Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: February 2010 (page 1 of 3)

Four interactive and online POS software training sessions this week

Retailers using Tower Systems’ Point of sale software are welcome to participate in four live and interactive online training sessions this week:

  • General Q&A – Tuesday, Mar 2 @ 11am
  • Stocktaking – Tuesday, Mar 2 @ 2pm
  • Mastering Catalogues – Thursday, FMar 4 @ 11am
  • Magazine Management – Tuesday, Mar 4 @ 2pm

Each session runs for up to an hour and is offered at no cost to Tower Advantage TM customers.


Software giveaway adds value to retail businesses

Earlier this year we offered our Marketing Tools software free to existing customers using our Point of Sale software for a limited period of time. We advertised it only through this blog. Plenty took up the offer.

I made the offer as a thank you to our customers, particularly those engaging in our online activities.

We are starting to hear from people using the Marketing Tools and the benefits they are achieving. This is one note I received overnight from a happy customer.

Thank you Tower Systems. The marketing software is helping us market our business better than ever. We just sent out our first emails.  We are using our customer database and we are getting a response in sales. So thank you for this free gift. It is not often we in small business get a leg up. You have made us feel good.

It is not the first time we have given away valuable software and it will not be the last. We understand our role in helping our retail partners and adding value where we are able. The free Marketing Tools software did that. It is proof of our actions speaking louder than our words.

Every dollar added to the bottom line of a retail business is multiplied when it comes time to sell. We are glad to make our retailers more valuable.


New bike shop software moves to beta release

This week, we have installed our new software for bike shops in several beta test sites where it will be tested live. This is a key next step in the process of delivering our new software to a network of bike retailers nationally.

In development for most of 2009, the new bike shop software is comprehensive replacement of the software currently being used by bike retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

Beyond Point of Sale software, our new bike shop software delivers excellent new facilities in the repairs, lay-by, business management and several other business key areas.

We have worked with bike retailers on enhancing the software to ensure that what we deliver is a genuinely useful solution.


New training video on handling newspaper price changes

We have loaded a new training video to our website today on handling newspaper price changes in our newsagency management software. It’s video A23 and it’s available now.

This training video has been developed to help newsagents cope with newspaper price changes – some of which come into force this weekend.


eziPass network passes 1,000 newsagents

ezipass.jpgOur eziPass electronic voucher network – for vending mobile phone recharge, phonecards, iTunes cards, tourism tickets and other items – has passed 1,000 live and trading locations.  This is the largest newsagent network vending electronic voucher products.  Many sell directly through our software and some sell using our stand alone software.  We also have newsagents using our point of sale software who vend vouchers through the more traditional stand alone terminals – i.e. not eziPass.


New POS software at Sydney Gift Fair

In two days, our new point of sale software for gift shops will be on show at the GHA Gift Fair in Sydney. This latest software has new features developed specifically for gift shops. Enhanced Lay-By, stock management, reporting and Point of Sale facilities will help gift shop owners build stronger and more profitable businesses

The Gift Fair will provide us with an opportunity for valuable feedback on the new software not only from gift shops but fro the many other retailers who attend including newsagents.

This is our second trade show for 2010 and we are excited for the opportunity. If you are at darling Harbour for the event, be sure to drop in and say hello.


Help with Sydney Morning Herald price change

We have published advice reminding our 1,600 newsagent customers how to hande the price changes for the Sydney Morning Herald this week.  Advice sheet N10.4 at our website coveres everything you need to know.


More Point of Sale customers order gift cards

giftc.jpgOur gift card design and manufacturing service is getting plenty of attention from retailers using our Point of Sale software.  They like that we can easily help them leverage the gift card facilities in our software to provide them with something to sell on the occasion that they do not have the item a customer wants to buy as a gift.

We have a suite of off the shelf gift card artwork ready and also develop fresh artwork is required from scratch.

While designing and manufacturing gift cards may not seem a natural fit for a software company to some, to us it makes sense if we are to truly serve the needs of our customers.

We understand that software alone does not provide the solution in some cases.  By going the extra mile and delivering a complete gift card solution, including implementation training, we are helping our customers make the most from their investment.


Full house in Cairns

Luke La from our Brisbane office presided over a full house user meeting in Cairns yesterday.  This is a terrific area for us with great loyal customers and good new growth.

Luke does well at these meetings as he owns a newsagency and has good technical skills.  he can speak from experience and back it with geek knowledge – coveraing all the bases.

Today, the user meeting is on the Gold Coast at the plush Marriott Hotel and Resort.


Selling iTunes cards

itunes.JPGSelling iTunes cards through our newsagency point of sale software offers an excellent opportunity to our retail partners to add value to existing transactions. Our software makes selling the cards easy and fast.

Having our own newsagencies to finesse the selling iTunes cards helps.

We continue to look for electronic product to add to our already extensive suite.  Suppliers with electronic voucher products they would like to offer through newsagents should make contact with me through our company website.


Homewares suppliers support Tower Systems Point of Sale software

More homewares suppliers are endorsing our Point of Sale software for gift and homewares businesses by supporting the EDI stock and invoice file standards we offer.

Our work with suppliers and retailers in the channel is helping eliminate work in both types of businesses.  It is also reducing mistakes, making stock management easier and providing better business certainty.

Retailers outside the gift and homewares channels will also benefit as suppliers make electronic invoicing and related facilities available to their broader retail community.

Our work is also strengthening vital relationships in the gift and homewares channel.  Both suppliers and retailers share a common goal of selling more stock.  Our software facilitates this in a way which is respectful of both sides.

With more gift and homewares retailers using our software, the prospects for improving efficiency in the channel this year are promising.


Shooting new training videos

Thanks to the excellent take up of our suite of training videos, we have been encouraged to started work preparing to shoot new videos over the next couple of weeks.  We are grateful to our customers who suggested new video topics for us to consider.

The process is time consuming since we need to develop content, have this peer reviewed, shoot the video and make adjustments as necessary.  This is all done in house in the same facility used for our line online training workshops.

We anticipate the first of the new videos to be available from our website next week, maybe sooner.   Access to the videos is free to all Tower Advantage TM customers.

The training videos are a real hit with our customers.  Some have achieved hundreds of viewings in a short period.  They are a great way to learn and to have all key stakeholders learn – in their own time.

Our EDI standards video has itself become a standard in the newsagency channel.  We are proud to have such a valuable resource available for our user community.


Keeping suppliers honest

One of the most important facilities in our Point of Sale software is the suite of powerful reports which detail the performance of products by supplier.

These are far more useful to our retailer partners than reports produced by the suppliers since they report on over the counter activity in the business.

Our reports serve our customers first.  As we have seen recently, some retailer supplier reports serve the supplier ahead of the retailer.

Our reporting on supplier performance is one of the most compelling reasons for adhering to our proven stock control standards.  Retailers can bank on the value! We help ensure this value is unlocked through our user meetings, online training, face to face training, advice sheets and training videos.

We are as passionate about helping our retailers than ever.  This is why we continue to invest time and money in helping our user community achieve more.

Supplier performance is on my mind today because of a report I have reviewed overnight.  Supplier performance in this instance has not helped the business.


Tower Systems Cairns User Meeting

We are meeting with our users in Cairns this Wednesday starting at 11am.  This meeting will run like other recent User Meetings, presenting our new Point of Sale and back office management software.  We will also cover navigating our new website, outline new training now available online and take plenty of questions.  Book here.

We get to Cairns twice a year and always have a good turn out. Thanks to recent acquisitions, our local presence is getting even stronger in far north Queensland.


Improving the website

pos_software_demo.jpgWe have modified our new Tower Systems website to make it easier for people to book on online demonstration of our point of sale software, online training, make a sales enquiry or make a support enquiry.  While these facilities all existed on the new website, we felt they were not as obvious as they could be.  The latest changes on the home page address this and demonstrate our care and attention to customer service.

We will continue to tweak our new website to improve the customer service and sales prospects outcome.


See us at GHA Home and Giving Fair this weekend

We have been planning this weekend for our participation in the GHA Home and Giving Fair which starts in a few days in Sydney.  We will be on the GHA stand and showing off our latest Gift Shop Point of Sale software.

Watch this blog for an announcement later this week about our work in the gift and homewares space.


More Point of Sale software training this week

We are offering four free Point of Sale software online training workshops for newsagents this week:

  • Magazine Management – Tuesday, Feb 23 @ 11am
  • Newspaper Home Delivery Management – Configuration & Maintenance – Tuesday, Feb 23 @ 2pm
  • Point of Sale Training – Thursday, Feb 25 @ 11am
  • New staff member training – Thursday, Feb 25 @ 2pm

Each session runs up to an hour and is offered at no cost to Tower Advantage TM customers.


The Tower Systems water bottle

tower_water_bottle.JPGWe had a batch of premium water bottles labelled with our brand for use as a gift at trade shows and conferences.  They have been a real hit with sales prospects, customers and suppliers.

We have used the water bottles to promote our tag-line message of LIFE IS GOOD WITH TOWER SYSTEMS.

We went with water bottles because we wanted a gift which is valuable and genuinely useful.  Since many of our customers are on the go, a quality hot and cold spill proof drink container made sense.  They have been so popular that we have received requests for more.

We have used pens, pads, mouse mats, stress balls, cakes, chocolates and folders as promotional message vessels in the past.

This water bottle is the best on all fronts in my view and based on the reaction from happy recipients.


New stock file from Spirit Publishing

We have tested and loaded a new stock file from Spirit Publishing from our website.


New Point of Sale software reports workshop

We have invited our Point of Sale software customers to submit designs for any new reports they would like to see in our system.

Believing that a picture is really worth 1,000 words, we have asked them to sketch or lay out in Microsoft Excel the report they would like to see added to our software.

We will take the new report ideas, cost them and consider them in terms of applicability to our wider user community.

While it is easy for our users to create their own reports, pre-packaged reports are what the majority prefer.  hence the importance of this invitation.


Brisbane User Meeting moved

We have moved our Brisbane User meeting next Tuesday to accomodate more users.  It will now be held at 2pm at the Virginia Golf Club, 1 Elliott Road, Banyo.  There is plenty of free parking.  Bookings can be made by clicking here.

The response we are receiving from the meetings is excellent.  In Adelaide this week we had a terrific turnout as our customers wanted to learn about our new software and network with our team and others using the software.


POS software update shipped to QLD and NT

We have now shipped our latest software update to customers in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

We have phased the roll out to better manage call traffic.  This process is working very well for us and for our customers.


Geelong users meeting

We have scheduled a meeting with our users in Geelong for Wednesday March 10 at 2pm.  It will be held at the Mercure Hotel.  This is detailed with the other 20 face to face user meetings we are running around the country.


Testing new Point of Sale hardware

touchscreen_pc.JPGWe regularly assess new hardware as to suitability for our needs.  While suppliers often come to us with hardware to consider, we also go out and buy hardware for more comprehensive testing.  This is what we did with the touch screen computer in the photo.

We’d heard good reports about this unit and wanted to test it ourselves.  Indeed, we were excited about what looked like a sexy unit.  Borrowing was not an option for the testing we wanted to do so we bought one.

After exhaustive testing, we found the unit not up to scratch for the needs of our retailers.  It’s too slow and physically cumbersome, especially for high volume retail.

While it’s a risk to spend the money on hardware like this, the investment pays off by knowing what hardware to avoid and what hardware we recommend.

The downside is that we find ourselves left with odd bits of hardware which we either give away or sell for far less than we paid.


Fresh newsagent software offer released

software_for_newsagents.jpgTower Systems is proud to have just launched a new newsagent software special offer at our website.  The collateral for this new offer visually and thematically connects with the fresh look and feel of our new website and the new product collateral developed by our marketing team.

Our investment in new marketing collateral, as with our investment in our new website, is considerable.  It reflects our commitment to change which is also evident in our Point of Sale software.

We see software as enjoyable and valuable, something certainly to be celebrated.  Celebration is a central theme in how we represent our software, our company and the benefits we deliver to our customers.

The new collateral features in fresh marketing being sent to newsagents who do not already partner with us.  It is also being offered at industry trade shows which commence shortly.

Tower Systems currently serves in excess of 1,600 newsagents.  More newsagents use our software than all of our competitors combined.

We are grateful for the trust shown by newsagents for giving us this market share.  We respect this through our commitment to customer service and enhancing the value achievable from our software.

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