Sunday retail business management tip: roster staff for commercial success

Rostering is a vitally important business activity in indecent retail businesses. Get it right and you save money. Get it wrong and your bottom-line suffers.

Retailers using the Point of Sale software from Tower Systems can roster employees based on their contribution to the business. Using the tools in the software can result in better rosters, rosters which deliver a more valuable contribution to the business.

This is just one way POS software which offers roster facilities can genuinely benefit a business – save time and help driver better earnings. It is another way good POS software pays for itself.

Tower Systems helps retailers drive better outcomes through rostering and other facilities delivered in its software for a range of specialist independent retail channels.

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Gift shop software users to benefit from Tower Systems attendance at AmericaSmart gift fair in Atlanta

gsposGift shops using the Tower Systems gift shop software will benefit from the time experts from our software company spent at the Atlanta Gift Fair at the large AmericaSmart facility., This largest gift Fair in the US is an extraordinary experience for gift retailers. Our takeaways include new relationships with the parent businesses of several Australian gift shops suppliers. This will helps us better serve our gift shop software customers as we help them more effectively and valuably connect with their suppliers.

There is nothing like getting to the source of a relationship to understand it and leverage it for all stakeholders.

This gift fair in Atlanta also helped us spot trends that we can sever better through our software – before they hit Australian shores.

As the only Australian POS software company represented at Atlanta, Tower is positioned to help gift retailers in a more effective and exclusive way in 2015.

For commercial reasons we will not share any comprehensive outcomes here as these are best deployed to our customers for their and our commercial advantage.

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Jeweller software helping jewellers better understand what to display where

jewlWith many jeweller suppliers at the Atlanta Gift fair ten days ago, the delegation from jeweller POS software company Tower Systems was able to learn more about how in the US jewellers use software to more deeply and effectively engage with customers.

While some insights were not new, others were and they will be reflected in how we help our jeweller software users this year to enhance their software use experience.

Getting out of the development environment and talking with jewellery designed and manufacturers in the retail-savvy US market has provided Tower Systems with exclusive insights that are already helping the company in its work helping jewellers in 2015.

For commercial reasons we will not share any comprehensive outcomes here as these are best deployed to our customers for their and our commercial advantage.

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Xero accounting / POS software link helps retailers embrace technology

The link we launched last year connecting our smart POS software with leading accounting solution Xero is helping us grow our business as more retailers seek a whole of business solution. Our training resources help retailers understand the link and the benefits. here’s one of the videos we have produced in house.

We use Xero ourselves in our own retail businesses.

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Sunday retail management advice: make Lay-Bys work for you & your customers

Tower Systems has helped many retailers get into offering Lay-By services when installing our Point of Sale software. Over many years we have developed extensive experience in Lay-Bys and through this we have refined suggestions on how to make the most of the opportunity.

Here is a summary of more extensive Lay-By advice we provide to retailers, based on our years of experience.

  1. WHAT TO LAY-BY. Set a minimum item and or purchase value. We’d suggest $80.00 in a small retail business.
  2. DATA REQUIRED. Always ensure you are satisfied you know who your customer is. Require proof of ID from a driver’s licence or similar legal ID document.
  3. 20% of the total GST inclusive purchase price.
  4. Only Lay-by to people 18 and over.
  5. Lay-bys should run for between eight and twelve weeks. You could run for longer pre Christmas to get early sales.
  6. PAYMENT CYCLE. Require payments to be made weekly or fortnightly.
  7. PAYMENT METHOD. Accept any payment form you choose.
  8. Do not allow someone to take home a single item from a group of items on Lay-by together in one purchase. It’s all or nothing.
  9. Have a policy you are comfortable with. We suggest a 20% cancellation fee applies. Note that you could equally choose to have no cancellation given that Lay-by product may not be able to easily re-sold.
  10. Decide what you would consider a breach. This has to be something you stand by. We suggest two missed payments without reasonable excuse or rectification. On breach, cancel and charge the cancellation fee.
  11. We suggest a no-exchange policy.
  12. When a customer Lay-bys, print two dockets – one for them to take immediately and one to be placed with the goods. Have your customer sign both copies, accepting your terms and conditions.
  13. Set aside a clean and secure storage location for Lay-bys in your business where locations are coded for easy finding. Place Lay-by goods into a single clear plastic bag per transaction for clean and safekeeping. Staple to this a copy of the Lay-by docket. Let your customers see you do this so there is no doubt when it comes time to collect the products.
  14. Have one person responsible for Lay-bys to ensure product care, track payments and contact customers.
  15. TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Enter these into your software so they are included on every Lay-by docket. Points 2 through 11 above are a good example of what to include in your terms and conditions.
  16. COMPLETE PAPERWORK. To not over complicate things, rely on your software’s Lay-by docket as your complete paperwork / contract. Get that right and Lay-by management will be easier.

We are grateful to our retail partners who have worked with us on developing this experience and advice. Their help has enabled us to provide this help.

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Beautiful software helps jewellers enjoy their businesses

Jewellers who choose software designed specifically for a jewellery shop have more benefits to gain for their businesses than those who choose a generic everyday POS product for their business.

Whereas there everyday POS software is designed to serve the needs of any retail business, good POS software designed for a jewellery shop has facilities specific to that type of business.

Jeweller specific facilities are important if your jeweller shop is to more effectively compete in a robust retail online and high street retail environment.

Jeweller specific facilities in good jeweller software that can benefit a jeweller retail business include:

  1. Customer LayBy or Lay Away facilities.
  2. Employee sales tracking.
  3. Shopper loyalty – in various forms and to a range of standards.
  4. Electronic invoice support from jeweller suppliers.
  5. Printing specialist jeweller labels.
  6. Handling diamond and other stone details.
  7. Serving the need to make up and item such as a ring from metals, stones, clasps and labour.
  8. Supporting bundling items into gift packs.
  9. Seasonal catalogues such as for Christmas.

Plus much more.

Good software designed specifically for jewellery businesses can help a jeweller make far more from their software investment than they would make from an everyday retail POS software package even if the everyday POS software package is much cheaper.

Tower Systems specialises in providing jewellers with beautiful software.www.towersystems.com.au

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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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Retailers make good use of gift cards to drive retail sales

giftcardRetailers using our POS software can provide gift vouchers on the fly directly from the software or they can load value onto a professional card like major retailers use. Either approach to gift cards / vouchers works easily.

The photo shows four gift cards designed by our in house graphic design team. Each card in a run has a unique barcode to which funds can be loaded by customers.

Offering a gift card design and production service helps us provide a more complete one stop shop service to our customers. It saves retailers time and ensures they receive vouchers designed to work well with our Point of Sale software.

We have produced hundreds of cards for our retail partner customers.

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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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Jeweller software users loving beautiful receipts

Jewellers appreciate design and elegance and we deliver on both fronts through our jeweller software thanks to easily customisable receipts, invoices and other business documents.

Offering freedom over design, font selection and other options, we enable Jewellers to present their business as they choose in these everyday business documents.

The flexibility offered is a point of difference in our software which is already used by hundreds of jewellers.

Whereas some see the shopper receipt as a necessary business document, we see the shopper receipt differently: as a key branding message from any retailer, a platform through which you can speak to the shopper and entice them back into the business sooner.

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PayPal payments POS software integration helps small business retailers compete

Here is another video in our instruction series on how to use our POS software integrated PayPal payments platform in any retail store. Whole the video was created for newsagents, it relates to any retailer using our software.

We are grateful to PayPal for choosing to launch this partnership with us.

What we have done with PayPal in 2014 has provided us with a valuable point of difference.

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Tower Systems / PayPal partnership helps small business retailers

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 7.00.13 amPOS software company Tower Systems is helping small business retailers with its brilliant PayPal integration.

Using this first to market opportunity, retailers can expect to find new shoppers thanks to the help of PayPal in unlocking access to more than 5.5 million PayPal users in Australia.

This is an excellent example of how a POS software company can help retailers grow their businesses by attracting new and valuable shoppers.

Tower Systems is grateful to PayPal for selecting them as a launch partner.

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POS software customer displays help drive sales

cdispThis photo shows how one newsagency is using the smart customer display through our POS software by having ads play between customers and then the screen share the ad with details of purchases being scanned.

Being able to manage the serving of ads to customers at the counter is an important feature of our software, something that has been enhanced as hardware has evolved. The latest HP all in one registers are particularly good to work with thanks to their small footprint and smart customer display technology.

Small business owners love that thanks to the HP technology and our software they can offer a customer-facting IT solution that is competitive with bigger businesses.

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New jeweller software to offer advanced valuations help

Thanks to consultation with and advice from engaged jewellers, Tower Systems is advanced on developing next generation jewellery valuation facilities to be released as part of its jeweller software.

Set to offer even more flexibility and professional representation, the new valuations facilities slated for real ease early in 2015 will represent much appreciated input from jewellery who undertake considerable valuations work in their businesses. This live field level assistance is wonderful as we refine the jeweller specific specialisation in our software.

With more jewellers joining our jeweller software user community in 2014, we have more knowledge from which to draw as we take the software on the next steps of its journey. We are grateful to our jeweller partners for their help as assistance.

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Sunday retail management advice: how to cut labour costs in your retail business

Plenty of retailers are cutting labour costs in their businesses thanks to opportunities within the Tower Systems Point of Sale software. Here are some of these:

  1. Time saved by eliminating the end of shift backup by switching to the secure perpetual backup that requires no staff time.
  2. Time saved on accounting thanks to the smart Xero accounting software interface.
  3. Faster selling at the counter – less staff needed to process more sales.
  4. Faster reordering through the software.
  5. Faster processing and pricing of new stock.
  6. Faster decision making thanks to accurate business data being at your finger tips.
  7. Faster answering of customer queries freeing staff for making money on the shop floor.

Tower Systems offers not only excellent POS software, it also offers retail management expertise on the best use of this software for valuable business outcomes.

We love helping retailers in practical ways to get more from their partnership with us.

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POS software users love extensive online knowledge base for self serve assistance

Small business retailers often use technology because they feel they have to more so than because they want to. Their reluctance for technology often spills over to their engagement with POS software help desks and other assistances.  Not so the POS software knowledge base offered by Tower Systems to its approaching 3,000 small business users.

In the knowledge base, Tower customers can find out how to use the software, how to change settings, how to learn new facilities as well as how to integrate parts of the software more seamlessly into the business.

Evolving every week to fresh content that is searchable in a variety of ways, the knowledge base is proving to be a resource customers love as they can access it any time, from any place and in a way that keeps them in control.

The POS software knowledge base from Tower Systems is helping the company win new customers!

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POS software training workshops help retailers save money

Pos software company Tower Systems has announced details of three new live and interactive half hour POS Software training sessions for december, offering small business retailers excellent opportunities for learning in a time efficient way.

Here are the three new workshops the company has developed in association with partner retailers:

  • Using Catalogues for Christmas – 30 Minutes, Tuesday 2nd December 2pm AEST. Quickly and easily setup automatic discounts for a Christmas sale.
  • Applying Discounts In Retailer – 30 Minutes, Tuesday 9th December 2pm AEST. Discount stock in Retailer at Point of Sale.
  • Free up cash in your business – 30 Minutes, Tuesday 16th December 2pm AEST. Find and quit dead and slow moving stock in retailer.

Participating in the training is free to all Tower POS software customers.

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Xero features Tower Systems POS software

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 7.24.39 amWe are thrilled to see the Tower Systems POS software featured on the Xero website as an approved partner.

This has come about following certification of our software as offering required and proven integration with xero accounting.

We are thrilled!

Being first with this in a specialist retail marketplace helps not only us but our close to 3,000 customers.

The Xero link is easy to use and seamless. It’s our recommended accounting system link but not our only one.

We use Xero ourselves in our retail shops – making our advice and assistance more knowledgeable than a software company without their own retail businesses.

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PayPal payments at breeze at the retail counter

Paypal RetailerThis screen shot is from a  live in-store PayPal payment using the Tower Systems  POS software. We have removed the customer name – but that would usually appear. The customer details are shared by PayPal as part of the line integration in our software.

It’s fast, easy and it is another first from Tower systems.

We are grateful to PayPal for the opportunity to be a trial developer and to lead in our retail channels by bringing shop floor PayPal market and marketing to our small business customers.

The integration is live in our software and retailers are embracing it – not only for sales but to drive new traffic for their businesses.

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POS software shines with comprehensive serial number tracking

SerialNumberScreenSerial number tracking is so complex that many POS software programs ignore this functionality.

The Tower Systems POS software offers enhanced serial number tracking, new tools that help retailers who sell products with serial numbers, to track goods by serial number from the moment they enter the business to when they exit through sale or return.

The serial number facilities have been enhanced in our latest POS software update.

What’s interesting is that the serial number facilities are being used by businesses outside what we expected. We are thrilled to see this.

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Beautiful POS software receipts help retailers look more professional

RecThe humble retail receipt has been overhauled in the latest POS software from Tower Systems.

While Tower receipts have always been flexible and professional, the new style receipts offering extraordinary customisation take receipts into a new world, they allow small retailers to leap-frog major retailers.

The extended flexibility and attractive graphical interfaces make the receipts more useful in attracting shoppers back into the business, they make the receipt a key element in business marketing.

Already in use in many retail businesses, the new receipts are a winner not only with customers but also with retail business owners.

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POS software provides small business retailers with a competitive customer display solution

CustDisplayTerrific new retail customer display facilities are being embraced by retailers using the Tower Systems POS software. Serving customised content on customer displays within the context of a sale helps retail businesses drive sales and improve business outcomes. While the Tower software has served customer display access for years, enhancements take the facilities to a new level, offering small and independent retailers facilities with which they can more effectively compete with major retailers.

Feedback from customers is that the new customer facing display looks beautiful. We love hearing this and love even more the feedback that they are helping shoppers spend more money with our customers.

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Making the sign-up for POS software / xero integration easier

xerosignupTower Systems has automated the process for connecting its POS software with Xero thanks to a completely online cloud-based service for the bridge and data flow connection.

From the Xero page on the Tower website, users have access to all they need to make the link live and working for them. And Tower users are doing this, turning on the link and switching to Xero for a more integrated and comprehensive accounting solution.

Tower Systems is thrilled to be acknowledged by Xero as an authorised partner and listed on their website.

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Sunday retail management advice: say no to poor customer service and improve your business

Tower Systems is thrilled to have won several more customers from a competitor this month. We have done this on the back of delivering better customer service.

Good customer service from your POS software company can improve your business.

One customer switching lost important business data as a result of poor service from their old POS solution provider.

Another customer switching lost hours of time as a result of delays in help desk assistance from their POS solution provider.

This is our retail management tip today – use POS software from a company that delivers timely, professional help desk customer service on which you can rely. You will save time and money.

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