POS software product categories help retailers gain different views of business

catBeing able to analyse business performance from a range of views is vital to independent retailers. While most POS software products permit analysis by product department and supplier, too often they miss the opportunity for analysis by category.

In gift shops this is particularly useful where you may not replace a range with more stock from the range but, instead, find something else appealing to that shopper. This is where category level performance reporting is most useful.

Tracking sales of products that appeal to a cohort of shoppers provides a valuable of business performance that can guide better restocking decisions. It is especially useful at trade show time when looking for new products but products which appeal to those who have purchase other products from you.

The Tower Systems POS software provides multiple views of sales data to enable this type of analysis in small and independent retail businesses.

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POS software customers love secrets

Like all good software, there are gems within the Tower Systems POS software that are not widely known or that have been forgotten. The company yesterday hosted a full house online workshop where it outlined the hidden gems in the POS software. Customers loved it. Many let us know they learnt of functions, options and facilities they did lot know exist.

Tower Systems hosts these free online training workshops to help retailers learn more about their software and through this to leverage more value from their IT investment.

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Free POS software training for retail business employees

The Tower Systems Training Academy offers retail business owners and employes the ability to learn our POS software at their own pace and in their own location.

Business owners and employees using the Tower software can learn how to use the software when and where they want without having to pay extra for the privilege.

The training helps ensure new employees learn the software properly and it provides existing employees the ability to refresh knowledge and learn more.

With retail changing and demands on business owners and their employees growing, good knowledge is vital to efficient and profitable newsagency management.

Professionally produced in-house by Tower Systems and peer-reviewed, this training program is accessed through curriculum platform just released on the Tower website.

This wonderful online training resource is another Tower AdvantageTM.

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Stunning POS software receipt design shows off the pet shop business

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 12.37.15 pmTower Systems has the best installation and training people!

Look at how one of our retail partners is using their Pet Shop Software to offer receipts that look stunning.

This receipt was created by a member of our installation and training team while onsite installing our software.

The receipt has all the detail you could want for an accurate record of the sale.

Plus it has a unique barcode for easily finding the sale in the future.

And then there is the ad for the dog wash service – attracting shoppers back into the business.

The receipt is capped with the business logo.

Flexibility in receipt design is a hallmark of the Tower Systems POS software – all our retail partners have access to this so they can make their own beautiful receipts.

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A day in the life of our POS software company

Here’s a candid look at a day in the life of our POS software company. The video was shot just before Christmas. It shows real people working passionately for our small business customers.

We’re a diverse, engaged and professional bunch of people who love small business retail and the technology we make to serve businesses in this sector.

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Tower Systems POS software on the Microsoft Surface takes POS mobile

surfaceposAs retail businesses adopt to opportunities in 2015, Tower Systems is well placed to take the POS software from behind the counter thanks to support for mobile devices including the Microsoft Surface.

While we have offered mobile access to our POS software for years, the Surface is exciting to retailers as they look for opportunities for more engaged competition in 2015.

The Surface is versatile and fast in running our software. Having reference sites helps as we can show the software running in a live situation.

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Helping nervous computer users to fall in love with POS software

Outside of our help desk and separated from our POS software installation team, we have a unique role that exists to help small business retailers settle our software into their business.

We created this role some years back to help people nervous about installing a computer into their retail business to learn the system at their own pace and through this to build a confidence in and love for the software.

Offering a service like this helps Tower Systems provide a more enjoyable customer service experience. We are able to settle new users in away from the help desk, through a service where there is little time pressure.

This is another Tower Systems AdvantageTM of which we are very proud.

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New POS software training opportunities

We have been developing new content for our weekly online training workshops for retailers using our POS software.

In the next round of training opportunities to be released in the coming weeks you will see many new topics including these four:

  • How employees steal from retailers. Secrets from our top investigator and expert witness. Hosted by our COO Gavin Williams and for business owners only.
  • Basic hardware troubleshooting tips. Tips on how to fix basic hardware issues from our expert technical Services Manager Simon May.
  • Learning our POS software for Mandarin speaking users. Hosted by Jeremy To, our Mandarin speaking help desk expert.
  • Retailer software settings you will be shocked you have access to. Hold desk expert Colin Harris will show you settings you most likely don;t know exist that can help your enjoyment of the software

These sessions and the others yet to be announced will provide fresh training opportunities for our retail business partners in 2015. We are excited to be offering fresh practical training for small business retailers and through this to demonstrate our commitment to driving business performance as well as business efficiency.

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Another good weekend of POS software support

I can’t thank you enough. I know I made a mistake not having virus protection and your people helped me anyway.

One of our POS software customers this weekend was hit with a virus and we helped them overcome the resulting challenges. Their appreciation was terrific. Kudos for a job well done by one of our team members.

We are proud here at Tower Systems of the dedicated team of professionals who care for our customers.

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Sunday retail management advice: professional management of the sales counter

In our work with small business retailers we have been fortunate to see many different sales counter situations. The best retail sales counters are the ones run in a structured and professional way.

We are often asked for advice on management of the counter. Here are nine points of advice for counter management (outside of direct sales) which our customers have found useful. This list is our retail management advice today.

  1. No food or drink to be visible to customers unless it is packaged and for sale.
  2. No personal staff items like bags, purses, wallets or mobile phones to be visible at the counter.
  3. Clean the counter at least every day.
  4. From the customer side, remove all products from the counter once a week, clean and rebuild.
  5. Keep counter messages, signs and notes that shoppers see to a minimum. Every note, sign or message must have a purpose that speaks to the mission of your business.
  6. When employees purchase from the business have them purchase from the customer side of the counter.
  7. Have a rule on how many people you have behind the counter at any time. Too often retail employees use the counter as a refuge. More impulse purchases are achieved by working the shop floor than at the counter.
  8. Dramatically change your counter at least once every three months – as much for your team as for your customers.
  9. When assessing the counter for product placement, cleanliness and being on-topic, do so from the customer side. How it looks from behind the counter is far less relevant than from the customer side.

In helping retailers use our Point of Sale software we often find ourselves helping beyond the technology. Developing and sharing this list is one example of our broader help of small business retailers.

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No vacation here

Tower Systems is not one person or even a few people. Tower Systems is a team of IT and customer services professionals working together to deliver to small and independent retailers excellent POS software backed by excellent service.

Through the year when people take a break to refresh and recharge other team members step in to ensure continuity of service. Our services continue right through, even this blog and our other public facing contact points.

Being available regardless of individual leave situations is essential in any business serving small business retailers as these businesses themselves never close.

Customer service is as much about easy contact access as it is about the knowledge shared. Often we find contact is about talking through questions and processes more so than problems as such.

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POS software support kudos: thanks for being human

Thanks for being human.

This is what one happy customer calling our after hours POS software help desk line said. Earlier on Jan. 1, 2015 they had called their bank and their internet service provider and got lost in the maze of automated phone systems. With us, the phone was answered by a human and the question was quickly answered.

We loved their response to our service.

Thanks for being human.

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Looking back on 2014 for our POS software company

Wow, what a year 2014 has been! 

In addition to welcoming many new customers, we have enjoyed serving all of our long-term friends. These include customers who have been with us since the 1980s when we first began in business.

A thrill of the year has been the excitement of our customers when they discover a facility in or a benefit from our software that genuinely helps them in their business. Their happiness brings delight to us, it reinforces the value of what we do.

In a practical sense, we have delivered major POS software updates this year, brought on support for new suppliers and strengthened connections between retailers and their suppliers.

We have, unfortunately, helped many retailers uncover and confront employee theft.

Our firsts of PayPal integration, Xero integration, new EDI facilities and more have given us pleasure – technology people love innovation.

We have also enjoyed another year of service from a wonderfully skilled and committed team of software developers, support personnel, admin folk and others who make up the Tower team.

More than ever, though, 2014 has been a year full of wonderful support and guidance from our 2,800+ retail business customers.

Thank you.

Happy New Year!

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Helping retailers with the post-Christmas sales surge

Even though our office is closed for Christmas (until tomorrow) our wonderful and skilled after hours help desk team has been busy with calls and queries for retailers using our POS software.

The after hours team is backed up with senior management – we make sure that all key people in our business are accessible at any time as a key commitment of customer service.

Most questions have been about handling post-Christmas related use of the software such as discounting and seasonal product quitting.

We are happy to be of service at such a busy time.

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The POS software co. Christmas breakfast of Champions

masHere’s the breakfast we’re serving up at the head office of our POS software company this morning for those colleagues not taking a break today. From savoury to sweet it’s got everything you could want.

If you happen to call our help desk today and someone sounds a bit high, it’s most likely a sugar high combined with a double shot of Nespresso Ristretto – yeah, we see ourselves as George Clooney clones when it comes to coffee.

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Busy lead up to Christmas for this POS software company

The team at Tower Systems has had a busy lead up to Christmas 2014 with new installations being completed even this week, new software plans being finalised and fresh training opportunities being workshopped and retail business help being dispensed in good measure.

There has been no slowing to our efforts for our independent and small business retailer customers as we serve their needs of today and plan for great things for tomorrow.

With many staff not on leave at the moment, we have taken the opportunity to make a series of moves that position us well for 2015. We’re excited this last day before Christmas.

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Helping retailers prepare for BOXING DAY SALES

discoubtWe’ve had plenty of POS software help desk calls this week from retailers asking questions about setting their businesses up to handle Boxing Day sales.

Using our software it’s easy and flexible to setup for handling special event sales – retailers have many options for sales from individual to price to volume and mix and match discounts – that run by date and by time. flexibility is discounting is important in retail today as retailers compete with each other – especially at these major sale times.

Our smart POS software makes managing discounting easy and secure for our partner businesses.

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Tower Systems POS software help desk Christmas / New Year hours

Here are our live help desk Christmas / New Year hours as announced to customers last week:

  • Saturday support: This Saturday, December 20, will be our last until Saturday January 31 when it starts again. Our after hours numbers and emergency escalation numbers will be operating all through for urgent (system down) calls.
  • We will be closed on: Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.
  • Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, we will close at 1pm.
  • New Year’s Eve, we will close at 4pm.
  • Dec. 29, 30, 31 and Jan 2, our hours will be 7am through 5pm AEST.
  • Jan. 5 – all back to normal.

These opening hours are based on call traffic in previous years.

We are publishing here for transparency and to ensure the widest possible circulation.

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Tower Systems website hacked

We sent this advice to our customers earlier today:

Tower Systems website hacked

A representative of CERT Australia, part of the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, contacted us this morning and advised that our website had been hacked. They discovered this on seeing some user and company data on a platform commonly used by hackers.

We have confirmed the authenticity of the data.

From what we understand, the information hacked is user email addresses and Tower website usernames. We do not store any customer financial records or banking information on our website.

Our website is hosted off site in a commercial server farm with a high level of security. The same server farm is used by RMIT, Fosters, kikki.k, Hallmark and Australia Post. That the hacker got into our website back end demonstrates a level of determination and skill.

The next time you log into our website you will be asked to change your password. Please log in and do this ASAP.

We have today made a number of back end changes to security. Plus we are working with the off-site server farm business.

It is possible that the main impact of the hack will be an increase of spam emails to you. We apologise for this.

For the record, I note that our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system in which all support call records are maintained is separate to our website and hosted out of the US. The hacker has not chested this site.

Also, to be certain, when you purchase items through our website, all payment details are handled directly by the ANZ with no payment data recorded or kept by us.

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director
M | 0418 321 338

Gavin Williams
Chief Operating Officer
M | 0418 554 759

Update: we now know how our website and others were hacked. We have other evidence which will help the investigators of the crime.

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Sunday retail management advice: use QR codes to drive shopper engagement

logo138Tower Systems has developed for small business retailers a FREE cloud based QR code accessible content hosting and shopper interaction platform.

QRKI offers excellent facilities for allowing in-store and out of store access to product videos, instruction files, competition entries and other information sharing and harvesting opportunities.

Free from Tower for any business, QR code is another example of Tower Systems helping small and independent retail businesses to use technology to compete.

We created QRki to help small businesses harness the opportunity of QR codes without needing to invest in software of their own.

We’ve kept the price low to make access affordable. It’s part of our commitment to small businesses and independent retailers.  We’ve also enabled QRki for anyone to use – you don’t need to be a Tower Systems customer.

Developed in Australia but for use from anywhere in the world, QRki is another example of cloud based innovation for small businesses.

Share your feedback at info@qrki.com.au.  You can also speak direct with the owner of Tower Systems, Mark Fletcher, on 0418 321 338 (+61 418 321 338).

We hope your like QRki.

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