Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: August 2013 (page 1 of 2)

Helping retailers handle the end of the month work on a Saturday

Today has been like every other Saturday for our POS software company.  Our office-based and mobile customer service team members have been busy fielding calls. But since it’s the last Saturday of the month, call traffic is up as retailers get their accounts and other monthly tasks done. We back our weekend and after-hours teams with management support when necessary or sought. Our management team is also available to our customers for escalation.

Running a Point of sale software company is more about this attention to customer service. Sure, having the latest is important, and we do, but it’s the relentless attention to service that our customers love the most from us and what attracts new customers to us.

So, as today draws to a close for retailers we’re kicking back a bit and reflecting on another good serving our customers.


POS software helps drive Father’s Day sales for gift shops, garden centres, newsagencies and bike retailers

The catalogue facilities in our Point of Sale software have been helping jewellers, bike retailers, garden centres, gift shops, homewares shops and newsagencies to embrace the sales opportunity of the 2013 Father’s Day season.  They have been able to run special pricing just for the Father’s Day season using date based catalogue tools.

Our POS software has also helped with the creation of Father’s Day hampers and similar gifting opportunities where multiple items are put together to be given as a Father’s Day gift.  The software manages the aggregation of the hamper and the breakdown to single products should it not sell.

These and other tools help retailers make the most from retail seasons such as Father’s Day. We back the tools with free advice and training for retailers using our software.


Discount vouchers driving retail sales for more small business retailers

The discount vouchers facility launched earlier this year is helping more and more of our Point of Sale software users to drive sales growth. Every day we are hearing from retailers on how their use of discount vouchers is changing shopper behaviour and growing sales. They’re thrilled and we’re thrilled. helping retailers build more valuable businesses is what we are here for.


Fifteen years on Friday breakfast tradition continues

Fifteen years after we started providing free breakfast on a Friday to our team members the tradition continues. The photo shows the selection available today – a mix of savory and sweet pastries fresh this morning from our local Brumbys small business bakery.

This Friday breakfast selection is in addition to an excellent range of biscuits available every day and five different blends from our commercial nespresso coffee machine. IT people need to fuel up, on a Friday especially.


Newsagency software users benefit from fresh supplier files

Our team has reviewed and loaded the following stock files for newsagents using our industry standard newsagency software:

  • Henderson Greetings – September 2013
  • GNS Diaries Catalogue
  • Darrell Lea August 2013
  • Stylesetter Christmas 2013
  • Spirit Publishing September 2013

The work we doing testing files before loading them to our website provides our customers with peace of mind.


Touch screen flexibility key for retailers using POS software

Retailers using our POS software love the flexibility of our touch screen setup. They have control over touch screen button use and placement. They also control the look of each button. This level of easy local customisation is key to helping retailers to drive efficient use of their POS software.

We have seen situations where a touch screen button change can reduce keystrokes and make the use of the software more accurate for the business. This is a real win. And it’s loved by the retail staff using the software.

By enabling the use of images, retailers are able to improve the accuracy of the use of the softwareand this certainly helps drive the business outcomes they want.

The key to all this is the flexibility in our POS software touch screen setup.


POS software helps gift shop owners buy stock at trade shows

We met up recently with a retailer using our gift shop software at a gift fair trade show and were thrilled to see them using our software at the fair to guide their buying. By having access to live sales data for a supplier when on their stand at the trade fair, this retailer was able to make decisions based on facts rather than emotion as is usually the case with trade show buying.

Retailers using our POS software can go to trade fairs with reports to guide buying or they can use their iPad or other tablet device to connect to the business live to produce reports. Either way, using real data to guide decisions is better for the business than relying on sales hype that is so prevalent on the trade show floor.

We encourage our customers to plan for trade shows so that their buying is fact based. Such decisions are more likely to be more beneficial for the business. Our software offers many tools to help make the trade show experience work better for the business.


Retailers love the free one-on-one training from our POS software company

Retailers using our Point of Sale software and who are covered by our Tower AdvantageTM software support package have access to free one-on-one training every year, for years after they install our software. The training can cover any aspect of our POS software.

We have customers who have used the software for ten years taking up the free training to learn more about parts of the software they have never visited. we have others using the training to learn more about our amazing reporting tools.

The training is schedule to suit the timing requirements of our customers. And it is genuinely one-on-one, making it personalised for our customers. This is a bonus where people can get questions specific to their business answered.

To encourage our customers to take up the free offer we have promoted it in our print and email newsletters and through help desk contact. This is a service we want to see used, so that our customers get more from their technology investment.

This free one-on-one POS software training is another point of difference for Tower Systems.


The Point of Sale software sale process

Here’s a terrific video of a conversation between Tim Batt our State Sales Manager for Western Australia and South Australia and Mark Fletcher our Managing Director about how we sell our Point of Sale software.

This video is another insight to who we are and what we do here at Tower Systems.


Pet shop software partnership with the Pet Industry Association of Australia

Tower Systems is proud to be a sponsor of the Pet Industry Association of Australia in the lead up to their trade show next month at which the latest release of our pet shop software will be launched.

The new software features in the issue of Pet Industry News in circulation this week among 7,000 pet shops and related businesses.

Facilities in the Tower pet shop software used in other retail channels is serving pet needs well – facilities like serial number tracking, hampers, shopper loyalty, gift packs, discount vouchers, catalogues and smart business reporting.

We are also learning some business management techniques from pet whop owners and managers that are helping us to enhance our software for newsagents, gift shops, jewellers and bike shops. It’s a thrill to learn ways we can enhance the software for one marketplace that can benefit another.


The latest newsagency software a hit at newsagent trade show in Sydney

We are thrilled with our time at the GNS Market Fair in Sydney this weekend. Our newsagency software was the feature on our busy stand and it featured in two workshops run in the conference area established by GNS.

Software is our point of difference. It’s our intellectual property, something that’s hard for others to copy. Anyone can source any hardware but the only place to get our software is from us.

We showed off our exclusive discount vouchers facility and a range of other business building tools for newsagents. The interest in these newsagency growth tools was excellent.

While we answered queries for some existing customers – we have 700 newsagent customers in NSW/ACT – we won new business with newsagents committing to join our newsagent user community. All in all it was a great show for us.


Sunday small business retailer management advice: choose the loyalty approach that’s best for your needs

Too many small business owners run a loyalty program that mimics the offering of big retailers. They use points as currency and get shoppers signing up and jumping through some hoops to accrue points that are worth what?

Small business retailers need to differentiate themselves from big business.  We, yes we are retailers here at Tower Systems too with four shops of our own where we use our Point of Sale software ourselves, need to offer a loyalty program that best serves our needs and not something done out of fear of a big competitor.

Small business retailers need to think of their customers when choosing a loyalty offering. They need to take their time to ensure that the program they choose and the rules they follow are appropriate to their needs.

Using the Tower software retailers can choose from a variety of approaches to encouraging and rewarding loyalty. In fact, our software has at least five different approaches to driving loyalty thanks to the flexibility embedded in the loyalty offerings we pitch. Within these we offer considerable points of difference – this is why we welcome head of head comparison.

From our unique and thoughtful discount vouchers facility through to our VIP card to our bundled package offerings our Point of Sale software provides retailers with choice. We will happily work with any retailer using our software to guide the implementation of these and other loyalty offerings.

In our own retail businesses we are using the discount vouchers to effectively compete with like for like businesses located near us that use other POS software.  We can speak from experience with various loyalty options.


More retail employees benefit from comprehensive video training curriculum

More and more retail employees working in businesses using our Point of Sale software are enjoying and benefiting from our comprehensive video based training.

Made up of more than 130 videos, access to the library is guided through a web based curriculum facility we have developed that tracks videos watched y employee per business. This gives retailers visibility over employee engagement and can help with better management of team members.

Everyone completing a curriculum will be provided a professional certificate of achievement – something that will be a good addition to any resume pack.

The development of the certificate is another level of thoughtfulness by Tower Systems of those engaged in the professional training being delivered through this program to small business retailers and their employees.

The training program is unique for small business retailers like newsagents, jewellers, bike retailers, gift shops and garden centres. It’s been delivered as a result of considerable investment by Tower Systems.


Helping retailers setup Facebook business pages

While it’s outside our remit in providing help in relation to our Point of Sale software, we have been providing assistance to small business retailers in our user community in the setup and management of business Facebook pages.

Having done this years ago for some of our businesses we have considerable experience on which to draw and we happily share that with our customers. We have published advice to our customers to outline areas where they need to pay special attention. We have also outlined basics about what the page can be used for beyond the obvious.

While not a formal help desk service we offer, the advice we have provided and continue to provide is designed to give our customers an easy start on setting up a business Facebook page and to place them on the road to getting their Facebook page up and running.

We first got involved in this in response to a query from a customer. Our handling of the query is an example of our approach to questions outside our area of focus or responsibility – if we can help we will.


Robbery impacts Tower Systems marketing plans

A robbery at our head office in Hawthorn at 4:30am this morning has disrupted our marketing plans with our purpose built Apple Mac computer being stolen from our marketing department work area. The break-in caused significant damage to the entrance to the office. A laptop from another section of the business was also stolen.

The police have called this a targeted attack.

Our immediate marketing is disrupted while Apple assembles a replacement computer. While we’re insured the disruption is expensive given we’re in the middle of a busy trade show season.


Why garden centres love the Tower Systems garden centre software

More and more garden centres are choosing garden centre software from Tower Systems. Thanks to continually enhanced facilities specific for garden centres and nurseries, the Tower garden centre software is proving to be a valuable business partner for a diverse range of garden centres.

First released a few years ago, this locally developed software was most recently updated just a few weeks ago with even better shopper loyalty facilities and other benefits developed in association with garden centre owners and managers. The next update is due to hit the market in the next six weeks.

Serving indoor and outdoor garden situations, this software is in wide use now right across Australia … and use is growing.

Garden centre owners are able to help employees make the most of the garden centre software thanks to a video based training curriculum developed specifically for garden centres. This draws together more than 100 videos in a curriculum that is managed by the Tower education delivery platform – tracking employee engagement in the training.

Easy to access training in industry specific software makes this an easy system to sell and install.


Bike shop software helps bike retailers respect the customer for life

Thanks to customer tracking tools in our bike shop software, bike retailers are able to deliver greater value from a long-term relationship. This is an important point of difference for bike retailers who are combating online stores chasing sales of bikes.

By providing professional service and follow up, bike retailers are able to show off the difference of a high street shopping experience compared to an online shopping experience. They can show off the value of dealing live in-store with a human compared to clicking through a website.

With value-based touch points our bike shop software helps retailers to connect, follow up and show off genuine value that is important to a long term relationship with the bike shopper.

Bike shop retailers need to fight hard to combat the price-conscious shopper. They need to do this with knowledge, professionalism and follow-up. Our specialist bike shop software can help in each of these areas. We have designed our software to help bike retailers compete and to do it with focus and attention.

By making the purchase decision less abut price today and more about value, the high street bike retailer can position themselves to better compete with the cheap online websites.


More supplier integrations help retailers get more from POS software

Offering more supplier integrations through our Point of Sale software is proving to be a valuable competitive advantage when presenting to retailers including newsagents, gift shops and others considering the best software for their business.

In addition to software difference and customer service differences, we are able to show off benefits achieved from our relationships with more suppliers offering electronic invoices and other benefits of a more automated data sharing relationship.

By saving time on ordering, invoking and other areas of interacting with suppliers we help retailers to reduce the labour cost in their businesses and this benefit can add a bounce to the bottom line.

We’re enjoying showing off the point of difference in supplier relationships.


New Darrell Lea stock file for newsagents and others

Tower Systems has tested and cleared a new stock file from Darrell Lea for use with our newsagency software. This latest file joins a long list of files tested by and approved for use by retailers, including newsagents, using our software.


New Pandora stock file for jewellers

Jewellers using our Jeweller software now have access to a tested and clean stock file from Pandora. The process to testing supplier stock files is a free service we offer suppliers and retailers using our software. It provides our customers with peace of mind that what they are loading is safe to load and use.


Jeweller POS software helps jewellers up-sell

Professional display of up-sell opportunities on the customer-facing screen on our latest POS hardware, jewellers using our jeweller software are able to up-sell in a more passive yet valuable way to customers presenting at their sales counter.

The photo shows how an image appears on the customer-facing promotion screen at the point of sale. It’s a live image served by our software in a jeweller retail setting. Retailers using our software have control over the images served as well as to whether any sales data is shown on the screen. The opportunity is to engage in a variety of ways as appropriate to the needs of the business.

This latest hardware with the quality customer-facing screen is a POS hardware unit from HP. It comes with a three-year on site warranty.

Jewellers using our Jeweller specific software also have access to many reports and facilities designed for their specific type of business – many of the facilities have been developed in consultation with jewellers themselves.



Melbourne Gift Fair unlocks new gift suppliers for Tower Systems

Participation at the Melbourne Gift Fair earlier this month has unlocked additional supplier relationships for gift shop software supplier Tower Systems.

These relationships will enable us to provide better service to our gift shop customers through our retail management software. This will help product suppliers and retailers to work more closely together for their mutual commercial advantage.

The suppliers become more aware of how to provide electronic invoices as well as the opportunities available to them through the provision of sales data from participating retailers. Tower Systems has someone full time in the company managing these relationships for the maximum benefit for our user community.

So, in addition to excellent sales of our gift shop software at the Melbourne gift fair, it has proven to be a good trade show for unlocking additional supplier relationships.


Terrific newsagent trade show in Melbourne this weekend

Our stand at the GNS Market Fair this weekend has been busy with a stead stream of visitors. Some were existing customers dropping on for a friendly chat while others were people looking to install our software. We also got to network with plenty of suppliers. With two thirds of all newsagents with newsagency software partnering with us we’re well established as the industry leaders and we’re resources to help newsagents with the transitions they are embracing.

Our stand featured our exciting discount vouchers facility, our extraordinary reporting tools and our time saving newsagency management software.

Attendees at the show only saw software from two newsagency software companies – ourselves and POS Solutions.


Sunday small business retailer management advice: use your POS software to protect against retail failure

Good Point of Sale software used well and with commitment offers excellent opportunities for a retail business to reduce the risk of business failure. There are many situations where poor software has led to business failure or where poor use of good software has led to business failure.

Here are five ways that retailers have used our smart Point of Sale software to avoid business failure:

  1. Cutting theft. Theft can kill a retail business. Using our theft tracking, management and reduction tools enables retailers to reduce the impact of theft, especially employee theft, on the business. We have seen businesses eliminate hundreds of dollars in employee theft a week by following our advice. We look at hidden data and provide advice on steps to take.
  2. Being certain of performance. By knowing exactly what is working and what is not working, retailers are able to make fact-based decisions. We have been fortunate to be in a position to compare gut-feel decisions with the opportunity of fact-based decisions and the latter always wins out. In a couple of instances recently retailers were able to save mistakes which could have cost them thousands.
  3. Driving sales. By making it easier to identify retail hot spots, retailers are able to drive this success even further. Retailers are able to use hot products to sell other products – through tactical adjacencies. We have reports which can help identify and track these opportunities.
  4. Managing employees. Labour is is usually the most expensive or second most expensive cost for a retail business. labour managed poorly can impose a high cost on the business. Labour managed well can drive business success. Our Point of Sale software enables retailers to more completely manage, guide and leverage their labour force.
  5. Respecting cash. In many points in a retail business cash can be abused. By respecting cash from the sales counter through the back office and into the bank the business owner can rest comfortably knowing that Point of Sale software is reducing the opportunity for mistakes and fraud.

Retailers can rely on Point of Sale software from Tower Systems to drive better business outcomes and insure their business against tough times. retailers who embrace all that our Point of Sale offers set themselves up for greater success regardless of the economic challenges swirling around them.

The key is proactive engagement. This is where a good Point of Sale software company can help. Beyond the support call, we can assist retailers to genuinely leverage their Point of Sale software make the most of business every day. We have business advisors who will willingly help our retail customers to leverage their software for valuable success.


The best newsagency software in Australia on show today at GNS Market Fair

Tower Systems is proud to show off the best newsagency software in Australia today at the GNS Market Fair in Melbourne.

Yes, it’s a bold claim that our software is the best but we proudly claim this title because it’s what newsagents have decided.  The Tower newsagency software has been purchased by more newsagents than all other newsagency software packages combined.

With more than 1,800 newsagents as customers, Tower has an unassailable national critical mass in the newsagency channel. The newsagent community using Tower Systems is growing too with plenty of newsagents installing our software in 2013. Indeed, the changes we are seeing in software ownership this year reflect the consolidation going elsewhere in the newsagency channel.

We also say that our newsagency software is the best because of the innovation in the software. As the only software company with our own newsagency businesses where we can experiment and play it’s only natural that we’d deliver software more advanced. Having a newsagency where we can develop, experiment and tweak continues to produce leading software updates.

At the GNS Market Fair in Melbourne today we will be showing off even more innovation in fresh software. Visitors to our stand will also be able to see our training video library, a training resource second to none in the newsagency channel – giving newsagents and their employees many opportunities to learn our newsagency software at their own pace.

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