POS software knowledge base enhancements

Tower Systems updates articles and resources on its Knowledge Base regularly. We advise customer by email, proving links to enhanced and new content. Recent enhancement of the knowledge base included:

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Kudos for Tower Systems POS software – Xero interface

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 5.01.22 pmRetail businesses connecting with the Xero cloud based accounting software through our POS software are growing in number as word spreads about the time saved as a result of the seamless link.

As users of Xero and our software in retail ourselves we are able to speak to the difference and share practical insights into the time saved and the mistakes eliminated through the elimination of what would otherwise be manual processes.

Being approved by Xero is not a simple process – as it should hot be. Their approval process is one reason some POS software companies don’t get to the point of partnership.

The Tower Systems POS software – Xero link has featured in a Xero approved promotion this month to retailers in the specialist retail channels in which we serve.

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New free small business POS software training opportunities launched by Tower Systems

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.14.43 amSmall business POS software company Tower Systems is proud to have launched a new series of free online POS software training for retailers using its specialist POS software.

The latest training continues our commitment free weekly training opportunities for small business retailers. It is actions speaking loader than words.

We launched the training early this week. We are writing about it here after the launch to our customers.

Anyone can announce training. It takes commitment to deliver it week in week out.

We are grateful to our customers for their support.

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Sunday retail management advice: track staff sales

Have your staff members record sales by using their staff card barcode or some other unique code and report weekly on the sales achieved. Sharing this simple data point will encourage competition and this is good for all involved in the business including customers.

In one business where we guided this implementation revenue growth can be tracked back to the implementation.

We’d love to help any retailer do this.

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Certification for POS software training achievement

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 8.00.46 amTower Systems is thrilled to issue certificates to retail business employees who complete the structured curriculum based training in the use of our POS software.

Across several curricula developed y retail channel and retail business task areas, the training offers an opportunity to develop valuable knowledge not only in the practical use of our software but also in the business application of the software.

POS software training achievement certificates give retail employees a marker of their learning achievement, something of which they can be proud.

The image is of a certificate issued last week to another successful candidate in a business using our pet shop software.

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Sunday retail management advice: leverage shop local

IMG_9093The shop local movement has a good profile. Locals do tend to prefer to shop local. Retailers need to actively and consistently leverage this through a regular reminder but such a reminder is hollow unless you offer local benefits such as community engagement, hiring locally and sourcing locally made products. Actively engaging in the business through locally focussed decisions helps any retailer bring power and strength to their calls for people to shop local.

This is our advice today – if you pitch shop local, live in in your shop every day and show you yourselves believe in it.

Tower Systems helps retailers actively pitch and live the shop local mantra through its POS software and through the business support the company provides in its training and on its website.

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POS Software Xero link saves time and money for small business retailers

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 7.46.57 amAs an authorised software partner of Xero cloud based accounting, Tower Systems is delivering time and money saving benefits to retailers using its POS software.

We link to Xero ourselves in our own retail businesses using our POS software. This provides us with accountant level experience, experience we are happy to share as part of the support services we provide to help retailers get more value from our software.

Jewellers, bike retailers, gift shop owners, pet shop owners, newsagents, firearms retailers, discount variety store owners and garden centre owners cal all benefit from the Tower Systems POS software / Xero link facility as it is available in channel specific software.

While we do link to MYOB and Quicken, the Xero link is our favourite because of the way Xero operates and how the company itself serves partnerships like ours.

Being able to draw on personal experiences makes a difference in POS software company support.

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Sunday retail management advice: live and be local

IMG_8799Thanks to smart tools in the Tower Systems POS software, our small business retail partners are able to connect with, promote and support local engagement in a variety of valuable and sustainable ways.

We are grateful for the opportunities to help small business retailers engage locally in this way.

From actively supporting local community groups to promoting local events to supporting local suppliers, the Tower Systems POS software is ideal for small and independent retailers who want to pitch a genuine local message.

A successful local connection requires strategic planning and consistent execution. This is where the various facilities in our software can help retailers – we offer multiple touch points and the certainty of consistency. It is a valuable offering on which our retail partners can count.

As part of the Tower AdvantageTM our local credential

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POS software helps small business retailers grow sales

Our sales are up by 15% year on year and I put much of that down to your loyalty software.

This is a real retailer sharing their results for the 2014/15 financial year.

We started using discount vouchers a year and a half ago and in the last twelve months we have seen the biggest sales surge in our history.

A deep analysis of sales and other data shows the valuable extent to which Discount Vouchers are changing shopper behaviour and attracting new shoppers.

We have a point of difference nearby competitors don’t have. We love it.

In this business they call the Discount Voucher a Thank You Voucher. This is one of many benefits in our POS software – retailers can call the vouchers what they want. They also set how the voucher is calculated and the products it can be redeemed for.

Retailers from many channels are growing their businesses thanks to our unique Discount Voucher facilities. retailers implementing them following our advice can do so at no cost to the business. They can bank on a commercial result that will deliver excellent bottom line results.

The Discount Voucher facilities live up to our promise: we’re here to help.

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Sunday retail management tip: leverage a point of difference on loyalty

11800610_722882817857496_9022396491198622984_n (1)More and more retailers are switching from the old school points based loyalty programs to our discount vouchers. They are finding the vouchers are driving more immediate and more valuable outcomes for retailers – they are driving a better bottom line. We are hearing new success stories daily.

It is thrilling hearing success stories of how businesses have switched from points to $$ loyalty offers. It’s exciting and invigorating hearing of small and independent retailers achieving excellent outcomes for their businesses and knowing that we have played a role in this.

This is our retail management tip today – chase a point of difference, leverage new age discount vouchers and stop using the old points based loyalty offers.

Retailers can call the vouchers what they like. They can also choose how the value on a voucher is calculated and what it can be redeemed for.

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Sharing insights from UK bike shops with bike retailers

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 9.14.40 pmWe are proud to have shared a special report of insights from several UK bike shops with Australian bike retailers.

The insights have been well received.

Our report covered marketing, maintenance and community service aspects of a range of different bike retailers in Leeds and Manchester – sharing photos and information that could be put to practical use by bike retailers in Australia.

The report demonstrates a support for the bike retail channel that is unique to Tower Systems – the company behind excellent bike shop software.

We’re here to help.

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Support for #smallbusiness #retail is vital for our POS software company

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 7.19.59 amAt Tower Systems we live our support for small business retailers every day from practical help we provide through our POS software to the business management assistance we provide through a host of free resources any small business retailer can access.

The new free small business retail marketing collateral we sent out last week has been a hit with businesses contacting us appreciative of these local targeted resources they can use to promote their businesses.

What does this have to do with POS software? Plenty we say as our POS software helps make retail businesses more efficient and smarter. The marketing resources help them spread their message wider than they otherwise might. The two work hand in hand.

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve small business retailers in a variety of ways.

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Another POS software training video from Tower Systems

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 2.59.19 amWe have launched another training video for retailers using our POS software. This new video is not your usual training – no, it highlights a new feature of the software, something fresh for all users. It provides a high level introduction from one of the architects of the new facility. All customers have been provided free access to the video and plenty have viewed it already. We are thrilled for such terrific engagement.

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Comparing Tower Systems Bike Shop software to Lightspeed

Tower Systems has been recently asked to compare its bike shop software to the Lightspeed software also being promoted to bike retailers. here are headline differences from what we can see:

The Tower Systems bike shop software is:

  • Australian developed software.
  • Developed with Australian and New Zealand Bike retailers.
  • Offering direct supplier links with Australian and New Zealand suppliers.
  • The people installing the software are from the company that writes the software.
  • The people who support the software are from the company that writes the software.
  • Our Aussie based help desk is available 24/7.
  • You can run the software from your desktop or through the cloud.
  • Our users can speak directly with our software development team.
  • We have a transparent user forum for the suggestion and discussion of bike software enhancements.
  • Company management and owners are Australian based.

Tower systems serves close to 200 local bike shops today.

Anyone looking at software for their bike shop should thoroughly research the software and the company. This is best done in your business, starting with a discussion of your business needs. A good software company will work hard to ensure they meet your needs.

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Using a fresh approach in loyalty to differentiate your retail business

While running a points based loyalty program is what most retail businesses using our POS software do, it is our Discount Voucher facilities that deliver the best results we are seeing.

In our own retail businesses we will report growth of 10% in the three months to June 30, 2015. Much of the success comes down to smart use of Discount Vouchers.

Using our POS software you can run a points program that looks and feels just like what the major supermarkets and department stores offer. It’s easy to setup. Your customers carry a professional plastic card with your brand. Alternatively, you can use Discount Vouchers.

Discount Vouchers don’t need a card – they print on receipts and offer an amount customers can spend right away. Our experience and the experience of hundreds of our customers is that Discount Vouchers drive faster and deeper engagement with the business – making a visit more valuable right away.

dvsthlYou can call the voucher anything you like and change this at any time.

You set the rules on how the value of the voucher is calculated.

You set the rules on what the voucher can be redeemed for.

You set the rules on how long a voucher lasts and whether you can go beyond this.

Male shoppers are more likely to spend the voucher immediately.

Many customers use the voucher to purchase items more expensive than the items in the initial purchase.

Customers see the voucher as cash, often commenting that they like this better than points. They like the transparency.

In our own retail experience where we compete with major retailers in a Westfield centre we have shoppers commenting they like our vouchers compared to the rewards programs of our competitors.

We are confident that our Discount Voucher facilities can help you:

– Get customers spending more in a visit.

– Bring existing customers back sooner.

– Attract new shoppers to your business.

– Drive impulse purchases at the sales counter.

Our POS software discount Voucher facilities have been developed for: pet shopsgift shopsjewellersbike retailersgarden centresnewsagentstoy shopsfirearms retailers and adult shops.

Our retail consultants can 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.

You also have access to Mark Fletcher, the owner of the company. His number is 0418 321 338 and his email mark@towersystems.com.au.

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More POS software training for the new financial year

Tower Systems has kicked off the New Financial Year with the launch of fresh POS software user training opportunities for retailers who partner with us.

The free online new training is genuinely new: fresh, new topics … designed to help retailers get more from their Tower Systems relationship.

Our customers can book in for the free training now from our website. We send an email with instructions on how to get online.

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Best practice stocktake advice for small business POS software users

This advice is about the best business approach to undertaking a stocktake. Please refer to other Knowledge base articles on how to actually use the software. All retailers using our POS software have access to our knowledge base.

Please ensure you have the latest version of the Tower Systems Retailer POS software installed prior to undertaking a stocktake.

For the process to be as easy as possible you will need a wireless network – vital for OH&S reasons.

The best way to do a stocktake in your business is by using a laptop (or laptops) or tablet computer with a scanner attached. This enables you to do the stocktake live with no impact on sales and absolute integrity of your stock on hand data.

While using a laptop (or laptops) or tablet computer may seem cumbersome, it is our best practice advice for speed, data integrity and the ability to address data issues you may encounter on the shop floor. It enables you to do management work to ensure completely accurate data.

The alternative is to use a PDE. The challenges with this are the many different PDEs and it is challenging to be expert in all plus the PDE counts at that time and you load the data at a later time – meaning a gap in time in which sales could have been done. While PDE software is available for live to data updates, we have seen this be problematic and so we do not use it.

Given the advances in technology, our best practice recommendation is either a laptop of tablet computer as either offers a better solution than a PDE.

We suggest you setup a Laptop or tablet and use Team Viewer or the like to connect in and count this way. This approach means you do not need to purchase an additional software licence for the laptop. Team Viewer is easy to setup.

For the physical stocktake, we suggest you approach the business aisle by aisle, counting and rearranging stock as you go.

Once you have completed your first full stocktake, our advice is you engage in a rolling stocktake, doing parts of the business, through the year. The Tax Office does not require businesses with full sock control implemented to do a stocktake at the end of the financial year. They will accept data from your system if you manage stock through the year.

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Sunday retail management advice: use your POS software well

This advice seems simple, obvious – yet it is advice that must good POS software companies repeat daily. Here at Tower Systems we take this seriously we offer advice on how to use the software well, how to run a better business with the support of the software

Going beyond what is traditional in POS software support, Tower Systems helps its customers get more. Here are some of the ways retailers can use their POS software well:

  1. To track everything sold by item detail.
  2. To track all products returned.
  3. To manage gift vouchers.
  4. To run your Lay-By program.
  5. To create order for replenishment stock.
  6. To manage the employee roster.
  7. To track inventory theft.
  8. To track all sales.
  9. To stop employee theft.

This list is just a start on how to use your POS software well.  Too many retailers use their software as a glorified cash register and we don’t like that. There are plenty more ways retailers can use their POS software to run more efficient and valuable businesses.

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Small business retailers love the time saved with POS software cloud backup service

bupThe cloud backup service launched last year by Tower Systems is popular with retailers using our POS software. Backups are seamless, not taking any noticeable time thanks to the smart technology. The result is welcome double protection.

While Tower Systems has supported external and automated backup services for years, this new cloud-based service that offers excellent protection to users of our POS software.

Run on a subscription basis and backing up to the cloud real-time through the day, this is a comprehensive replacement of the old end of shift backup approach for small and independent retailers.

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Xero cloud based accounting promotes the Tower Systems POS software

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 1.26.18 amCloud accounting software company Xero features Tower Systems and its retail management software on the Xero website. This privilege is for software companies which have met compliance requirements set by Xero. Tower Systems achieved this status last year. Since then, we have worked with Xero on communication with small business retailers about the benefits of our Xero integrated POS software solution.

We have plenty of retailers using our software and our automated link to Xero … saving them time and money in the management of their financial records.

We use the Xero live and automated link for our own retail businesses and can speak to the benefits ourselves.

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Good news from a retailer switching to our POS software

Thank you for helping us switch to your software. I had no idea we could do what we are already doing with your software. For years I thought I had a good software program. The time saving alone pays for itself. Thank you.

We love feedback from retailers who switch to us as it encourages us to work even harder at leveraging our point of difference. This latest retailer to switch provided us with comprehensive insights into the weaknesses of the software they have switched from, insights we can leverage in our communication with other retailers in the channel.

Making good POS software is one thing. Guiding retailers to get the maximum commercial value from the software is something else. This is where Tower Systems excels.

 

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Sunday retail management advice: how to act local in your independent retail business

Independent retail businesses often seek local shopper support. This Lismore easily achieved if these businesses themselves act locally and love locally. Here are some of the many act local suggestions we have developed over years of supporting local small and independent retail businesses:

  1. Support local community groups through raising awareness and funds.
  2. Use your retail space to attract locals on local issues.
  3. Leverage your communication channels to support local issues and groups.
  4. Offer practical help to local school.
  5. Be engaged in local representation on councils and committees.
  6. Preference hiring local people.
  7. Seek out local suppliers.
  8. Offer local training opportunities to local school students.
  9. If appropriate to your business, seek out local artists.
  10. Participate in local markets.
  11. Welcome local groups to raise funds from out the front of your shop.
  12. Get your business name on local sports team clothing.
  13. Learn and tell local stories.

We have many other suggestions to help independent local retailers to better connect with their local community … helping our customers way beyond our software.

Tower Systems serves close to 3,000 retailers using our smart POS software.

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POS software help desk support is about much more than the software

And how can I use that information in the business?

This is a question that can stump someone working on the help desk as a POS software company as it goes beyond the what and how and delves into the why. The answer to this question is a chink of gold that can be mined using smart POS software.

This is a questions the Tower Systems help desk team members can answer because the understand the why: why the software matters, why the data harvested is valuable, why a business owner wanting to grow the business will want to use the data.

This information is vital in small business as it is information that unlocks the real value of POS software for these small independent business users.

We can help small business owners understand data on reports as they relate to their specific businesses. Context is everything as they say and we know POS software cannot be one size fits all. A datapoint could be used by three different businesses in different ways depending on other metrics and KPIs. This is where our help desk team is smart and engaged.

Beyond the shat and how, our POS software help desk team loves to delve into the why.

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How small business retailers can quit dead stock and free up cash in their businesses

Small business retailers  could have thousands of dollars of stock sitting on their shelves taking up space. If stock is not selling, it’s costing you. Once you have identified stock that is not selling you can begin to quit this stock, by putting the stock on clearance and continually reducing pricing until it’s sold out. Even if this means selling it below cost, it will save you money in the long run.

Tip: You can work out how much your shop space is worth by dividing the rent by how many square meters of space you have.

If a product hasn’t sold for six months then it’s costing you money to warehouse it. Quitting the stock will stop the cost from building up further and allow you to replace it with stock that will sell. Here is advice on quitting dead stock using our smart POS software.

NOTE: To effectively use this advice you need accurate stock on hand levels. Poor stock management will mean the results here can’t be used. You need to be able to trust your QOH figure is correct for this advice to be useful.

Finding The Stock

Use the ranked sales report with the following settings to work out what isn’t selling and put that stock on clearance.

Go to Reports > Sales Reports > Ranked Sales Report.

Set your Start date back six months from today and the end date to today’s date. Set the rest of the report settings as below.

When the report runs you will see the following:

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Here you can see when the last time an item was sold (if at all) and the last time it was arrived.

Note: Items can show up that have only recently been arrived.

Ignore these items unless they haven’t sold in 4 to 5 months, then you may want to look into them.

The bottom of the report will give you a total cost of stock Inc and Ex GST. Consider this figure the value of dead stock in your store. You need to reduce this as much as possible.

Once you have the report print it out and start working through the list.

Set up a clearance table or bin somewhere in store and put product there with a clearance price. Simply advertise the area as Clearance Stock, Prices as Marked.

Keep discounting the product until it sells. Set a goal to get rid of the stock within say two weeks, if stock is still there after one week, discount further.

Now you can start filling that empty space with stock that is selling well. Use the Ranked Sales Report to show you top selling items and begin to build up those lines.

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