Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: April 2012 (page 1 of 3)

Retailers drive sales with coupons through Point of Sale software

The latest receipt-based shopper coupon released two weeks ago for use with our newsagency software has been working well, driving incremental business for the many participating newsagents.

Promoting the Pacific Magazines shopper and newsagent competitions, offering two Barina Spark! vehicles as prizes, the coupon has proved to be a valuable promotion point for newsagents – driving sales.

Easily and efficiently served by our newsagency software on shopper receipts, the coupon shows customers how to register to win. It also lists the titles which are part of the promotion and this is where it is influencing shopper behaviour. The more magazines shoppers buy the more entries they get.

By working with pacific magazines prior to the launch of the promotion, Tower Systems was ready with coupon collateral and advice for our newsagent customers so that they could use this additional and free platform for driving sales in their businesses.

We work with many suppliers on promotions and campaigns, respecting confidentiality and embargoes along the way.

Tower Systems pioneered the use of coupons, advertisements and promotions on receipts many years ago in partnership with several newsagent suppliers.


Small business retailers vital to local towns and the Australian economy

Small business retailers punch above their weight in terms of the economic and social benefits they deliver the communities in which they serve. They are vital to their local communities and those who live nearby. This is what Australians must support small business retailers.

Small business retailers more than their big business competitors…

  • Employ locally.
  • Support the local community.
  • Pump profits back into local spending.
  • Often source products locally.
  • Reduce carbon emissions by saving people from having to drive.

Often in the cut and thrust of day to day trade small business retailers miss the opportunity to pitch the social and economic value they bring to the local community. This is why we are happy to add our voice to their cause, to pitch that small business retailers are being good for local communities.

With well over 2,000 small business retailers using our Tower Systems Point of Sale software, we know a bit about what they do and how they serve their communities. We are thrilled to support their cause as remind all Australians that small business retailers are vital to town and cities across our country.


Retail employees benefit from free online POS software training

Tower Systems is proud to be offering more free online training workshops for users of our Point of Sale software this week:

  • Getting started with Catalogues 1 May 2012, 02:00PM
  • Getting started with Stock Management 3 May 2012, 11:00AM
  • How to market your business 3 May 2012, 02:00PM

Each training workshop will be live and interactive. The sessions are designed for people using our software. This is why we make them accessible from any PC so that employees can access the training from home and in their own time.


Bike shop software integrated with e-commerce websites

The widely used bike shop software from Australian Point of Sale software developer Tower Systems offers bike retailers the opportunity to connect their online business with their bricks and mortar shop through a smart data sharing platform.

Sharing data, on a two-way basis, with an e-commerce platform, the Bike shop software maintains an accurate record of inventory and thereby serve both online and offline customers.

With fierce competition from online only businesses which trade off the wonderful in-store customer service from physical bike shops, the Tower Systems link enables these more experienced and passionate bike retailers to easily move online using the data they have in their existing businesses.

In addition to providing a bridge for sharing sales and inventory data between online and offline business operations, Tower Systems is able to assist with setup and advice in making the most of the opportunity.  The company can also provide advice on appropriate webstore software to serve specific needs.

This webstore link is another example of the value of specialist bike shop software over the generic software used by some bike retailers. A generic retail management product like MYOB does not offer bike shop specific facilities such as repairs, warranty support, total customer relationship management, bike supplier links and other facilities developed with and for bike retailers throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The latest enhancements to the website e-commerce links are part of an on-going enhancement program by Tower Systems to its specialist bike shop software. With around 200 socialist bike retailer customers using its software, the company is committed to maintaining its market share lead through product innovation and backing this with friendly and professional customer service.

With the most widely used specialist bike shop management software in Australia and New Zealand, Tower Systems is well positioned to serve the needs of just about any type of bike retailer from large to small, networked or stand alone.

Bike shops implementing our software are able to compete by making better use of their resources.  Our Bike Shop Software…

  • Reduces the time spent on business paperwork.
  • Reduces mistakes and thereby cuts the cost of mistakes to the business.
  • Provides management with easy access to business performance data which, in turn, feed better business decisions.
  • Increases sales by helping the business stock better turning inventory, managing the sales team and engaging in marketing to existing customers.

The Tower Systems Bike Shop Software helps create and maintain better business efficiency and performance.  The results help a business pay for the software in no time.


New advice for newsagents on establishing a sub agent

We have published a new advice sheet at our website guiding newsagents through the process of establishing a new sub agent using our newsagency software. While we are had advice on this for decades, this new advice sheet takes a current requirements best practice approach. It has been created as part of our commitment to delivering fresh peer reviewed advice for our customers.


Special offer for retailers switching to Tyro broadband EFTPOS

We have an exclusive special offer for retailers who switch to the Point of Sale software integrated Tyro broadband EFTPOS solution available from Tower Systems and Tyro.

Retailers who switch from the traditional banking terminal tell us they love the move for a range of reasons including:

  1. Faster EFTPOS processing.
  2. More accurate EFTPOS processing.
  3. Fewer keystrokes.
  4. More streamlined sales counter operation.
  5. Easier handling of post-sales queries.
  6. Lower costs.
  7. Faster access to better quality support.

These were our experiences when we switched our own retail businesses to Tyro.

To find out more about the special offer, please contact Tower Systems.


Book shop software enhancements set for delivery

Following close with with book shop retailers we are barely a week away from the release of further enhancements to our book shop software.

The latest enhancements deliver an ever better customer service experience, empowering book shop employees to provide a level of personal and over the counter service which which separates the business from the online experience.

To be installed next week, this latest release of our book shop software will add value to our software and the businesses using it. It will also show off how we work with our customers, listening to their evolving needs and serving these through enhancements to our retail management software.


NewsPOS acquisition completed comfortably

In the two weeks since announcing the acquisition of the NewsPOS newsagency software, a team from Tower Systems has learnt the NewsPOS software, had contact with all NewsPOS customers and fielded questions from users and newsagent suppliers.

The process has been smooth as outlined in the initial announcement to NewsPOS customers.

Tower Systems is supporting and maintaining the NewsPOS software. While some with to switch to the Tower software, others who wish to keep NewsPOS are welcome and encouraged to do so.

The NewsPOS acquisition lays out a path for acquisition completion which the company would follow with other acquisitions inside and outside the newsagency channel.


More electronic invoice suppliers for jewellers

Great news! More jeweller suppliers are set to come on board and offer jewellers electronic invoices. Jewellers using our Tower Systems jeweller software will be able to handle these and other suppliers as they join the productivity improvement pitch for jewellers.

Across a range of retail channels, Tower Systems engages with industry standard EDI facilities and services, delivering wonderful time-saging gains tots customers.


New CRM software drives Point of Sale software help desk efficiency

A week ago we switched CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems.  Months in planning, the switch has been made across our entire company operations. From reception to sales to customer service, we have all switched to this new software platform.

The decision to switch was easy. The hard part was finding a CRM system which served the broad needs of our software company. We trialled a range of products over the last year and found some wanting. We needed something which was as close as possible to a whole of business solution or could be tailored to be a whole of business solution.

We decided to switch to Sugar Professional following additional trials which included considerable customisation to meet our needs.

We have been live with the new system now for just over a week and we have survived. We’ve not lost any data and we were able to remain live and supporting our customers throughout the transition.

It is interesting going through a whole of business software change ourselves. This is what we put our new customers through. It has been interesting being on the other side of the sales counter. Some good learnings have come our way and for that bonus we are grateful.

It is at our Help Desk that the benefits of the new system are most evident already. Customer data can be accessed much faster and with fewer keystrokes.

As calls are closed, customers are notified by email with the details of the advice and other information sent in the email. Customers are invited to rate the call and the help desk service. This can be done in seconds and will provide us a real-time assessment of our performance.

Over the next few months we will introduce refinements and customisations to leverage the extensive benefits of Sugar. Some of these will enhance the customer experience … we will keep our customers posted on these developments.

One of our customers asked why we didn’t write our own CRM system. We are experts at developing retail management software. For the best CRM solution we decided to consider CRM experts. This makes sense to us.


Yelling at a customer for switching POS software reinforces their decision to switch

While switching another newsagent to our newsagency software last week, the newsagent called their old newsagency software company to advise them of the move. What was expected to be a courteous call turned nasty quickly.

The owner of the software company yelled at our new customer, criticising their decision to switch to us. In their rant they made several claims about Tower Systems which are untrue. One of our installation experts was on hand to hear the call.

The best way any software company can stop people switching from their software to that of another company is by providing genuinely valuable and up to date software and to back this up with easy to access customer service.

No software company owns a customer. Internally, we regularly remind ourselves that we are only as good as the last support call and only as good as the last software update. The reminders focus our attention on doing our best today, in this moment, and not resting on laurels earned years ago.

Why people purchase software can be different to why they continue to use the software. This is where everyday timely and professional customer service and quality software updates are vital. The lack of either is the usual reason people switch software.

We are thrilled to be growing our newsagency software customer base through acquisition as well as through winning new customers a site at a time. W are equally thrilled with an excellent customer retention rate as indicated through optional annual software supper uptake.

The competitor who yelled at their former customer last week reinforced the decision the newsagent had made some weeks earlier and provided them with a story which will no doubt be shared with colleagues.


Closed for Anzac Day

Our help desk is closed today for the Anzac Day public holiday.  Our after hours service is running for urgent calls. Our help desk team did a terrific job yesterday ensuring that going into the holiday the decks were cleared. Our after hours numbers are: 0418 554 963; 0418 528 577; 0419 842 334. Outside of these we have emergency numbers for excavation as well as email contact available for less urgent matters.

As retailers ourselves we understand the importance of easy access to professional assistance in the use of Point of Sale software.


EOFY Point of Sale system 2 months free finance offer

Flexirent has offered retailers purchasing our Point of Sale software and hardware solution the first two months rent free as part of their End of Financial year promotion.

This special offer is part of a range of benefits available available for retailers purchasing our retail management solution in the lead up to the end of this financial year … making partnering with Tower Systems not only good for the management of the business but even more financially rewarding.

Flexirent financing is easy to arrange and can be tailored to suit a variety of needs.

While finance choice is 100% up to our customers, we make introductions based on companies we have researched and dealt with already.


Switch to HP delivers reliable and professional hardware for retailers

Our switch to HP professional retail-grade computers and POS registers more than a year ago has proven to be a good decision for retailers using our Point of Sale software.

Reliability is crucial in retail so having hardware which is ruggedised for the retail environment and backing this with a national technical service fleet delivers the best outcome for our retail customers.

We are a software company first and foremost. The considerable growth we have experienced over the last couple of years has guided us to look for opportunities to leverage the resources of hardware experts to care for that side of the business so that we can concentrate of software and customer care. hence the value to us, and to our customers, of the HP relationship.

We have seen instances recently where buying cheap computer hardware has not worked out for the retailers involved. Saving a few hundred dollars on a purchase has proved to be far more expensive to the business in the longer term. Their experience is a reminder to all retailers when it comes to purchasing computer hardware … caveat emptor.


Help for newsagents on Network Returns problems

We have shared advice with our newsagency software customers about the problems being experiences by magazine distributor Network Services. The Network IT system is not currently processing regular magazine returns. the company is hopeful that their IT people will have it resolved later today. Being the last week of the months, this is a critical issue to resolve.

We will continue to keep our customers informed.


Creative Point of Sale software marketing

Tower Systems has launched a fresh approach to marketing its Point of Sale software which will ultimately be reflected in all marketing collateral produced by the company across several marketplaces.

The first part of the campaign is gloss finished postcards on high quality stock sent to thousands of retailers last week. This postcard campaign will be followed with new brochures, new trade show collateral and other outings for the fresh marketing collateral.

This is a whole of business marking collateral change, giving the company a fresh look and reflecting the evolving mission of our business.

With full-time design resources in-house, we are well-resourced to offer a professional visual representation of who we are and what we stand for. This professional look reflects the professionalism of our software, a professionalism on which our retail business owner customers rely every day.


Tracking product locations vital to good retail management

Thanks to location tracking in our Point of Sale software, retailers are able to handle this requirement, managing and tracking products in multiple locations in-store – in addition to managing products across multiple retail stores locally and interstate.

It is our work with homewares and jeweller retailers which have guided us in this area as some retailers in these retail niches are quite sophisticated in how they do this. We have wonderful customers who willingly take us into their businesses and help us learn from their operational success.

Thanks to the generosity of advice and guidance from users of our Point of Sale software we have been able to tap into excellent in-store knowledge.

Our advanced work on locations has consequences for retailers in other niches as it strengthens our retail knowledge and experience and this helps evolve more valuable software for all of our retail partners.

Our software enhancement program for 2012 is barely four months in and already we have released tremendous incremental value to our customers. Knowing what is coming down the line over the rest of the year … 2012 will be a bumper year!


Adult shop software improves business profitability

Adult shop owners can rely on the new Tower Systems Adult Shop software to deliver valuable business benefits. With adult shops already using the software, we have excellent feedback from the field showing the day to day as well as longer term benefits for a typical adult shop.

Evolved to meet the needs of adult shops, this software handles all the usual Point of Sale requirements in retail management software as well as adult shop specific requirements. User feedback is that it offers a genuinely valuable solution.

Adult shops are using the software today to manage:

  • DVD sale and return.
  • Automated replenishment orders from suppliers.
  • Club entry.
  • Employee performance.
  • Employee rosters.
  • Customer theft reduction.
  • Employee theft reduction.
  • Integrated, faster and more accurate EFTPOS processing.
  • Vouchers to drive return shopper business.
  • Seasonal pricing offers.
  • Customer loyalty management and rewards.

There is plenty more to this adult shop software which adult shop owners and managers can use to drive better business results.

It all comes down to profitability. Used well, the Tower Systems adult shop software drives business profitability, making the businesses more valuable for the business owners.

Thanks to a program of regular enhancements, the adult shop software in the market today will evolve to meet new needs and leverage in the field experience to help businesses achieve more from its use.

What is interesting about our adult shop software work is the leanings applying to other marketplaces. We have discovered business management practices in adult shops which will be useful in several other retail niches. Through our software we will pass these on.


New stock files now available

Wr have tested and loaded the following stock file to our website for easy download by retailers using our Point of Sale software:

  • Hallmark April 2012 2nd half
  • Art Wrap April 2012

Training opportunities for Point of Sale software users this week

Tower Systems is offering four free online training workshops for users of our Point of Sale software this week:

  • Getting started with a Customer Display 24 Apr 2012, 11:00AM
  • Best practice for OfficeSmart users 24 Apr 2012, 02:00PM
  • Getting started with standard business reports 26 Apr 2012, 11:00AM
  • Getting started with Multi-Store 26 Apr 2012, 02:00PM

Each training workshop will be live and interactive. The sessions are designed for people using our software. This is why we make them accessible from any PC so that employees can access the training from home and in their own time.


Assistance package for POS Solutions software users

Tower Systems helps newsagents using the POS Solutions software to upgrade to the Tower Systems newsagency software in a range of ways. The package of assistance was developed in response to newsagents approaching the company and have proven to be successful over many years.

The POS Solutions – Tower Systems conversion package includes:

  1. In-store one on one training.
  2. Data conversion where POS Solutions enables the extraction of data.
  3. Follow up training – long after the installation.
  4. Access to experts who have undertaken many POS Solutions software conversions.
  5. Access to newsagents who have converted.
  6. Re-training of employees in business processes to leverage time saving opportunities.
  7. Strategic planning advice to proactively eliminate surprises along the way.

This is a carefully constructed and considered package which has helped many newsagents make the switch. With more than 1,800 newsagent customers, Tower Systems is resourced to help newsagents make the switch understanding that people switching from other software have needs which are different to the usual first time software installation.

With well over 200 newsagents switching from POS Solutions to Tower Systems and only a fraction going the other way, Tower has become skilled in making the transition easier.


How we go about considering, designing and developing software enhancements

The process of enhancing software its complex and time consuming. It is not something to rush, especially given that any change you make could impact on more than 2,000 retail businesses. It is vital that software enhancements are well-considerd, right and genuinely valuable.

We look at each change up for consideration from a range of angles include usefulness, value and execution.

Too often we see software companies make changes which are not much ore than cosmetic, changes which fail to deliver on the potential for improving business performance and, ultimately, the bottom line.

As retailers ourselves we see the value of well-considered professional software enhancements. This is what we strive for. While the result occasionally takes longer than others, the result is almost always better: better execution, better value to the retail business, better integration of external links and resources which could be part of any change.

By taking a thorough and professional approach and involving various departments in our business we are able to deliver software enhancements which genuinely add value. Once we include consideration and input from software architecture, visual design, business process design and marketing we have a well-rounded view of an enhancement. The process of debate around software enhancements also sees us test the approach we plan to take. This can often lead to us avoiding the mistakes which a lest robust and challenged process will result in.

Software development is not a race. Given that good software will be used for many years, it is more important to get it right than to cross a finish line first. Indeed, the finish line could be years out when users assess the total package – software, support, enhancements. This is why we take out time, follow a professional and structured approach and consult widely … and win more customers along the way.


Free POS software training helps new business owners learn the business

For many years, Tower Systems has offered people purchasing a retail business where our Point of Sale software is in use access to a full day of live face to face training absolutely free. That we still run the training today is proof that with us, actions speak louder than words.

Every week we have new owners in one of our offices somewhere undertaking training in our POS software.  We gratefully provide this service, never asking for payment.

The training has a structured phase where we cover the basics which are good building blocks for understanding the software. Then, we have time for questions and business specific information which is vital to this specific business.

We gladly provide this training for we know that the more a retailer understands our software the more they get from it and the less then need our help desk services to provide over the phone training.

We provide the free software training in our office or through our online and live Web Ex service.

The photo shows training being provided in the studio of our Melbourne office last week by one of our experts, Paul Stamp. Paul is typical of our training experts, he has excellent in the field experience, enabling him to provide practical advice on how the software is best used in the business beyond just knowing wheat the software can do.

We are thrilled to be able to continue to offer this free new retail business owner training service and through this to demonstrate the commercial value of the Tower Advantage TM. There is no doubting the value of purchasing a retail business using our Tower Systems retail management software.


Advice on handling Woman’s Day early on-sale

We have published advice to our newsagent customers on how to handle the early release on Woman’s Day on Friday of this week. While our software easily handles this change in publishing, we have taken the time to fully inform our customers to facilitate peace of mind.


Point of Sale software update moves to beta release

The next update to our Point of Sale software has moved to beta release. Our pool of beta sites how have the software and will use this and provide feedback over at least the next week. This beta test process is vital to the process of bringing stable software updates to market.

The update delivers some nice enhancements, some of which came through our transparent Software Ideas process.

Having another significant update ready so soon is in part due to our expanded software development team.

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