We have updated the material we provide to new POS software customers we welcome to our business. Here is a new video we just shot to include in our welcome pack:
We have updated the material we provide to new POS software customers we welcome to our business. Here is a new video we just shot to include in our welcome pack:
For many, years Tower Systems has offered small business retailers access to professional help in detecting, reducing and prosecuting employee theft. In our small business POS software we have excellent services that support this.
In our management team we have skilled professionals who have helped police, prosecutors, insurers and others in situations of employee theft. Our approach is evidence based, professional, discrete and thorough.
Our theft mitigation and theft management services are handled at the leadership team level of the Tower Systems business as this is where the experience lies through helping retail businesses in a variety of retail sectors.
In our decades of experience, it is essential the business draw a line in the sand on the issue of employee theft. This is best done by the establishment of a theft policy. This is best done as a document that employees sign. We provide our customers with a template theft policy. We share this here today for anyone to see and consider for their business.
PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
Xero does not permit all POS software companies to partner with them. This can get those who miss out offside, talking their product down. Tower Systems has been a Xero partner for years, delivering a beautiful easy-to-use PO software Xero link.
Xero POS Software Integration
Save time, eliminate bookkeeping costs, cut mistakes and make better business decisions sooner with the Tower Systems POS software Xero integration.
The Xero integration designed by Tower Systems, working with the folks at Xero, makes it easy for small business retailers to cut accounting paperwork and thereby tap into time and money saving benefits.
We use our Xero integrated POS software ourselves. This enables us to provide practical advice on how to benefit the most from Xero and our POS software working together.
Our customers have access to our in-house CPA, to provide a professional accounting perspective on the link and how to get the most from it.
Tower Systems is a unique POS software company. In addition to serving 3,500+ small business retailers, we own and operate several retail businesses as live test sites. Our in-house CPA manages the accounts for these retail businesses.
Find out more, watch this video:
We are frustrated with the world is ending type reporting relating to the arrival in Australia of Amazon. More stories have been published recently. Most stories are not reporting. Rather, they are ignorant fear-mongering. Unfortunately, the wrong people are often quoted, like the ever-shrill Gerry Harvey.
We shot this video to provide some thoughts on the arrival of Amazon and to offer suggestions for small business retailers.
If your year-on-year sales are not down in your retail business, this advice is not for you.
If your year-on-year sales are down, something must change if you want to turn the situation around, please read on.
Sometimes, when we are asked by retailers how to deal with a year on year sales decline, our suggestions are not taken up and the business keeps doing what it was doing. In doing this, the declining trend will continue.
We appreciate it can be challenging looking outside of the fog of declining sales and worsening business performance numbers. However, if you cannot reach out beyond this fog the survival of the business is at risk.
Here is the most important statement relating to our advice:
If you keep doing what you have been doing, the sales results in your business will be what they have been, the trend is unlikely to change.
It would be a mistake to think that external factors are the sole reason your sales are down.
So, change is necessary – change in what you sell, how you merchandise and how you promote.
It is only from change that the sales decline could be arrested and reversed.
Our advice is to look for u-turn or right turn opportunities, changes you can implement to divert you from your current path.
Suggesting such changes is something we can do through looking at your business performance data for you. Ask us to challenge you. We will first ask to see your year on year data at a detailed level as this will reveal the truth of the situation and from there we can develop change suggestions for your consideration.
Why ask a POS software company? We see data from many different businesses. That perspective can help. We are retailers too and have been for decades. That provides a body of experiences on which we can draw in considering advice we can provide. We will gladly leverage our experiences to help in any situation.
We don’t have all the answers, we will even suggest ideas we later discover are mistakes. However, doing what you have been doing in a situation of declining sales is a bigger mistake.
Can we help?
Age restricted products are a risk for small business retailers in that regulations are tight and penalties for selling to underage shoppers considerable, including the potential loss of right to sell age restricted products.
While it may sound simple to say that this product or that product cannot be sold to someone below a certain age, without the right forced checks and balances mistakenly doing just that is relatively easy.
Our advice to small business retailers selling age restricted products is that they implement appropriate barrier checks and balanced in their POS software to ensure that their age restricted product approach is best practice.
Use your POS software to fore an age check on every purchase. This shows the business having zero tolerance for avoiding the age check. Regularly remind staff about this. Do these things and any violation the retail sales person deliberately violating business policy and defrauding the business in their use of the age check facilities in the POS software.
These steps can help should the business be caught serving an underage customer. You can prove the processes were black and white and that the server needed to lie to the ach check barrier in the POS software for the transaction to proceed.
Retailers can decide for themselves which products have age check and which do not. This should be reviewed regularly to ensure it is up to date, to ensure that the right checks and balances are in place to show the business is meeting all regulatory age check obligations.
Get your age check processes right from the outset and you can layer the business with a level of protection that is vital. For sure, there is an operational delay in selling age restricted products, but this is minor when you consider the cost to the business of being caught breaking the law in this space.
Our advice to retailers is that they use the age restriction facilities in their POS software to ensure that they get it right, every time.
In our work, we deal with the issues of age restricted products in a range of retail channels including: newsagencies, firearms retail, produce stores and adult stores. In each case, there are different regulations and requirements to handle.
Here at Tower Systems we believe in making things easy for our customers.
This is why we do not use a computerised phone system with a menu a caller must navigate to get to the place in the company they want to contact.
It is also why we show our customers the people they can speak with. Real names with real photos and real contact details.
It is why we support multiple contact points such as phone, mobile phone, email, direct to our website queries, online chat, a private Facebook group, local user meetings, trade shows and more.
Yes, contacting us is easy. It is also a differentiator for us, one we are proud to support and grow.
In addition to the easy contact points we offer our customers, we support this with a structured escalation process, to provide small business retailers with escalation points on which they can rely to take any issue, concern or dispute further. These structured layers provide peace of mind to our customers and to our team members as there is knowledge that a door is never closed and that there is always an ear to listen and help.
While phone calls to our help desk are the most common method of contact with us, we are equally accessible by email, Facebook and elsewhere. We make sure we are where our customers want us to be. This is what we think good customer service is about – being accessible.
The priority service we provide our customers enables them to determine the importance of their contact with us. In setting their contact priority, they determine the speed of response they want. This is a form of self-triage for our customers. The result is greater focus on delivering to the service levels we publish.
We do not understand why POS software companies require customers to only email them with support queries. Often a query starts with a conversation. As the conversation evolves, the actual query emerges. This is important because sometimes small business POS software users don’t know what they don’t know, they are unable to ask a question that may be relevant. This is where early human to human interaction on the POS software help desk is vital.
We are looking the Xerocon conference, which starts today in Melbourne. It will be terrific to see not only Xero users and accountants but the other select few software companies approved by Xero. Here is part of what we offer in our direct POS software Xero link:
I want to share with you a true story of what happened recently in one of my own shops – yes, I own this POS software co as well as retail shops. It is a story of how a small everyday purchase led to something bigger and how this happened as a result of fundamental changes in how the business is run.
This story could happen in any retail business – city, country, large, small, shopping mall, high street. I make that point so you do not dismiss the story and think it could not happen in your business. The elements of the story work together in any size business. In writing about it here I’m not getting you to do anything other than to consider that you could achieve the same in your business.
At its core, this is a story about shopper loyalty, especially shopper loyalty in a retail situation where between 25% and 30% of shoppers visiting the business are not local and therefore not likely to engage with the old-school points-based loyalty program.
A customer passing the shop noticed our greeting card range and stepped into make a purchase because of a specific need. They purchased two cards. On their receipt was a voucher for almost $2.00. As they are not usually in the shopping centre they looked around for something in which to spend the $2.00.
This is the key: the customer came in to make a quick destination purchase. The type of purchase where we did not matter. They were on the way to the car park and happened to pass buy our shop. Point 1: location is in our favour. The stepped in because they saw our greeting cards. Point 2: the floor placement of cards was key in getting them in the shop.
Having made the purchase, the customer then noticed, for the first time, what else we sold – because of the $2.00 discount voucher on their receipt. Point 3: we got them to look around and see what else we sold.
The customer did a 180 degree turn and saw a locked glass cabinet of beautiful collectible bears. This was in the right place at the right time as they had been looking for a gift for a child. Money was not an issue. They wanted something to last a lifetime. They purchased a $500.00 bear.
This purchase would not have been made had they not been given the $2.00 voucher on their receipt. The voucher is what got them to notice what else we sold.
Fast forward several weeks and this customer who said they don’t usually come to the shopping centre was back for another $500.00 purchase. Now, several more weeks later, the customer has another $500.00 order placed.
I can directly trace more than $1,500.00 in sales back to the $2.00 voucher.
The software produced the voucher based on rules I established. The initial staff member serving the customer made a brief professional pitch highlighting the voucher. These are both important factors as they are at the core of a structured consistent approach to what has become the most lucrative loyalty program I have seen in my 30+ years involved in retail as a retailer myself and working with retailers in many different channels.
While most times vouchers are handed out they are not redeemed, they are redeemed enough to make them worthwhile. They are redeemed for good margin product as they get people looking at the shop for the first time and discovering items to purchase they were not in our four walls to consider.
The discount vouchers are disruptive. People respond in unpredictable ways.
Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.
For this story to work in a newsagency you need to have the right products, placed strategically in-store. Your staff need to make the right pitch. Plus, you need to be attracting people who don’t know and probably don’t care what shop they are in.
If you have read this post and thought it does not relate to you, that you could not do this in your business I say you are wrong. I am certain the approach I have shared with you could work in any newsagency in any situation. I urge you to not hold your business back.
Theft is retail can be expensive, particularly employee theft. Tower systems has a structured and proven approach for dealing with employee theft in retail businesses where the Tower Systems POS software is used.
The Tower POS software has tools for reducing the opportunity for theft. Better still, the software has hidden tools for tracking theft, tools that provide evidence police and prosecutors have used to successfully deal with theft situations.
It is the secret and secure facilities where our software provides retail business owners the evidence necessary to achieve successful resolution, as we have found in many employee theft situations where our help has been called upon.
Discovering theft by an employee can be debilitating and destabilising. To help you through this, Tower Systems provides advice and support on what to do once you discover employee theft. The goal is to offer straightforward steps to help you get through as it is on the other side of this where you can find the opportunity to move on from the feeling of violation that often accompanies employee theft in small business.
In addition to being a support, we provide practical advice an help for use our our POS software to reduce the opportunity for employee theft and shopper theft.
Follow this advice on how to use our specialist retail software to hamper opportunities for theft and bolster the certainty of detecting it before it’s too late:
These steps work. They are based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.
Retail is changing at a rapid rate. Changes in-store and online are making 2017 an important year.
We have see these changes first-hand at international retail conferences this year. We play with the changes in our own shops where we use our POS software and our website technology to find new customers and drive a higher average spend.
Come to one of our FREE workshops near you and find out more about how you can equip your retail business to confront the changes in retail, transact online and compete with big businesses, including Amazon.
Here are the dates for our free POS software / website workshops. Click on the city name to book your place:
We will share insights on how small business retailers around the world are using website connected POS software to win online sales.
We will explain how to get to the top of Google search results.
We will demonstrate the connection between social media posts (Facebook, Twitter etc) in-store sales and online sales.
There will be no hard sell. Our goal is to share practical information to help you better plan for the future of your regional retail business.
Anyone is welcome including people on whom you rely for advice, such as accountants and mentors.
If you have sales queries prior to these events please talk with your local account manager: QLD: Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.
I hope to see you at one of these workshops. I am keen to share with you what I have seen and learnt in this rapidly changing space.
There will be plenty of time for questions on any topic connected with retail.
The back room of a retail business is a window on the efficiency and focus of the business. This is a fair assumption because it is where the business is organized.. A disorganized back room reflects a likely disorganized business.
Organizing the back room is easy. Those who disagree are probably spending too much time thinking about it and not enough time creating an efficient and enjoyable work space.
Here are some simple tips for organizing the back room of any retail business.
Have defined areas. Separate, mark out and manage the areas for: inward goods, spare floor stock, returns, administration and employee rest space. Locate each area in a logical position.
For example, inward goods needs to be located inside the doorway away from main traffic but close enough to be convenient to delivery people. Create a defined process around this space – such as every delivery being signed for and even verified by a second person if the value of deliveries warrants this.
Administration documents and materials need to be located in an area more secure than the general back room space. It also needs to be in office cabinets and units which can be locked.
A place for everything. Pens, pencils, tape, box cutters, scissors, paper, boxes, packaging materials – everything in the back room should have its defined space. This creates a safer and more enjoyable work environment. The better organization also encourages all others in the organization to be better organized. Lead by example.
Communicate clearly. Setup a notice board or a white board onto which you can communicate with all employees. This should be located next to the door which leads from the room to the shop floor. The noticeboard can share important information about the business as well as required health and safety notices.
Don’t hoard. Retailers are notorious hoarders, handing on to everything in case they need it one day. While it is easy to say don’t hoard, the reality is different. Here is a simple tip for retailers with space available. Set aside some space, hopefully somewhat hidden – where you put anything which you are not using and don’t think you will need but are not prepared to throw out. Not the date you put it there. review this space every six months. Items you do not use in six months should be thrown out.
Structure and discipline are the keys to a good back room. get these right and the business itself will become more organized as a result.
This is an example of practical business advice we provide at Tower Systems to our retail customers, advice beyond our POS software, to help our retail business partners get more from their engagement with us.
Employee theft in small retail businesses remains the biggest single concern among small business retailers and the biggest single cost to retail businesses.
We say this based on evidence of interaction with 3,500+ small business retailers in our user community and from working with plenty of retailers outside our user community, helping them to deal with the hurt and cost of discovering theft by retailers.
We have tried many approached to getting the attention of small business retailers on the issue of theft. One of the most successful means of engagement has been this cheeky video from us. It gets attention.
We have used it through YouTube as well as other platforms. It works a treat, gaining thousands of views.
We are grateful for the support from our customers for our free online POS software training. Here is the June schedule. All free. All available to any of our customers. We do so many sessions because of all our customers. Even with this list we are sure to add more closer to the time.
Meet Ben: he is skilled in retail and this is reflected on our constantly evolving small business POS software. Ben is another Tower Systems advantage.
Tower Systems has moved to the next phase of its professional website development services for small business retailers with the launch of a package of web sales fulfilment tools.
The latest enhancements extend the best-practice approach by the Tower Systems web development team and deliver wonderful website initiatives for websites developed in Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. These three platforms account for around 75% of all e-commerce sites.
Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce, coupled with the Tower Systems retail management software creates a powerful high street and online retail solution for small business retailers.
Tower Systems is proud to be using world renowned platforms and enhancing these with the latest in fulfilment facilities.
In addition to linking our POS softer direct to magento and Shopify based websites, Tower Systems links to WooCommerce sites.
The latest integration is another example of Tower Systems delivering best practice integrations to best practice products.
When it comes to websites for small business retailers or any business for that matter, the best solution is one that has been proved around there world. Locally developed content management systems are not good for business websites as there are maintenance challenges.
WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento represent around 80% of ecommerce sites globally. There is no need to go beyond these three.
Tower Systems is grateful to the three ecommerce platform businesses for their encouragement and support of our moves in this space. Their encouragement has helped us do this good work in the interested of our small business customers.
We have just completed a sweep of Australian capital cities hosting face to face small business POS software group user meetings.
At these interactive sessions we demonstrated our soon to be released new software and provided a preview of our set new look and feel.
Across the country the responses have been terrific and valuable. The Q&A part of the user meeting series has ben particularly useful as we have been able to answer questions, learn from our customers and share in a practical and personal way with and for our customers.
The hosting of the user meetings is a real advantage for Tower Systems customers and a point t of difference for us. We could not have done what we have just done had it not been for engaged and connected customers who encourage us every day of the week.
Access to the sessions was free. In addition to terrific content we ensured easy access to parking. Plus we provided catering to keep attendees nourished.
By being in front of our customers through these meetings and offering face to face access to our leadership team in attendance, Tower Systems is making itself accountable to its customers. There is no more important task for a POS software company than this – than being practically accountable to those who use the software and rely on it day to day in their businesses.
Tower Systems has announced details of its first series of face to face user meetings for 2017. This is the company putting itself in front of customers in key locations.
We have scheduled sessions for Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne, starting March 27, 2017.
Our first meeting starts today, in Brisbane.
We will demonstrate the new look and feel of our Retailer POS software, our Shopify / Magento and Woo Commerce integrations, our Xero integration and much more. Plus there will be time for your questions. Free training. An opportunity to pitch your suggestions.
This is an excellent chance to leverage more from your relationship with us. Click here to book and see venue details. Yes, we will announce more dates soon.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the software, discuss change requests and provide feedback on our services.
It is rare today that POS software companies offer sessions like this, except from Tower Systems – we do it regularly as a core customer service offering.
We ae grateful to our customers for their support.
Tower Systems owns and operates retail businesses in part to provide us with practical experience on which we can draw to provide better software support experiences for our small business retail customers.
Here are my reasons, as owner of the company, for deciding to not embrace the Sunday penalty rates decision in my retail businesses:
This is not a permanent decision. It is possible I will modify my position as the marketplace situation evolves. If I did and thereby embraced a saving in labour costs, I anticipate through would be invested in more hours.
All business owners need to reach their own conclusions on this matter. Unfortunately, as a country we are bereft of leadership on broader issues that should be confronted in any economic setting adjustment as has been done with Sunday penalty rates.
The Tower Systems POS software Shopify link is another smart commercial link form Tower Systems. The link connects to this professional and popular e-commerce platform.
Retailers should only ever go with well-known internationally successful e-commerce platforms. Anything else can be problematic.
Shopify is one of the easiest ways to setup and run an ecommerce store. We think it provides you with the ideal place to create you first website and gain experience in the world of ecommerce. You have complete control over the look and feel of your online store and can instant access fantastic look themes to reflect the personality of your business. For more information visit www.shopify.com.au.
How does the link work?
The link works by using the TALink platform platform to connect to the shopify API and synchronise your data.
Retailer is your master stock database. You flag what stock items you want to appear on your shopify store.
Descriptions and extended descriptions are added as your titles and descriptions in Shopify. Newly flagged products are automatically added and if you edit items in Retailer you have field level control over how these are handled in Shopify.
Department and Categories
Your Retailer Departments and Categories become collections in Shopify. You can have a chose of either
Department level collections or category level, but not both. If you choose to synchronise either a department or category, your existing structure will be mirrored and managed in Shopify automatically. If, however, you decide not link your Department and Categories in Shopify, you can allocate collections manually to products once they are added.
Prices and Quantity On Hand
You have control over your webstore pricing from within the Retailer Stock Screen. Bulk updates of the webstore prices can be performed in Stock Manager. Once new prices are set, your web store is updated automatically. Quantity on hand is also managed automatically, when your sell or arrive an item into stock these adjustments are sent directly to Shopify. If the quantity on hand of an items drops to 0, the item is marked as out of stock in Shopify.
The images you set against stock items in Retailer are automatically uploaded to your website. If images change, then old one is removed and the new one is added. You can upload as many images as you like per stock item.
Customers that purchase off your webstore are added as customers in your Retailer database, allowing you to track what they buy and market to them if you desire. Existing customers with an email address will also be added to your web store to facilitate easy sales if you choose.
Sales are downloaded on a periodic basis and imported into Retailer. They are imported into our Customer Invoice Maintenance facility allowing you to place orders and print invoices if needed. Once sales are imported it reduces your quantity on hand so you maintain accurate stock control. Sales can be allocated to a specific location.
Shopify is a dream too setup and connect with our small business POS software.
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.
There are versions of the software serving the business specific needs of:
Linking directly to Xero enhances the time-saving gained through the software as well as facilitating the accuracy of data managed by the software.
Our Xero link provides for a data feed of sales as well as purchases.
With a CPA working full time in our business we are configured to provide a technical solution that has been overseen by our own Accountant, to ensure it is a viable solution for the small business retailers we serve.
Our Xero integration is one of many approved integrations provided by the software to serve the needs of retailers. Other integrations include:
CLOUD OR NOT
The Tower Systems POS software can run on the desktop or 100% in the cloud. Retailers decide what they prefer.
In its cloud offer, Tower Systems offers a 100% hosted solution running in a secure purpose-build location with high-level security and backup. This solution is offered on a SAAS (Software As A services) model with minimal on-boarding costs and a single monthly fee.
Retailers who prefer local control can purchase or lease-finance the software. Once acquired, there are no mandatory annual access fees.
This flexible approach to pricing provides retailers the maximum flexibility in acquisition model.
WHAT THE SOFTWARE OFFERS.
This is a comprehensive and flexible Point of Sale software package offering facilities in many areas of retail business operation.
PERSONAL SERVICE MATTERS.
Here are areas where the Tower Systems approach shines, where our personal service matters.
Our training is personal, one-on-one. It is delivered in-store, by someone with extensive retail experience.
Our help desk is based in hawthorn victoria. When people call, the call is answered by a human and not a computerised phone system. We believe in personal service.
Every week except at Christmas and Easter we offer free online training workshops where retailers can learn more and talk to each other about how they use the software.
Every customer has access to free one-on-one training year after year.
We regularly host user meetings around the country where people can meet our management and technical team in an open group setting for more free training and free assistance. We believe in making ourselves accessible.
WE ARE RETAILERS TOO.
We own and operate several retail businesses, providing us with experience every day that enables us to walk in the shoes of our customers. We also use these shops as test sites for early releases of software updates plus we are happy for customers and prospects to visit the shops and learn from what we do ourselves in leveraging the software.
THE CUSTOMERS ARE IN CONTROL.
At the Tower Systems website, click on Software Ideas to see our transparent approach to customer engagement on software enhancements. This is world-class.
Our customers can make suggestions. These are assessed to ensure they will actually work. All customers are then invited to vote on the suggestions. The more votes the faster we bring the suggestion to reality.
This is democratic software development in action.
We believe our customers know more about hat they need from their software than we do.
Tower Systems is close to launching new fresh software for small business retailers with software for: gift shops, jewellers, bike shops, toy shops, fishing/outdoors businesses, garden centres/nurseries, pet shops, produce stores, firearms businesses and newsagents –
Book now for one of these free events. Any small business retailer is welcome. See the ne software. Engage in free training. Provide feedback.
We will have senior management and technical people attending so any question or feedback will reach the right person.
The benefits of these sessions is they are live, face to face and easily accessible.
These sessions are in addition to our weekly live online workshops and our extensive trade show engagement.