TOWER SYSTEMS NEWSAGENCY SALES BENCHMARK STUDY STACKS UP

The magazine sales results in the Q1 2016 Newsagency Sales Benchmark Study published by Tower Systems ten days ago have been shown to be accurate Landin-line with the audit results subsequently released.

Our benchmark project has been running for many years and the results are used y small business newsagents and newsagent suppliers.

Similar benchmark principles are used by retailers in other retail channels in which Tower Systems serves as our POS software facilitates benchmark same store performance comparison.

Through our training and support services we help retailers to engage in the most important analysis they can undertake, comparing their performance on a same store basis on a year on year scale. We supplement this with the ability for like for like retailers to easily compare business performance, to assess how they are trading compared to similar businesses. This is at the heart of our channel level retail sales performance benchmark studies.

in addition to channel specific indicators, the benchmark study looks at KPIs that are useful and of interest to any retailer. For example take a look at this from the newsagency sales benchmark study published almost two weeks ago:

Too many newsagents are drifting, waiting for something to happen rather than forcing change in their businesses.

  1. Customer traffic. 67% of newsagents report average decline of 1.8%.
  2. Overall sales. 75% reported an average revenue decline of 1.3%.
  3. Basket depth. 62% report a 1.8% decrease in basket size.
  4. Basket dollar value. 68% report a decrease in basket value of 1.9%.
  5. Loyalty. 33% of respondents use a structured loyalty offer such as points or some other discount.

Every retailer wants to know about traffic, revenue, basket depth, basket value and loyalty. We make it easy to report on these as well as other KPIs such as stock turn, return on investment, return on floor space and return on shelf space.

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TOWER SYSTEMS HELPING NEWSAGENTS NAVIGATE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE

Today, Tower Systems is helping newsagents handle changes flowing from the closure of the Network Services magazine distribution business.

All newsagents covered by the Tower AdvantageTM software support service have access to everything necessary for free. Only the newsagents who opted to not be covered by support have a fee to pay. However, that fee is waived if they take up support.

Tower has made the change easy to navigate, saving many hours that might otherwise have been spend getting the necessary data work done.

No software change is necessary. The fee relates to a data conversion utility written o save man-hours.

On the Tower help desk today and all this week we are triaging calls to ensure the additional work for newsagents is not impacting work for all other retailers.

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TOWER SYSTEMS ENHANCES HOW NEWSAGENTS PURCHASE NEWSAGENCY SOFTWARE

Today, we launch a new option[1] acquiring newsagency software, a pay as you go model.

The time is right given changes in the channel with newsagents sourcing new products, pursuing new traffic and leveraging higher GP. Thanks to our work with gift, homewares and other specialty retail channels, Tower Systems can help you transform your business.

$220.00 a month is all it costs to access the Tower newsagency software package. The $220 is paid by credit card. Stop paying if you want to stop using the software.

We make this offer now as we think some software companies are considering quitting the newsagency channel. You can see this through their lack of engagement with newsagency specific development, non-attendance at trade shows like the Sydney and Melbourne Gift Fairs and lack of engagement in the structural changes in the channel.

Developing software and backing it with good support for newsagents is expensive. A software company with less than 500 customers will struggle to keep up.

1,755 newsagents use our software – our closest competitor has 600.

We have experience switching from POS Solutions, Computerlink and AccessPOS to Tower.

Pay as you go customers have access to weekly online training workshops, 130+ professional training videos, software updates, our friendly help desk, our after hours support team, our theft check service and our business performance assessment service … for no extra charge.

If you have current hardware, the only up-front cost is for installation and training. This new pricing option saves capital, it eliminates the need for a lease or bank financing.

You will see from the simple agreement that you can turn it off at any time and not pay a cent more. You are in control.

Talk to one of our experts today: NSW/ACT/QLD: Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148; SA/WA: Tim Batt 0401 833 917 VIC/TAS: Mike Hill 0423 848 482.

Come and see the software and meet our team at our user meetings – details enclosed.

THE TOWER NEWSAGENCY SOFTWARE

For $220.00 a month you can use our newsagency software covering:

  1. Point of Sale, tailored specifically for newsagency business use.
  2. Magazine Management, scanned returns, early returns prompting.
  3. Stock control including stock take, reordering and supplier links.
  4. Customer accounts including Lay-By, book-up and statements.
  5. Home delivery including run list management, subscriptions and more.
  6. Loyalty including points accrual, discount vouchers and other facilities.
  7. Business performance reporting – printed reports you can rely on.
  8. XchangeIT support: electronic invoices and returns.
  9. Support for supplier EDI files including Sands, Hallmark and more.
  10. Theft mitigation. Tools to help you detect and stop theft.

SUPPORT AND TRAINING.

Included in the low monthly fee is access to the extraordinary Tower AdvantageTM service:

  1. Live, Australian based, help desk support with newsagency experienced help.
  2. After hours support access through an extensive mobile phone network.
  3. Software updates as released.
  4. Access to more than 130 software training videos.
  5. Access to more than 600 Knowledge Base articles with step by step instructions on how to use the software. This is better than a manual.
  6. User meetings around the country with free training and management help.
  7. Weekly online, live, training workshops.
  8. Weekly user support email with tips and advice.

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT HELP.

Tower Systems is there when you need, helping with advice, insights and guidance as much or as little as you want. These services include at no extra cost:

  1. Theft Check. A professional, police investigation quality, check of your business data to uncover potential employee fraud.
  2. Business check. An analysis of business performance as reflected in your business data – looking for growth and other opportunities for the business, helping you see what you may be missing in your business.

The time is right to make this offer as only Tower Systems has the capacity, commitment and vision to help newsagents leverage best-practice technology in a valuable and unifying way. Let us help you.

NOTE: Here is our response to any competitor who comments that this offer sounds desperate: – it would if it was coming from a company with 500 or fewer customers that is not growing. Tower Systems is strong and growing. We serve 1,755 newsagency businesses. We are making the offer because we have the capacity to and because we have a vision for a bright future.

[1] All existing purchase options remain available for newsagents installing our software.

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Tower Systems helps newsagents manage magazine distribution changes

The leadership team of Tower Systems has been working behind the scenes since late 2015 on changes made public today to newsagents about the imminent closure of a major magazine distributor. Our work and consultation with supplier stakeholders has been around processes to facilitate a smooth transition so that newsagents are not negatively impacted.

We are grateful to the trust shown us by the suppliers to include us in the confidential discussions.

Newsagents using the Tower Systems software can rest assured in the knowledge that we are well briefed, prepared and engaged.

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Helping regional newspaper publishers navigate price changes

Tower Systems is working with several regional newspaper publishers to ease the introduction of price changes through their retail network. As our newsagency software is the industry standard we work with these publishers as we do with other suppliers to help newsagents handle newspaper cover price changes with ease.

We are grateful to the publishers who share price change information long in advance so we can develop appropriate messaging to make the change simple.

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Helping newsagents navigate major IT changes

It has been a busy two months for small business newsagents as they navigate major IT changes driven by several of their key suppliers.

Tower Systems has been at the forefront of providing assistance by working with suppliers in advance of the release of their changes, ensuring supplier communication reflects the Tower best practice approach for newsagents using our newsagency software.

Back in our offices we have been providing front line support, taking hundreds of calls to ensure newsagents are able to deal with the supplier driven changes simply and with the best possible outcome.

All of this work has been done at no cost as part of our service to this small business channel.

The most complex of changes relate to structural changes in newspaper subscriptions as well as changes as to how data flows to and form newsagents.

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Helping newsagents leverage the Ladbrokes opportunity

Tower Systems has been helping newsagents embrace the Ladbrokes opportunity in-store with support for facilitating a technology solution for selling recharge of Ladbrokes accounts.

While we do not have a commercial relationship with Ladbrokes or Blueshyft, the platform through which the Ladbrokes service is offered, we have been active in helping newsagents embrace the opportunity and undertake appropriate tracking through their Tower newsagency software.

Tower Systems actively supports newsagents across a range of new business growth opportunities.

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Why our newsagency software is the best

What makes the newsagency software from Tower Systems the best? Here is our answer:

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This is one of our own newsagencies. It is a valuable point of difference.

We have owned and operated newsagencies since February 1996. This has provided us with a live testing ground for innovation not only for newsagents but all retailers.

A software company walking in the shoes of its customers is better resourced to serve those customers than any other software company.

Today, more than 1,900 newsagents use our software. We think this is three times any other.

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Helping newsagents deal with News Corp. bundled offers

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.09.23 pmTower Systems has been helping newsagents using its newsagency software deal with the new bundled over the counter offers from News Corp.

Our support has included an email to all customers, comprehensive freely available advice on our Knowledge Base, one on one phone calls and individual business email engagement.

Thanks to early warning ages ago from News Corp. about the promotion we were able to fully prepare ourselves and our customer base of close to 2,000 newsagents.

This is the Tower AdvantageTM in action.

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Smart POS software helps retailers as policing of under-age retail sales increases

Policing of age-restricted products has increased this year with considerable undercover detection action in several states.

Retailers using our smart POS software benefit from being able to tag products as having an age restriction. This results in a pop-up requiring an age check prior to proceeding to process the sale.

Our age-check is a procedural intervention on which retailers can rely to reduce under-age selling mistakes by employees. It is also evidence they can provide to authorities to indicate that the business has processes to stop under-age selling.

Easily setup, the age-check facility in our software is another way business owners can establish processes and facilities through which their business can be professionally managed in their absence.

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How POS software can help small business retailers change shopper loyalty

POS software can do more for small business retailers than they may think. Good POS software, like that from Tower Systems, goes deep into the business, away from the sales counter, helping in many ways.

Help with leveraging shopper loyalty.

  1. Reward to drive deeper shopper engagement.
  2. Track your loyalty liabilities to understand risk.
  3. Track shopper engagement through comprehensive date, time and person engagement to understand the loyalty buttons to push.
  4. Choose the loyalty offer right for you – good POS software will offer multiple loyalty offers for you.
  5. Be consistent in your loyalty offer such that every shopper is offered a consistent pitch.
  6. Un a loyalty program that is different to those around you. For example, if others nearby offer a points based program, go with something different.
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Tower Systems promotes Newsagency of the Future workshops

Tower Systems is funding Newsagency of the Future workshops for more cities. These sessions will explore changes which will affect the newsagency channel in the next few years, new traffic opportunities and changes newsagents can make today to improve their future. They will also spend time on the magazine supply model and open discussion about the proposed magazine supply rule changes.

Each session is free and open to any newsagent. The dates are as follows:

Click on the link for each city to book or book by emailing bookings@towersystems.com.au.

There will be more locations and dates added including TAS, WA, Cairns and Newcastle.

Our goal is for you to have practical steps you can take right away and new information to consider in your business planning.

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Tower Systems helps newsagents compete with supermarkets through newsagency software

Talk to any small business newsagent today and they will tell you about renewed competition from supermarkets. Thanks to our ownership of newsagency businesses we have insights and experience we can leverage to help Tower Systems newsagency customers through our industry standard newsagency software.

Through our newsagency management software and the customer service which backs the software we can help newsagents reflect a point of difference they can leverage against competitor supermarkets.

The leverage opportunities in our software and services are unique to us. We’re not writing about them in detail here because to do so would give followers something to do.

The purpose of this post is to remind our customers we can help in non-traditional ways, ways on which you can bank to leverage a point of difference over businesses you worry about and see as too big to compete with.

Our management team is here for you with advice, training and assistance for you to use our industry standard software to compete efficiently and effectively.

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Tower Systems helps newsagents on magazine supply

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 8.50.14 amTower Systems helped develop the most comprehensive response on behalf of small business newsagents to a conference hosted by the ACCC on magazine supply arrangements.

The issue at the core of the conference was a proposed trial of new magazine supply rules which would not provide newsagents with any opportunity to be more competitive than the current arrangements which newsagents say, and we agree, make them uncompetitive against supermarkets.

Only Tower Systems and newsxpress petitioned the ACCC for the conference. It is because of these that the ACCC hosted the historic conference in which more than thirty participated in several states.

Tower Systems updated newsagents with an email about the conference this morning.

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Aussie POS software helps small business retailers grow

Small business retailers want to grow, who doesn’t? With rent and labour costs increasing each year, growth is mission critical. POS software company Tower Systems helps its customers grow by providing advice on how to use the software to grow.

As retailers ourselves we can provide practical advice on how to use the software to more than transact sales, we can help retailers use the software to grow their businesses. We do this every day on our help desk, through our consulting services, through our knowledge base and through our business mentoring assistance.

We encourage, guide, educate and support our small business retailer customers in their desire to grow their businesses. it’s something we take serviceably.

Even on the weekend. Take today, Saturday … we have been helping one business owner understand opportunities in their slow selling inventory pool to unlock cash and space for more productive use.

We are serious in our commitment to small business retailers from our software through to the practical advice and support we provide.

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Tower Systems proud to fight for fairer treatment of small business newsagents

Newsagency software company is proud to have lodged a submission to a draft determination of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in relation to a trial of a new model of magazine supply.

Click here to download the Tower Systems submission.

Our submission is made as part of our commitment to help our customers and their colleagues – across a range of retail channels.

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Tower Systems helping newsagents and their suppliers

Tower Systems is in the middle of hosting a series of newsagency supplier forums up the eastern Seaboard of Australia – to provide suppliers with an opportunity to discuss the newsagency channel and to explore how to list the level of engagement.

These free sessions are running well with plenty of supplier engagement among a diverse group of industry suppliers.

This is another way Tower Systems is investing in the newsagency channel.

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Newsagents hurt by IT compliance failure

Two weeks ago Tower Systems became aware of a problem for newsagents using software from another newsagency software company (not Tower) as a result of its handling of price correction advice from a specific magazine distributor.

Our understanding is that it is only users of this other software package (not Tower) affected. The result is newsagents using this other software fail part of the industry data standard compliance criteria which is assessed continuously.

With users of only one software company affected, it appears that software company needs to modify its software to behave as all other newsagency software products do.

On hearing of the problem we went back to the IT standard. We think we can see how our competitor may have not fully embraced the standard and if so this could explain the situation they find themselves in today.

Newsagents are asking questions about responsibility for the problem and how they can claw back failures which they say are no fault of their own. The compliance rules are such that gifting them compliance when they did not comply could create challenges for the suppliers involved.

All this matters for newsagents as compliance is a key factor in lucrative newsagency of the year awards. The compliance failure denies affected stores points and points are the currency of consideration for the awards.

Our approach to industry standards is to encourage suppliers and software companies to all meet at the same time in the same place to discuss and agree on a common goal. Unfortunately others don’t agree with this, they prefer to meet alone with supplier representatives. Their disagreement leads to situations whereby different software companies can have different take aways from these private discussions. This is not good for industry standards.

Update: since we published this post earlier today, another software company has written and published material which appears to be related to this topic, information which is, in our opinion, misleading.

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Helping newsagent suppliers help newsagents

newssessTower Systems is funding an opportunity for newsagent suppliers to meet in three states to discuss and work on the health of the newsagency channel and explore how they can help newsagents grow their businesses.

The Newsagent Supplier Forum has been in development for some months and is open to all suppliers to participate. Our hospitality extends to our software company competitors – we want the sessions to as broadly based as possible.

Newsagents think they are doing it tough and while some are for others it is a mindset thing. We hope the focus can help navigate a path ahead which benefits newsagents, their employees and newsagent suppliers.

Click here to book.

Funding these sessions is another way we can give back to our customers.

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