Small business retailers love POS software training videos

possoftwaretrainingThe exclusive and extensive suite of POS software training videos from Tower Systems accessible through our online curriculum management platform continues to win kudos from customers. This training permits genuine 24/7 training. It also helps retail business owners more effectively train new staff in the use of our software.

With all engagement tracked, retailers and their employees can see progress as users of the software work towards completing modules and thereby developing a mature and helpful knowledge of the software.

The image is a snapshot from the Tower website showing off videos that have been viewed by two different users.  In one case, a user of the software spend over an hour on training on Sunday March 9. The transparency of this data helps us, the user and the retail business owner.

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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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Retailers love the opportunity of video based training in POS software

videotrainingMore and more retailers and their employees are using the extensive library of professional video-based training that we offer for learning how to use and benefit from the Tower Systems Point of Sale software. We track all access to learn about how people engage with the resources we have provided. This access data provides us with valuable insights.

It is a thrill to see new employees to a business using our software follow a thread of learning – it validates our investment in developing the resource and gives us confidence that we have another knowledgeable user in our community.

This access-from-anywhere video based training library is not the only training we offer – our customers also have access to live in-store training, over the phone training and group live online training. They can choose the training delivery method that best serves their needs.

The video training library is another part of our exclusive Tower AdvantageTM program. It is a valuable and appreciated point of difference for us.

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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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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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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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Newsagents ready for Fairfax newspaper price increases

Thanks to early advice from Fairfax, newsagents using our newsagency software for retail and home delivery management have been ready for the price rises coming through for some Fairfax newspapers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

We regularly work with suppliers and prepare advice for our customers while maintaining confidentiality of information as requested.  We have a range of non disclosure agreements in place to protect the interests of our suppliers.

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See inside our POS software company, watch these videos

Tower Systems leads in its various marketplaces in the transparency stakes. Not only are the contact details of our management and ownership readoly available, we have published a series of professional videos featuring interviews with key Tower Systems team members.

These videos show the human side of the company. They also show off our depth of commitment and the extraordinary history help within the company and its team members.

While we’re much bigger than those show in these videos, they do provide an insight into some of our team members.

Enjoy!

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Helping newsagents handle News Limited newspaper home delivery fee changes

Tower Systems is well across the newspaper home delivery fee changes officially launched by News Corp. this morning. While the changes will not take effect for six months, Tower is able to reassure its 1,800+ newsagency software customers that their software will handle the changes.

Structural and financial in nature, the changes fit well with the fee structure options in the Tower newsagency software. In addition to handling the new structure, newsagents in the Tower community will be able to rely on their software for making the actual change in March 2014 – the timing of the change set by News.

The offering of a three-year contract to newsagents from News Corp. is also a welcome move. It provides newsagents with certainty for themselves and their financiers. It also provides them with an asset they can sell.

Being briefed about the changes has helped us ensure that our software development and help desk people are prepared for any queries. This is vital given the size of our newsagency software community – more newsagents use Tower than all other software companies combined.

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Tower Systems newsagents take out all major awards at Queensland Newsagent of the Year Awards

Congratulations to newsagents using our newsagency software in Queensland who won all major award categories at the Queensland Newsagent of the Year Awards last night:

  • New Technology Newsagency of Year newsagency - Macrae News Mt Isa
  • Lottery Newsagency of the Year – Northgate News
  • Distribution Newsagent of the Year  - Chirn Park News
  • Retail Newsagent of the Year – Herbert River News

Well done.  Well deserved!

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Helping newsagents understand the opportunity of best-practice software

Tower Systems has appreciated the opportunity of being the only software company presenting in the business development workshop sessions at the GNS Market Fairs. In these sessions we have been encouraging newsagents to embrace data as a core asset of the business – by collecting and cultivating business data for the benefit of the business throughout.

In the Q&A session that follows we are often asked about computer systems and their practical value for newsagents. As the supplier of newsagency software being used by more than 1,800 newsagents today, we are well placed to speak to newsagent engagement and benefits.

The GNS market Fair sessions also help other software companies as they demonstrate the importance of software to the running of today’s newsagency business. Indeed, one other software company liked the presentation so much they had representatives attend.

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Software designed for your marketplace is more valuable than software designed for everyone

Tower Systems develops software specifically for garden centres, jewellers, bike retailers, homewares shops, gift shops, distribution newsagents, retail newsagents and adult shops.

Each product we offer to each marketplace is designed for that marketplace. This is specialist software meeting specific retail business needs.

Specialist Point of Sale software is more valuable for what are specialised businesses and independent small business retailers understand this.

A bike shop, for example, pitches that they are better able to help a cyclist make better decisions based on their expert advice. So, too, is Tower Systems better positioned to provide expert advice for a bike shop on how to get more out of their software than a software company selling a generic POS software package that is not designed specifically for a bike shop.

Small and independent retailers understand the value of specialisation and here at Tower Systems we focus on specialisation – encoded in our software we have functions and capabilities that are specific to each of our marketplaces, facilities of excellent value.

Garden centres, jewellers, bike retailers, homewares shops, gift shops, distribution newsagents, retail newsagents and adult shops wanting to more effectively compete in their marketplaces need to rely on software designed for them. This will empower them to achieve more than they could using basic, generic, POS software.

This is the Tower Systems specialisation at work, delivering software designed for specific marketplaces to meet specific needs.

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MrNews software update released for Western Australian distribution newsagents

Two weeks ago Tower Systems released an update to the MrNews newspaper distribution software to meet the latest standards from West Australian Newspapers.  Developed overs several months in consultation with WAN and active distribution newsagents, this latest update is available to all MrNews newsagents.

Tower Systems acquitted the MrNews software business late last year, bringing another 100 newsagent customers to the tower Systems newsagent community.

 

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Newsagents embracing Newsagency of the Future workshops

As the first week of the Tower Systems sponsored Newsagency of the Future workshop series draws to a close, we are pleased to have been able to ahre insights with more than 200 newsagents already.

Developed for all newsagents and not just the newsagents using our newsagency software, this workshop is a must-attend event as it opens discussions around what newsagencies will look like in the future and what can be done today to ensure a stronger future.

The next round of sessions include:

  • May 20 @ 11am Canberra
  • May 21 @ 11am Newcastle
  • May 22 @ 11am Albury
  • May 23 @ 10am Geelong
  • May 24 @ 11am Hobart
  • May 28 @ 10am Gold Coast
  • May 29 @ 11am Cairns
  • May 30 @ 10am Darwin

Click here to book online or email bookings@towersystems.com.au. This session is open to all newsagents and suppliers.

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Sunday small retail business management advice: motivate your employees

Motivating retail employees can be tough, especially if you take a traditional approach,managing in a traditional way. In our experience working with many retailers in a range niche retail channels we have seen a different approach work – one where retail employees are brought into a deeper understanding of the business and where they participate in growing sales.

Sharing with retail employees the value of their sales in a week while helping them understand the costs of doing business, can see some reach beyond average and start to make a more significant sales contribution to the business.

Our Point of Sale software helps retailers to track employee performance so this can be shared in a motivating ay with employees. Our experience is that it works well at getting employees thinking and acting more like employers. Often, they try and compete with previous sales numbers.

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Best practice Point of Sale software customer service wins retailers

Retailers using the Tower software for jewellers, bike shop software, garden centre software, newsagency software, gift shop software, adult shop software, gun shop software and other POS software have access to best practice software support and help desk facilities.

Tower AdvantageTM is the name given to the software support, update and service package offered by Tower Systems to retailers using our Point of Sale software.

Our package of services is so unique that we decided some years ago that it needed to be trademarked. So we registered Tower AdvantageTM with IP Australia and received approval.

Tower AdvantageTM coverage is optional. Retailers using our software can continue to use the software regardless of whether they take out Tower AdvantageTMcoverage.

Customers who do take out Tower AdvantageTM coverage receive at no additional cost:

  • Software updates.
  • Access to software support coverage 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This includes local number support access in Melbourne, Sydney, Birbsnae, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart and Toll Free support for all of New Zealand.
  • Access to more than 200 professionally written and reviewed advice sheets documenting how to use the software.
  • Access to more than 30 training videos.
  • Access to our NEW online training curriculum.
  • Access to face-to-face user meetings hosted in many cities each year.
  • Access to regular weekly online training workshops.
  • Free business health check service which assesses business performance and how the software us being used.
  • Free theft check service checking secret business data to see if employees are stealing from the business.

The total package of Tower AdvantageTM services is unique to Tower Systems and another reason the company continues to enjoy excellent year on year sales growth.

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Briefing on News Limited T2020 pause

The announcement by News Limited yesterday that they would suspend the restructuring of the distribution of newspapers, the T2020 project, requires consideration by all newsagents.

As the company with the industry-standard newspaper distribution software, we have a vested interest in what happens next. We have newsagents leading in the commercial consolidation of home delivery territories. We also serve many waiting to pursue this opportunity.

This morning we are receiving a briefing from News Limited that will enable us to better inform our 1,800 strong newsagent community.

Update: here are notes from the meeting.

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Newsagency software helps newsagents handle The Australian on-shot

Tower Systems earlier this week published advice to distribution newsagents using its newsagency software on how to handle the one-shot issue of The Australian newspaper this Sunday.

While we are disappointed News Limited did not provide any warning of their plans, our technical and support teams were able to prepare, test and publish advice for our large newsagent user community – so they could handle the odd request from the publisher.

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Helping newsagents navigate T2020 newspaper distribution changes in 2013

Last week we hosted the first of several meetings for 2013 with newsagents on the News Limited T2020 project. We briefed them on the latest software enhancements being developed and coming from our advance engagement with the t2020 project.

With T2020 live right now, it’s important that newsagent suppliers, including software companies, are proactively helping with software enhancements and and access to knowledge and insights with which newsagents can make better business decisions. Tower Systems is doing this through newsagent briefings, software enhancements and access to free training.

2013 will be a year of extraordinary change for newsagents. Coupled with change is a deep reservoir of opportunity. We see it as our job to help newsagents fish this reservoir and to land these opportunities into sales and business growth for a brighter future.

2013 is off to a good start thanks to our planning last year and our early engagement with newsagents already this year.

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Helping Victorian newsagents with News Limited migration plans

We met earlier this week with News Limited representatives to go over plans for Victorian newsagents to embrace the migration of management of customer accounts for News Limited newspapers to News yet linked back to our software.

Having done this successfully in South Australia we are well positioned to help our hundreds of Victorian newsagents.

Being involved with News Limited at the trial stage of the project helps us to help newsagents make the transition and to better position their businesses.

Thanks to enhancements to our management structure we are able to better serve these and other structural changes with better customer support, more meaningful supplier interaction and greater preparedness for navigating change.

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Tower Systems leadership position with newsagents on show

Tower Managing Director Mark Fletcher has been busy since the T2020 newspaper distribution restructure announcement by News Limited last week fielding queries from newsagents and media outlets (2UE, ABC radio, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, Crikey).

With considerable experience over the last three years on the restructure project helping newsagents in the initial South Australian trial to work with east Coast newsagents on their own commercial consolidation to work with News on a range of circulation related projects, we have developed good knowledge about T2020 that will help the Tower newsagent community navigate the change.

The 1,750+ newsagents in the Tower user community have had access to news and information that has enabled them to be better prepared for the changes.

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Prepared for News Limited T2020 changes

Having been briefed by News Limited in advance Tower Systems is ready to help newsagents for the newspaper distribution changes to be formally announced at 10am today.

Serving more than 1,750 newsagents, we have already delivered software changes which will serve the needs of newsagents as they embrace the opportunities in the T2020 move.

As newsagents merge territories and create new businesses they will need robust territory management software. having delivered this in trial locations as well as independent early adopter locations, Tower Systems is the best software partner for newsagents who wish to specialise in distribution.

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NewsPOS newsagents switching to Tower software

Plenty of newsagents using the NewsPOS software have now switched to the Tower software following our take over of the NewsPOS business a couple of months ago.

The transition path which includes data conversion is loved by NewsPOS customers as it provides certainty and continuity of support. There is a single low cost for the transition and this includes direct extraction of current customer data in NewsPOS.

As the new owners of the NewsPOS business, Tower Systems is best placed to help newsagents make the move. No other company has access to the NewsPOS IP or source. This helps us deliver a more certain and better-value solution to the remaining NewsPOS newsagents.

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