your customer’s details once, and your staff will be able to pull up their information every time this customer steps into the outlet.
They’ll be able to see which item they ordered the most, so they’ll know what the customer’s favourites are. You can also assign discounts to loyal customers, so they’ll be given promotion privileges without having to ask for it.
This feature also makes it easy for your customers to collect vouchers. Every time your customer makes a purchase, their points will be automatically added into the system.
You can even create birthday specials, so that your customers can enjoy special treats on you if they walk in during their birthdays!
5. Shopify integration for e-commerce
Shopify’s award-winning e-commerce platform is integrated with Xilnex, and that’s a big deal because it means that your Shopify online store can be easily imported into the Xilnex ecosystem, and easily managed from one account!
This is particularly awesome because our favourite POS provider so far (StoreHub) uses their own proprietary platform for e-commerce, which means that users will have to rebuild their online stores from scratch if they want to be in the StoreHub ecosystem.
Xilnex provides a nice alternative, especially if you started off online looking to expand offline. Best part of all this is that importing your Shopify store into Xilnex’s ecosystem is completely FREE!
This only applies to Shopify hosted websites though! You’ll have to pay a sum if your online store is built on another platform.
6. A long list of e-Payment options
I recently went on a dinner outing with friends, and when it was time to split the bill, cash wasn’t even considered. One person paid the bill, and we all paid him back just using our e-wallets.
The reason I shared my experience is because e-wallet adoption rate is still considered to be in its infancy, but Malaysians are adopting e-wallets and payments really fast, and we’re not surprised; it’s quick, convenient, secure and provides value in terms of points.
So if you don’t have any e-Payment options, your outlet will be known as that outdated old fuddy-duddy shop that needs to get on with the times. Also, very inconvenient!
With Xilnex, you can provide your customers with a long list of e-Payment options:
- Razer Pay
- WeChat Pay
This may not sound like something to write home about, but it’s actually quite a big deal. Having an e-Payment option makes your business look good, and gives tech and value savvy customers a reason to return!
7. Unique employee attendance verification
Yes, we are aware that other POS machines have their own methods of taking employee attendance, but from our experience, those systems can be easily abused and sidestepped with the correct information.
Xilnex ups the employee attendance tracking game by providing a unique way to track attendance – via Thumbprint scanning.
There is no way employees can cheat or sign in on their colleague’s behalf, unless the delinquent employee is willing to give up their thumb just to skip work.
If you don’t want to go with thumbprint verification, Xilnex allows your employees to clock-in via RFID. All you have to do is to assign RFID activated cards to your employees, and they can tap to clock-in, similar to how most modern offices track employee attendance.
RFID tap in via phone is currently unavailable, but it’s in the pipeline so we should see it implemented soon.
8. Purchase hardware & enjoy POS for 6 months FREE
This has to be our most favourite feature about Xilnex so far – If you purchase any of their Hardware Bundles, you’ll get to enjoy 6 months of free subscription to their POS service.
There honestly isn’t much to write about for this, except that the value you get is worth up to RM1,734. That’s not bad at all, considering the annual cost for the enterprise plan is already RM3,456. However, we DID discover something that smells a little fishy regarding this, but we’ll get to that later in the article.
Things We Didn’t Like About Xilnex
There are a lot of things that Xilnex did right, but there’s also a fair share of things that can be improved. Some of them annoying, some downright frustrating.
1. It has a steep learning curve
Xilnex’s POS system is very thorough and comprehensive, but that comes at the cost of simplicity. The more features something has, the more difficult it is for people to learn how to use.
This is so true for Xilnex.
One look at Xilnex’s features and you’ll know that it’s capable of doing great things. However, you’ll need to spend time learning the software and the nuances of its various functions. Time that most of us do not have.
You’ll have to think about training your staff to use the software too, and keep in mind that not all of them will be able to learn fast.
Xilnex offers a free 2 hour Skype training if you purchase their hardware bundles, but we get the feeling that it won’t be enough for the average user to learn the in-and-outs of the program.
Fortunately, Xilnex has a knowledge base that is quite extensive, so if you’re patient enough to go through that to figure things out, you’re all set.
2. It is not very sexy
We’ve got to preface this by saying that our favourite cloud POS system so far is StoreHub, and we fell in love with their sleek user interface and all round positive user experience. Basically, anybody can learn how to use it in under an hour.
So coming from that experience to this is a little… underwhelming.
The interface does not look dated, but it doesn’t look polished. It’s a little clunky to use, and it’s not as intuitive. We found that some of the buttons were placed at places in locations which didn’t quite make sense, which made us wonder what they were thinking when they designed the UI.
Xilnex’s overly complicated menus does not help improve the user experience either.
The staggering amount of features already feels overwhelming. Combine that with a button placement that feels like it wasn’t very well thought out made using the system feel quite frustrating.
Having said all that, I think that once you get used to the weirdness of the system, you’ll find a POS program that’s packed with useful features. It just doesn’t feel this way when you first start using it.
The web app fares a little better and looks a little cleaner, but also fails to impress in terms of looks. It also doesn’t feel as responsive as it could be, so points are docked for that.
In short, the user experience isn’t bad, it’s just… okay.
3. The steep pricing model
As small business owners, we understand the need to keep costs as low as possible.
Their entry-level subscription starts from RM108 per month, which costs almost double the price of StoreHub’s entry-level subscription.
Sure, they offer more services and more features, but they also introduce bigger headaches and complexities with their system.
However, they do provide 6 months of free subscription if you purchase their hardware bundles, but more on that as you read on.
4. Lacklustre live chat support
Support is arguably one of the key factors for me in choosing a service, especially if my business relies on that service every single day.
I was quite disappointed to find that Xilnex’s live chat support is only available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm only.
It doesn’t help that their regular live chat support is slow to respond.
Maybe I was dealing with somebody new, but it seemed like every single question I asked had to be vetted first before given an answer, which obviously takes up time.
If I was in a hurry and needed an answer as quickly as possible, all this waiting around would’ve made me lose my cool real quick.
But credit where credit is due, their technical live chat support team is excellent (I have no idea why their regular support and tech support are two different teams).
They were quick to respond and was very helpful in solving an issue I had with the POS software installation, which we’ll get to later.
Phone support is available every day from 9am to 11pm, so all is not lost if your business runs every day of the week.
Thing is, if they can get staff to work on the weekends for phone support, why can’t they get staff to handle live chat as well?
5. Software doesn’t feel polished
I’ve got to preface this by saying that these issues I encountered could just be an isolated incident due to the machine I was running the program on, but it bothered me enough to make it part of this list.
The installation of the software did not go smoothly. The first time I tried installing, It gave me an error that I couldn’t fix, so I tried a fresh install.
After the third try and subsequent failure, I contacted their tech support team to see if they could solve the issue, and they had to remotely fix it via Teamviewer. The whole process took under an hour and I was pleased with the results.
Then I tried to actually use the software and wondered if I did something wrong in the process, because while the application managed to start, nothing seemed to work.
Tech support had to step in again, do a round of troubleshooting via Teamviewer and proceeded with another fresh install, after which the program worked.
Kudos to the responsive tech support team!
Now the last thing you want when you’re running a business with people lining up to pay, is for your POS system to not work.
The POS system crashed on me 3 times within an hour of trying to learn how to use it.
Now, this is a nitpicky little mild annoyance – they didn’t provide a “remember password” button on the login page, so I had to pull up my password list to rekey in my password every time it crashed (don’t judge me okay, I have a lot of passwords).
So the issues above could be an isolated incident with my machine (I sure hope it is) so take my annoyance with a grain of salt.
I know I mentioned earlier that I love Windows-based systems, but in this instance, it’s to be expected. StoreHub gets the upper hand here running on IOS, because they all run on the same kind of hardware. Apps built to run on Windows have to deal with all sorts of different hardware, so some issues are likely to crop up.
I’ve been using the Xilnex system for a few days now, and it no longer crashes. Hopefully it stays that way.
Xilnex Plans & Features: Overview
With the team at Xilnex being as comprehensive and thorough as they are with their POS system, you can sure as hell bet that they’ve got a comprehensive subscription plan laid out for each tier of their users.
All Function Unlocked
Xilnex recommends the Standard plan, and we have to agree with them. It seems to provide you with the best bang for buck, without sacrificing many important functions like their Soho Lite plan does.
It allows you to have:
- Multi-location linkage – great for franchises
- POS with inventory system (Soho Lite only has POS system)
- Promotion control
- Advanced web report
- Immediate email support
I think that the Standard plan is a nice balance between features and price, but it all depends on you and what you’re willing to pay for a POS system subscription.
If the Standard plan is too pricey for now, the Soho Lite plan works very well, and you can upgrade when business starts to grow. If that still feels pricey, you might want to check out StoreHub’s Lite plan, which only costs RM59 a month.
Xilnex Hardware Bundle: Overview
Depending on the type of business you run, you can pick the bundle that’s best suited for your needs.
- Price: RM3,199.00
- 10 inch tablet
- Cash drawer
- USB hub
- 2-hour teleconsultation
- Barcode scanner
- CloudPOS Lite 6-month subscription
- 10 inch tablet
- Cash drawer
- USB hub
- 2-hour teleconsultation
- Barcode scanner
- CloudPOS Standard 6-month subscription
Food & beverages
- Price: RM4,099.00
- 10 inch tablet
- Cash drawer
- USB hub
- 2-hour teleconsultation
- Barcode scanner
- CloudPOS F&B 6-month subscription
I feel like the hardware bundles are no different from each other, as they provide you with exactly the same hardware for each bundle.
The only difference lies in the version of CloudPOS subscription that you get. With the Soho bundle, you’ll get to enjoy the Lite version. Retail nets you the Standard version while F&B should get you the Enterprise version (I say should, because it’s stated as CloudPOS F&B on their page, but there isn’t a CloudPOS F&B version on their pricing page).
This feels like a whole lot of smoke & mirrors as the savings you get from their “free” 6 months subscriptions aren’t as large as they make it out to be.
You’ll still be enjoying a minor discount on the subscription when you purchase their bundles. But basically, if you do the math, you’ll be paying for the “free” 6 months subscription in the bundle.
If you don’t feel like purchasing their bundles, Xilnex allows you to purchase their hardware ala-carte, while using whatever existing hardware you own. Just make sure to check with support to see if it’s compatible with the program.
Verdict: What Do We Think About Xilnex
I really wanted to like Xilnex’s CloudPOS. I really did.
They’ve got so many things right, but the whole experience of using their POS system was just… well, not bad, but it wasn’t good either.
Their UI looked doesn’t look dated, yet it doesn’t look well designed. It felt clunky at times, while the bugginess of the initial installation and first run didn’t do much to boost my confidence in the product.
The good thing about Xilnex is that it’s a very comprehensive system, with many features that other POS providers may not have, but in doing so, they sacrificed simplicity, making their product difficult to use.
What’s the point of a feature packed system if nobody knows how to use it? I’d very much prefer to go with something much simpler that everyone can use.
It feels like they’re trying to please too many sectors with their system, which results in an experience that isn’t particularly pleasant. When you compare their UI and UX to StoreHub’s POS, the difference in experience becomes more apparent (StoreHub sparks joy while Xilnex just manages to produce sparks).
However, if you can get past their steep learning curve, I am confident that you’ll be more than happy with the value provided through their extensive services.
They’ve got Shopify integration, a super long list of e-Payment options, unlimited inventory and a crazy amount of quality-of-life POS system functions that would put most other POS providers to shame.
They just need to figure out a way to simplify everything and improve their UX while maintaining the same amount of features.
Xilnex’s CloudPOS gets a strong 7 out of 10 from me.