Smart POS software helps retailers balance end of shift

knoweosThe end of a shift in retail is an important time as it brings together data, cash and other informations and insights about the business. It can feed seamlessly into xero and other accounting packages and it can provide guidance comparisons on trading. In the Tower systems Point of Sale software retailers are able to achieve plenty through end of shift (EOS) processes.

Tower Systems helps its retailers get more from the end of shift processes through wonderful live training opportunities as well as through a deep well of knowledge in our knowledge base. A search this week shows there to be 83 articles. This includes professional training videos.

Our customers love our knowledge base resource as it is interactive. They can comment on knowledge and give us a thumbs up – that’s what the green thumbs indicate.

Our knowledge base is the envy of some competitors. It’s a reason some retailers switch to tower – once they see the help available 24/7 and compare it to what they have had access to they love the professional approach we have taken.

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Tower Systems meets with Lotterywest retailers

Tower Systems is grateful for the opportunity of meeting with Lotterywest retailers in Western Australia yesterday to speak at a business development and management workshop.

Organised by Lotterywest, this session offered participating Lotterywest retailers an excellent learning opportunity on current best=practice in the areas of driving business efficiency, increasing the basket and making better quality business planning and management decisions.

Based around real-world stories and real business data, the session offered practical insights that the Lotterywest agents were able to take away for immediate use in their businesses.

Tower Systems appreciates the support of Lotterywest and the work they did in getting retailers to attend and participate. The result is better informed retailers with athirst for access to business data they can trust and on which they can build more valuable businesses.

Through its supplier relationships work Tower Systems is able to offer retail business suppliers a range of connectivity and management options which which they can build more valuable relationships with their own retail partners. Tower Systems has a role in the company dedicated to supplier relationships.

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Newsagency software enhancements serve News Corp. changes

The 1,900+ newsagents using the newsagency software from Tower Systems have access to a terrific new software update that includes enhancements in sharing of data with News as is required of some newsagents in their contract with News.

News representatives approached Tower with a change to the requirements in data sharing as part of our commitment to serving newsagents and their suppliers. The work was done to exactly meet the standards changes from News Corp.

The changes are available to all Tower Advantage<sup>TM</sup> customers.

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Newsagency software changes help newsagents with Bauer rewards

Tower Systems has released an update to its newsagency software for newsagents wanting to engage with the Bauer Rewards shopper loyalty program. This update was released more than a week ago and has been made available to all Tower Advantage<sup>TM</sup> customers.

The work by Tower with the team from Bauer has been conducted for some months and under the terms of a confidentiality agreement. The changes have been developed specifically to meet the requirements of Bauer to enable engagement by Tower Newsagents in the Bauer initiative.

Tower Systems has a track record of helping newsagents engage with supplier initiatives. Delivering supplier required changes to Tower customers for no additional cost.

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Key suppliers working together to help Australian newsagents

Tower Systems is proud to be part of a group of Australian newsagency suppliers working together to strengthen the future of retail newsagency businesses. With an agenda of driving traffic, improving margin and facilitating a greater spend per visit, this group of suppliers is demonstrating commitment to the channel.

History has shown that newsagents who act as retailers have a brighter future than newsagents who act as agents. It has also demonstrated that attracting shoppers across a broader base of products over which you exert control as a retailer is financially healthier for your business.

Tower Systems is contributing data as well as its own retail experience and experimentation to this most important work.

We believe in leading by showing and the regular visits to our gross profit leading newsagency businesses where some of the work of the group is already delivering excellent rewards certainly shows leadership in action.

Not all suppliers to the channel are in this group.

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Helping newsagents switch from POS Solutions

We are offering help to newsagents currently using the POS Solutions newsagency software to switch to us. This help is above and beyond the usual assistance in training and supporting a newsagent and their staff when they install our software.  Recent insights have assisted us in helping POS Solutions users make the move.

We are grateful to former POS users for their assistance in this important project.

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POS software support escalation software helps retailers

With more and more POS software companies pushing customers to help desks where people follow call scripts so as to not deviate off the path and with many software companies not offering personal contact details of management, here at Tower Systems we are proud to have a documented escalation process through which any of our customers can access senior management assistance on any issue.

Here is what we include in all customer communication and have done for many years:

SUPPORT ESCALATION PROCEDURE: Our help desk is always your first port of call.  If you are unhappy with progress please escalate to our Customer Service Manager.  If you are unhappy with their response please contact our COO, Gavin Williams gavinw@towersystems.com.au or our CEO: Mark Fletcher 0418 321 338 mark@towersystems.com.au.

Our escalation process is used often – usually not for a complaint but to seek more business operational related assistance that it outside the scope and knowledge of the usual help desk call. We appreciate the opportunity to serve our customers with this assistance.

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Tower Systems statement on Hubbed

Hubbed is a start-up bill payment and parcel sending platform being promoted to newsagents. It started and was offered for a year as a stand-alone platform – through a kiosk and or a website interface.

Recently, Hubbed has been promoting an interface to another newsagency software program.

Tower Systems has never been approached to interface to Hubbed. We stand ready to add Hubbed to the many facilities, services and products we link / interface to.

As the newsagency software company with more current newsagent users than all other newsagency software programs combined and with around three times the number of newsagency users than our nearest competitor, our leadership in the channel is well established. Hubbed is the first time we have not been first with something for newsagents in our 32 years serving the channel.

There is politics and personalities at play here unfortunately. We remain ready to interface is Hubbed wishes.

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More help for small business newsagents confronting change

Change is the name of the game for Australian small business retail newsagents. Change in product mix, change in product price points, change in services offered and change in customer interaction.

Newsagencies enjoying extraordinary growth are those offering high-margin specialist products that leverage international brands and attract shoppers who would not usually shop in a newsagency.

Serving more than 1,900 newsagents, Tower Systems is positioned well to see changes and to help newsagents who want to pursue change. Our position is enhanced through a series of deep and respected relationships with newsagent suppliers including non traditional newsagency business suppliers.

Our assistance is in the form of business performance analysis, competitive analysis and matching supplier opportunities to newsagents based on the performance data for their business.

These services go way beyond what is usual for a POS software company. They have evolved our of our many years owning and operating a newsagency.

With the gap between successful retail newsagencies and failing agency related newsagencies, the work we are doing is paying off for engaged newsagents.

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Owning a newsagency has been key to the Tower Systems newsagency software success story

img-206070555-0001It was February 1996 when we purchased our first newsagency business, eighteen years ago. Looking back, this acquisition played a key role in the leadership position we would take in the newsagency software space in subsequent years.

Owning newsagency businesses for eighteen years has provided us with live trial sites where we and other suppliers can play under the radar, developing unique facilities that gave Tower a leadership position in terms of functionality which translated into sales leadership.

Today, Tower serves more than 1,900 newsagents. This more than three times the estimated newsagent customer base on the next biggest newsagency software company. While we are thrilled with this position, we ensure it does not go to our head – newsagents ensure this too!

The image is a copy of an article from Newsagent & Stationer magazine from April 1996.

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The receipt is an important document and marketing tool in retail

wincarrecpTower Systems is helping small business newsagents leverage their receipts to engage with a high profile competition being run by Pacific Magazines – offering further support to our position that the receipt is a vitally important business development and marketing tool.

Beyond detailing what was purchased, a good receipt can get a shopper back sooner, it can get them spending more right away and it can make them feel even better about shopping with the business.

The key to leveraging the retail receipt for maximum value to a retail business is the relevance of what is on the receipt. It is important that any pitch or promotion is relevant to this customer at this time. This is where Point of Sale software can help.

Our experience is that retail businesses that use the receipt as a marketing tool are more likely to be growing and achieving a deeper basket with existing customers. For next to no cost they are embracing another customer touch-point. Enough customers respond to make it valuable.

In the two examples you can see a WIN A CAR promotion being pitched on the receipts. The receipt on the right includes a QR code for rapid shopper engagement. By helping our retail newsagency customers serve these coupons we are helping them connect with a major supplier initiative quickly, easily and professionally.

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Tower Systems helps small business newsagents with new sales benchmark study

newsagency-benchmarkTower Systems last week competed a new sales benchmark study for small business newsagents, offering valuable insights into overall newsagency channel performance and thereby enabling newsagents to compare the performance of their individual business with the the channel-wide benchmark.

Used by newsagency suppliers and individual newsagents, these sales benchmark studies provide excellent insights into the health and opportunities in the the newsagency channel for engaged proactive newsagents.

Serving three times more newsagents than all other newsagency software companies combined, Tower Systems has the widest pool of newsagency businesses on which to draw for studies such as this latest benchmark study.

With the work undertaken for newsagents without cost, Tower widely shares the results for the good of all newsagents and their suppliers. There is no cost involved in participating or access to the data.

The latest study reveals a cohort of newsagency businesses achieving excellent sales growth in higher margin items, reflecting on the commercial value in driving the business as a retailer and not as an agent. 

The study also underscores the value of the discount voucher program now being used by many Tower newsagents.

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Free structured newsagency software training helps newsagents retain staff

The free structured online training curriculum released by Tower Systems this year for newsagents using its newsagency software helps newsagents retain good staff by offering career development opportunities.

By completing modules of professional newsagency software training, employees can demonstrate their commitment to the business and the business, in turn, can respect the employees with a more considered career path. Several newsagents have shared with us how the new online training curriculum in our newsagency software has helped strengthen relationships between them and employees.

The structured training from Tower Systems is the most comprehensive, most easily accessible and most practical training for newsagency employees available in Australia and, we suspect, anywhere in the world.

Not resting on our success, Tower continues to enhance the modules of training available.

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Helping newsagents handle Christmas newspaper bumper editions

fairfaxbumperNewsagents using the Tower Systems newsagency software are ready to handle the bumper edition newspaper requirements for the 2013/2014 Christmas New Year period thanks to advice from publishers advising their plans and thanks to flexibility in our software for handling such special circumstances.

Being prepared with this advice well in advance3 of the first bumper edition of the season is vital to delivering good customer service and essential to the smooth running of newspaper distribution businesses.

Our help desk team has been briefed and advice prepared.

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Strength in software user numbers helps newsagents

towernewsagentsTower Systems continues to leverage the strength of the size of its newsagent software user community of close to 1,900 newsagents for the benefit of the channel.

Through 2013 the number of newsagents partnering with Tower has grown. This growth has come from new newsagency locations, newsagencies not using software and newsagencies switching from other newsagency POS software.

As the newsagency channel continues to consolidate so are newsagency software companies. Tower Systems takes its responsibilities seriously as evidenced by its investment this year on online training, the new knowledge base, more training opportunities and pro bono help for newsagents in managing their businesses.

The image shows newsagents using Tower in Victoria. Some pins represent a single location while others, with a number, represent many Tower users in town / city.

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Tower Systems introduces a fresh approach online to serving POS software customers

know1Tower Systems today launches another major online customer service initiative with a new self-serve platform of advice, training and information accessible direct from our website.

This new facility is a one-stop-shop for people using our Point of Sale software who want to find answers for themselves. We have loaded this self-service facility with existing advice sheets, new advice sheets, all of our training videos, all forms for accessing other tools, conversation videos introducing our team, common questions – a live knowledge based of the questions our help desk team are most often asked and something called our procedures and processes – a section with information about us, our policies and how we do business.

Every item of content we have loaded can now have comments made on it. This opens our extraordinary library of advice sheets, videos and more to feedback – we’re looking forward to this so we can learn.

All content is searchable by keywords.

We have used a worldwide renowned content management and delivery platform as the basis for this major website upgrade to manage all of the content and provide easy access. This allows us to focus on the content – our area of expertise.

Check out the new online support platform here: http://support.towersystems.com.au/. If you go here without logging in you see the free content. Once you log in you get access to everything.

Our customers can access the new facility using their existing Tower website log in.

Our live national help desk service remains in place – we’re happy to take support calls from our customers. This self-serve service is for those who want to get answers for themselves 24/7.

Our approach with this launch is how we approach business. We have been developing the new content and delivery platform for some months. Today is the first time we have mentioned it as we’re ready to go live. We prefer to announce when we have something ready for people to use.

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How retailers can break free from the old school approach to loyalty and give shoppers loyalty rewards they love

Close to a year ago we started secretly experimenting with a completely fresh approach to shopper loyalty. For many months we had been working on our discount vouchers facility, evolving it from an idea into a robust solution backed by excellent reporting while at the same time maintaining support for our traditional points-based VIP card and other loyalty offerings in our Point of Sale software.

In discount vouchers we wanted to deliver something genuinely unique, something that our customers could use to guide shopper loyalty. To achieve this it needed to be sophisticated yet easy to use. It also needed to be easily understood by customers. Oh, and it needed to have obvious value in the hands of shoppers. Finally, we need to undertake the final phase of development while it was being used in retail, so we could respond to retailer and shopper feedback.

While we knew the value of the old-school points-based VIP cards was falling rapidly since they no longer offered a point of difference, we committed to maintaining our support for this approach for those retailers who wanted to remain in this space.

Today, close to a year on from our first trial site, we are thrilled with the results achieved by discount vouchers – or whatever retailers call them … yes, they can give them their own name thanks to naming flexibility in the software. Also a year on, no one has delivered what we have. Sure they have tried, even explicitly saying they have what we have. but they don’t. What we have is unique because it can’t be copied by looking at it from the outside.

Deep within our software retailers partnering with us have options they can set to deliver shopper rewards through discount vouchers that are truly unique to their business even if a retailer nearby is running the same software from us. This is the beauty of the flexibility and power we have built into the software. Settings are personal to each business and they can be changed easily and immediately. This provides retailers with flexibility. They can also change by day and by type of shopper. Indeed, the flexibility and power multiply with each layer of flexibility that we provide.

So, how can retailers using a points based system break free? With our PSO software it’s easy. They can convert points to a voucher value from and from then on run with the vouchers. Or, they can use both. Retailers have the flexibility they want at their fingertips.

Tower Systems backs its exclusive and best-practice shopper loyalty solutions with mature and considered advice to help retailers make the most of the opportunities – to drive shopper traffic and sales. Our experience as retailers helps us take retailers bend technical advice. We have a loyalty rewards specialist in our help desk who helps our retailers embrace the opportunity in these facilities inn our software.

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Newsagency software sales success

Tower Systems is experiencing excellent sales of its newsagency software with a surge in recent months delivering excellent numbers of new locations. The business is coming from a mix of situations from newsagents switching form other software to newsagents switching form a cash register.

As the software company with 1,000 more newsagents already using its software than any other software company, Tower Systems is thrilled to be growing even larger.

As the newsagency channel consolidates supplier size will matter more. Tower Systems is committed to continue its program of investment in its newsagency software, delivering even more facilities with which newsagents can benefit commercially and operationally.

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Flexibility the key to success for newspaper home delivery software

Flexibility is a key reason Tower Systems has more than 1,850 newsagents using its newsagency management software and the best example of flexibility is in our handling of newspaper home delivery.

Offering the industry-leading best-practice approach to newspaper home delivery management for decades, Tower has always been at the forefront of technology developments to drive efficiency of newspaper home delivery by newsagents from the country to the city to capital city CBD situations.

Our work with in-car technology more than ten years ago was ground breaking. We have fed electronic runs to a wide variety of devices including the first electronic book platform, the Sony PSP computer game device, a host of e-books and tablets plus the Apple iPad. Delivering access to electronic runs has revolutionised newspaper home delivery.

But it’s the flexibility we have delivered in managing wrap mixtures of newspapers, the inclusion of special delivery requirements such as driving directions and specific newspaper placement as well as tracking and managing delivery performance that has helped newsagents deliver a world class newspaper home delivery service.

The home delivery of newspapers in Australia by newsagents is regarded by experts around the world as the best in the world. From capital city deliveries to major corporate operations to small country town main street deliveries to 25 shops and homes, our newspaper home delivery management software is serving the needs of Aussie newsagents as they ensure that the daily newspaper is delivered on time and accurately.

Thanks to our smart newsagency software we help newsagents easily handle price changes, public holidays, one off price changes, publisher special offers, customer billing and a variety of delivery run structures.

With under 4,000 newsagencies in Australia and around 3,000 with newsagency computer systems, the Tower Systems market share sits at 61%. We take our market share position seriously and respect the trust invested in us by newsagents.

As the number of newsagencies and newsagency software companies consolidates this market share is increasing. Tower Systems is growing through a mixture of natural growth and acquisition. 60% of the newsagencies added in the last year were through a software company acquisition and the rest were through businesses choosing to install our software for themselves.

We serve delivery only newsagents, retail only newsagents and delivery / retail newsagents. This latter group can leverage their newspaper home delivery customer data to drive shop sales thanks to a range of flexible and powerful marketing tools that cultivate and harvest data.

As the newsagency channel changes so to does the Tower Systems newsagency software. We make it easy for newsagents to evolve their businesses using our software to facilitate this evolution. Even through our newspaper distribution software we have been able to help newsagents expand into new areas while continuing to use the same software.

As 2013 sneaks to a close we’re thrilled with the growth we have achieved with newsagents and look forward to the exciting developments in the newsagency channel that will happen in 2014. We are working with others on a couple of initiatives that will help proactive newsagents grow their businesses.

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Magazine labels in bundle order has been out for years

It’s good to be recognised as leading the pack and today we received such news when newsagents not using our newsagency software discovered that our software has printed magazine labels in bundle order for years. great kudos for our software development team keeping our newsagency software the best and most widely used in the marketplace.

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Software enhancements help distribution newsagents

The newspaper and magazine distribution management software from Tower Systems has been further enhanced in the latest update thanks to ideas suggested by our users. Sub agent allocation and management enhancements take us further and deliver more. There is nothing quite like user driven enhancements to extend the value of software.

We have also made enhancements in the area of sub agent payments and sub agent reporting.

The latest changes bring more certainty to the process of forecasting orders based on past sales. There is no substitute for using accurate business data to guide business decisions.

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POS software support small business retailers love

Here are some of the reasons newsagents, jewellers, gift shop owners, bike retailers, garden centre owners and others love the support we offer with our Point of sale software. For a small annual fee they have access to:

  • A friendly help desk staffed 7am through to 6pm Monday to Friday and 7:30am to 3pm on Saturday. Local call numbers in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
  • After-hours support available 24/7 through five mobile phone numbers.
  • Free one-on-one training for every newsagency every year.
  • Free new owner training.
  • Mandarin and Cantonese language support for those who prefer this.
  • Free hardware support for all h/w sold by us plus a 3 year on-site warranty for all HP h/w.
  • Weekly free online live training workshops.
  • Access to more than 130 professionally produced training videos for business owners & staff.
  • Free theft check service – we help newsagents uncover possible theft.
  • Free business performance analysis service – we help you see growth opportunities.

This mix of support services is exclusive to us. It’s a reason our customers choose to continue with software support coverage. We don’t force them by stopping their software from working if they choose to not continue support coverage. We think this type of action by a POS software company is unreasonable coercion.

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