Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: September 2010 (page 1 of 3)

New electronic product launch

We are launching details of a new electronic product offer today.  This is something we forecast here a couple of weeks ago and have now been able to advise our customers.  The new product adds value to the revenue our customers can leverage through our eziPass solution.

We have negotiated access to the new product for no up-front cost and payment on the basis of performance.

This another excellent opportunity which we have negotiated for our customers to enhance the economic value they extract from their investment with us.


New Zealand GST update now available

The software update delivering support for the GST change in New Zealand, version 2.2.5C, is now through Quality Assurance and available from our website.  This will enable our current New Zealand based customers to make the necessary GST changes in advance of the new regime taking effect from tomorrow.


Serving a new retail group

Tower Systems has signed a contract to supply our Point of Sale software to eight stores in a banner retail group.   The roll out commences next month and will be completed well in advance of the Christmas rush.

Key to this group roll-out is our multi-store software, offering a consistent pricing, ranging and operational platform for the group.  The disciplines within our software serve the disciplines of the group well.

This is phase one of what looks set to be a considerable roll out as the group adds more stores.

Sales of our Point of Sale software are strong, indicating confidence among retailers.


Preparing for GST changes in New Zealand

Our development team has been finalising changes to help our New Zealand based Point of Sale software customers manage the GST change which takes place on October 1.

GST moves from 12.5% to 15%.  This requires updating records managed by the software, updating price labels, updating shelf labels and updating other records in the system.  The in-store tasks are considerable and our software plays a key role in this.

There has been considerable development and testing work involved to ensure that we and our New Zealand customers are prepared for this.

The work we have been doing is a reminder of the importance of maintaining up to date software.

All of our supported customers using out current release software will have access to appropriate software and utilities to be ready for the GST change.

Our work for the New Zealand GST change has also prepared us for any similar changes in Australia.


Helping gift shops prepare for Christmas

Gift shops using our Gift Shop Software are able to use our catalogue management facilities to manage Christmas sales.  By grouping Christmas product together, it is easy within our software to act on price and other drivers to boost business.

Gift shop owners are telling us that flexibility will be important for success this Christmas.  Being able to change price and other factors in seconds rather than hours will make our partner stores more responsive to their own circumstances.

We are educating gift shop owners about opportunities within our Point of Sale software for driving a better Christmas this year.  It is all part of our proactive customer service.

We are also reminding our customers about free marketing tools in the software which will help gift shop owners boost sales from existing traffic.

A successful Christmas depends on a business seizing every opportunity at its disposal.  Our advice to our customers this week, three months out, is designed to help them be aware and engaged well in advance.


Helping avoid the end of month support crunch

The end of the month, the last four or five days, is always a busy time for our help desk.  This is because of the volume of accounts sent out by our customers.  Hundreds of thousands of statements are generated.

To help our customers avoid

Take a backup.  This could be useful in case there is a problem and you need to go back.

Check that billing is up to date.  Do this by checking the customer screen and the calculated until date for a few customers.  This is the date up to which the accounts are calculated.

Make sure your printer is ready.  Check toner cartridge – you don’t want to print statements which look faded.

Ensure that all transactions are entered.  While these should be done as they are transacted, some businesses batch them.  Make sure they are all entered.

To recover.  If you have printed your statements and they are wrong or you find that you have not included up to the latest week, you can undo the statements and run them again.  Call for advice on this as there are a couple of things to check.

    The key with printing customer statements is to follow our advice.  The function itself is simple and safe to run.


    Collins Debden stock file update

    There was a problem with the stock file released for the Collins Debden diaries.  This was fixed a week ago and a new stock file loaded at the downloads section of our website.


    User meeting dates announced

    We have finalised dates for the next found of our Point of Sale software user meetings.  We have added two online meetings to provide opportunities for people away from capital cities to participate.

    • MELBOURNE October 18 @ 1pm
    • SYDNEY October 19 @ 10am
    • BRISBANE October 20 @ 1pm
    • ADELAIDE October 21 @ 10am
    • PERTH October 22 @ 10am
    • GEELONG October 25 at 1pm
    • HOBART October 26 @ 10am
    • ONLINE October 27 @10am
    • ONLINE October 28 @ 1pm

    We are finalising location bookings today and tomorrow.  Once this is done, we will open online bookings at our website.

    The agenda is as follows:

    1. How to cut theft using our software.
    2. How to market your business using our software.
    3. A review of magazine management best practice.
    4. Fast and efficient stock management with our software.
    5. A review of the latest software update.
    6. Tips on avoiding antivirus hassles.
    7. Questions.

    These sessions are an excellent learning opportunity.  They also showcase the Tower difference.  People considering purchasing our software will be most welcome to attend.


    Consistent Saturday support from Tower Systems

    We have offered an office-based Saturday Help Desk supporting our Point of Sale software, in addition to our 24/7 after hours service, for several years now.  We were the first to offer such a service in our marketplaces.  That we continue the service today is a demonstration of our commitment to customer service.

    Yesterday is a good example of the value of the service.

    • We had customers call who had free time on Saturday to work on questions they did not have time to get to during the week.
    • We had customers call with queries which could not easily be answered by someone not in front of a computer with access to better diagnostic tools.
    • We also had opportunity to research non-urgent queries and resolve these.

    Saturday support is especially popular around the end of each month when our customers are running their onw customer accounts.

    Our view is that to be serious about supporting retailers, offering an office-based Saturday support service is essential.  For us here at Tower Systems, it is a point of difference which we know our customers appreciate.

    Our Saturday Help Desk operates from 7:30am to 3pm.


    Point of sale training opportunities this week

    We are hosting another four free online training sessions on our Point of Sale software this week.

    • Repairs. Tuesday Sep 28 at 11am
    • Mastering Catalogues. Sep 28 at 2pm
    • Gift Vouchers Sep 30 at 11am
    • Retailer Security Sep 30 at 2pm

    Bookings can be made on the booking page at our website.


    User meetings planned for October

    Next week we will announce details of face to face user meetings in capital cities and one or two major regional centres.  We will announce all dates and locations as well as loading this information to the online booking facility at our website.

    This final series of user meetings for the year will focus on:

    1. How to cut theft using our software.
    2. How to market your business using our software.
    3. A review of magazine management best practice.
    4. Fast and efficient stock management with our software.
    5. A review of the latest software update.
    6. Tips on avoiding antivirus hassles.
    7. Questions.

    We are certain to add some more content as we get closer to the dates.  The sessions will be run by senior Tower Systems team members.


    Helping POS Solutions users

    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.


    Increase in Point of Sale software sales

    In the first three months of this financial year we have seen a excellent increase in sales of our Point of Sale software over the 2009/10 financial year.

    We put this sales growth down to several factors:

    1. Many retailers are investing in a better future.
    2. There is a consolidation occurring in a couple of marketplaces leading retailers switching from smaller systems to us.
    3. Our focus on helping retailers more easily and accurately transact business with suppliers is paying off.

    Regardless of the reason, we are thrilled to see this sales growth on the back of a strong Q1 last financial year.

    Our focus is on enhancements to drive even stronger interest in our software, helpful marketing and an even stronger focus on customer service to help maintain good word of mouth.  This focus is reflected in a series of internal changes we have made in recent months.


    New gift card offer coming

    We are preparing to launch a new range of branded products as part of our gift card line.  These new products add to the gift opportunities available from from within our Point of Sale software.  Like the gift cards, there is no cost for stock but plenty of opportunity to add real margin dollars to each sale.  Watch for an announcement in the next week on this.


    Nervous computer user training tomorrow

    Starting at 10am and running until 3pm, with lunch provided, our Nervous Computer User Training session tomorrow will deliver gentle yet comprehensive training in key parts of our Point of Sale software. This session would be ideal for people who have started using our software this year.  We will cover key fundamentals: arriving stock, processing returns, Point of Sale, Reporting and how to find out answers to questions.  This session will be held at our Hawthorn office – 3 Lynch Street Hawthorn.  Numbers are limited.  Bookings are made online.


    Point of Sale software helps retailers free cash in their businesses

    Smart Point of Sale software can play a vital role in helping retailers free cash in their businesses … if that is what they want to achieve.

    Here are some of the ways retailers are using our Point of Sale software to free cash:

    1. Eliminate dead stock.  If it is not selling it is tying up cash unnecessarily.
    2. Adjusting the roster.  Look at sales by time and trim the roster in trading periods which are consistently quiet.
    3. Supplier leverage.  By comparing supplier performance you could find ways of leveraging better deals from suppliers.
    4. Driving loyalty.  Through a well-managed loyalty program, retailers can encourage existing customers to spend more in the business.
    5. Passive marketing.  By using coupons in receipts, up-sell prompts on the Point of Sale screen, notes on accounts and other opportunities, existing customers can be guided to purchase more.
    6. Free marketing. Through email campaigns, retailers can more effectively reach out to current and recent customers based on items purchased.
    7. Better decisions.  By using accurate business data to guide business decisions rather than gut feel, the business is more likely to benefit.

    These are just some of the ways our customers tell us they are using our software to improve their businesses and free cash.

    We welcome opportunities of working with ur customers to access these benefits through our software.


    Driving Pandora sales for Jewellers

    Jewellers selling Pandora products and using our Jeweller software are enjoying the work we have done to make handling the Pandora products easy.

    In addition to being able to import the Pandora stock file our customers are able to import electronic invoices and have been able to easily navigate data file changes by Pandora.

    We understand the importance of the Pandora range to Jewellers and will continue to ensure that our Jeweller software serves these needs well.


    Blackhawk gift card sales very strong

    Our customers are reporting excellent sales of Blackhawk Gift Cards with many ordering replenishment stock.  We organise this replenishment stock through our office for our customers.

    Our customers enjoying the most success with the Blackhawk Gift Card follow these simple steps  offer:

    1. Place the Blackhawk stand in a high traffic location.
    2. Move the stand at least once a week.
    3. Keep the stand fully stocked.
    4. Review card sales and ask for replacement stock flow slower moving lines.
    5. Ensure that all staff are trained on offering Blackhawk Gift Cards to greeting card customers.
    6. Promote the Gift Cards on receipts, in newsletters and in any external advertising.
    7. Consider a second smaller stand for the counter with the top six or eight cards.

    Our exclusive Blackhawk gift card artwork has been approved and will be available to our customers later this week.


    Tower Systems Celebrates $100 MILLION Tyro EFTPOS transactions.

    Tyro Payments is now processing $100 Million in EFTPOS transactions, on behalf of hundreds of Tower Systems Retailers.

    This is an extraordinary result and speaks volumes for the strength of the Tower retail network.  having reached $100 million in a year, our sights are now set on reaching $200 million.  We know that our retailers can do this thanks to the easy to use, safe, secure and fast Tyro service.

    Tyro is integrated within our Point of Sale software, delivering a best practice broadband EFTPOS solution to our retailers.

    To celebrate, Tyro and Tower are offering a FREE upgrade to Tyro Broadband EFTPOS (normally $330) until October 31, 2010.,

    You can trial Tyro risk free, with NO LOCK IN CONTRACT, NO EXIT FEES AND NO BREAK FEES.

    The Benefits:

    • No need to rekey sale amount into the EFTPOS terminal.
    • Process EFTPOS transactions in less than 3 seconds.
    • No phone lone required

    GET READY FOR THE CHRISTMAS RUSH.  Click here for the Tyro sign up form.


    2010 AFL tipping winners

    We have sent cheques to the winners for our 2010 AFL tipping competition.  First and third places were tied meaning more winners sharing in the prize pool.


    Merging newspaper distribution businesses

    Tower Systems is helping Australian newsagents consolidate newspaper home delivery territories thanks to facilities in our home delivery software.

    Using our newsagency software and specialist support services, newsagents are able to take data from two separate home delivery businesses and combine them into one.  This process recently saved a newsagent a certain week long data entry task. We had the job done more accurately in half a day.

    We also help newsagents extra data from other systems and add it to newspaper home delivery run data already managed by their own Tower software.

    Having access to good software and accessible support is helping entrepreneurial newsagents make the decision to take over existing newspaper home delivery runs.  We are happy to be part of the process.

    Tower Systems serves in excess of 1,700 newsagents nationally and supports all publisher standards for newspaper home delivery data management.


    Time wasted dealing with anti virus updates

    Our Help Desk team is spending considerable time dealing with retailers installing anti virus software not recommended by us and which self updates occasionally causing problems not with our software but with other software supporting EDI facilities.

    Based on our years of experience serving in excess of 2,000 small business customers, we recommend AVG as the anti virus software we prefer our customers to use.  We provide advice on its proper setup and use.

    Our customers using AVG benefit from our considerable knowledge and experience with this product.


    Customer theft and employee theft training videos coming

    We are finalising the production of two free training videos covering Retail Employee Theft and Retail Customer Theft.  These training videos will discuss the problem and share tips on how to minimise the impact of each type of theft in a retail business.

    We understand the cost of theft from our work with our customers and as expert witnesses working with the police and prosecutors in various states. In developing content for the training videos we have taken on board the advice of the police and the experiences of others which we have been privy to.

    Our goal has been to develop advice with is useful right away without needing to spend any additional money to reduce the opportunity for theft.

    We hope to have the two new training videos published later this week.


    Online Point of sale software training next week

    We are hosting another four Point of Sale software online training workshops for our customers next week.

    • New staff member training. Tuesday Sep 21 at 11am
    • Newspaper home delivery management Sep 21 at 2pm
    • Magazine management Sep 23 at 11am
    • Importing supplier stock files Sep 23 at 2pm

    Access to the sessions is free.  All you need is a computer with broadband and a telephone to actively participate in the group session.  Click here to book and register your booking in your Outlook calendar.


    Report enhancements help retailers

    Reports are an even better point of difference in our Point of Sale software thanks to recent software enhancements.

    While we embrace opportunities to develop new reports, we have recently refurbished several existing reports to enhance the value they provide to our retail partners.

    Thanks to some software development investment, we now have reports which offer a broader range of value without any additional overhead or cost.

    The very popular Monthly Sales Comparison Report, for example, now offers an excellent supplier performance comparison facility across trading periods.  This report is proving to be useful when retailers meet with suppliers in-store to discuss year on year performance.

    We are looking at other reports where we can add value and help our retail partners extract more value from the enhanced report.

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