Why local POS software matters to local retail businesses

Tower Systems is a proudly Australian POS software company. We develop software in Australia for small and independent Australian retail businesses.

  1. Our software focus is local.
  2. Our customer service team is local.
  3. Our installation team is local.
  4. Our business planning is focussed on local.
  5. We offer locally focussed facilities and services in our software.

Retailers wanting software to support their local focus ought to look at local POS software companies.

We have built a good strong business by being locally focussed. Yes, today we serve more than 3,500 retail businesses.

We are proud that in many of our specialty retail channels, we are the only locally developed and supported software. This makes us more fit for purpose for those businesses that care about living and supporting local.

As a famous song once goes so beautifully: we’re all in this together.

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WE REFUSE TO USE FAKE PHOTOS IN OUR ADS AND ON OUR WEBSITE

Here at Tower Systems we serve real people working in real businesses. They are the heroes, small business owners and team members, working to build local communities and make a stronger economy. This is why we use real people on our website and in our marketing collateral. It is easy to buy photos of pretty models placed in retail situations. We don’t do that. This helps build trust with our customers and those contemplating becoming our customers using our smart POS software.

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Tower Systems expands POS software development team

Tower Systems is thrilled to announce the successful hiring for two new POS software development positions in the business.

The expansion of our software development team in our head office is a reflection of the growth of the business in terms of customers and in anticipation of further considerable enhancement of software capabilities through 2016 and beyond.

The latest hires are a result of an extensive search for candidates appropriate to our needs.

Our new colleagues are settling in and familiarising themselves with our professional software development environment.

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POS software company loses a customer by belittling them with jargon

We were privy recently to correspondence between a POS software company and a customer from just before the customer switched to us. The correspondence is an example of how a tech company serving small business retailers ought not communicate with customers. The correspondence was rude, condescending and short on ethics.

In response to concerns raised about the time consuming nature of some functions in the software, the software company representative ignored the question and ranted on using technical terms to claim, more or less, that the customer would now know if the software was good as they were technically inept.

Yes, sometimes the customer is wrong. The key is to deal with this in a respectful and helpful way.

The communication we have seen was disappointing as it reflects badly on all software companies, especially those of us serving small business retailers.

Thankfully, we have switched the customer to our software and are providing respectful customer service that is restoring their faith in tech companies.

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Major POS software update the perfect Christmas gift

Tower Systems is thrilled to have commenced the structured professionally managed beta release of a major POS software update. Representing many man-months of software development, this latest update delivers new facilities along with user-requested enhancements, taking our software into new areas and leveraging new opportunities.

We are grateful to our beta release sites and to all who have contributed ideas and inspiration to this latest release of our popular software.

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The federal government could do better in supporting software companies

While we welcome the innovation statement by the federal government this week, we think they could have done more in support of Australian owned software companies supporting efficiency improvements for Australian businesses.

Take what we do here at Tower Systems – we help small and independent retailers run more efficient, and therefore more profitable, businesses. The economic benefit is considerably beyond the cost of the software.

Being 100% Australian owned, long established and self-funded, we would use a benefit, such as a tax break, to invest in more software innovation. This means more jobs and more benefits for our customers.

We think this type of support would have a more immediate economic benefit. Indeed, the benefits would be upstream and downstream.

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First Christmas party for 2015 done

IMG_2481Fifty of our team members and partners members joined in a company Christmas party yesterday is an American BBQ restaurant in Melbourne. We took over the whole venue, spread across several tables. It was a terrific celebration and kicked on into the evening.

We have more Christmas events to follow.

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Pet shop software company Tower Systems gets closer to pet retailers with dog day

12063861_10156099084830212_1463394672832244133_nDog day in the office was a hit with plenty of k-9 cuties roaming the office and connecting with owners, other dogs and dog lovers. It was a hoot. It certainly made for a different software development experience. We loved it and we think the dogs loved it.

This photo was taken at a nearby park with some of our colleagues and their dogs.

The day gave us a feel for the pleasure pet retailers have when owners bring their dogs in to the shop. It is part of what helps us create more useful pet shop software.

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Helping develop good IT talent in Australia benefits our POS software

Tower Systems is proud of its work with graduates and the opportunity it provides for real-world experiences to further the development of Australians preparing for the work force.

We loom for opportunities for graduate roles where we allocate time and resources necessary for real-world experience development in advance of more direct customer roles.

Being a full service software company encompassing design, development, UI engagement, testing, training, deployment and follow-up support, we have a broad range of IT skills areas where graduates can learn.

Our support for graduates makes us a richer and more diverse company. Crucially, it makes us more aware of cutting-edge trends that can better inform our decisions and the work we do on behalf of ur customers.

Being located in Hawthorn places us within easy proximity of several top IT focussed universities.

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Pre Melbourne Cup day

While much of Australia is go-slow mode today being the day before the Melbourne Cup, we are here and at it, providing a full deck of services and working in the background on software enhancements and developments.

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Why the Tower Systems bike shop POS software is unique

The Bike shop POS software from Tower Systems is unique in that it is purpose-built for bike retailers, especially independent bike retailers.

  1. Our bike shop software is fit for purpose. It has been built for bike shops in close consultation with owners, managers and workers from bike shops. Changes to the software are developed in close consultation.
  2. We understand the value of a bike customer for life.
  3. We get the passion of cyclying.
  4. We appreciate cycling is part lifestyle, part sport, part business and part relaxation.
  5. We are a software company, not a consulting business using software as a mechanism for driving consulting fees.
  6. We are in your business. Not a contractor we hire, not over the phone, when we install the system we do it in your business, working with you.
  7. We support all bike suppliers. Our software can load electronic invoices from many suppliers – we do not link to just one supplier.
  8. Second-hand goods. These facilities have been developed with bike retailers and authorities so you have the right records on hand.
  9. These facilities have been developed to help you streamline workflow and keep in close contact with customers throughout.
  10. Manufactured goods. From concept to manufacture, you can manage and track what you make for whom and when. This is a billing and management asset.
  11. Lay-by. Our Lay-by facilities have been developed in close consultation with bike retailers, making them unique and comprehensive.
  12. We offer more facilities than any other system. These offer you flexibility for driving purchases in the current visit and for bringing shoppers back more often.
  13. You have access to extraordinary customisation through settings, enabling you to represent your business how you want.
  14. Embedded in our software are facilities for tracking how the software is used. This enables us to help you reduce employee theft.
  15. Retail focussed. A challenge of retail is to uncover opportunities early. Smart reports in the Tower software unlock information about opportunities in your business on which you can rely for business planning.

Tower Systems is engaged with bike retailers and cyclists to ensure the software serves the community in a way that is respectful and enjoyable.

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Tower Systems participating in university software development study

Tower Systems is grateful to be participating in a university study into software development practices.

This comprehensive study  delves deep into the processes of professional software development from the top down. At the heart of the study is the desire for an understanding of what drives success for a software project.

Serving close to 3,000 small business retailers across several retail business niche channels, we are well skilled to speak on software development project success from inside our business and from there experience perspective.

While we are regularly approached to participate in software development studies, this request was particularly appealing given the depth of analysis being undertaken and the benefits that are certain to flow for other Australian / New Zealand software development companies.

We are a software development company first and foremost. Developing software sits at the heart of what we do. Getting this right is central of our business mission. Taking time to be introspective about what we do and how we do it is, of itself, beneficial to what we do. This is why we embrace opportunities to participate in research projects focused on our area of business specialisation.

Developing software is complex, challenging, exiting, exhilarating and complex all at once – especially with so many businesses already using the software you are continuing to develop and enhance. You need to bring existing customers along on the journey but in a way that does not harm their businesses. Plus you need to be building software that is exciting and fun for people who have never used the software before. The intersection between both types of customers – existing and new – is where real complexity lies.

University driven research studies help us step back and consider carefully what we do from a distance of valuable perspective. This, we think, helps us build better and more valuable software from which our customers and we benefit.

Tower Systems welcomes more studies like this latest one – through which we can see what we do from the perspective of others analysing us and our processes. Each engagement reminds us of our mission and the value of this mission to the economy, business families and our own families.

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The 24/7 x 365 days POS software company

Here at Tower Systems we take serving our small business retail customers seriously. Our company is open for business 24/7. Our help desk is accessible 365 days a year. Our knowledge base articles are regularly updated and this blog is updated daily – reflecting that we are live, fresh and in service of our customers.

We know most of ur small business customers are open 365 days a year so it is appropriate we are here on this blog as well as through our help desk for them.

Personal and accessible service is vital to small business retailers and the best way we can demonstrate this is by being here for queries, help and assistance. 24/7. 365 days a year.

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POS software competitors can give us a laugh

We have a competitor who has a history of copying not only innovation in our software but also marketing and even blog posts here. Not always directly competing on what we publish but picking up on topics we lead with and then writing an opposing view. This is all fine because strong competition is good for any business. But what is even better for a business is leadership.

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Small businesses – good for Australia, small tech businesses – even better

Mark Latham wrote in The Australian Financial Review on May 30, 2015:

Self-evidently, if small businesses were any good they would’t be small. They would be big monstrous things with massive levels of profit, employment and economic grunt.

As the owner of a small business that solely serves small businesses I say Mark Latham is wrong. I know of many small businesses that are profitable and making excellent contributions economically and socially in their areas.

I started Tower Systems in 1981 to serve small businesses like yours. Today we are thrilled to serve close to 3,000 independent small businesses.

Our mission is to help small businesses owners run their businesses efficiently and profitably, with foresight and confidence about the right business decisions. Our assistance goes way beyond the software itself.

We develop and sell software specifically for: pet shopsgift shopsjewellersbike retailersgarden centresnewsagentstoy shopsfirearms retailers and adult shops.

This makes us very different to the likes of MYOB, Retail Express, RMS, Lightspeed, vend and others who offer generic retail management and POS software.

Thanks to our specialisation you can expect more from us, more facilities specific to your type of business and more after sales services for your type of business.

Like any good small business, our business is personal. That is, from the moment you contact us you will deal with someone by name. You’ll have their mobile number and their email address. This continues when you speak with our help desk – we have real people using their real names, people you can call back and talk to further.

You have access to me as the owner of the company too. My number is 0418 321 338 and my email mark@towersystems.com.au. By sharing this I am backing the claims I make – that using my software will help you enjoy your business more, make more money and make your business more valuable.

As a customer you would have easy access to senior management. This keeps us connected and demonstrates that we take good personal customer service seriously.

If you want to make your independent retail business worth more and more enjoyable to own, give us a call and let us show you want a good POS software company looks like.

Our retail consultants are here to listen to you and to help:

  • NSW/ACT/TAS/QLD. Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148.
  • WA/SA/NT. Tim Batt. 0401 833 917.
  • VIC. Mike Hill. 0423 848 482.

See our company website and our company blog for more information.

My name is Mark Fletcher. I am the owner of Tower Systems. I believe in small business. My contact details are: 0481 321 338 and mark@towersystems.com.au.

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Some post budget commentators fail to understand the benefits of the small business instant asset write off

I write this as the owner of an Australian POS software company serving several specialist retail channels, as a newsagent and as the owner os a couple of other businesses serving small businesses in Australia.

I am disappointed at some of the commentary about the instant asset write offannounced in the federal budget this week. I have heard media commentators call it a tax break, a gift, a hand out, a return to the age of entitlement and a more. I have also heard commentators question whether small business owners will do the right thing and spend the money honestly.

These comments are ignorant, they do not reflect the thinking of small business owners. Small business owners are a passionate breed, usually putting the needs of our businesses ahead of much else in our lives. We don’t engage in tax schemes to avoid paying Australian taxes, we don’t domicile in tax havens to avoid tax, we don’t use visa programs to import workers ahead of Australians.

Most small business owners are too busy in their businesses to even dream of the schemes we read others use.

Small business owners work long hours, usually for below award rate wages – because they love the independence of working for themselves and, yes, the feeling of making a genuine contribution. I happily work a minimum of 80 hour s a week and have done for decades.

Let’s look at what the instant asset write off actually is. Check out this from the federal government’s budget website:

ACCELERATED DEPRECIATION
All small businesses will get an immediate tax deduction for any individual assets they buy costing less than $20,000. (Currently, the threshold sits at $1,000).

This $20,000 limit applies to each individual item. Small businesses can apply this $20,000 rule to as many individual items as they wish. These arrangements start from Budget night and continue until the end of June 2017.

There is no extra money, no grant or gift. All that is being done is speeding up the writing off of the expense. The budget measure improves cash flow.

A small business owner wanting to buy a new TV, to take one comment I heard several times, will still have to fund the TV – meaning they will want a business purpose for the TV.

I own a few businesses and while none is eligible for the instant asset write off, they serve small businesses which will be eligible for the instant asset write off.

Based on comments from small business owners to me since the budget, I am confident the instant asset write off is a valuable step needed to get many small business owners thinking about their businesses, considering what investments they could make knowing they get a deduction in the year of purchase and not spread over time.

Yes, I am conflicted as I stand to benefit. I mention this in case it has not been clear up to now. The economy benefits too. Take my POS software company:

  1. More small business owners like newsagents, bike retailers, pet shop owners, jewellers, gift shop owners and others will purchase our POS software.
  2. Used how we train them, our POS software will help the businesses:
    1. Cut costs.
    2. Increase sales.
    3. Reduce theft.
    4. Make better quality business decisions.
    5. In short, their businesses will be worth more. I have seen newsagents do this and hire more staff. Others have paid off loans sooner – making more funds available to banks for more lending.
  3. My software company benefits from more revenue and more customers. More customers = more staff. We benefit, the new staff benefit and the economy benefits.
  4. The software we sell is Australian. Any support for this is good for the country.
  5. The tax we pay is higher as a percentage of sales than the big companies in the news recently. Boos us and you boost the economy. You boost us by supporting our customers. You support our customers by encouraging them to invest in their businesses.

To the commentators making noise about a possible surge in TV and car sales, take a moment to think that there are ethical Aussie companies with productivity tools servicing small Aussie businesses – and that together we can deliver measurable economic benefits.

Commentators: stop talking us down.

Now, to my politics. I voted Greens at the last election as I thought their small business policy was better than the major parties. I have not voted Liberal for many elections. While this is none of your business, I felt it important to say to show I am not writing this as an ideologue.

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New POS software website launched

Quietly, earlier today, we launched a new website for our POS software company: http://www.towersystems.com.au. delivering a fresh face for our business and packed with new content, the website accurately represents us – what we do, what we stand for and how we make a difference.

This is not just a re-skin, it’s a fresh sight including new content management facilities and a new e-commerce integration.

The launch is the culmination of work from a team of dedicated, skilled and creative people we are proud to call colleagues.

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Love in the POS software

loveWe have included a nod to Valentine’s Day with the breakfast on offer at our POS Software co. head office this morning. The heart shaped donuts are a bit of fun for Valentine’s Day tomorrow, a retail season important to many of our customers.

Every day here at Tower Systems the love flows as we develop and support software that helps independent retailers run better and more enjoyable businesses. We love what we do.

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