Retail employees love access to self-serve training videos

Retailers using our Point of Sale software tell us they love our range of training videos and the easier access we have now provided to them.

While we have offered training videos for years, 2012 is seeing us expand the range of topics covered, refresh content of older videos and enhance the facilities we use for providing access to the videos.

Whereas in the past people wanted face to face live training in the use of software, retail employee rosters being what they are today, training by video works better for all involved. It ensures a consistency of what is covered as well clarity of message given the opportunity to refine content.

We involve a range of people in our business to create the training videos. This will shortly change as we use external resources to handle production as we step up our investment in the training video resource.

Helping retailers deal with a tax audit

A tax audit can be daunting for any business but even more so for a small and independent retail business. Thanks to thorough record keeping facilities in our Point of Sale software we are able to help retailers to show that they meet record keeping requirements for tracking the collection of GST and recording GST on inwards invoices.

In addition to assistance in using our software properly, we can provide information from our own experiences on preparation for an audit including personal preparation for the feeling of unwanted intrusion.

Automating record keeping provides a solution of consistency. This is vital for small retailers where resources can be limited.

As retailers ourselves who have experienced audits we are experienced to answer questions from retailers and help them prepare their businesses in the event an audit comes their way.

Cairns retailers to benefit from free retail business development workshop

This is a FREE business development workshop for Cairns region retailers.  Hosted by Tower Systems and packed with retail business ideas.

SEBEL HOTEL, CAIRNS. Two sessions to choose from: August 7, 2012 at 8am . Click on the time to book.

At this FREE retail business building workshop in Cairns you will hear about the latest trends in retail here and from overseas based on current knowledge and experience in retail trends in a range of retail channels in Europe, the US and Australia.

Our experts will share insights into how online and national brand retailers are competing with independent businesses. He will share how you can compete.

You will leave this session with practical tips, tactics and strategies you can implement in your retail business right away without spending anything … ideas FREE for you.

Each workshop runs for around two hours with plenty of time for questions after.

Come and join us at the start of the day (8am) or around lunchtime (1pm). Bookings are essential for catering. This is no sales pitch.

Business management workshop for garden centres / nurseries

Tower Systems is thrilled to be hosting a live and interactive workshop on line for garden centres and nurseries this week (tomorrow). Each session will be all about building stronger and more valuable businesses.

While hosted by us, these sessions really are about business management. We are seeking to facilitate an opportunity for retailers to connect with each other and share stories and business ideas.

The session will draw on our experience and the considerable experience of our customer community.

Access to each workshop is free. All you need is a computer with broadband and a nearby phone live for audio. We pay for the call.

Ancol newsagent trade show a hit in Adelaide today

Our stand at the Ancol trade day for newsagents in Adelaide today was constantly busy.

With so many South Australian newsagents already using our newsagency software we had plenty dropping by to say g’day, talk about what’s coming in the software and discuss upgrade options.

It was also good to speak with newsagents keen to switch to Tower and make plans with them for the move. While we have the majority of South Australian newsagents as customers, we love welcoming more.

We resourced the stand so that we could handle the traffic and show off the Tower Systems attention to customer service.  Having an expert from our national help desk provided us an opportunity to answer any technical questions, share some training and show off our skills at events like this.

The Ancol trade show was the first outing for our new marketing collateral for newsagents, collateral of which we are very proud in terms of professional quality, presentation and content.

POS software training helps retailers and retail employees benefit

Tower Systems is proud to be offering retailers and retail employees using our Point of Sale software workshops on fresh topics this week. Bookings are open to right before each session.

  • Best practice for managing Subagents 31 Jul 2012, 11:00AM
  • How to process an invoice arrival 31 Jul 2012, 02:00PM
  • Open Forum Discussion Jewellers 2 Aug 2012, 11:00AM
  • Open Forum Discussion Nurseries 2 Aug 2012, 02:00PM

Each 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.

Easier access to POS software training videos

We have changed the way we provide access to training videos from our website, making it easier for our customers to access these wonderful training resources. At the same time, we have loaded the first of several new training videos in production. This video is on our Monthly Sales Comparison Report.

The new video goes beyond the how to and looks at why, sharing helpful information with which our retail partners can mine more valuable data from their computer system.

While good software is important, easy access to resources which help users make better use of POS software is even more important. This is one reason why long after the development of a function we work at enhancing the training, documentation an duster support we provide.

Free Jeweller business development workshop next week

Tower Systems is thrilled to be hosting a free business development and management workshop for jewellers next week. This workshop is an opportunity for jewellers from anywhere in Australia and New zealand to talk with each other about business ideas.  In hosting the event, Tower Systems is proud to practically support a retail channel to talk business in a unique and co-operative way.

While hosted by us, these sessions really are about business management. We are seeking to facilitate an opportunity for retailers to connect with each other and share stories and business ideas.

The session will draw on our experience and the considerable experience of our customer community.

Access to each workshop is free. All you need is a computer with broadband and a nearby phone live for audio. We pay for the call.

Gun shop software helps gun shops to manage sales

By using professionally developed software for gun shops, owners and managers of gun shops are able to track sales in accordance with the requirements of the law. Tracking serial numbers and checking customer age etc enables the sale process to be structured in a way to deliver certainty to the business.

The serial number tracking and other tools in the Point of Sale software from Tower Systems makes the software ideal for Australian gun shops.  This is what gun shop owners tell us.

The other facilities gun shop owners appreciate in our software include: inventory management, employee performance guidance and management, shopper loyalty rewards, business reporting, special orders … to name just some of the appreciated areas.

Meeting all the requirements of a traditional gun shop, this software is gaining momentum in helping gun shop owners to bring structure and more success to their businesses.

Fresh POS software advice to help retailers compete more effectively

Tower Systems is pleased to have published a fresh advice, in the form of a new video, on how to get the most from a report in our Point of Sale software that helps retailers more effectively compete in their businesses.

The new advice has been published as part of our on-going enhancement of advice, documentation and support provided to retailers using our POS software.

The report is so useful that we have shared the advice sheet with representatives of some business suppliers so that they can help retailers access and understand the report during store visits.

In working with supplier representatives as we do to provide useful documentation we facilitate a win for the suppliers and a win for retailers.

Helping Newspower with free gift cards

Tower Systems is funding an initial support of gift cards for Newspower in South Australia as practical support for newsagents.

Having developed the art for free we are now paying for the manufacture of the gift cards to give Newspower members an opportunity to play in the lucrative gift card space.

We have drawn on our work with many retailers in various retail channels in delivering gift card solutions from the physical cards to the trading terms to the software for managing gift card balances.

It’s this work which will help Newspower to help its members to grow stronger and more valuable businesses.

We are pleased to have the resources to help.

Repairs management software helps jewellers and bike shop retailers

The repairs management facilities in our software for Jewellers and our software for Bike Shops are identical.

This is because the needs of the two different businesses are the same.

Items come in for repair and can have parts replaces, parts fixed and labour expended. Our software tracks this for the workshop and the business. It even manages information for customers on when a repair is ready as well as the billing necessary.

Good repairs software is vital to both a professional bike shop and a professional jeweller. It can save time, improve customer service and deliver a healthier bottom line to the business.

Our repairs management software continues to evolve in response to user suggestions.  We seek out opportunities to help our retail partners offering repair services to get more from their software. Updates are provided as part of the Tower AdvantageTM service.

New stock files available for Point of Sale software users

Retailers using our POS software now have access to the following updated stock files. We have tested each file prior to loading on our website:

  • Kat Kards July 2012
  • Brown Trout 2013 update
  • Hallmark July 2012
  • Simson Cards July 2012

We have a structured process for testing stock file provided by suppliers – ensuring that every  file we list on our website meets our QA requirements.

Newsagent trade show in Adelaide this weekend

We are participating in the ANCOL Trade Show for newsagents in Adelaide this weekend. On our stand we will be showing off the software chosen by more newsagents in South Australia. We will also have one of our technical experts on hand to answer any support queries.

This weekend is the start of an intensive trade show season for us with several events around Australia over the next few weeks.

Free stock take PDE offer popular with Point of Sale software retailers

The free Honeywell PDE we are giving away with package deals of our Point of Sale software this months are popular. The PDE is a genuine gift as anyone who has tracked the price of our system will know.

We have added it this month as a post end of financial year gift and a thank you for early 2012/13 sales.

For us, the PDE is an extra special gift as it encourages retailers to more effectively manage stock. We know that the better retailers using our POS software manage stock the better the results for their business and they more then get from their IT investment.

We selected the Honeywell PDE because of the excellent facilities. We use it ourselves in our own retail businesses. This helps us provide even better support.

POS software moves to beta release

The latest release of our Point of Sale software goes into beta release later this week. We are excited to be testing in a live environment some exciting innovation we have been working on with two of our customers. While they are from different business channels, they have a common need, a need we will address with these latest enhancements.

What makes these latest enhancements particularly interesting is that they bring together two parts of a business, taking our software beyond the scope of what has been traditional for us.

While we trust our development and QA, there is nothing like live first time use of a completely new facility to test all we have worked for.

Special orders offer a point of difference for local independent retailers

Handling special orders can be a challenge for retailers. From tracking the requirement through to advising the customer that the special order has arrived and is available to be collected, the workload and paperwork can be daunting.

The smart retail management software from Tower Systems eliminates much of the time consuming work by structuring in the POS software the management of special orders.

For many years now our software has sent a text message to shoppers when their special order has arrived. Retailers tell us that this is how shoppers like to be notified. It’s simple, efficient and recorded on their phone at any time.

From the point of advice of available tracking right back to the request for a special order, the Tower software helps retailers to make the most of the special order opportunity. This can be money in the bank, serious money.

Now more than every small and independent retailers need to leverage service as their point of difference. Special orders provide an excellent opportunity for achieving this. Tower Systems is proud to help in this area of the business – in addition to many other areas of retail business operation.

Helping Cairns retailers attract more shoppers, get them spending more and compete with online

This is a FREE business development workshop for Cairns region retailers.  Hosted by Tower Systems and packed with retail business ideas.

SEBEL HOTEL, CAIRNS. Two sessions to choose from: August 7, 2012. Two sessions: 8am & 1pm. Click on the time to book.

At this FREE retail business building workshop in Cairns you will hear about the latest trends in retail here and from overseas based on current knowledge and experience in retail trends in a range of retail channels in Europe, the US and Australia.

Our experts will share insights into how online and national brand retailers are competing with independent businesses. He will share how you can compete.

You will leave this session with practical tips, tactics and strategies you can implement in your retail business right away without spending anything … ideas FREE for you.

Each workshop runs for around two hours with plenty of time for questions after.

Come and join us at the start of the day (8am) or around lunchtime (1pm). Bookings are essential for catering. This is no sales pitch.

Helping new retail employees learn how to use POS software

Employees new to a retail business need to learn the tools used in the business, like the Point of Sale software. Tower Systems makes this easy for retail businesses where our Point of Sale software is in use by regularly offering new employee training.

We are hosting a new retail employee POS Software training session this morning at 10am. This FREE online training workshop is perfect for employees new to a business where our software is being used.

The training is professionally structured and safe – in that we stick to the common counter functions. Our goal is to ensure that new employees are confident in their use of the software.

While the training is online, it is completely live and interactive. It means you can undertake the training without leaving home or the business. This lowers the cost for you and makes training for accessible.

Employees of retail businesses where our software is in use are welcome to book for this and other training sessions.

Point of Sale software user meeting for Auckland retailers

Retailers in Auckland using our Point of Sale software are invited to a user meeting in Auckland at The Langham Hotel in downtown Auckland on August 2 at 10am.  This user meeting will cover the latest version of our software, take a peek at the next update and discuss questions from the floor.

This is an excellent opportunity for Auckland retailers to talk about the software, learn and make more from their IT investment.

Access to the user meeting is FREE.

Helping regional retailers improve business with POS software

Our commitment to helping regional retailers in Australia is paying terrific dividends for us and for them. Our sales are up and their engagement with smart technology to drive traffic, sales and return is up.

While it may sound cliché, it’s a win win.

Since we started in business in 1981 we have worked well in regional Australia, delivering software and service to businesses many companies tend to forget about. taking our message of business growth, efficiency and hope to businesses hours away from the city, businesses which really appreciate us taking the time to get to them and to share insights with them.

The result for us is wonderful growth, even today, in regional areas. The result for our clients is some great stories of success on how they are using the software to drive excellent outcomes for their businesses.

We are as committed today to regional areas as we were when we started. Next week, three of our sales team will spend the week hours away from home base, working with regional businesses, sharing ideas and insights and presenting them with wonderful opportunities.

While many IT companies are retreating from face to face contact and behind their screens, Tower Systems is out in the field and working in businesses of clients and prospects … and loving it.

We offer regional training, support and senior management contact. Being accessible in this way is evidence of confidence in our product and a desire to learn from all customers.

Point of Sale software training helps retail employees enjoy work more

Tower Systems is proud to be offering retailers and retail employees using our Point of Sale software workshops on fresh topics this week. Bookings are open to right before each session.

  • Getting started with Retailer for new staff members 24 Jul 2012, 11:00AM
  • Getting started with Web Store 24 Jul 2012, 02:00PM
  • Getting started with Customer Management & Home Deliveries 26 Jul 2012, 11:00AM
  • Getting started with Customer Invoice Maintenance 26 Jul 2012, 02:00PM

Each 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.

Helping newsagents improve their retail businesses

Tower Systems has offered a business performance assessment and growth service for years. We assess sales and other data from the client using our Point of Sale software requesting the FREE service and provide feedback.  The first step of feedback in an email assessing the business data.

Here is an example of one email we recently sent one of our newsagent customers following an assessment of their sales data for two trading periods a year apart:

While traffic is down 2% and sales down 7%, there is some good news from your work restructuring the business.  I think you need to move faster on arrest declines in some areas and embracing change in other areas. The data suggests this ought to be urgent for you.
To me, traffic cores for a business like yours and with the product mix you are are: magazines, lottery, pens, cardboard, cards and gifts.  You’re good in two of these – truly stellar in one – and weak in the others.
  1. CARDS.
    1. You have 7% if your cards listed as unknown – this means you’re not bringing them into the software correctly.  This needs to be sorted to provide you with more accurate data.
    2. You need to check your stock weight of Kat Kards. Their sales are performing lower than Hallmark for you so I’d question whether you are getting a good return. If you have more than $6,000 in stock you’re not getting the return you need.
    3. With card sales up 7%, Hallmark 11%, you’re heading in the right direction. I suspect that card sales are being helped by your excellent work with Gifts.
  2. CONFECTIONERY.
    1. With sales down 36% and Darrell Lea accounting for most of this you need to look carefully at your handling of DL product. Is it in the right location? Is the display fresh? It is actively promoted? If you’re doing the right things it may be time to move on and develop another confectionery story. Dropping $300 a week in sales is a problem requiring urgent attention.
  3. GIFTS
    1. This is the stand out success of you and your team. Well done. 94% increase in sales to now $2,600 a week is amazing.
    2. The decisions you are making are clearly working. The data shows you have nailed plush.
    3. The challenge is to maintain the categories you are successful in right now and expand into new areas. This is best done by creating a destination story, preferably with items people will purchase several times in a year and with an accompanying card.
  4. INK
    1. Your sales are down 23% and this is against trend. What are you doing to arrest this?  Do you know why sales are down? I’d talk to your team and see what they think.
    2. Sales of ink ought to be up close to 10% based on the national average.
  5. LOTTO
    1. With your sales up 13% year on year you are playing ahead of the trend. This is excellent.
    2. What are you doing to add value to the lotto shopper experience.
    3. What are you doing to grab extra revenue from lotto shoppers – at the counter, in the sale and as the leave -do you have a shopper exit strategy?
  6. MAGAZINES
    1. Overall your sales are down 8% with women’s weeklies down 18%. This is a trend you need to obsess about arresting since they account for 26.82% of your sales. Where are weeklies? Are they being respected – prime location,co-location?
    2. Children’s magazine are up 30%, a great result. Is this possibly helped by your amazing plush sales?
    3. Men’s Lifestyle magazine sales are down 43% and adult magazines are down 39%. Is there something going on this men and your shop? Have team members noticed a decline in male shoppers? That’s the feeling I get from looking at your data.
    4. Something is knocking your magazine sales around and I am wondering if this is a reason for your overall traffic decline. Magazines are currently vitally important to driving traffic for newsagencies.
  7. NEWSPAPERS
    1. Sales are down 15%, considerably ahead of the national trend. See the notes above for magazines as they apply. It’s as if people have found somewhere else to get what they want.
  8. STATIONERY
    1. A 12% decline in sales is not good news on first glance. However, the data shows that 72% of the decline is in copy paper. I am guessing that you made a decision here and if so then your overall stationery numbers are okay and ahead of overall business performance.
    2. Cardboard is the other category with a decline. What’s up here? Your sales should not be down 30% yet they are. Were you out of stock? Or, is there a new competitor in town?
    3. Pen sales are vital to your overall stationery position with the category accounting for 20.04% of sales.  Pen sales need to be healthy and they should be growing. Your sales are down in line with your traffic decline. I think you need to take a careful look at your pen range, location and merchandising.
While your data has some great news, your performance report also reveals some challenges.
Here’s what I’d do: check what I have said against what you know about the business, develop a short (next 2 weeks) and medium (next three months) action plan and set about making some changes.
We can’t stand sill, now more than ever.  The value we as business owners will derive from our businesses will more likely be the profit we make each week rather than what we sell the business for.
I hope the comments are helpful. Please let me know if I can help in any way.

We share this here to show how far from offering traditional help desk services we stray in pursuit of delivering exceptional customer service.

Point of Sale software user meeting in Auckland

Retailers using our Point of Sale software in Auckland have an opportunity to meet some of our team, hear about the latest software updates and tap into some free training in a free user meeting and training session we are hosting on August 2 at 10am at the Langham Hotel on Symonds Street.

We will have several people at the meeting, catering to a broad range of needs of those attending along with sales prospects we will meet with in the visit.

Acquisition strengthens garden centre software position

In the almost two months since acquiring the POSIMS garden centre software business we have skilled-up to support the existing software and taken steps to provide a bridge to help POSIMS users to migrate to our windows based software.

Being DOS based, POSIMS has been challenged to keep up with industry as well as technical standards. By providing an upgrade path that includes data conversion, we are able to help POSIMS customers to leap forward with inventory and other data in tact.

With more garden centres using our software than the POSIMS software, we are ready to welcome new users converting from the POSIMS platform to the Tower Systems garden centre software platform.

Our work with garden centres continues to inform our broader retailer support as we learn from these unique and vitally important local businesses.  Indeed, we love the information that businesses from each of our marketplaces shares with us as it helps us develop even better software and offer more valued support services.