Gift HQ trade show a hit for Tower Systems POS software

IMG_8005We are thrilled with the results of the Gift HQ trade show in Brisbane over the weekend to last night. We connected with many businesses that can benefit from what we offer through our Point of Sale software and our customer service facilities. Having specialist software for each of several niche retail channels helped us serve a broader range of the visitors to the fair.

We also met existing customers to share new facilities in our software.

Gift HQ has been an important extension to our Queensland presence and service. We are grateful of the opportunity to participate.

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Using a fresh approach in loyalty to differentiate your retail business

While running a points based loyalty program is what most retail businesses using our POS software do, it is our Discount Voucher facilities that deliver the best results we are seeing.

In our own retail businesses we will report growth of 10% in the three months to June 30, 2015. Much of the success comes down to smart use of Discount Vouchers.

Using our POS software you can run a points program that looks and feels just like what the major supermarkets and department stores offer. It’s easy to setup. Your customers carry a professional plastic card with your brand. Alternatively, you can use Discount Vouchers.

Discount Vouchers don’t need a card – they print on receipts and offer an amount customers can spend right away. Our experience and the experience of hundreds of our customers is that Discount Vouchers drive faster and deeper engagement with the business – making a visit more valuable right away.

dvsthlYou can call the voucher anything you like and change this at any time.

You set the rules on how the value of the voucher is calculated.

You set the rules on what the voucher can be redeemed for.

You set the rules on how long a voucher lasts and whether you can go beyond this.

Male shoppers are more likely to spend the voucher immediately.

Many customers use the voucher to purchase items more expensive than the items in the initial purchase.

Customers see the voucher as cash, often commenting that they like this better than points. They like the transparency.

In our own retail experience where we compete with major retailers in a Westfield centre we have shoppers commenting they like our vouchers compared to the rewards programs of our competitors.

We are confident that our Discount Voucher facilities can help you:

– Get customers spending more in a visit.

– Bring existing customers back sooner.

– Attract new shoppers to your business.

– Drive impulse purchases at the sales counter.

Our POS software discount Voucher facilities have been developed for: pet shopsgift shopsjewellersbike retailersgarden centresnewsagentstoy shopsfirearms retailers and adult shops.

Our retail consultants can help:

  • NSW/ACT/TAS/QLD. Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148.
  • WA/SA/NT. Tim Batt. 0401 833 917.
  • VIC. Mike Hill. 0423 848 482.

See our company website and our company blog for more information.

You also have access to Mark Fletcher, the owner of the company. His number is 0418 321 338 and his email mark@towersystems.com.au.

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More POS software training for the new financial year

Tower Systems has kicked off the New Financial Year with the launch of fresh POS software user training opportunities for retailers who partner with us.

The free online new training is genuinely new: fresh, new topics … designed to help retailers get more from their Tower Systems relationship.

Our customers can book in for the free training now from our website. We send an email with instructions on how to get online.

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POS Software training studio busy with EOFY training

IMG_7974The studio at the Tower Systems head office has been busy as we host regular online live training workshops in how to handle stocktake and end of financial year matters using our POS software in the last days of this financial year.

This photo is from the studio during one of our live training sessions. Having a professional studio setup helps us deliver training away from the busy help desk. It’s a valuable point of difference for us.

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Best practice stocktake advice for small business POS software users

This advice is about the best business approach to undertaking a stocktake. Please refer to other Knowledge base articles on how to actually use the software. All retailers using our POS software have access to our knowledge base.

Please ensure you have the latest version of the Tower Systems Retailer POS software installed prior to undertaking a stocktake.

For the process to be as easy as possible you will need a wireless network – vital for OH&S reasons.

The best way to do a stocktake in your business is by using a laptop (or laptops) or tablet computer with a scanner attached. This enables you to do the stocktake live with no impact on sales and absolute integrity of your stock on hand data.

While using a laptop (or laptops) or tablet computer may seem cumbersome, it is our best practice advice for speed, data integrity and the ability to address data issues you may encounter on the shop floor. It enables you to do management work to ensure completely accurate data.

The alternative is to use a PDE. The challenges with this are the many different PDEs and it is challenging to be expert in all plus the PDE counts at that time and you load the data at a later time – meaning a gap in time in which sales could have been done. While PDE software is available for live to data updates, we have seen this be problematic and so we do not use it.

Given the advances in technology, our best practice recommendation is either a laptop of tablet computer as either offers a better solution than a PDE.

We suggest you setup a Laptop or tablet and use Team Viewer or the like to connect in and count this way. This approach means you do not need to purchase an additional software licence for the laptop. Team Viewer is easy to setup.

For the physical stocktake, we suggest you approach the business aisle by aisle, counting and rearranging stock as you go.

Once you have completed your first full stocktake, our advice is you engage in a rolling stocktake, doing parts of the business, through the year. The Tax Office does not require businesses with full sock control implemented to do a stocktake at the end of the financial year. They will accept data from your system if you manage stock through the year.

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Small businesses – good for Australia, small tech businesses – even better

Mark Latham wrote in The Australian Financial Review on May 30, 2015:

Self-evidently, if small businesses were any good they would’t be small. They would be big monstrous things with massive levels of profit, employment and economic grunt.

As the owner of a small business that solely serves small businesses I say Mark Latham is wrong. I know of many small businesses that are profitable and making excellent contributions economically and socially in their areas.

I started Tower Systems in 1981 to serve small businesses like yours. Today we are thrilled to serve close to 3,000 independent small businesses.

Our mission is to help small businesses owners run their businesses efficiently and profitably, with foresight and confidence about the right business decisions. Our assistance goes way beyond the software itself.

We develop and sell software specifically for: pet shopsgift shopsjewellersbike retailersgarden centresnewsagentstoy shopsfirearms retailers and adult shops.

This makes us very different to the likes of MYOB, Retail Express, RMS, Lightspeed, vend and others who offer generic retail management and POS software.

Thanks to our specialisation you can expect more from us, more facilities specific to your type of business and more after sales services for your type of business.

Like any good small business, our business is personal. That is, from the moment you contact us you will deal with someone by name. You’ll have their mobile number and their email address. This continues when you speak with our help desk – we have real people using their real names, people you can call back and talk to further.

You have access to me as the owner of the company too. My number is 0418 321 338 and my email mark@towersystems.com.au. By sharing this I am backing the claims I make – that using my software will help you enjoy your business more, make more money and make your business more valuable.

As a customer you would have easy access to senior management. This keeps us connected and demonstrates that we take good personal customer service seriously.

If you want to make your independent retail business worth more and more enjoyable to own, give us a call and let us show you want a good POS software company looks like.

Our retail consultants are here to listen to you and to help:

  • NSW/ACT/TAS/QLD. Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148.
  • WA/SA/NT. Tim Batt. 0401 833 917.
  • VIC. Mike Hill. 0423 848 482.

See our company website and our company blog for more information.

My name is Mark Fletcher. I am the owner of Tower Systems. I believe in small business. My contact details are: 0481 321 338 and mark@towersystems.com.au.

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Free POS software training helps small business retailers

The free POS software training workshops we run weekly for small business retailers is a genuine point of difference for Tower Systems.

This training helps people get more from their software. It boosts their confidence. It also provides an excellent small business networking opportunity as there is plenty of time at the end of a session for participants to talk with each other.

The training workshops are free. Tower Systems funds the phone call for audio participation and visual access is via the Net.

From the day years ago when Tower Systems announced its commitment to this free training opportunity the company has maintained the free training service, delivering consistently on its promise, proving our motto: we’re here to help.

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Sunday retail management advice: use your POS software well

This advice seems simple, obvious – yet it is advice that must good POS software companies repeat daily. Here at Tower Systems we take this seriously we offer advice on how to use the software well, how to run a better business with the support of the software

Going beyond what is traditional in POS software support, Tower Systems helps its customers get more. Here are some of the ways retailers can use their POS software well:

  1. To track everything sold by item detail.
  2. To track all products returned.
  3. To manage gift vouchers.
  4. To run your Lay-By program.
  5. To create order for replenishment stock.
  6. To manage the employee roster.
  7. To track inventory theft.
  8. To track all sales.
  9. To stop employee theft.

This list is just a start on how to use your POS software well.  Too many retailers use their software as a glorified cash register and we don’t like that. There are plenty more ways retailers can use their POS software to run more efficient and valuable businesses.

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New POS software update in final stages of development

It has been a busy time at Tower Systems as we design, code, test and re-test a suite of new facilities for our POS software, pushing our software into areas beyond what has been traditional for software in the specialist retail channels in which we serve.

We are excited for the developments and the business growth opportunities they will bring to our customers.

We are a couple of weeks away from our first customer previews – such as the rigorous process new development goes through prior to first glances we offer outside our development lab.

Several of the new facilities we have been developing are from insights we have gained inner work forecasting where some retail channels are headed. We are bringing new lift and opportunities to small business retailers to enable them to be even more excited about this futures.

We are love what we do an the customers we serve.

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Small business retailers love the time saved with POS software cloud backup service

bupThe cloud backup service launched last year by Tower Systems is popular with retailers using our POS software. Backups are seamless, not taking any noticeable time thanks to the smart technology. The result is welcome double protection.

While Tower Systems has supported external and automated backup services for years, this new cloud-based service that offers excellent protection to users of our POS software.

Run on a subscription basis and backing up to the cloud real-time through the day, this is a comprehensive replacement of the old end of shift backup approach for small and independent retailers.

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Xero cloud based accounting promotes the Tower Systems POS software

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 1.26.18 amCloud accounting software company Xero features Tower Systems and its retail management software on the Xero website. This privilege is for software companies which have met compliance requirements set by Xero. Tower Systems achieved this status last year. Since then, we have worked with Xero on communication with small business retailers about the benefits of our Xero integrated POS software solution.

We have plenty of retailers using our software and our automated link to Xero … saving them time and money in the management of their financial records.

We use the Xero live and automated link for our own retail businesses and can speak to the benefits ourselves.

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Tower Systems to host New Loyalty events for small business retailers

POS software company Tower Systems has launched free training for small business retailers on The New Loyalty, a fresh approach to encouraging retailers to use loyalty facilities to compete with big business.

The New Loyalty offers small business retailers a framework through which to compete with big business in the shopper loyalty stakes.

The free workshops offer insights deep into shopper engagement with the loyalty facilities in several businesses. We take participants on a deep data behind the scenes view of business benefits through to shopper behaviour. This is a first ever insight at this level. It is something any retailer in a competitive situation will want to see.

 

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Good small business retail success story thanks to POS software

While plenty in retail talk about our tough things are, here at Tower Systems we are hearing many stories of success from retailers doing well, retailers growing gross profit in the face of a traffic decline and other retailers growing traffic by using the facilities in the POS software.

One retailer told us last week that while traffic was flat with less than 1% growth, their profitability was up 8% thanks to using inventory management tools in our software to guide buying as well as shop floor product placement.

Our software is rich in facilities that help small and independent retailers make better quality business decisions, decisions that pursue profitability for the business and enjoyment for the business owner.

Each success story we hear adds to our arsenal of stories we can share with others, to encourage them and spread the news of optimism in small business retail.

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Good news from a retailer switching to our POS software

Thank you for helping us switch to your software. I had no idea we could do what we are already doing with your software. For years I thought I had a good software program. The time saving alone pays for itself. Thank you.

We love feedback from retailers who switch to us as it encourages us to work even harder at leveraging our point of difference. This latest retailer to switch provided us with comprehensive insights into the weaknesses of the software they have switched from, insights we can leverage in our communication with other retailers in the channel.

Making good POS software is one thing. Guiding retailers to get the maximum commercial value from the software is something else. This is where Tower Systems excels.

 

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Sunday retail management advice: how to act local in your independent retail business

Independent retail businesses often seek local shopper support. This Lismore easily achieved if these businesses themselves act locally and love locally. Here are some of the many act local suggestions we have developed over years of supporting local small and independent retail businesses:

  1. Support local community groups through raising awareness and funds.
  2. Use your retail space to attract locals on local issues.
  3. Leverage your communication channels to support local issues and groups.
  4. Offer practical help to local school.
  5. Be engaged in local representation on councils and committees.
  6. Preference hiring local people.
  7. Seek out local suppliers.
  8. Offer local training opportunities to local school students.
  9. If appropriate to your business, seek out local artists.
  10. Participate in local markets.
  11. Welcome local groups to raise funds from out the front of your shop.
  12. Get your business name on local sports team clothing.
  13. Learn and tell local stories.

We have many other suggestions to help independent local retailers to better connect with their local community … helping our customers way beyond our software.

Tower Systems serves close to 3,000 retailers using our smart POS software.

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Smart vouchers on POS software receipts invite shoppers to return

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 5.53.01 amGetting a shopper to return to your independent retail business can be difficult, you need to embrace every opportunity possible. This is where POS software company Tower Systems can help – using our smart POS software you can include on the receipt a coupon or voucher for a variety of purposes including marketing, information, direct discounts or other promotional activity.

The voucher based marketing facilities in our software are being actively used in all specialist channels in which we serve.

It could be a simple discount on return, a promotion of a new service, a discount based what is in this purchase or an offer based on a future bulk buy.

The beauty of the voucher serving technology embedded in the Tower software is that it is flexible and available for use in the business without cost. This ensures that the independent retailers using it are not having to share costs with others. The benefits are as considerable as the flexibility of the service.

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Kudos from Honeywell for Tower Systems

IMG_7134We were thrilled to receive recognition recently from Honeywell for the work we have done integrating our POS software with their quality hardware and the traction we have received in specialist retail businesses.

While we are a software company, our work with Honeywell is important in delivering rewarding benefits to our customers.

Thanks Honeywell!

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Branding receipts through POS software helps independent retailers

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 5.52.56 amTower Systems is helping more independent retailers using its POS software to extend the reach of their brand with professional branding on the receipts produced by the software.

Achieving this branding is easy and free for retailers using the Tower software. Plus branding can be changed any time the business needs.

Tower Systems can help create branding for the receipts for those who need extra assistance.

Using receipts in this way is vitally important to business branding as it acts as a reminder where items were purchased and a reminder of experiences that we hope are wonderful. It is especially important to independent retail businesses.

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POS software help desk support is about much more than the software

And how can I use that information in the business?

This is a question that can stump someone working on the help desk as a POS software company as it goes beyond the what and how and delves into the why. The answer to this question is a chink of gold that can be mined using smart POS software.

This is a questions the Tower Systems help desk team members can answer because the understand the why: why the software matters, why the data harvested is valuable, why a business owner wanting to grow the business will want to use the data.

This information is vital in small business as it is information that unlocks the real value of POS software for these small independent business users.

We can help small business owners understand data on reports as they relate to their specific businesses. Context is everything as they say and we know POS software cannot be one size fits all. A datapoint could be used by three different businesses in different ways depending on other metrics and KPIs. This is where our help desk team is smart and engaged.

Beyond the shat and how, our POS software help desk team loves to delve into the why.

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POS software user support Knowledge Base makes customers happy

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.03.41 pmWe are thrilled with the feedback from our customers about the ever expanding Knowledge Base accessible framer POS software support website.

Packed with proprietary information, this Knowledge Base is a wonderful resource as we can share with customers in response to queries where documentation supporting an over the phone answer helps.

What is especially good is the feedback from customers that helps us enhance the Knowledge Base experience further.

This is another benefit of the proprietary and exclusive Tower AdvantageTM program.

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POS software company helps small business retailers cut EFTPOS mistakes

EFTPOS processing mistakes at the retail sales counter can cost small business retailers dearly. POS software company Tower Systems helps retailers cut mistakes thanks to its integrated EFTPOS solutions.

Connecting directly with broadband EFTPOS bank Tyro as well as other banks, retailers using the Tower software are able to easily and quickly process credit card / EFTPOS payments without additional keystrokes.

Eliminating keystrokes is key to cutting mistakes. Eliminating the use of a separate EFTPOS device is key to eliminating mistakes. This saves time and money but most important it cuts mistakes.

In addition to cutting expensive mistakes, the integration delivered by Tower Systems streamlines customer flow at the counter and this improves the overall customer experience. It’s a win for the customer and a win for the retail business.

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How small business retailers can quit dead stock and free up cash in their businesses

Small business retailers  could have thousands of dollars of stock sitting on their shelves taking up space. If stock is not selling, it’s costing you. Once you have identified stock that is not selling you can begin to quit this stock, by putting the stock on clearance and continually reducing pricing until it’s sold out. Even if this means selling it below cost, it will save you money in the long run.

Tip: You can work out how much your shop space is worth by dividing the rent by how many square meters of space you have.

If a product hasn’t sold for six months then it’s costing you money to warehouse it. Quitting the stock will stop the cost from building up further and allow you to replace it with stock that will sell. Here is advice on quitting dead stock using our smart POS software.

NOTE: To effectively use this advice you need accurate stock on hand levels. Poor stock management will mean the results here can’t be used. You need to be able to trust your QOH figure is correct for this advice to be useful.

Finding The Stock

Use the ranked sales report with the following settings to work out what isn’t selling and put that stock on clearance.

Go to Reports > Sales Reports > Ranked Sales Report.

Set your Start date back six months from today and the end date to today’s date. Set the rest of the report settings as below.

When the report runs you will see the following:

Untitled

Here you can see when the last time an item was sold (if at all) and the last time it was arrived.

Note: Items can show up that have only recently been arrived.

Ignore these items unless they haven’t sold in 4 to 5 months, then you may want to look into them.

The bottom of the report will give you a total cost of stock Inc and Ex GST. Consider this figure the value of dead stock in your store. You need to reduce this as much as possible.

Once you have the report print it out and start working through the list.

Set up a clearance table or bin somewhere in store and put product there with a clearance price. Simply advertise the area as Clearance Stock, Prices as Marked.

Keep discounting the product until it sells. Set a goal to get rid of the stock within say two weeks, if stock is still there after one week, discount further.

Now you can start filling that empty space with stock that is selling well. Use the Ranked Sales Report to show you top selling items and begin to build up those lines.

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Retailers loving our free POS software training

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.41.31 pmWe keen addicting additional free live training sessions for our POS software customers and they keep filling up. So, guess what, we are adding more.

These sessions are more about leveraging the software in the business than how to do this or that. They contain considerable retail business management and operational advice.

We are thrilled with the support from ur customers and grateful to be in a position to offer this training by our skilled training team.

This is POS software customer service at its best. This is the Tower AdvantageTM

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Disaster planning advice for small business retailers

Disaster planning is vital for any retail business.  Too often, the need for good disaster planning is realised after a disaster has hit the business.  This advice from our POS software company offers business and computer related advice which is designed to mitigate the impact of a disaster on your business.

Insurance Protection

Insurance coverage is vital  to helping a retail business overcome any type of disaster.  In addition to ensuring that your insurance policy covers all disaster situations of concern to you, including flood, theft, water inundation, fire, earthquake, riot—be sure to carefully read the policy, ensure that your insurance policy / policies cover payouts for the following:

  1. Business interruption.  The amount should equal your anticipated gross profit for whatever period you choose to be covered.
  2. Data recovery.  Including the hiring of experts to recover data from backup sources or the manual entry of data which cannot be automatically recovered.  It needs to ensure that you are covered to the point of recovered data being useable in transacting business.
  3. Lost stock.  This is stock stolen, lost from the business.
  4. Damaged and unsaleable stock.  This is stock which is water damaged, scuffed or dented and which will not attract full price.
  5. Dated stock.  This is stock which you cannot sell by the due date.
  6. Glass. Many policies require explicit statement of glass coverage.
  7. Temporary trading premises.  Business interruption may cover this.  Ensure that it is explicitly stated.
  8. Key person injury and/or death. This will usually be a separate policy.  Depending on the disaster, coverage may also be available through the overall business policy.

Ensure that the value of stock, fixtures and fittings covered by your policy is an accurate reflection of the real value of these items.  Talk with your insurance company about the best approach to track this on an ongoing basis.

Insurance brokers can provide access to assessors who can advise on the appropriate level of insurance for your situation.

Use your Point of  Sale system to track all stock movements in and out.  The stock on hand in  your software should be your coverage.

Ensure that your insurance policy protects for the seasonal nature of your business

Data Protection

Business data is one of the most valuable assets of the business.  Like insurance, the value is often not understood until you need what you do not have.  Retailers who are serious about protecting their business data in the event of any disaster follow these steps:

  1. Backup your business data every day, at the end of the day, without fail. Our cloud based backup service is ideal.
  2. Maintain a separate backup for each day of the week.  Consider a separate backup for the last day of each month.
  3. Remove the backup medium, usually a USB stick, from the business premises each day.
  4. Store the backup in a safe, dry place.
  5. Check the usefulness of the backup by restoring and checking the data.
  6. Store original business software in a safe off-site location

Disaster Planning

Here are some general suggestions on planning for a disaster.

  1. Keep off site copies of: Business contracts and agreements; employee contact details, business account and other passwords, insurance details, recent photographs of fixtures, fittings and stock.
  2. Maintain a register of all employees in the business at any time.
  3. Prepare and place in a prominent place an evacuation plan.
  4. Maintain a professional grade OH&S compliant first aid kit.
  5. Regularly maintain all fire extinguishers.
  6. Ensure that the business premises is safe and maintained to the local building codes and OH&S regulations.
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