Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: June 2012 (page 1 of 3)

Tower sponsors Newsagency of the Future workshops for Australian newsagents

Tower Systems is sponsoring NEWSAGENCY OF THE FUTURE: START HERE, a completely new workshop for newsagents only (no suppliers) with new content specifically targeting options for newsagents who want to restructure their businesses for the future (and today).

The workshop will run for two hours with plenty of Q&A time. It will cover specific traffic generating and basket building ideas for newsagents in shopping centre, high street and rural situations, looking at strategy and tactics.

This is not a sales session. All newsagents are welcome. Attendance is free.

One of the workshops will be video taped and an edited version made available for download.

The dates so far are:

  • Sydney – July 17 @10am venue TBA
  • Brisbane – July 18 @10am venue TBA
  • Adelaide – July 19 @10am venue TBA
  • Melbourne – July 20 @10am venue TBA

Book online by clicking here.


Bike shop business management meeting hosted by Tower Systems

Tower Systems is proud to be hosting an online bike shop management meeting this Tuesday. The online workshop is open to bike shop owners across Australia and New Zealand and will feature advice, tips and assistance in using the latest bike shop management from Tower Systems.  Hosted for used of the Tower bike shop software, any bike shop owner or employee is welcome to participate.

This online workshop session is part of a series of new online business management workshops being hosted by Tower Systems in expanding the services and assistance offered to its growing retail business community.


Adding a new customer service role

Thanks to a wonderful pool of candidates we have decided to create an additional role in our customer service area.  We have successfully hired someone for the help desk role we first advertised two weeks ago. Now we have offered a position in a new role to another of the candidates.

We are thrilled to be in a position to create a role o suit the skills presented y a candidate.


Software helps garden centres drive sales growth even in winter

Smart customer and shop floor management tools in the Tower Systems garden centre management software are helping garden centres drive sales this winter.

From guiding employee performance through to underpinning good management decisions, the Tower garden centre software cultivates business data to guide decisions, efficiency and performance.

Developed in consultation with garden centres, this Australian software is build to help garden centre and nursery businesses prosper. Here in the middle of winter we are hearing stories of wonderful sales success in garden centres.

We love hearing how our software is helping in garden centres. From our VIP card to special orders to helping employees understand how to more effectively sell, our software is being used and embraced … we love that and we love the feedback.

Watch for some enhancements to our garden centre software soon.


Helping Australian Gift and Homewares Association members to drive business performance

Tower Systems is thrilled to announce the renewal of our relationship with the Australian Gift and Homewares Association (AGHA).

Thanks to the exclusive relationship, AGHA members have access to our specialist gift and homewares retail management software, giving them access to best-practice retail management tools and services at competitive prices.

The AGHA is supporting Tower Systems with engagement at industry events and through member communication. As the endorsed software system of the AGHA, the Tower software is the industry standard, delivering genuine gift and homewares specific value to AGHA members and other retailers in the gift and homewares retail channels.

Tower Systems is delivering value to the AGHA in a numbers of ways including sharing insights which are published by the AGHA to help better inform members, insights based on learnings from business data captured through our POS software and curated through a process of discussions and other engagements with our gift and homewares customers.


Specialist software training for jewellers focuses on business growth

Jewellers and their staff are terrific users of our Jeweller specific retail management software. They trek deep into the software seeking out facilities and reports to give their business a commercial advantage.

Our experience with jewellers has seen us develop specialist training to help them embrace our software in a whole of business way. The result is exciting for us as we see what jewellers achieve using the facilities in our software … facilities like customer relationship management, shopper loyalty, LayBys, repairs management and the like. Using our software jewellers are able to manage each touch point in their business drive thereby better drive the success of the business.

From our help desk to our installation and training teams we have ensured that our people are skilled in jeweller specific needs to hep them help our jeweller customers leverage our software for greater success.

As we enhance our jeweller software so do we enhance the training we provide – to our own people as well as to our customers.  We know that good training equals better commercial outcomes.


Gift shop retailers play online and offline using smart POS software

While some retailers are bemoaning the inroads online retailers are having on their high street store sales, we are working with, and loving, gift shop retailers who operate high street gift shops as well as online businesses. Using our gift shop software, these retailers are able to have a single inventory source for both businesses.

Yes, that’s right. Clever inventory management tools in our gift shop management software helps gift and homewares retailers to manage both businesses more easily.

Through our web store bridge we enable easy sales and inventory data sharing between two platforms – online and offline.  This is smart software serving smart retailers and we are thrilled to be part of the solution.

As a partner of the AGHA and committed to helping Australian gift and homewares retailers build stronger and more valuable businesses, we continue to evolve our software so that our customers can achieve even more from operative both online and offline.

Our next gift shop software update is a couple of weeks away and this update will deliver even more to the many gift shops who partner with us.  Guidance from retailers using our software is helping us to evolve our software in line with changing needs of the gift and homewares retail channels.


Helping NSW/ACT newsagents embrace newspaper delivery fee rises

Nationwide News today announced to NSW/ACT newsagents details of an increase in newspaper delivery fees. Tower Systems has ensured that its help desk team is up to speed with the latest changes and able to easily assist any newsagent facing issues / challenges in implementing the changes. While our software makes handling newspaper delivery fee changes easy, there will be some newsagents who would like guidance and we are there for them.


Point of Sale software update released

We released another software update last week delivering user requested enhancements to LayBys, invoice arrivals and barcode management (and more).

This latest update continues the trend we have established for 2012 of releasing regular updates to enhance the capabilities of our software and to extend the value our customers access from their relationship with us.

As with all of our software updates, this latest update has gone through a structures quality assurance process, passing a range of checks and tests to ensure that it meets benchmarks prior to commercial release.


Corporate accounting system integration enhances Point of Sale software

To serve a client with a large retail footprint over multiple locations and serving in several retail niches we are developing a link between our retail management software and their mid-tier accounting solution. This purpose-built accounting bridge goes beyond the link we have already serving retailers who rely on MYOB and QuickBooks.

While we seek to serve our customers with enhancements which are available to all customers, we do, from time to time, encounter needs which are business-specific. In these situations, such as we have found with this accounting system link requirement, we develop a business-specific solution to directly serve the needs of our customer.

The resulting bespoke software is developed through a process of close consultation, ensuring from early in the design phase that it will deliver the sought after solution.


Better backorder management for retail management software

Following consultation with customers at our last round of face-to-face user meetings we have developed enhancements to our handling of backorders. These enhancements deliver a more complete solution for today’s standards of handling backorders in a variety of retail situations.

The new backorder facilities will be delivered as part of our next general software update and for no cost to Tower AdvantageTM customers.


Title Page integration in bookshop software helps book retailers

Title Page is a terrific facility for book retailers, especially given that it is available from within our bookshop management software.  Our accessibility to Title Page is appreciated by bookshop staff working at the counter who need to access the valuable information Title Page manages.

Using our bookshop management software retailers are able to transact sales, place orders, handle special requirements and manage returns – all in a bookshop specific way. We have enhances this version of our software considerably in recent months thanks to wonderful insights from a group of book retailers who were very giving of their time.


Helping newsagents grow in the face of Fairfax and News Limited changes

While newsagents are concerned about the impact on their businesses of the digital future outlined Monday by Fairfax and a similar strategy expected in days from News Limited, we are working with our 1,800+ newsagent customers to help them grow their businesses in new areas.

The decisions by newspaper publishers to pursue growth in digital platforms as engagement with print declines were not unexpected to us.

Thanks to smart business management tools, newsagents using our software are able to leverage more value from each customer contact in their newsagency, they are able to use our newsagency software to bring shoppers back more often and to reach out beyond their businesses in search of new shoppers.

Reports in our software show retail newsagents where there may be opportunities in-store to further diversify their businesses.  We back the reports with insights from experts in our business, sharing ideas with newsagents as we find when analysing newsagent performance data.

With local community connections most important for newsagents, our software helps newsagents reinforce this through a range of touch points embedded in our software. We help newsagents play to their local community strengths.

While the news of the last few days has been challenging for newsagents, it has reinforced our commitment to and guidance of newsagency businesses as retailers of the future.

We are excited to be helping many newsagency embrace and leverage change for their future.


Garden centre software enhancements help garden centres grow

The latest enhancements to our specialist garden centre software deliver business growth opportunities to garden centres in the form of valued marketing tools, easy to use customer loyalty tools, flexibility in handling special pricing and tracking of staff performance for use with a staff rewards scheme.

Thanks to the ability to record knowledge by product, our software is able to help retail staff to ensure that customers are fully informed about products purchased. This is where an independent garden centre can deliver a level of service beyond the mass merchants, the kind of service which brings shoppers back more often.

Like any good software, the features of the Tower Garden Centre management software are hidden from customers, they streamline business operations without getting in the way of the vitak retail team member / customer relationship.


Training helps retailers benefit from POS software

Tower Systems is proud to be offering professional free online training workshops for Point of Sale software users this week.  It’s all about ensuring you are ready for the end of the financial year:

  • Best practice for End of Financial Year 26 Jun 2012, 11:00AM
  • Best practice for End of Financial Year 26 Jun 2012, 02:00PM
  • Best practice for End of Financial Year 28 Jun 2012, 11:00AM
  • Best practice for End of Financial Year 28 Jun 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.


Busy time helping retailers grow their businesses

The FREE Retail Business Health Check service offered by Tower Systems is proving to be popular with retailers using our POS software.

We have completed six health checks in the last week with each check taking considerable time for data gathering, assessment and reporting.

Recipients of the resulting business performance report are responding favourably, engaging with business changes as a result of the advice presented in the report and talking through what their business data reports about business performance at a macro and micro level.

We are thrilled to be engaging with our customers through this service and sincerely appreciate the business insights we gain as a result.


New help desk role filled

We have successfully hired for our new help desk role, finding a terrific candidate from a strong pool of candidates and an even stronger group we shortlisted for interview earlier this week.  We are pleased with the way this has played out and confident that we have made an excellent choice.  We will introduce the successful candidate once they have gone through training and become part of our support team.


Virtual post-it type notes help retail staff share and track information

We are enhancing the options for including notes on customer orders and supplier orders managed through our Point of Sale software. The enhancements will help our retail partners to ensure that all team members have order specific and product within order specific information at their fingertips.

The latest changes to customer and supplier orders came about as a result of a process of consultation with several customers who use this part of the software to the max. We love it when we get to work with someone who is really pushing the software as it is in this outer limits space where we find opportunities for valuable enhancements … like the enhancements we are brining to notes for customer and supplier orders.

The note enhancements will be delivered in our next software update.


Integrating with Global Books In Print

From within our software, our bookshop customers have access to the Global Books In Print facility. This is an invaluable resource for book retailers and delivering this access made plenty of our book retailer customers most happy.

Using our bookshop management software retailers are able to transact sales, place orders, handle special requirements and manage returns – all in a bookshop specific way. We have enhances this version of our software considerably in recent months thanks to wonderful insights from a group of book retailers who were very giving of their time.


What is Tower AdvantageTM and how does it help retailers using Tower Point of Sale software?

Tower AdvantageTM is the name given to the software support, update and service package offered by Tower Systems to retailers using our Point of Sale software.

Our package of services is so unique that we decided some years ago that it needed to be trademarked. So we registered Tower AdvantageTM with IP Australia and received approval.

Tower AdvantageTM coverage is optional. Retailers using our software can continue to use the software regardless of whether they take out Tower AdvantageTM coverage.

Customers who do take out Tower AdvantageTM coverage receive at no additional cost:

  • Software updates.
  • Access to software support coverage 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This includes local number support access in Melbourne, Sydney, Birbsnae, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart and Toll Free support for all of New Zealand.
  • Access to more than 200 professionally written and reviewed advice sheets documenting how to use the software.
  • Access to more than 30 training videos.
  • Access to face-to-face user meetings hosted in many cities each year.
  • Access to regular weekly online training workshops.
  • Free business health check service which assesses business performance and how the software us being used.
  • Free theft check service checking secret business data to see if employees are stealing from the business.

The total package of Tower AdvantageTM services is unique to Tower Systems and another reason the company continues to enjoy excellent year on year sales growth.


June 2012 newsletter for Tower Systems POS software customers

We have mailed our latest print newsletter to retailers using our Point of Sale software and businesses using our distribution management software.

The newsletter has plenty of advice to help our customers get more from their use of the software including information on the end of the financial year, support times and information on how to access to small business tax break which starts on July 1.

We find that communicating with our customers via several mediums is appreciated. This print newsletter, for example, is appreciated by customers who are not as comfortable with email. We are happy to invest the time in communicating across various mediums as it reinforces the relationships we have with our customers and reminds of the Tower AdvantageTM.

Included with this newsletter and every newsletter is a sheet outlining how our customers can contact us for assistance. This sheet demonstrates our commitment to accessibility in that full contact details are published right through to senior management.


Interviews today for new help desk role

We are meeting with five excellent candidates today for the new help desk role we have on our national help desk.  Out of more than seventy candidates we worked hard to get to this shortlist for interview.  Our goal is to have a final decision in the next couple of days.


Hiring in Western Australia in response to excellent sales growth to retailers

We have an ad running online for a new Perth based POS software installation and training person. This new role is in response to a 200% lift in sales in Western Australia in the last year.

Given all the noise in the media about challenges for retailers and the dual speed economy, we talked to some of our recent customers to get their thoughts, especially why they are investing with us.

Good retailers are doing well, their businesses are growing. The trick is what makes them good, that varies business to business. For some it is decisions made years ago around their point of difference, for others it is cost management and for others it is brilliant marketing.

Our exposure to so many retail businesses in Western Australia is proving to be instructive as we are learning from businesses in a broad variety of situations. The learnings we are taking on will help us better serve retailers around the country.

If you know someone with good IT skills and a desire to help small business retailers, please have them make contact with us.


On site visits to help Perth based users

A team from our national help desk will be in Perth next week for a series on site visits with users of our Point of sale software. The visits are further evidence of our commitment to customer service. While we have already hosted two face-to-face user meetings and group training sessions in Perth this year, these one on one in store visits provide for a more personal and business-specific level of assistance and interaction.

Our customer service team is making contact with customers to schedule times so that availability in-store is assured.


More options for handling newspaper home delivery account payment

Thanks to innovation in our newsagency management software, Tower Systems provides newsagents with a variety of options for handling newspaper account payment.

The options have been developed over years of work with distribution newsagents and navigating publisher driven changes in the management of newspaper customer data.

Using the Tower Systems newsagency management software, newsagents can:

  • Merge runs for distribution efficiency
  • Merge multiple customer databases into one
  • Manage wrapping efficiency
  • Establish a network of payment points – regardless of the software being used
  • Manage bigger groups of sub-agents (100+)
  • Eliminate paper by supporting in-vehicle technology
  • Connect management by enabling easy off site access to the software

When it comes to payment, distribution newsagents can manage this. They can also have any other newsagent collect payments for them anywhere.

Tower Systems currently serves in excess of 1,800 newsagents in a variety of situations including country, city, shopping centre, high street, retail only and delivery only.

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