Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: May 2010 (page 1 of 3)

Cairns added to Newsagency of the Future workshop series

We have added Cairns (July 1) to the group of cities where we will host our Newsagency of the Future workshops.  Bookings have been excellent with additional seats added to capacity for Melbourne and Sydney.  To book for this free workshop please click here.


Expanding beta test program for bike shop software

With the latest Tower Systems bike shop software performing well in initial test sites, we are expanding the beta program to include more stores later this week.  The new software offers some excellent enhancements for which we are receiving kudos from our customers.


Point of Sale sofwtare training from Tower Systems this week

We are hosting four free online training workshops this week.  They are:

  • Point of Sale training – June 1, 11am.  Great for anyone using our Point of Sale software for th first time.
  • End of Financial Year – June 1, 2pm.  Get ready for the end of financial year work with this training -all of your questions will be answered.
  • Business Reporting – June 3, 11am.  Find out which reports are best for the business needs you have.
  • Putaways Management – June 3, 2pm.  learn how to save time and cut mistakes in managing putaways.

The online training workshops we offer are appreciated by participants – the feedback we have received is excellent.  Bookings can be made here at our website.


New NSW office

nsw_office.jpgWe moved our NSW office last week and have been busy decking it out with new gear to create professional workspaces, good demonstration facilities and a place where we can meet with customers.  We are just about done. The new office looks very nice, quite stylish – certainly by software company standards.  The space is more flexible and useful than our older Miranda office.


New GNS Mid Year Sale catalogue

The catalogue file for the GNS Mid Year Sale has been tested and will be available from our website from Monday.


New Ancol stock file

The latest stock file from Ancol from South Australian newsagents has been tested and is available on request from our website – Ancol changed their mind and gave permission (31/5/2010) for it to be available directly.  Ancol has asked that it not be loaded to the website for all newsagents to access.


New Darrell Lea stock file

The latest stock file from Darrell Lea has been tested by our team and loaded to the website for our customers.


Value from GHA membership for gift shops

Tower Systems is helping gift shop owners extract greater value from their Gift and Homewares Association membership by providing better business analysis tools, valuable supplier links and a suite of marketing tools ideal for gift shops.

As the exclusive and preferred technology partner for GHA, we are working with a number of GHA members on enhancements which will drive significantly better business outcomes.  This is a practical example of the value of the GHA / Tower Systems partnership.

Through our GHA membership, we have access to valuable gift shop channel data.  We are use this along with our own business intelligence, to develop a more finely tuned solution for gift shop owners.


Newsagency of the Future workshop for newsagents

Tower Systems is proud to announce Newsagency of the Future, a national workshop program for newsagents.  Drawing on international research and considerable local experience.  this free workshop will share with newsagents practical ideas for building stornger and healthier newsagencies in the face of an emerging new channel around technologies such as the Apple iPad.

Presented by Mark Fletcher, this session will be the most comprehensive look at new technology ever offerd to newsagents.  There will be case studies showing what some newsagents are doing to business successful businesses in new product areas as well as an opportunity for open discussion about the challenges the cahnnel faces today.  Click here for a brochure.

Drawing on many years experience helping newsagents  and personal experience with the ipad and other enw technology, Mark Fletcher will present a compelling and value packed workshop for newsagents.

Bookings are FREE and can be made at the Tower Systems website click here.


The database engine at the heart of Tower Systems software

The database engine sits at the heart of any Point of Sale software.  Since 2007, Tower Systems has been using the NexusDB database engine with its Point of Sale software.

We chose NexusDB after a thorough search of database engine products from around the world. It has proven strength in vertical applications like ours.  It removes the need for a DBA and is extremely easy to install. For us and our customers, NexusDB makes deployment easy and delivers this at a lower cost.

We are in good company using NexusDB.  Other companies using this database engine include: Honda, IBM, Burger King, Ricoh, KPMG, Motorola and Shell – to name a few.

NexusDB has been designed to maximize speed, minimize maintenance and preserve data integrity. This is important to the newsagents, jewellers, bike retailers and gift shops using our Point of Sale software.  As a true client/server database, NexusDB is a unique component suite. This design decision has many benefits over typical file-based databases: better data integrity, better performance and better scalability.

In tech speak, NexusDB is an ultra-fast, client/server database engine designed for businesses like those we serve – abe bigger.   It implements the international standard ISO/IEC 9075 – SQL:2003, including most of the Core SQL functionality as well as many of the additional features defined in the standard. NexusDB also augments SQL:2003 with extensions to expose vendor-specific functionality.


e-commerce facilities for Point of Sale software

Our e-commerce interface facilities are about to move into the next phase thanks to some excellent enhancements in our Point of Sale software.

By bridging Point of Sale and e-commerce software, through a clever interface, we are enabling our retailers to more easily manage an Internet based business and a retail shop from a common stock pool.

Our work in this area is quite unique and will not restrict our retail customers to one e-commerce solution.

Too often retailers find themselves duplicating work between their business system and website.  The latest e-commerce enhancements from Tower Systems will make that process easier.


Homewares retailers love Tower Systems software

Homewares retailers are embracing Point of Sale software from Tower Systems to drive better business outcomes. Tailored for homewares retailers, this software has facilities and links specific to the needs of the homwares channel.

Customer Lay-By, customer special orders and customer marketing tools are all high in the agenda for homewares store owners – in addition to the more traditional Point of Sale tools such as stock control, sales, eftpos integration, catalogue management and supplier EDI links.

The latest homewares software from Tower Systems has been in the marketplace for less than a month.  This new software delivers additional benefits sought by homewares business owners and managers.


Making finding stock easier

The new partial word search facilities in our Advanced Stock Search tools are set to make finding stock items even easier and to deliver more control over the search results.  The latest enhancements in this area have come about as a result of requests put by users of our software.

While we have had Advanced Stock Search facilities for many years, the latest enhancements take this to a new level.


Point of Sale software training opportunities this week from Tower Systems

Our four online Point of Sale software training workshops this week are:

  • Magazine management workshop – reordering – May 25, 11am.  This is the most wiedly undertaken training by newsagents ever.
  • Stocktaking – May 25, 2pm.  Get in now and be ready for June 30.
  • General Q&A – May 27, 11am.  All your questions answered.  Or just listen and learn.
  • Helping POS Solutions users migrate to Tower – May 27, 2pm.  More help for newsagents switching from POS Solutions to Tower Systems.

Customer service commitment

This week has been busy for our Point of Sale sofwtare help desk with plenty of calls, new users to settle in, new suppliers to guide and the usual mix of supplier changes – all of which drive help desk calls.

To help us clear the backlog of low priority work we have doubled our usual Saturday help desk team in the office.  This team operates in addition to our usual after hours mobile phone based team.

It is investments such as this in additional support capacity which gives Tower Systems its respected reputation as providing excellent customer service.  It’s what gets people switching from other systems to ours.


Greeting card company integration set to help newsagents

The soon to be released deeper level of greeting card company integration with our newsagency management software is set to help newsagents better manage their card department.

Our management and development teams have been working on this project, on and off, for several years.  Delays have been experienced as we have waited for supplier developments to be concluded.  We now see light at the end of the tunnel and anticipate soon delivering to newsagents better and more useful greeting card management facilities.

The latest changes go beyond a common card department and category structure.  They deliver product intelligence in a way which is specific to the needs of managing a professional card department.  We are excited with the latest developments and look forward to sharing specific information with our customers as soon as we complete the beta testing process.


Helping newsagents collect home delivery fees

Thanks to our eziPass solution, newsagents have an easy platform for collecting newspaper home delivery account payments on behalf of publishers and other newsagents.

eziPass processes this collection for publishers as well as individual newsagents.  This flexibility is proving it to be an attractive solution in this rapidly changing area of newsagency business.


New second hand goods software close to release

Our new second hand goods software is about to move into the next round of testing.  Using this software, retailers will be able to buy and sell second hand goods and meet the latest electronic reporting standards for second hand goods.  The software has been developed in a way to work for all types of businesses in the second hand goods area.

Our plan is to release the second hand goods software for commercial use within the next six weeks.


Adelaide user meeting a hit

Our user meeting in Adelaide yesterday was a hit with 100% attendance.  Jonathan Tay, our new Account Manager for South Australia, covered the latest release of our software as well as forecasting features which will be in the next software release.  Jonathan also answered plenty of questions before heading on the road for a couple of days of store visits.

South Australia is an important marketplace for us and we will continue to demonstrate this with regular user meetings and in store visits.   We are the only software company providing thison a regular basis.


Using Point of Sale software to cut employee theft

Following these simple steps will help retailers reduce the opportunity for and incidence of employee theft.

  1. Track sales by employees. Use the Point of Sale software to require employee codes to be entered or employee cards to be scanned for every sale.
  2. Encourage eftpos transactions. The less cash you handle the lower the opportunity for fraud.
  3. Track odd behaviour. Cancelled sales, opening the cash drawer, deleting sales – these are all things you can stop or better control using your Point of Sale software. The tighter the rules the less wriggle room available for people to abuse the business.
  4. Require change given to be entered. This enhances structure at the sales counter and this shows the business respects operational rules.
  5. Set rules on discounts. Use the software to manage business rules on who can process discounts.
  6. Balance the register.  Set a limit of what is an acceptable under or over amount for the end of shift processing.  Require employees to be accountable.  The tougher you manage this the more responsibility people take on to ensure that there are no mistakes.

Creating and adhering to structure around cash handling processes is crucial.  Employees who want / need to steal will have less opportunity if you take the steps outlined above.  Good Point of Sale software like that from Tower Systems is your best friend in helping you cut the cost of employee theft.


New owner / new user Point of Sale software classes

With plenty of new customers and new business owners using our software, we have decided to offer a special round of new owner / user training.  These sessions will be scheduled for early June and run over two sessions.  These will initially be run online – using our WebEx online meeting facilities which are free to our customers – and then offered as face to face group sessions if there is demand.

Delivered by Tower team members who are expert in training new users, the training is being developed specifically for people new to our software.

Each session will be genuinely interactive.  The first 30 minutes will be training on need to know areas of the software and the remainder of the session will be 100% participant driven.

Watch for the announcement of dates here in the next week.


New POS software training videos coming

Tower Systems is preparing additional Point of Sale software training videos.  The new content will cover several business management topics and share how to drive better management through good use of the Point of Sale software.  The next two videos are scheduled to be released this Friday.


Fairness in Point of Sale software support fees

Tower Systems charges the same amount for software support to all users.  There are no mates rates where customers pay less to say good things about us.  We want our customers to say good things about us because they believed it and not because they are paid to.

We mention this today because we have seen two situations this week where two nearby newsagents had paid different support fees to their software supplier.  One paid $3,300 and the other $1,400 – for exactly the same software (same moduled, same number of terminals) and to receive exactly the same services.  The one paying less is used as a reference site for the software company.

Here at Tower Systems we are happy for any customer to be a reference site.  Our support fees are the same for customers running the same software.


Point of Sale software helps reduce dead stock

Retailers use our Point of Sale software to reduce the cost of dead or underperforming stock in their retail businesses. In today’s tougher retail climate, dead stock is expensive. This is why more retailers are looking for their Point of Sale software to help in this area.

In our POS software, retailers have access to a suite of facilities to help them reduce the cost of dead stock. These facilities include:

  • Reporting on underperforming stock. If you know what is not performing you can do something about it.
  • Reporting on underperforming suppliers. The issue may be more one of a supplier not performing. Our Point of Sale software has tools to help retailers see if this is the case.
  • Date / Time based discounting. Using the catalogue facilities any retailer can offer slow moving stock at a discount to try and move it off the shop floor.
  • Fast seller reporting. Understanding what is moving quickly, faster than usual, can open opportunities for handling slow moving stock differently.
  • Stock write off. If everything you try fails, there is the option in the software to write the stock off. This is done in a proper way to meet accounting obligations.

Slow moving stock can be addressed. The key is to understand the problem, develop a plan and stick to it. Tower Systems Point of Sale software facilitates a professional and consistent approach to managing slow moving stock.


Adelaide user meeting tomorrow

We are hosting a user meeting in Adelaide tomorrow at the Chifley on South Terrace – 226 South Terrace. The meeting with start at 2pm and run for aorund 2 hours – longer depending on questions.

The meeting will be run by Jonathan Tay our new Sales Manager responsible for the South Australian marketplace.

« Older posts