Shortlisting for the new POS software help desk role

We are busy shortlisting candidates for a new help desk role based in our head office. With more than sixty candidates its is proving to be tough to trim the list to a more manageable mix for interview.

Our hiring process is structured like our help desk management – small business customer service focussed.

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Why more small business retailers are switching to Xero for their POS software integrated solution

More small business retailers are switching to Xero for their business accounting solution and choosing the Tower Systems Xero integrated POS software for the retail front end.

Delivering a seamlessly integrated solution offering a whole of business approach backed by two respected IT companies with excellent customer service as the core focus.

We use Xero here at Tower Systems and there is no doubt that it offers an excellent accounting solution. Our experience with the integration helps us help our customers with proper setup as we can speak from experience.

With the POS software / xero integration retailers…

  1. Save time.
  2. Reduce mistakes.
  3. Reduce accounting fees.
  4. Have faster access to business data.
  5. Cut duplication.
  6. Have more time for parts of their business where they can make a more measurable difference.

While we integrate with MYOB and Quick Books, it is the elegant Xero integration we love because of the product itself. We are proud to be showing it off in a couple of weeks at the Xerocon conference in Brisbane.

We have a competition bagging Xero but we think that is because they did not get approved for integration.

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Small business POS software user meetings in Auckland & Wellington next week

We are thrilled to be bringing our POS software user meetings to New Zealand next week – Monday and Tuesday. First in Auckland and then in Wellington, we will meet with our customers in a structured and open forum, outlining the latest software and encouraging suggestions for further enhancements.

Christchurch will be covered in a separate trip.

We have shared details with our customers and look forward to seeing them next week.

These latest meetings are an extension of our Australian national user meeting tour where the leadership of the company meets face to face with customers, answering questions, sharing insights and talking about the future of the software.

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POS software user meetings in New Zealand

We are thrilled to be bringing our POS software user meetings to New Zealand next week – Monday and Tuesday. First in Auckland and then in Wellington, we will meet with our customers in a structured and open forum, outlining the latest software and encouraging suggestions for further enhancements.

Christchurch will be covered in a separate trip.

We have shared details with our customers and look forward to seeing them next week.

These latest meetings are an extension of our Australian national user meeting tour where the leadership of the company meets face to face with customers, answering questions, sharing insights and talking about the future of the software.

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Why newsagents trust Tower Systems more than any other POS software company

More newsagents are switching to the Tower Systems newsagency management software. We can connect you with reference sites who will speak to the valuable difference we offer.

Here are our commitments to you:

  1. We will not leave the newsagency channel. With more than 1,750 newsagent customers today we are here for you.
  2. We will fight for you. Beyond our software, outside of support, we will help with supplier issues, business strategy and other challenges you confront.
  3. No locked-in support. Taking support coverage is optional. We never block access to your software if you choose to not take support coverage.
  4. Lower support costs.
  5. Fast support. Most calls are handled when you call. If not, we call back fast.
  6. Easy management access. The leadership team of Tower Systems is available if you need them. We take customer service seriously and personally.
  7. Updates when you choose. You are in control of when you load updates.
  8. You are listened to. We offer the only transparent, user driven, software enhancement suggestion service. All our customers are listened to.
  9. Regular user meetings. Around the country, in city and regional locations – we offer free face to face training and networking through the year.
  10. Free training. Long after you install our software you have access to free personal training to refresh knowledge or provide training on new facilities.
  11. More integrations. Our direct links to Xero, Magento, Shopify and more mean you have more direct link options to help you grow your business.
  12. Business management insights. We can look at your business performance data and provide a personal analysis of what we see
  13. The Tower AdvantageTM. Our professional and friendly help from training to support to business advice. We are not your average software company.
  14. Owner access. Our owner, Mark Fletcher, is easily accessible: 0418 321 338.

You can purchase our software, lease it or even rent it by the month. You choose the path most appropriate to your needs. We make doing business easy.

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New social medial engagement a hit for Tower Systems and its customers

The new social media channel we opened over a week ago is receiving terrific traction and providing another customer facing / customer service opportunity. We are proud to offer this initiative and thrilled with Tower customer engagement.

Using social media in this way and giving our customers control over the conversation is empowering for them and valuable for us. We are excited to see where this goes.

We think too many software companies hide behind a corporate names rather than real people. We think they do everything possible to not talk with customers.

Here are Tower Systems we are the opposite. We like direct contact and appreciate the engagement from our customers.

An extension to our customer contact, this new channel will help reinforce the Tower Systems difference.

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Rebranding the POS software business

The final steps of our rebranding project were completed last week with the new brand image released to our national development and support centre facility in Hawthorn, Victoria.

The fresh brand image is in line with the evolution of our software. We sought out a brand image that reflected the strength, currency and value of the software we sell.

We are thrilled with the new image and that it is now represented on the street we call home.

Here are some shots of the new brand image at the office.

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Helping indie pet shop owners compete with tough big business competitors

Pet lovers know that it is at the small indie pet shops that you get professional personal care for the pets in your home. The businesses are usually run by pet lovers, people you get to know over time because of a shared passion for pets.

These local pet shops, neighbourhood pet shops, are important in local communities because of their local knowledge, community connection and their personal and friendly service.

Whereas at a big pet shop, a national chain or one of those massive warehouse businesses you are a number, at a local or neighbourhood pet shop you are a person with a name and a name for your pet. The service you receive is authentic.

This is the small indie pet shop difference.

Tower Systems is proud to support small indie pet shops. We love helping these retailers better serve their customers by helping them to deliver better customer care. In our Pet Shop Software we have a range of facilities that help pet shop owners enhance the customer experience in the shop, online and from home.

Our software absolutely helps indie small pet shops compete with big competitors. We empower them with valuable business data, remind them of customer dates and pet dates, we help them move their business online and, most important, we help them run more successful businesses.

Once you know what is important to your customers you are able to better serve these needs. Our software helps reveal what is important to your customers and thereby guide better business outcomes for the pet shop business.

On the shop floor, too, using our software enables you to demonstrate a competitive strength with best-practice loyalty program options, multi-buy options, repeat business loyalty rewards and supplier connected reporting and marketing. These tools are part of the package that helps indie pet retailers be more confidence and from this confidence flows commercial success.

Bet of all about indie pet shops for Tower Systems is the help they provide us in developing better pet shop software, more useful software for our customers and this is key to us expanding our business, attracting more indie and small pet shops as customers.

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Automatic POS software updates cause small business retailers to switch software

Several retailers at the Melbourne Gift Fair last week told us they will switch POS software to us because of the automatic updates in their current POS software.

Tower Systems does not do automatic POS software u0dates. We prefer our customers to decide which updates they want and to install them at a time of their choosing.

The complaints about automatic updates were specific. They reflect the challenges automatic updates present to small business retailers. Here are quotes from the retailers:

  1. You turn the computer on and a downloading message comes up. You have to wait for this to be done before you can use it. When I turn the computer on I want to use it right away.
  2. There is no advice what is in the update. You have to hope you pick up changes as you go.
  3. They mustn’t test the software because almost every time there is an update something goes wrong.
  4. It has been so bad I don’t trust the software any more. That’s why I am switching.
  5. I call them but usually have to wait a day or two for them to call me back.
  6. One update last year cost be a couple of hundred dollars because of mistakes they made.

Here at Tower Systems or software goes through a comprehensive multi-layered quality assurance process prior to us installing it in our shops. If it works fine there it goes to our opt-in beta sites. If it goes well with them it is slowly released for optional download by our customers at a time of their choosing.

POS software is critical to the successful operation of any business that uses it. This is why the business ownwr or manager has to have control about what updates are loaded and when. Otherwise, they do not have the control of their business they need.

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Sunday retail management advice: how small business retailers can compete with a big national retailer

Small and independent retailers often feel helpless when a big national retailer opens up nearby. There is no match for their range, buying power, advertising coverage or even news coverage.

The sheer size of a national competitor is what scares many smaller retailers. This is often enough for them to give up and close the business.

Giving up and running is the easy way out. There is no lesson learned, just an escape from the fear.

The alternative is to find out how to deal with the national retailer.

Here are five tips for small businesses on how to face and deal with a national retailer moving into the area:

  1. Don’t compete. By not talking about the competitor, pricing against them or pitching your business in any way, you separate yourself. While they may have similar products, it is unlikely that they are targeting your specific business so why target them? Focus instead on your own business. Not competing should include not advertising price comparisons, not focusing on the competitor at staff meetings, not expanding your range to sell more of what they sell and not obsessing about them. We were working with an independent retailer recently who decided to offer a product they sold which is also available in a nearby national retailer for 10% less than the sale price in the national retailer. This move gave the independent retailer a margin of 15%. In discussion I discovered that most of the customers who visited the independent retailer were unlikely to shop in the national retailer. So why compete on price? If you know why customers shop with you, you have the opportunity of not giving up margin out of fear.
  2. Run a better business. From the moment you hear about a new national retailer coming to town, look at every aspect of your business for opportunities for improvement. From the back room to the font counter fine tune your processes, employee training, stock buying and the look of the business. Dramatically improve your business from the inside out. This will improve your business health and help you weather challenges which may lie ahead. Too often, independent retailers wait until the national retailer is open to react. This is probably a year or two too late.
  3. Be unique. Look for ways to make your business unique. It could be on product range, operating hours, add-on services or something else. Embrace any opportunity to make your business unique. Even a unique niche range of products can give you traffic a big competitor will not chase. Try and focus on products which require a level of retail skill and knowledge to sell – national retailers have challenges hiring and retaining retail employees with specialist knowledge and skills.
  4. Engage the community. Connect with the community at every possible opportunity. Support local groups, speak at functions, get known as someone and a business who care deeply about the local community. Subtly make the connection that you are fortunate to be able to help because of your local business. Being smaller and independent you are better able to personally engage with the community. You and your team are the business whereas a national chain will always be the corporate. They can throw money around locally, you can throw time, knowledge and more flexible assistance.
  5. Tell your stories. Your retail narrative, your stories, connect you with the local community. Tell these through the people you contact, your own blog, a Facebook page and in the pages of the local newspaper. Tell human stories about your business, the people who work in it and the local stories which connect with it. Your stories could be about local community connection, convenience of shopping, commitment to range, personal customer service, product niche knowledge … there are many different narratives with which an independent retailer can connect. It is important that one you have your narrative you stick to is, that it inhabits your decisions, marketing and public presentation.

By acting early and in advance of a national retailer opening, you better position your business to weather their advertising and PR onslaught. Get in early, build a stronger business and understand that through this the new business in town will not be your competitor.

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What is really different about our POS software company today: Saturday August 13, 2016

Today, Saturday August 13, 2016, some of our senior management have been in retail, working in retail, engaged in retail customer contact and retailer contact – soaking up the real-world experiences that further inform decisions we make about our POS software.

In addition to owning and operating our own retail businesses, we get out in the field, on the shop floor and behind the counter learning from active engagement in retail to help us create even more useful retail management software.

This is another Tower AdvantageTM.

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Melbourne Gift Fair a hit for our POS software

Wow, Melbourne Gift Fair was a terrific event with plenty of new sales leads being harvested through the five day event. Our sales team is busy now meeting with the prospective new customers from the gift, newsagency and homewares channels, learning about specific business needs and showing how the software can serve these needs.

The fair was a wonderful and intensive experience as over five busy days we got to meet with plenty of engaged retailers to talk business, hear their plans and show off live some of the innovations we have released, which present them with further business growth opportunities.

The Melbourne Gift Fair is excellent like this, for talking business, exploring ideas and advancing relationships. It is a fast-track event as we have been able to progress in a few days with some opportunities that might otherwise have taken weeks to progress.

This is where trade shows really pay off for an engaged POS software company.

We are grateful for the opportunity to see so many people and offer the Tower Systems [pitch, to show business owners we care enough about them to support this event and through it their business channels.

Plans are well advanced on our next gift fair, this time in Sydney.

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Tower Systems invited to be part of an ATO working group

We have agreed to be part of a working group with the Australian taxation Office to help our customers meet compliance requirements. Here are the details of the ATO invitation:

You are invited you to be part of a working group for the Software Assurance project. The intent of the project is to provide your clients with transactional certainty prior to lodgment, reducing the burden and cost of compliance.
 
We want to work with you to co-design solutions for your software products that help to reduce or remove common errors that trigger our analytics and subsequent audit action.
 
Common errors can include:
  1. duplicated invoice or receipt numbers
  2. incorrect or misclassification of supplies
  3. reversal mistakes
  4. discount corrections.
We would also like to explore other opportunities to improve the internal governance and assurance processes your clients use, making it easier for them to get their tax and super obligations right.
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Now hiring for the Tower Systems POS software help desk

In our weekly customer service email last weekend we put out a call for prospective candidates to connect with us for an opportunity to be trained to join our help desk. The process of bringing someone on to the help desk is structured with the new-hire receiving comprehensive training and in-store tutoring prior to taking calls live.

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Fishing and outdoors retailers loving facilities in the Tower Systems software

The fishing and outdoors shop software from Tower Systems has won plenty of new fans in recent weeks with some terrific sales across the country.

Retailers are purchasing the software to handle:

  1. Sale of bait by weight.
  2. Manage rod and lure repairs.
  3. Manage the sale of packs / bundle / hampers.
  4. Sell fishing licences.
  5. Include local fishing spot information in receipts.
  6. Age check customers for appropriate product.
  7. Integrate with websites.
  8. Manage supplier electronic invoices.
  9. Integrate with Xero.

The Tower Systems Fishing and outdoors shop software does all this and plenty more. Plus, it will evolve further as our user community in this specialty retail channel grows.

Buoyed by excellent sales since the recent trade show, new voices in our community will help us add value to the Tower story in this space.

We are excited and grateful.

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Helping small business retailers promote and manage LayBy services to drive sales

LayBy is an important tool for small business retailers in a range of vertical channels. Offering LayBy can attract shoppers and drive revenue. For this to happen, the LayBy service must be well run, tightly controlled, so as to maximise the benefit for the retailer while maintaining a focus of service for the customer.

Using the Tower Systems POS software, small business retailers are able to efficiently manage the LayBy offer from operational rules to shopper documentation to follow up to knowing where a LayBy is at any point of time.

Whereas in the past small business retailers would manually write up and track LayBys, using the Tower software small business retailers are able to handle this professionally with:

  1. Consistent LayBy rules applied to every transaction.
  2. Ensuring all details are gathered.
  3. Gathering the correct deposit.
  4. Recording the location of the LayBy.
  5. Handling a shopper deciding not to complete the LayBy.
  6. Dealing with a change in the mix of products on LayBy.

Offering small business retailers consistency around the creation and management of LayBys drives business efficiency, improves employee confidence and delivers to shoppers a solution they are sure to love.

We have retailers using the Tower Systems LayBy services as a point of difference for their business, a marketing opportunity through which they are able to drive traffic and sales.

We are thrilled to be part of such success stories and love hea4ring them.

LayBys continue to evolve with even more enhancements delivered in recent months and more coming soon.

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Helping small business retailers compete with our Xero / POS software integrated solution

The most effective ways small business retailers can compete with big businesses and online is through efficient operation, accurate data and customer service touch-points that add appreciated value.

Tower Systems only sells its POS software to small business retailers.

We believe in small businesses, their importance to local communities and their broader economic value.

Through our software, our personal in-store training, 24/7 human and locally based help desk service, regional user meetings, weekly online workshops and other touch-points we help small business retailers beyond what is usual for POS software companies.

Our company motto is we’re here to help. We take this seriously. Everyday, out motto challenges us to help our customers in ways they do not expect, ways beyond the software itself.

Founded in 1981, Tower Systems has evolved as technology has evolved. The software we sell today is generations away from where we started. We are proud to have served some of our customers for decades.

More than 3,500 specialty small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand use our specialty POS software.

To us, a specialty retailer is one that offers services unique to the channel, services that define the business. We embed in our software for each retail channel facilities that serve needs unique to that channel. We take pride in doing this and enhancing these channel-specific facilities as the needs evolve.

We appreciate software cannot stand still. Every year we release significant enhancements, serving the needs of our customers. One such enhancement a couple of years ago was our Xero integration, approved by Xero and listed on their website as a partner.

The Xero integration delivers to retailers a seamless and deep connection between our POS software and Xero. This saves time and reduces bookkeeping costs for any small retail business.

The Tower Systems POS software / Xero link is another Tower AdvantageTM.

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Beautiful software leverages POS software data

Retailers are reacting to the beautiful interactive business intelligence reports available through the cloud-based platform released by Tower Systems.

Small business retailers are loving the elegant reporting, that they can access the reports from anywhere, that they can easily compare trading periods and that vitally important business data points are so accessible.

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This software is creating a buzz among retailers hungry for a fresh view of business performance and keen to see how they are competing with their most important competitor – themselves.

Tower Systems is grateful to the encouragement of its small business retail customers and their guidance in developing this and other exciting new software.

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