Throwback Thursday at the POS software company

beginningsThis is where it all began for Tower Systems – back in 1981 – before we sold our first system. This photo shows the first computer in which we started developing small business applications.

This tiny Apple II+ with dual floppy drives was our first development platform. It was new and exciting and fun to develop on. While storage on the Apple II+ was limited we made the most of the opportunity to provide small businesses with tools that cut labour intensive data related tasks.

While the software we sell today is generations beyond what we developed in 1981, the principles are the same – to offer our customers software facilities through which they can save time and money and on which they can rely to make better quality business decisions sooner.

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Retailers loving Microsoft Surface POS software integration

ms-surfaceRetailers with shop floor, outpost and pop-up shop requirements are loving what we have done integrating our POS software with the Microsoft Surface. This is a slick, easy to use and completely portable solution for retailers who are conducting more business in non-traditional off-location situations. With the days of the retail sales counter numbered, it is flexibility like that being delivered by Tower Systems that retailers crave.

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A behind the scenes look at how our POS software company rolls our a major software update

Here is an internal communication sent by our Managing Director to all Tower Systems team members last week in advance of wider release of a major POS software update. We share this here to show how internally we are committed to the quality and engaged customer services we promote in our marketing pitch:

The next two months will present us with many challenges and opportunities as our customers load and engage with 2.6. For many in the company you will face new experiences as this is the biggest update ever in the history of the Retailer product.

There will be people who blame things on the update that have nothing to do with the update.

Many will not read the instructions prior to loading the update.

Most will be nervous.

Plenty will be happy with what’s in the u0date and some will want more changes urgently.

Others will say their systems are slower as a result.

Some will realise that they need to upgrade their hardware.

Please actively listen to what people have to say, make sure they know you are listening to them – even if what they are saying has been said to you many times before by others. People calling about the update is what we are here for. We promise them we are not your average software company. We promise to listen to them and serve their needs. This is where your contact, each contact, is vital.

While Ben owns 2.6, it is on all of us to serve our customers as they install, learn and start to use 2.6. Their experience will depend on each of us. What they think about Tower Systems for the future will depend on each of us.

Thank you in advance for your commitment through what will be a busy and challenging time.

We are committed to providing an enjoyable experience for our customers. This email and the considerable training of our team which preceded it is further evidence of that commitment.

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Smart POS software helps retailers manage card pockets

cardpocketsMore and more greeting card retailers are using the smart reporting in the Tower Systems POS software for reporting on card sales down to a granular level.

Developed with renowned card experts and engaged retailers, the exclusive reporting in the Tower Systems software enables greeting card retailers like newsagents and card and gift retailers to report on card sales more immediately and valuably than is often available from the greeting card company.

This reporting has been enhanced following field use to make it more valuable to retailers when they are working with their card suppliers.

This report is another example of what sets our software apart and why our retailers love what they can achieve with it.

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POS software update roll-out loved by retailers

Tower Systems is thrilled with feedback from retailers who have started using the new version of its POS software.

With more than 300 enhancements, this new release is the most significant software update in ten years. It delivers to the close to 3,000 small business retailers who partner with Tower valuable new tools which many will use to grow their business.

While customers are enjoying getting to know their new software, the Tower team is well advanced on the next release.

 

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Retailers love discount voucher options in POS software

dva5With more retailers using our Discount Voucher facilities we have a broader pool from which to draw inspiration for further enhancements.

This image shows another version of a Discount Voucher – on an A5 receipt.

This is attractive-looking Discount Voucher is produced at the bottom of a receipt printed on a laser printer connected to our software. retailers selling higher end items like to produce a receipt that is different to the usual cash register roll type. The A5 receipt is more professional and of a higher print quality.

This laser printed Discount Voucher has a quality to its look that makes it appear more valuable than if printed on a thermal printer at the bottom of a receipt.

While often used in jewellery, garden centre and homewares businesses, more and more other retailers are choosing A5 receipts to lift the quality of their offering and thereby set themselves apart from other retail businesses.

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POS Software on Microsoft’s Surface a hit at the Gift Fair

Our live demonstrations of our POS software running on the latest Microsoft Surface device has been a hit at the Reed Sydney Gift Fair these past four days.

Demonstrating a portable shop-floor / warehouse solution without the usual POS software counter type hardware shows another flexibility we support, another way we help retailers to better engage with their customers and their business through our software.

This latest generation Microsoft Surface is especially useful in the retail environment – as we have shown at the Gift Fair.

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Smart retailers use their POS software receipt to show savings

receiptsavingRetailers using the POS software from Tower Systems have many options for for reinforcing the value of shopping in the business – like including a personalised note on the receipt showing the saving achieved with this purchase.

The image shows one such saving note on a receipt produced by the software. The note is produced as a result of rules setup by the retailer using the software.

The You Saved $6.55 message is strong. It’s reinforced by That’s a saving of 6%. this messaging pitches the retail business after the sale is down, when the shopper is home and unpacking their purchases.

This is another way Tower Systems is helping small and independent retailers to compete with major retailers.

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Chinese language POS software support shows true customer service

Around eight years ago Tower Systems was the first software company in the newsagency marketplace to offer Chinese language support – help desk support for customers who prefer to speak in Mandarin or Cantonese. Tower still offers this service today and customers love it.

Just about every day we have one or more customer thrilled to have support provided in Cantonese or Mandarin. Indeed offering this service is one reason our newsagency software customer base continues to grow.

We get a buzz in the office hearing these calls as we know we are doing something unique in POS software help desk circles in Australia.

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POS software helps retailers with pop up shops

popupposTower Systems is helping retailers setup pop up shops through its POS software.

Pop up shops in shopping centres and other locations benefit from the easy to setup and use Tower software that is being used in a variety of retail businesses including those selling gifts, calendars, collectibles, homewares, clothing, phones, services, garden items and more.

Thanks to the ability to access the software through any browser, only minimal hardware is required for these types of installations. This is vital for a successful pop up shop operation.

Backed by flexible licencing and useful reporting tools, the Tower software helps retailers in the pop up space to create a new store, trade and then move on with easy and low overheads.

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While Apple gets all the attention real innovation for small business happens much closer to home

Apple has received extraordinary attention for its announcements last week as is always the case when the tech giant announces new models and new products. While we applaud Apple’s innovation and its ability to engage people all around the world with its technology, there are many businesses and individual innovators who receive little or no attention.

Take POS software, the spare we work in. It’s not glamorous or fashionable. However, if we get it right and engage appropriately with our customers, we make small retail businesses more profitable.

This coal face work with small and independent retailers is more important economically to Australia and New Zealand, the two main countries in which we trade, than Apple selling its devices and paying minimal tax.

We help people into business by making it easier for them. We help people find work by providing a skill they can learn and that is transferable.

What we do in our small and independent software company is economically valuable.

Later this week we release a software update that takes what we do to an entirely new plane. We won;t get Apple like hype but we do hope to help our customers enjoy their businesses more and make more money from them.

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New POS software training videos in production

studioWe are filming several videos to accompany the launch of our next major POS software update. These videos will help our customers learn more abut their new software and encourage them to engage with new facilities and opportunities embedded in the new software. Our video training suite is a resource our customers love and use as we can see from tracking data.

The photo is from our in-house studio.

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Sunday retail business management advice: tracking retail season performance

fdayMajor retail seasons such as Father’s Day present retailers with an excellent opportunity to assess how the business is performing this year over previous years. The challenge can be that these days fall on different dates in different years.

Using the Point of Sale software from Tower Systems retailers can easily compare floating seasons whether for a day or days or weeks leading up to a day – where the dates are different between the two years being compared.

In addition to terrific comparative reports in the Tower software, we are able to help retailers understand year on year performance, to learn what they can about opportunities for future seasons. Often we find data present different facts on seasonal performance to what people working in the business thought happened.

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POS software Xero link helps retailers cut mistakes & save time

xerolinkThe  Tower Systems POS software / Xero accounting link is being embraced by more retailers.

Using the Xero link in our own retail businesses and having had it vetted and approved by our own Financial Controller, we can speak from experience about the value of the Xero link to a busy independent retail business.

This link cuts mistakes, eliminates workload and results in more timely and accurate accounting information.

Tower backs the link with training and live support. We also back it with access to our in-house accounting experts who can provide insights from their own use of the back end.

It’s our use of our software and Xero as retailers ourselves that really sets us apart.

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Retailers love smart POS software labels

smartposlabelAs retail evolves with bricks and mortar businesses diversifying, flexibility in POS software is more important than ever. We saw a good example of this recently when a newsagent diversified into jewellery and needed jeweller labels for their range of rings, pendants and bracelets.

Thanks to jeweller labelling facilities in our POS software, we are able to produce a professional and flexible label with four parts that are ideal for all sorts of jewellery situations.

Labelling jewellery without harming the product is important as is labelling the box for the item as well as any other part of the package such as the storage bag.

Having thought through these requirements and already serving hundreds of businesses in this area enables Tower Systems to offer proven flexible solutions.

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POS software advice helps small business retailers protect their data

backupcorrectlyPOS software company Tower Systems has revised and refreshed advice published at its Knowledge Base on taking backups for on site and off site storage to help them ensure that data is protected.

This latest advice is one of several items of assistance for retailers on data backups from Tower Systems. The company is providing advice in multiple forms and locations to help retailers get information when and where they need it.

Backups can br frustrating to small business retailers. Tower Systems makes them easy and supports flexibility.

The Tower Knowledge Base is a powerful resource for retailers.

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More retailers report sales success with discount vouchers

garden-centre-softwareMore retailers are reporting excellent year on year growth as a result of the Discount Vouchers facilities exclusively in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software.

Gift shops, garden centres, jewellers, bike retailers, newsagents and homewares stores are among the businesses excited by what they see in success achievable from the rich and rewarding Discount Vouchers facilities.

At several recent trade shows we have seen a fatigue among retailers with the old points based programs given that every other retailer has one. The reaction to the uniqueness and value of Discount Vouchers makes them as appealing to the business as to the shoppers.

In the Tower software retailers have access to exclusive and sophisticated tools for driving shopper engagement in accruing $$ value as well as in redeeming value.

The other benefit delivered by Tower is the business engagement training for staff – to help them get the most of the opportunity and to maximise shopper engagement from the sales counter. This is where we go way beyond the usual software company and offer extraordinary help to help retail businesses leverage the maximum value.

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POS software LayBy facilities help small & independent retailers grow

laybyreceiptThe LayBy facilities in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software help small and independent retailers to offer services equal to or better than LayBy (Lay Away) facilities offered by major retailers.

From the recording of the sale through to documenting terms and payments required to customers, the Tower software takes care of record keeping, customer tracking, product location and business terms.

This POS software makes LayBys easy.

The photo shows one example of how lay-by payment requirements are recorded on the receipt for a customer, to guide them to meet your trading terms. This alone makes LayBys more valuable and certain for small business retailers.

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New POS software files for retailers now available

We have tested and loaded the following stock files to the downloads area of our website for retailers using our POS software.

  1. Collins Debden Diaries 2015
  2. Artwrap September 2014
  3. Browntrout August 2014
  4. Andrews McMeel Calendars 2015
  5. Stylesetter September 2014
  6. Hallmark September 2014
  7. Henderson Greetings September 2014
  8. hiPP September 2014

Our customers can use these files with confidence.

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POS software helps small business retailers avoid out of stock

outofstockRetailers using the Tower Systems Point of Sale software are able to rely on on the software to help them avoid out of stock situations.

The POS software alerts the business about looming out of stocks based on sales.

It includes replenishment requirements on reorder reports and provides other reminders and engagements to help retailers ensure that popular items are never out of stock.

This smart engagement by the POS software is another way it helps retail businesses to make more money as a result of their technology investment.

Small business retailers have many demands on their time. Smart POS software saves time by taking case of issues before they become an issue – like ensuring you have continuity of stock.

Tower Systems helps small business retailers.

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More retailers embracing POS software webstore integration

More and more retailers are engaging with the webstore integration available with the Tower Systems POS software. Connecting a live website with a high street business, sharing a common stock file along with transactional details enables better management options for the business.

The Point of Sale software webstore integration was first delivered years ago and have been considerably and regularly enhanced since.

Today’s webstore solution is being used in a variety of retail businesses to serve different needs from full stock synchronisation through to stock lookup. Retailers have the flexibility to use the webstore facilities in a variety of ways.

Not resting on its laurels, Tower Systems is further enhancing its webstore integration to cover even more needs.

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Tower Systems POS software PayPal integration excites retailers

paypknxHaving briefed retailers using the Tower Systems Point of Sale software at user meetings in recent weeks one of the most exciting features in our new software is the PayPal integration.

Being first to market and with a solution developed in close consultation with and at the request of PayPal, we are positioned to help retailers leverage the marketing and management opportunities available.

At our user meetings we demonstrated PayPal live to our customers, making it easier for them to understand how it could be useful to their businesses.

The PayPal integration is an excellent point of difference in our software compared to others. The user meetings are an excellent point of difference in the service we offer compared to others.

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Sunday retail business management advice: 16 ways retailers can reduce employee theft

  1. For everyday items, items most people will use or could convert to cash, use stock control. Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what you software says. Every month do a stock take. Take cigarettes – Tobacco stock discrepancies are an indicator of theft. Had one newsagent been doing this they would have caught their $250 a day employee theft months earlier.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One newsagency where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  4. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One newsagent needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  5. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One newsagent found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  6. Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  7. Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  8. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  9. Keep the counter clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft as it makes detection easier.
  10. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  11. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  12. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter. One newsagency employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  13. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  14. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  15. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  16. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.
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POS software on show at Spring Gift Fair in Auckland

springgiftTower Systems is thrilled to be showing off its latest POS software for gift shops at the Spring Gift Fair in Auckland starting from tomorrow.

As the only POS software company at the fair we will embrace helping gift and homewares retailers to make the most of smart Point of Sale software in their business.

We will be showing new POS software for gift and homewares retailers, software is is being released in the next couple of weeks, software that delivers new facilities based on the latest international retail trends for small and independent retailers.

If you are at this terrific Auckland gift fair event, be sure to stop by our stand and say hi.

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