AFL Grand Final lunch today

We’re hosting a AFL Grand Final lunch today at our Head Office.  In keeping with tradition lunch will consist of hot dogs, pies and similar footy fare.  And some beers.  We’ll remain customer-service focused throughout … as we always do when we have team lunches.  A feature of the lunch with be a $50 prize for the best Collingwood joke.

Helping ACP Magazines with Sunday on-sale trial

We have been working with ACP Magazines on a planned trial for the Sunday on-sale of a range of their titles.  This initiative provides our newsagent customers an opportunity to pull forward sales and make the most of Sunday shoppers who may not be Monday through Friday shoppers in their businesses.

There have been some technical challenges in ensuring that the trial commences seamlessly for our newsagent customers.  Our development and technical teams have been working on this to ensure that our newsagency software customers involved in the trial, all 66 of them, just shy of half of all participants, are supported appropriately through the change.

While we understand that the trial will frustrate some newsagents, we understand the importance of trialling new approaches to distributing and selling magazines.  Some newsagents we have spoken with are keen for the trial as it gives them a competitive advantage in their particular situations.

We are in a unique position with situations such as this trial from ACP as we are newsagents as well as a software company.  This allows us to discuss operational changes with then as a software company and as newsagents.  This is why Tower Systems usually leads on trials.

Being the only newsagency software company owning and operating a newsagency has its advantages.

Presenting at the Australian Sporting Goods Association Conference

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the Annual Conference of the Australian Sporting Goods Association yesterday.

We got to meet with suppliers on our trade display stand as well as formally present at the conference.

What made the experience particularly valuable was that the conference was attended by suppliers and retailers.  With our Point of Sale software as the glue which connects the two this was an ideal audience for us.

This was our last trade show for 2011, a year which has been packed with trade show events across a broad range of retail marketplaces.  We appreciate and continue to be surprised by the synergy between the various marketplaces in which we service.  for example, work we will do with some sporting goods suppliers will benefit newsagents.

Ready for News Limited home delivery data changes

News Limited is to implement changes to its IT infrastructure for handling newspaper circulation and subscription data in NSW on October 10.  Our development people have been working with News Limited representatives since last year on this project.  A software update will be available for our NSW newsagent customers to handle this change, to ease transition from the current News Limited technology.

With around 65% of all newsagents with newsagency software in NSW running our Tower Systems software, we are more on the front line on this and other IT related changes coming.  We work hard to ensure that our customers are catered for in advance of supplier changes which could impact their businesses.

The change to our software will be available to supported users only.

Wonderful customer service feedback

We were thrilled to receive an email from a customer a few days ago passing on feedback for one of our team members.  The thanks included…

I just wanted to drop you a quick email regarding the exceptional service of one of your guys.

He was informative, down to earth and really knew his product, and was happy to help us non-tech heads with the installation.

We went ahead the next day and ordered the hardware, and upon its arrival I emailed to see if he was available to help us transition from St George to Tyro. Amazingly within hours he turned up, set up Tyro, and made the transition a smooth one.

Nothing was too much trouble for Paul, he is a rarity and I just wanted to let you know how appreciative we are.

New POS Software Help Desk role advertised

We have placed an ad at seek.com.au for a new customer service role we are creating here at Tower Systems.  We have promoted the new role opportunity among our customer community in the hope of finding someone to join us.   This did not uncover any candidates so we have now advertised widely.

We made the decision to add this role to maintain our position of being over-resourced.  We continue to grow our customer base and like to maintain spare capacity on our customer service team.

Our hope is that we will have the ideal candidate on board by the end of this month.

What we are looking for in our ideal candidate is someone who understands and appreciates small business, communicates well, is committed to customer service and is keen to lead people in their use of technology to drive business efficiency and performance.

Selling a $10,000 item is different to selling a $1.00 item

We have a diverse portfolio of retailers using our Point of Sale software.  From newsagencies selling a newspaper for a dollar through to high-end jewellers selling beautiful designer pieces with a ticket price of well in excess of ten thousand dollars.  Our help desk team can take a call from each of these businesses in a row.  They seamlessly switch between retail situations.  It is a challenge which is embraced by our committed help desk team.

This diversity of customers broadens our perspective and this assists us to create software which is more diverse and useful for all of our customers.

The one dollar sale is all about fast and accurate selling.  The ten thousand dollar sale is all about the sales experience.  Combine the two and you have business facilities which serve the retailer with good shopper throughput and accurate sales tracking while providing the shopper with a professional, well documented and enjoyable experience.

Good Point of Sale software enhances shopper and retailer experiences. We are grateful of the help from our customers which has enabled up to create software which makes them shine.

Helping retailers avoid the over used SALE sign and drive retail sales

Retailers who regularly discount as their point of difference are not offering much of a point of difference.

By using the smart catalogue facilities in our Point of Sale software, retailers are able to avoid the discount trap and demonstrate value in more creative ways.

Offering, say, three for two or buy this with that offers enable retailers to create package deals which are exclusive to their business.  It is these types of deals which can be unique and exclusive to a retailer.  A SALE sing is far from unique and never exclusive.

We will happily help retailers using our Point of Sale software to be smart in how they demonstrate price based value in their retail businesses.  There are many options and our help desk team can help retailers leverage these.

How to choose Point of Sale software for your retail business

Choosing Point of Sale software can be daunting for any retailer.  Tower Systems makes choosing Point of Sale software easier thanks to easy access to live, in-store, face to face demonstrations as well as online live demonstrations.  We provide those looking at our software with the ability to play with the software, to ensure that it meets their needs.

We also happily share reference site details along with sample reports and other tools and facilities with which to assess our suitability.

The most important step in considering any Point of Sale software is to know your needs.  To guide retailers to determine their needs we have developed a guide to choosing a Point of Sale system.  This helps retailers work out what they want and then to prioritise these wants into some orde5 – to facilitate the selection of the right software for their business.

With more than 2,500 retail outlets as customers, Tower Systems is well prepared to serve retailers with Point of Sale software and to back this up with quality customer support services.

Preparing for sporting goods trade show

We are preparing for our final trade show for the year, this time to retailers of sporting and related goods.  We will be showing off our Point of Sale software.  This last trade show for the year looks like being a terrific event, opening us to new retail channels and better connecting us with existing retailers already trading in these channels.  We are excited for the opportunities.

Our participation in the trade show is part of our new and exclusive relationship with the Australian Sporting Goods Association.

There is no doubt that our investment in trade shows this year has paid off, delivering excellent sales results and putting our people and software in front of a broad mix of prospective customers.

How retailers can drive the value of their retail businesses

Stock is often the most valuable part of any retail business yet retailers often do not know the value of the stock in their businesses.  They leave it to an annual stock take to determine this and even then it is for the accountant and not the business owner.

Using our Point of Sale software, retailers can easily track and manage inventory and thereby know, immediately, the value of their investment in stock.  This is far more efficient and valuable to the business than an end of year stock take.  It is time small and independent retailers managed their stock asset as the big retailers do.

By using the stock control facilities in our Point of Sale software, a retailer is able to:

  • More accurately reorder.
  • Know the value of stock on hand.
  • Identify slow moving items.
  • Identify fast moving items.
  • Track and act on theft.
  • Track and report on stock in a variety of ways.
  • Sell the business thanks to accurate inventory data management.

Retailers who do not track stock with Point of Sale software make their businesses harder to sell, harder to manage and overall less enjoyable.

A good analogy is cash in the bank.  You and your bank track this … because cash is considered to be valuable.  Given the value of stock to the business why not take the same care in managing this?  It makes sense.

Here at Tower Systems we help retailers manage stock and through this unlock more value from it.

POS Software training helps retailers

We are proud to be hosting more live and free online training workshops for retailers using our Point of Sale software text week. Each training session is timely and will add genuine value to what participants can get out of our POS software – there is plenty of time for questions too. Here are the four workshops on offer:

  • Getting started with Repairs 29 Sep 2011, 11:00AM
  • How to cut costs in your business 29 Sep 2011, 02:00PM

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.

Busy week on the Point of Sale software help desk

We have had a very busy week this past week on the help desk with a number of supplier related issues generating a spike in call traffic.  Our ability to get to calls quickly has been challenged by an extraordinary installation workload.

Since we support retailers using our Point of Sale software, timeliness is important in the support experience.

Thankfully, we have a wonderful team of people in Tower Systems who stepped in to help make sure that our reputation for professional and timely customer service is maintained.

We are grateful to the help desk team members who went above and beyond in making sure customers were assisted.  We also appreciate the work of members of our management team who jumped on the help desk to get to everyday calls.

This week has seen an excellent display of teamwork, all in pursuit of good customer service. It is a week of pride at Tower Systems.

Using Loyalty Management Software Drives Retail Sales

There is no doubt that we are in an era of consumer focus in retail.  With more choices than ever, including growing online choices, retailers need to fight harder to win and retail customers.  This is where a good loyalty system plays an important part in business growth.

The loyalty facilities in our Point of Sale software have been well established and enhanced over many years.  Indeed they will benefit from further enhancements currently under development.

Using our shopper loyalty facilities, retailers are able to reward their most valuable shoppers while also being able to achieve a closer watch of what all shoppers are purchasing.  This is where our loyalty marketing tools deliver tremendously valuable results to our retail partners.

We back the loyalty facilities in our software with excellent training, helpful user documentation in the form of an Advice Sheet and Help desk based assistance.  This is how we go beyond a software facility and deliver a business solution.

The shopper loyalty facilities in our retail management software are just part of the overall business management tools which our retail partners use to drive efficiency and profit using our software.

Helping Newsagents Navigate the Penalty Fee Increase from XchangeIT

Following the discovery of a flaw in the XchangeIT timeliness criteria thanks to excellent work by one of our customers, we have been working with other newsagents and XchangeIT to bring about refinements which should result in many more newsagents not having to pay the penalty EDI access fees which have been advised recently.

As newsagents ourselves we understand the impost of the XchangeIT penalty fees and will do everything possible to ensure that flaws in XchangeIT criteria do not see these penalties imposed unfairly.

As evidence of our customer service commitment, we are actively working with newsagents and XchangeIT on this.  We are not the sort of software company to leave resolving this to our customers, even though it is more likely their actions which cause the penalty cost.

Watch this space.

Chasing Customers in Pursuit of Good Point of Sale Software Customer Service

Software company help desks tend to operate in reaction mode, responding only to inbound calls for assistance. While this is okay, it is not what we strive for here at Tower Systems in serving retailers using our Point of Sale software.

When time permits we make outbound calls to the retailers using our Point of sale software who have not been in contact for some time. Customers appreciate the contact and often have a question or two to ask, to help them enjoy our software even more.  The benefits to us and our customers from the calls are wonderful.

We resource our business so that we have capacity to make outbound customer service calls, to prove our commitment to a quality and timeliness of service which is unique among Point of Sale software companies.

A bonus from such outbound calls is useful suggestions for our team on how we can improve the software or feedback on other businesses which could benefit from our software.

Our customers tell us that one of the reasons they are happy to take up the optional software support coverage with us is the extra care and attention we pay to our relationship with them.

Tower Systems Announced as Exclusive Preferred Partner of Australian Sporting Goods Association

We are thrilled to announce our appointment as an Exclusive Preferred Partner of the Australian Sporting Goods Association.

As the only software company with this status, Tower Systems is positioned to serve the IT needs of a broad variety of retail businesses which operate in the broad retail area covered by the proactive ASGA.

This new strategic relationship is in addition to a similar relationship with the Gift and Homewares Association, our membership of the Jewellers Association of Australia plus our support for various newsagent associations.

We are fortunate to be exhibiting at the national conference of the ASGA in Melbourne next week as well as delivering a paper on retail strength at this important conference.

As we have found with other retail channels we have taken on, we anticipate discovering excellent synergy between members of the ASGA and the diverse retail community using our Point of Sale software.

New Software Helps Nurseries and Garden Centres Grow in 2011

New software for Australian nurseries and garden centres is helping businesses grow.

From Australian software company Tower Systems, this new Point of Sale and business management software has been developed in consultation with nursery owners, managers, employees and suppliers.

Offering time saving and business building facilities in key business areas, this software is already being enjoyed by nurseries.

The areas covered by the software include:

  • Point of Sale counter sales management
  • Customer accounts and LayBy
  • Customer loyalty program
  • Gift vouchers – your own vouchers easily managed
  • Employee roster
  • Electronic invoices including Danks
  • Specialist nursery barcode labels including weatherproof labels
  • A broad range of business performance reports
  • Theft reduction and management
  • Customer marketing facilities
  • Fast integrated EFTPOS

The Tower Systems nursery software includes a range of facilities and services developed specifically for nurseries including a new industrial strength and fast barcode printer.

Easy access Help Desk. Nurseries using the Tower Systems software have access to customer service 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They also have access to training videos, 200 advice sheets and four live online training sessions each week … all free.

User Training. The training facilities in the software and provided by Tower mean that all team members can be properly trained in the use of the software … ensuring that the business access the time saving and profitable benefits delivered through the use of the software.

Software updates. The Tower nursery software is updated regularly with enhancements suggested by users – nurturing your investment.

The best way to assess the Tower software is to see it in your business in an obligation free demonstration. Compare the software and the company to others and see if it serves your business needs.

Tower Systems is proud to serve in excess of 2,500 independently owned small retail businesses.

New Customer Billing Advice Sheet for Point of Sale Software

We are pleased to announce the publication at our website yesterday of a new advice sheet – N01 – Customer Billing for retailers using our Point of Sale software. This advice sheets provides plenty of useful advice and guidance covering the process of billing customers using our software. It is a good forerunner to Advice Sheet N02 – Statements.

By curating our advice sheets and building a curriculum in this way we are helping retailers using our software to more easily access advice, documentation and training designed to help them get the most from their use of our software.

This new advice sheet is further evidence of our commitment to enhancing the support available for our customers. It is accessible for Tower AdvantageTM customers from the downloads area of our website.

Replacing MYOB in Bike Shops with our bike shop software

Our specialist bike shop software delivers bike specific facilities to bike retailers compared to the generic MYOB retail manager software. Thanks to our repairs, customer loyalty, supplier integration, business reporting and other bike specific tools we are able to deliver a more whole of business solution to bike retailers compared to MYOB.

While MYOB has its place in retail businesses, we can demonstrate that our software is better in the specialist bike retail marketplace.

For the back office accounting needs through to producing the P&L and balance sheet, we can offer our bike shop retail customers an integration bridge, data feed, to MYOB – delivering the best of both worlds.

Bike retailers looking to improve business efficiency, drive sales and get closer to customers should consider our bike shop software.

New Advice to Help Retailers Manage End of Shift With Point of Sale Software

We are pleased to announce that we have just loaded four new Advice Sheets to our website significantly enhancing the training, advice and support around end of shift processes for retailers using our Point of Sale software.

The advice has been broken down into four separate sheets as each is a discrete topic area and will be often accessed just for that information. This makes learning easier and the specialist advice more accessible.

It has taken considerable time to write, test and revise these Advice Sheets, to ensure that they deliver the best possible practical experience to our customers.

The new advice sheets are:

  • G61 – Till and Float Setup
  • G62.01 – EOS Setup
  • G62.02 – EOS Procedure
  • G62.03 – EOS Reports

Access to these Advice Sheets is available from our website. Their publication is further evidence of our investment in enhancing the range of support services available to our customers.

Publishing four Advice Sheets at once also demonstrates our commitment to addressing aspects of our software in a cohesive, structured and comprehensive way. Too often we see software companies take a haphazard approach to documentation.

The four new Advice Sheets join more than two hundred such Advice Sheets documenting the use of our Point of Sale software.

Access to the Advice Sheets is free for Tower Advantage TM customers.

Watch for more new Advice Sheet announcements from Tower Systems soon.

Loving the Gift Fair

While it’s not over yet, one more day to go, we are loving the Sydney Gift Fair. What a terrific bunch of happy and proactive retailers. Newsagents, gift shop owners, jewellers and others … all upbeat and working on growing their businesses. Not getting caught up in the doom and gloom of others including the Australian media.

This is an excellent trade show for this time of the year. It is delivering excellent business for us. We are thrilled to have the show to ourselves in some of our retail niches.

What is most interesting about this show is the diversity of products on offer. This gets retailers thinking beyond their four walls. It puts their head space into a positive forward thinking trajectory. Some of the discussions we have had about business have been wonderful … valuable.

AFL Finals Time and the Workplace

We have some very passionate AFL team supporters here at Tower Systems.  Most are concentrated in our Melbourne head Office, naturally.  This can make for some interesting interaction, especially during finals time when teams with supporters in the office play each other.

Fun rivalry aside, some matches provide a good opportunity for acting with dignity and respect in the face of defeat or in the face of victory.

We encourage team support as it adds to the social health of the workplace.  This year, we are planning a pre grand final lunch to get into the spirit of the big day.

EDI Trials Commence for new Newsagent Supplier

We have started trials of an EDI link for a supplier to newsagents who is new to the EDI offer.  We have been working for some months on this project and are pleased to be in a position, through our own newsagencies, to be able to offer a discrete and closed trial process.  This is one of the reasons we purchased our first newsagents in 1996 and it’s why we maintain this advantage today.

POS Software Newsletter Helps Retailers

newsletter-sep.jpgWe have published another newsletter to retailers using our Point of Sale software. This latest customer newsletter shares useful news and information for our retail user community.  It was sent out with a separate sheet documenting up to date Help Desk contact details and other information which adds value to the relationship we have with our customers. This newsletter is one of several communication channels we offer our customers, to stay close to them.