The Tower Systems stand at the 2015 Melbourne toy Fair has been a hit this first day of the fair. Our Toy Shop Software is proving to be popular with toy shops and our POS software more generally is appealing to other retailers. As the only specialist software company integrated with Australian retailers and suppliers at the fair we are having a terrific time.
Toy retailers are loving what we have done already to serve channel specific needs.
Australian POS software company Tower Systems was well represented at the NRF annual concern in New York this past week with active attendance at conference sessions and plenty of time and connections on the floors of the Expo. There is no doubt that active networking is a real benefit of getting away from the office and exploring how others do things today and talking with them what we are planning for the future. Discussions were very much two-way.
From hearing former head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, speak through to hearing how independent retailers use social media to playing with retail product of the future prototypes, our representatives soaked u a tremendous experience and made any new connections which will serve the company well into 2015 and beyond.
Sharing experiences with colleague specialist software companies in another market has been valuable for Tower Systems as it has lead retailers in a number of vertical market channels in Australia. This latest trip to the US continues these experiences.
We are offering help to newsagents currently using the POS Solutions newsagency software to switch to us. This help is above and beyond the usual assistance in training and supporting a newsagent and their staff when they install our software. Recent insights have assisted us in helping POS Solutions users make the move.
We are grateful to former POS users for their assistance in this important project.
Tower Systems will launch its next major Point of Sale software update late next week. With an extensive beta release close to an end further comprehensive quality assurances reviews in-house, this latest POS software update is ready for mass release.
Packaged with extensive advice, documentation and assistance, retailers using the Tower Systems Point of sale software will be able to install it knowing the update has already been extensively field tested. Tower users will be able to install the update when they choose. This is an important difference over other software companies that impose their software updates often without warning.
Retailer 2.5, as this major update is known, delivers access to excellent new facilities and many enhancements to existing facilities. The release of the update will come with considerable documentation listing all changes and new facilities. We’re not detailing them here as we don;t want to provide competitors with a shopping list for spoiling.
We’re thrilled to be so close to releasing another good quality software update in a way our retail customers like and respecting their desire to control when they install this in their business.
Tower Systems helps newsagents using the POS Solutions software to upgrade to the Tower Systems newsagency software in a range of ways. The package of assistance was developed in response to newsagents approaching the company and have proven to be successful over many years.
The POS Solutions – Tower Systems conversion package includes:
In-store one on one training.
Data conversion where POS Solutions enables the extraction of data.
Follow up training – long after the installation.
Access to experts who have undertaken many POS Solutions software conversions.
Access to newsagents who have converted.
Re-training of employees in business processes to leverage time saving opportunities.
Strategic planning advice to proactively eliminate surprises along the way.
This is a carefully constructed and considered package which has helped many newsagents make the switch. With more than 1,800 newsagent customers, Tower Systems is resourced to help newsagents make the switch understanding that people switching from other software have needs which are different to the usual first time software installation.
With well over 200 newsagents switching from POS Solutions to Tower Systems and only a fraction going the other way, Tower has become skilled in making the transition easier.
Newsagents wanting to switch from the POS Solutions brand newsagency software – either the POS DOS software or the POS browser software – to our newsagency software can do so by contacting Tower Systems. Our newsagency specialists can help convert data, switching this to the latest Tower Systems newsagency software.
Former POS Solutions users are welcome at Tower Systems with special training and assistance designed to ease the transition. Since so many newsagents have made the transition we have an often used and well proven structured approach to assistance in making the move.
With the Tower Systems newsagency software having been chosen by more than 1,760 newsagents, the company has the largest newsagent user community out of all software companies serving the channel. This positions Tower well for navigating changes brought on by suppliers and other factors.
Newsagents considering a move from POS Solutions newsagency software to Tower Systems should contact Tower Systems for details of newsagents who have made the move.
We are well advanced in development of a website for our New Zealand Point of Sale software business. This will be separate to our Australian based website and be built to serve the needs of existing and future customers of our New Zealand business.
While some assets will be shared between the two websites, each will have its own voice and unique content.
In launching this new website we are being true to the commitment we made to our New Zealand customers a few months ago.
A key reason given for retailers switching to our Point of Sale software is disappointment and frustration with the Help Desk service backing up their system.
To many retailers, easy access to friendly, knowledgeable and training is vital to their customer service experience. We agree and have configured our business around this.
Our own research indicates that our customer service commitment is a key factor in our growth and market share position. Instead of resting on our laurels, we work hard to improve beyond our own benchmark.
Delivering on the customer service commitment day in day out is mission critical to us. It is why we resource the various customer contact points in our company to be able to deliver on our promises and our own benchmark.
We are very lucky to have a company full of people who share this customer service commitment.
We are proud to be hosting another three live (and FREE) online training workshops for retailers using our Point of Sale software this week. Each training session is timely and will add genuine value to what participants can get out of our POS software. Here are the four workshops on offer:
Putaways Management 23 Aug 2011, 11:00AM
Former POS Solutions Users – Helping Ease the Transition 23 Aug 2011, 02:00PM
Mastering Catalogues 25 Aug 2011, 11:00AM
Online training is a wonderful way to learn more about our software. The result is improved productivity and better business outcomes.Bookings can be made at our online training portal.
Our continuing and consistent online training program is in addition to an excellent range of advice sheets and other training opportunities provided to users of our Point of Sale software.
Smart retailers in today’s economic climate want to remove as many barriers as possible between an opportunity and a sale. This is why we have seen a rise in the use of LayBy as well as store credit and other payment mechanisms in a variety of retail situations over the last year. Retailers who want the business sometimes need to provide funding. While this approach has been common in big box and furniture situations, it has been less common in marketplaces in which we serve: jewellers, bike retailers, gift shops, homewares stores and newsagents … until recently.
Our Point of Sale software provides robust and flexible facilities which enable retailers to provide and manage the LayBy, store credit and other flexible payment options.
Using the credit limit facility, partially shown in the image, our retail business partners are able to control the acceptable credit limit balance at the customer level. This can bee set and controlled by senior management, thus removing the challenge for retail associates having to deal with this as they can say that ‘the system’ does not allow an increase.
By managing credit limits, retail businesses can better manage their exposure. This is vital as the provision of credit to customers increases as economists predict. One report recently said that while credit card debt is not growing as fast as it used to in Australia and New Zealand, there has been somewhat of a transfer of debt to store credit as discussed here.
Here at Tower Systems we are watching changes in the use of credit in retail situations. We are committed to ensuring that our software maintains relevant and useful facilities which enable our retail partners of ensure that barriers between opportunities and sales are kept at a minimum as far as our Point of sale software is concerned.
We are offering another free online training session for newsagents who have switched from POS Solutions to our using newsagency software. While newsagents continue to switch we will offer this training along with other services and facilities to ease the transition.
We are thrilled to welcome more newsagents who have switched from POS Solutions to Tower Systems this month. We are attracting newsagents to switch from the POS Solutions DOS software as well as the POS Browser software.
We help newsagents migrate by managing data conversion, staff training and management support around business performance reporting.
A newsagent using the POS Solutions software we were speaking with recently was shocked that our newsagency software support fees were not at the $3,000+ level he was used, that our support fees were not compulsory, that there was no compulsory registration licence and that we did not charge an XchangeIT access fee. He though all newsagent software companies charged like POS Solutions.
This newsagent is now going to cut their annual software support fee by more than 50% by switching to Tower Systems.
Outside of the annual fee savings, the newsagent will have access to software which we consider to be better on a range of fronts. Market share suggests that is what more newsagents think too.
We are able to deliver access to high quality software support and updates because we have around three times more newsagents using our software than POS Solutions. We think that the gap will grow and this will enable us to further demonstrate the benefits of our market share.
Newsagents wanting to switch should speak with one of our newsagency sales team members. We would be happy to connect you with newsagents who have switched.
I expect that POS will complain about this blog post saying that we are criticising them. They will try and paint us as weak for doing this.
This blog post is designed to educate newsagents to not pay more for software support than they have to. We happen to think that POS Solutions newsagents we have seen have been paying too much If the result is a saving to the business then it’s good news for the newsagent and that is what matters. POS can address this by charging less.
While the software itself is the key difference between competitive companies, total cost of ownership is also a factor to many.
We are running another workshop for newsagents who have switched from the POS Solutions software to our point of sale software.In this session we deliver training on specific differences between their software and ours as advised by some of their former users. The training is designed to help former POS users unlearn what they used to do and learn how to achieve the same as they were used to and more in our software.
The next free online training session for former POS Solutions users will be held next Thursday, Feb. 2 at 11am.
The feedback from these sessions has been wonderful and as long as there is demand we will continue to offer them.
The legal action commenced by POS Solutions Australia Pty Ltd against us in August last year has been delayed once again. Mediation was set to take place this week, on the 27th. All parties had agreed on the date and the mediator. For some reason POS want to push this out to the middle of November. Once again, we have agreed to the POS request.
This case is about a claim by POS Solutions that we have switched many of newsagenct from POS Solutions to Tower Systems. I am told they will be seeking two million dollars in damages.
The sooner the matter gets to court the better as this is when newsagents can tell why they made the switch from POS to Tower.
We are running another free training session this week to help former POS Solutions users settle in with our newsagency software.
The Smartbox range of gift experiences which we released to our customers last week has generated considerable interest. Supported by good merchandising options and excellent marketing, we feel that the Smartbox range will generate good business. Tower retailers can access the Smartbox range for no cost.
These gift experiences are a nice add-on to any sale, a diverse range of products without financial risk.
Smartbox is a well respected international company in this valuable space,
Several newsagents using the POS Solutions software have contacted us recently with issues loading stock files which they have been unable to get resolved through POS Solutions.
This is a busy time of year for newsagents with electronic invoices and stock files with so much stock arriving for major seasons: diaries, calendars, Christmas and books. We understand the importance of being on top of the stock file issue and achieve this through having people in the company dedicated to managing this.
The POS Solutions users who have contacted us have been unable to get a response from POS and came to us for help.
Of course, the best way for any POS Solutions newsagent to deal with this is to switch to the industry standard software from Tower Systems and enjoy the certainty that you can load supplier stock and invoice files without the need for any adjustment or modification. All files we make available to our customers are thoroughly tested.
POS will deny that what is written here. We know the newsagents involved an trust what they have said to us about their experiences.
POS Solutions, a competitor in the newsagency marketplace, today published a blog piece today saying that they developed “almost two years ago” a software ideas section on their website where users can record software enhancement suggestions. They say it is the largest software ideas section in their marketplace.
POS must be refering to the newsagency marketplace since this is where most of their customers. As I understand it, POS has around 600 newsagents as customers, their next biggest marketplace is pharmacies where they have around half that.
So, if they are refering to the newsagency marketplace I think their blog post is misleading.
Tower Systems launched the first Software Ideas facility for newsagents (and others) on March 13, 2009. POS announced a similar service some time after that. Their service is closer to a year old.
I do not know how many ideas POS has received their their website. They could not know how many we have received. Their claim of receiving more is odd, especially given that we have around three times their customers. Maybe they have more issues with their software which need resolution.
The blog post interests me because it demonstrates the difference between our two companies. Newsagents looking at software from both would do well to look at the software ideas facilities. In there you may find out why many more newsagents have switched from POS to Tower than have gone the other way.
Preparations for the court case POS Solutions has brought against us are continuing. POS has indicated that they plan to seek $2 million in compensation from us based on the number of newsagents who have switched to Tower Systems Point of Sale software from their software. I am looking forward to see how the case plays out in court when it eventually gets there.
As I told one of the owners of POS when he and I discussed their considerable customer losses three months ago, the best way for them to address this would have been to deliver better quality software backed by better quality support.
Blaming a competitor for sales losses is like a kid blaming another kid some something which they themselves have caused to happen.
We continue to welcome newsagents switching from the POS Solutions software to our software. We promise to work hard to make the transition as easy as possible. We also promise friendly and professional service backed by a whole of company commitment to genuine customer care.
We are running another workshop for newsagents who have switched from the POS Solutions software to our point of sale software recently. With so many having made the move we have found these training sessions helpful for addressing operational difference questions. The session is on today at 11am.
We are pleased to welcome more newsagents switching to our software from POS Solutions. Users of their old DOS software look at us when considering switching to Windows and often when they get the POS Solutions support bill.
If newsagents don’t tell POS they are considering us we usually win on our merits: better software, better support and a lower total cost of ownership. Where POS is told, we usually see them discount heavily to retain the business. In one instance recently we were told of a discount of 80%.
The migration from POS Solutions to Tower Systems is driving our competitor to act some unusual ways.
We will continue to run the free online workshops for former POS Solutions users who have switched to our newsagency software. Our commitment is to help former POS Solutions users and all Tower Newsagents get the most out of their software by learning how it operates.
As I wrote in August last year, POS Solutions has taken us to court, saying that some things I have written at this blog which have hurt their business.
Central to their claim is a report of a loss of a significant number of newsagents – switching from POS Solutions software to Tower Systems software. The POS claim is that many switched because of this blog.
While a judge of the County Courty will ultimately decide the merits or otherwise of their claim, I can’t help but feel somewhat anxious each time a newsagent switches from POS Solutions to Tower Systems. This continues to happen. Newsagents seek us out, keen to make the move. We happily accomodate them. With each move we have more newsagents who can explain why they switched and what opened them to the opportunity in the first place.
The court action is still moving through the preliminary phases. Unfortunately it is taking up time and money which could be better invested in our customers.
Newsagents want great software backed by friendly and accessible service. These are the key drivers of change. Word of mouth generates more newsagent leads for us than anything – and for that we are grateful.
We are meeting newsagents and other retailers using our Point of Sale for a user meeting in Hobart on April 8. This session will be held at the Mercure Hotel, starting at 11am. I will be there along with Jonathan Tay our Software Development Manager.
At the session we will provide training in our new software, preview our next release, provide training and asnwer all questions.
The date and location are locked in. Anyone wishing to attend can book online at our website.
Face to face user meetings are important learning opportunities for us and for our customers. We appreciate the opportunity.
We are running another free training program for newsagents switching from the POS Solutions software to our Point of Sale software. We will share experiences of moving from their software to ours. With more than 200 having made the move, we have a good body of experience on which to draw.
The training will be delivered live an online at 11am this Thursday, February 4, at 11am. To book, please click here.