Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: January 2011 (page 1 of 3)

Point of Sale Software Enhances Gift Voucher Facilities

The latest release of our Point of Sale software significantly enhances Gift Voucher opportunities for retailers.

While we have supported Gift Vouchers for years, the latest release of our POS software allows for the production of vouchers on a wider variety of different printers.

The latest Gift Voucher enhancements will be of particular use to our high end retailers who vend Gift Vouchers for expensive items.  Jewellers, Homewares Shops and Gift Shops will make particularly good use of the enhanced flexibility in our Gift Voucher facilities.

These Gift Voucher enhancements have come about as a result of suggestions posted and voted on at our Software Ideas forum.


Helping Retailers Fund Investing in Business Efficiency

With sourcing capital for small business, especially retailers, a considerable challenge in today’s economy (see the recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald), Tower Systems is well positioned to help thanks to the work we have put in sourcing a range of finance options for our retail business customers and potential customers.

Retailers investing in our Point of Sale technology are able to fund the purchase through lease, hire purchase, rental and other financial instruments. this can bring the cash flow cost down to a few dollars a day.

We are in a position to connect our customers with respected financial institutions which understand the value the proper use of our software can bring to a retail business.  This is vital in the assessment of the viability of providing funding for the purchase of our Point of Sale system.

How our customers ultimately fund their software only or hardware and software purchase with us if 100% their choice.  The work our finance people have done with a range of institutions means that we can present them with introductions which could prove to be easier than their existing finance relationships.

While we cannot guarantee finance, we can put our customers in contact with financiers who understand the value derived from an investment with us.  This helps retailers tap into sources of capital for business development and expansion.

That we are usually able to connect a sales prospect with an institution which can provide funding quickly, without fuss and for a competitive market rate is another way we demonstrate our can do approach to business.

From completing the sale to helping to arrange finance through to installation, training and on-going support, the tower Systems team works hard to help its retail business customers enjoy and benefit from their IT investment with us.


The Week of Interviews

We are especially excited for this week.  We have interviews for an additional Help Desk role in our Melbourne Head Office, an interview for a system installation and training role in our Brisbane office and an interview for another back office role we are creating in the business.

Interviews are great in that we get to meet usually interesting people with fresh ideas and we get to be introspective about our business.  It is kind of like time out fro the day to day.

With 2011 off to a strong start we need to ensure that we have the resources necessary to grow with the business and service our customers according to our commitments. That is what makes this week exciting, expanding the team and tapping into fresh ideas.

2011 has well and truly kicked off for this Point of Sale software company.


POS Software Online Training Opportunities Next Week

We are running four online training workshops next week for users of our Point of Sale software.

  • Magazine Management.  Tuesday Feb 1.  11am.
  • Point of Sale training. Tuesday Feb. 1. 2pm.
  • Help for former POS Solutions users.  Thursday Feb. 3. 11am.
  • Newspaper home delivery management. Thursday Feb. 2. 2pm.

Access to all sessions is free of charge.  Bookings can be made at our website.


Helping Newsagents Switch Computer Systems

Newsagency computer systems will be part of the restructure of the newsagency channel which will pick up pace in 2011.  As more newsagents evolve their businesses, they will be looking for software which is able to evolve with their businesses.

Thanks to the work we have been doing in a variety of retail channels over recent years, Tower Systems is well positioned to help newsagents evolve their businesses.

The insights we have gained from our close and detailed work with gift shops, bike retailers, homewares stores, jewellers, convenience stores and online businesses has given us a range of experiences which are already helping us help newsagents who are embracing changes in their business offer.

Good retail management technology can be a valuable partner to any business embracing change.

Our newsagent market share, more than 1,700 newsagencies, and our excellent market penetration in a range of other vertical markets positions us well for the changes we will see this year and beyond.  We are able to leverage our knowledge and our connections to help newsagents who do want to change.

Our broader marketplace experience is another reason some newsagents are switching to Tower Systems. 2011 is shaping us as a busy year.


New Darrell Lea stock files out now

We have tested and loaded two new stock files for Darrell Lea stockists.

  • Darrell Lea Valentine’s Day 2011-01-28
  • Darrell Lea February 2011 – incorporates price increase from 7/2/2011

All stock files pass through a structured process and are not released through our website without supplier approval to do so.


New Pandora stock file for jewellers

We have loaded a new and tested Pandora stock file for jewellers using our jeweller software.  This is available now from our website.


More Help for Former POS Solutions Users

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.


POS Software Helps Retailers Track, Manage and Drive Gross Profit

Gross Profit is an important metric in retail..  Real Gross Profit, not an estimate or an expectation but the Gross Profit actually made when you sell an item is vital to know.

Retailers who do to track and manage Gross Profit all too often find that they should have been doing this when it is too late for them to act.

Our Point of Sale software makes the Gross Profit earned at various levels obvious to our retail customers.

Gross Profit analysis can uncover employee theft, supplier theft and or customer theft.  It can also uncover valuable business growth opportunities in many retail circumstances.

This is why we focus attention, in our POS software, on accurately tracking and reporting on Gross Profit and reporting on this in a variety of ways.  From when invoices are received through to when items are sold or written off, Gross Profit is tracked for reporting at multiple levels.

In our training and at face to face user meetings, we reinforce the important of attention to Gross Profit for a healthy approach to managing a retail business.


Retailers – Ensure That You Get What You Pay For

We are replacing a competitor’s POS software with our software and needed to reconfigure the computers.  The retailer says they were not given original CDs with the computers.  While we cannot verify if this is true, it serves as a reminder to all retailers to ensure that you receive original new packaging for all hardware and software supplied with each system you purchase.  Not having access to the original CDs presents a challenge for this retailer as they have never been supplied what they actually purchased.


New Tyro Broadband Eftpos Offer

tyro-eftpos.jpgWe have finalised exclusive marketing collateral for each of our marketplaces promoting our latest Tyro Broadband Eftpos offer to retailers using our Point of Sale software.

The latest collateral further demonstrates the Tower Systems point of difference in terms of professionalism, depth of offer, value and commitment. There are components to our offer which are exclusive to us.

Our approach to delivering access to the Tyro broadband Eftpos offer is typical Tower Systems: well thought out and focused on tangible value for our retail customers.

The latest offer has been developed in association with the folks at Tyro.

We are providing our new collateral to our customers with our February newsletter.


Visiting Customers in South Australia

We have caught up with some of our South Australian Point of Sale software customers this week with a series of drop in visits.  These free visits can go from a few minutes to more than an hour depending on the needs of the business.

Each of our team members involved has a structured approach to a drop in, checking for questions to answer, help with ensuring the system is being used properly and ready with advice on current topics of interest.

We run this drop in program, not only in South Australia, when time and resources permit.  We ran a series in Melbourne between Christmas and New Year.  It is a nice and personal adjunct to our regular face to face user meetings and group training sessions.

In Adelaide on Monday and Tuesday we had someone available and making good use of their time connecting with many of our newer customers.  The feedback from the visits has been wonderful.

The Tower Advantage TM is that we find practical and valuable ways to help our customers get more from their software while enjoying the experience.


Australia Day Customer Service Commitment

While our offices are closed for the Australia Day public holiday today, our After Hours and Emergency contact numbers, six in all, are available for customer service access.  We understand the importance of support access on days like today since many of our customers will be open for business in their retail stores.


Pleased to Help Raise Funds for Flood Victims

qld-floods.pngWe are pleased to have been able to help many retailers raise funds for flood victims across Australia over the last few weeks.

We have heard from many of how they have used the free posters we created to raise funds from their customers.  Each one of them contacting us has a story of a local connection between their customers and a flood affected area.

It has been heartwarming hearing from our customers, especially some in Victoria who dug deep to help Queenslanders and then found themselves a challenging flood situation as waters swept through their town.

Right across the country in so many ways over the last month we have seen the best of Australia, families, businesses and governments pulling together on a single purpose.  It makes us proud to be Australians.


NBN Vital for Small Business Retailers

Every day we see the importance of a faster and more reliable broadband network in Australia.

Serving in excess of 2,500 retailers using our Point of Sale software, we see how retailers rely on fast access to suppliers for stock ordering, electronic invoices, price updates and other transactions.  We also see how retailers are using our Point of Sale software to more efficiently market their businesses electronically by leveraging our marketing tools.

In too many retail situations, the current broadband coverage is inadequate, holding these businesses back.  This has a knock-on effect through the economy.

As retailers rely more on online trading with suppliers and customers, a faster and more reliable broadband network becomes an essential service.  This is why we, as a company, support the National Broadband Network.  Politics aside, this is important infrastructure for Australia.


Helping Flood Affected Businesses Back on Their Feet

We continue to help our Point of Sale software customers and customers of other software companies who have been affected by the floods across several states of Australia.  The assistance provided to each location differs in that our response is a response to their specific situation.

Often, it is help in organising things necessary to getting their business systems up and running.  This is the more important need in that many took steps in advance of the floods are were able to get their computers above the water line.

In the case of customers of other POS software companies, the help has been with rebuilding advice and broader business strategy.  We are glad to help where we can, without expectation.

Weeks ago we established a priority service for our flood affected clients.  That direct to senior management access remains in place today, ensuring that our key decision-makers are available on the phone to quickly sort out practical help we can provide.  By dealing with our flood assistance at the top of the company we have been able to adjust schedules, approve equipment loans and make other decisions which help minimise the disruption.

We will maintain our flood response approach for some weeks yet given that flooding is still occurring.

We are grateful to all of our customers for their help and understanding as we give priority to flood affected clients.  Thank you.


Tower Increases Gift Shop Customer Base by 25% in 2010

Tower Systems is pleased to announce that it increased its Gift Shop Software customer base by 25% in 2010. 

Off of an already good base, this 25% lift in gift shops using its specialist Gift Shop Software is an excellent result in a tough year for the retail sector.

Promoted through a mix of trade shows, direct mail, word of mouth and speaking engagements, the Tower Gift Shop Software is the most widely used specialist gift shop software in the Australian marketplace.

retailers use the Tower Systems Gift Shop Software to manage the processing of sales, track customer engagement, facilitate marketing campaigns, drive more efficient stock management and cut the soft of theft.

Developed in close association with gift shop owners, suppliers and managers, the Tower Gift Shop Software is a proven solution for gift shops of all sizes.

Gift shop owners and managers interested in improving their business can see the software through an obligation free in-store or online demonstration.  Click here to contact Tower Systems.


Steep Discounting of POS Software is a Reason to Beware

Retailers have every right to be suspicious of POS Software companies which discount heavily through a sales process. 

A company which is not making money from each installation will be challenged to properly fund support and development in the future.

A company which has the capacity to go from $28,000 to $20,000 to $15,000 to $12,000, for example, was either trying to charge way too much to start with or is worryingly desperate to get your business.  We have seen this several times over the last few months from one company.  They discover we are quoting and drop their price several times.  In one case we saw them offer their software for free just to keep a customer.

These are not structured published offers.  No, they are in response to a competitive situation.  Sometimes hardware and software, sometimes just software.  There appears to be no pattern to the discounting except, in our view, an air of desperation.

Our advice to retailers is – be suspicious of chunky discounts.  A cheap POS System today may not be so cheap tomorrow.  

Retail is tough and some POS Software companies are finding this tough to deal with.  Using price as your differentiator is not sound business.

Here at Tower Systems we have a structured and transparent approach to discounts based on our package deals.   We reward loyalty, as all good businesses do.


Helping Newsagents Handle Australia Day

We have advice for newsagents using our newsagency software in handling newspapers which will not publish on this day.  Thanks to facilities in our software, adjusting newspaper home delivery run lists and the associated billing is easy.

While our help desk can help newsagents handle newspapers which miss a day, we also have advice available directly from our website.


Moving on Queensland New Hire

Our move to hire a new POS Software installation and training person for our Queensland office has been slowed down over the last few weeks due to the floods and the knock-on effect of these.  We will rectify this week as we move to finally progress on face to face interviews with our excellent shortlist of candidates.


Gift Shop Software on Show at GHA Home and Giving Fair

Between February 19 and 23 at the GHA Home and Giving Fair in Sydney, the very latest Tower Systems Gift Shop Software and Homewares Software will be on show.

This trade show is our first for the year.  It is where we will show off this new retail management software to gift and homewares retailers.

On our stand at the Home and Giving Fair, retailers will be able to play with our software as much as they want.  We also have space on the stand to sit and discuss specific business needs, answer queries, demonstrate the software and pick up current literature about our POS software and Tower Systems generally.

This trade show is a terrific event with which to kick off the year as it attracts visitors outside the traditional gift and homewares retail channels.  We will see plenty of newsagents and jewellers, based on our experience in previous years exhibiting at this trade show.

Newsagents are especially well represented in the attendee mix.  Gifts and homewares are proving to be popular new categories for many newsagencies as they evolve their businesses away from the traditional newsagency offering.

We are currently working with many suppliers in the gift and homewares channels to help them offer their retail partners electronic stock files and invoices.

Hopefully, we will see you at the show in February.  Stop by and say hello.


Tower Systems Making News for Retailers

Tower Systems is to feature in a mainstream business magazine article on retail management software.

Our Managing Director, Mark Fletcher, was interviewed this past week for the feature on a range of topics relating to the role played by Point of Sale software in independent Australian retail businesses.

This interview is on the back of a request for an article from us for a feature on the practical benefits of POS software for small business retailers.

We are often called upon by media outlets for our retail expertise and are glad to help out where we can.  With more than 2,500 retailers in our community, we have a diverse range of experiences on which to draw for comment and opinion in interviews and articles.


Number of Jewellers Using Tower Systems Software Increases 16% in 2010

Tower Systems is thrilled to report that it achieved a 16% increase in the number of jewellers using its Jeweller Software in 2010.

This is an excellent result in what for many in the retail software space was a challenging year.  Indeed, we enjoyed growth across all market sectors.

Jewellers in several countries use our Jeweller software to drive more efficient and successful businesses. Our software covers key business areas:

  • Point of Sale
  • LayBys
  • Customer Loyalty Marketing
  • Inventory management
  • Theft management (employee and customer)
  • Supplier ordering and stock arrival
  • Business performance reporting
  • Repairs
  • Manufactured goods

Our 2010 growth is set to continue in 2011 thanks to high-value software enhancements which will start hitting the marketplace in the next few weeks.


Helping Jewellers Manage the Pandora Price Change

Jewellers using our Jewellery software will be able to easily handle the price change for Pandora products, which has been foreshadowed by the company, thanks to our support for easy price adjustments within the software.

Our jeweller software facilities and our work with jeweller suppliers enables us to help our jeweller customers save time and ensure accuracy when it comes to price changes such as those for Pandora.

The price change file will be available well in advance of the price change taking effect at retail.


Tower Systems to Exhibit at Auckland Gift Fair

Tower Systems will be exhibiting its Gift and Homewares Software at the Autumn Gift Fair in Auckland in March.

This trade show is a major event on the calendar for gift and homewares retailers in 2011.  It covers five halls and brings together offers from a broad variety of suppliers.

We will be demonstrating our new Gift Shop Software at this trade show.   Gift shop retailers and their teams use our Gift Shop Software in a number of key business areas to improve business efficiency, reduce operating costs, increase sales, cut theft and drive better quality business decisions including better buying from gift shop suppliers.

We are thrilled to have an opportunity to show our software to the New Zealand Gift and Homewares retailers at this important trade show.

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