Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: October 2013 (page 1 of 3)

Point of Sale software update out now

Tower Systems earlier this week released an update to its Point of Sale software – free for all Tower AdvantageTM customers.


Halloween candy to fuel the POS software team

We have a selection of halloween candy and a pumpkin cake out ready for some halloween fun at the office today. With many of our retail colleagues embracing the season we wanted to get in on the sweet act ourselves.

If you call and we sound a bit crazy it’s probably a sugar rush!

Halloween is bigger in Australia this year than ever and our software helps retailers make the most of the opportunity.


What makes good Point of Sale software support

Providing POS software support that users rate as good is pretty straightforward in our view. It involves responding to calls, emails and other contact points in a timely and professional manner.

It frustrates us that some software companies don’t care and provide poor advice or take days to get back to customers. This causes some software users to think all software companies are alike.

Here at Tower Systems we take providing professional support in a timely way seriously. In fact, the seriousness of our approach is evident in the accessibility of our management team for escalation.

All calls to our help desk are tracked and monitored by a professional CRM system tailored to our needs and targeting our customer service level commitment.

This help desk access is backed by an equally transparent customer service escalation process. Demonstrating the transparency of our escalation process, here are the escalation points we share with our customers regularly:

You can see these and other team members featured in our recent videos introducing peopleinside our POS software company.

Our accessibility is another point of difference for Tower Systems. We’re happy to show that we are a company of real people providing real support for users of our software.


Pet shop trade show success in pet shop software sales

While we enjoyed the the opportunity of showing off our pet shop software at the Pet Expo in Melbourne ten days ago, we got a real buzz out of watching professionals in action grooming pets (as shown in the photo) as well as experts with birds handling them in the arena near our stand.

This week, however, we have been enjoying singing business won as a result of us being at the trade show. We’re heading into a busy time installing our pet shop software in many businesses right across Australia.

As is always the case, what we are learning from pet shop owners and employees is adding value to the POS software we offer in other retail channels.


When a competitor lies it can be empowering

We discovered recently that a competitor has lied about a capability we have been promoting and that they say they have had in their software for some time. It turns out they don’t have the capability. While we knew that, some of their customers are only discovering now that this facility is not in their software.

What is hurting them is that they are on the record saying the have the facility. Their own words are showing the extend of the lie.

This is helping us win business.


Fuel integration certification for Tower Systems POS software

Getting a bit of paper to prove achievement is as nice in life as it is in business. The bit of paper pictured is the certification we received for the successful integration of fuel dispensing facilities within our Point of Sale software.

This certification by Postec is another example of Tower Systems working to professional standards in enhancing our software.

This integration extends the reach of our POS software and demonstrates that an external government approved certifying authority has passed us for our integration work.



New POS software stock files for pet shops & garden centres

Tower Systems has added new stock files for retailers using our pet shop software and our garden centre software:

Pet Shop Stock Files:

  • Aqua Fish October 2013
  • Aqua Premium October 2013
  • Premier Pet October 2013
  • Seachem Australia October 2013

Garden Centre Stock File:

  • Yates Seeds October 2013



Recognition for jeweller software and jeweller channel support

Tower Systems was thrilled to receive recognition recently for long-term support of the jeweller channel with our jeweller software. Our jeweller software is used in hundreds of jeweller businesses, serving on the front counter managing sales, in the workshop managing repairs and in the office managing the business.

The software we sell and support today is vastly different to the software of years ago and even a year ago. Undergoing regular enhancement, our software severs more needs in jeweller businesses today thanks to advice and guidance from jeweller users.

A key point of difference for the jeweller software from Tower Systems is that we do not want to tell you how to run your business. Smart jewellers want access to accurate data with which to manage their businesses. This is what our software provides – access to business data.


Sunday small business retailer management advice: switching POS software to save money can also save the business

A business switching from other POS software to our software to save on very high and mandatory software support fees has discovered, in the months since, information about their business that the other software did not disclose. They have four our reports to be valuable in guiding business decisions by providing insights that were not obvious to them.

Switching POS software can do far more for a business than save money. Genuinely smart POS software backed by accessible and knowledgable support people can help small and independent retailers to see their business through fresh eyes. This can be a game-changer for the businesses, delivering business defining decisions that strengthen its future.

With the number of businesses that have switched from this software to ours so high, we have an excellent pool of reference sights that support the commercial value of the switch.

Our retail business management advice today: switch POS software and possibly save your business.


Retail employee theft on the rise as Christmas approaches?

We are seeing evidence of a rise in employee theft in retail, continuing a trend of recent years when employee theft has risen as Christmas approaches.  our advice to retailers for better managing to reduce employee theft is:

  1. Be vigilant, adopt a zero tolerance approach.
  2. Balance cash more often and without warning.
  3. Use the theft tracking tools in your software.
  4. Use an external resource to gather evidence. tower Systems helps with this on a pro-bono basis.
  5. Stock check popular items near the counter.

More a more extensive list speak with one of our help desk team and ask for our theft reduction advice.


Newsagency software sales success

Tower Systems is experiencing excellent sales of its newsagency software with a surge in recent months delivering excellent numbers of new locations. The business is coming from a mix of situations from newsagents switching form other software to newsagents switching form a cash register.

As the software company with 1,000 more newsagents already using its software than any other software company, Tower Systems is thrilled to be growing even larger.

As the newsagency channel consolidates supplier size will matter more. Tower Systems is committed to continue its program of investment in its newsagency software, delivering even more facilities with which newsagents can benefit commercially and operationally.


Tower Systems leadership role in POS software / supplier EDI engagement

Thanks to ou work across a range of retail channels and with several EDI platform partners Tower Systems brings to any EDI discussion broad experience and insights.

This was particularly useful recently when an EDI partner in one retail channel wanted to take an approach that we knew would not work as it disregarded best practice in EDI. We shared our experiences from another channel and our suggested approach is now being adpoted.

We’re not out to control anything in the EDI arena. No, our goal is to help retailers have access to best-practice EDI solutions that serve their needs and do not burden them with unnecessary operational overhead.

We are grateful to our various EDI partners for the experiences they are giving us for it is these experiences that help us be more knowledgable in the EDI area.


New POS software stock files

Tower Systems has tested and loaded the following stock files for retailers using our Point of Sale software:

  • Artwrap October 2013
  • Darrell Lea October 2013
  • Hallmark October 2013
  • Uniball Pens October 2013



Hundreds of retailers now using discount vouchers

We now have hundreds of retailers from our POS software community using our EXCLUSIVE discount vouchers facilities. The feedback is excellent with retailers telling us they love the ease of use and professionalism but most of all they love the sales growth.

There is no doubt that the discount vouchers facilities increase sales across a range of retail sectors based on the feedback we have received.  Jewellers, newsagents, garden centres, bike retailers … they are all able to drive shopper engagement through the vouchers printed on the base of receipts.

From a Tower perspective we have successfully used the discount vouchers to win business for us. In a situation recently a retailer told us a competitor offered the same facility. We suggested the retailer look at this and then at what we do. They decided to go ahead with us. Our discount vouchers implementation is unique to Tower Systems. While others may use the same descriptive label, what they have is not what we have.

Retailers who partner with Tower Systems have tremendous management control over how vouchers are issued and redeemed. This control can be money in the bank as the retailer tweaks levers and through this guides shopper engagement. This is what a good loyalty system does – it drives financial rewards for the retail business.


Helping bike retailers meet the challenge from online retailers

The Sydney Morning Herald last week ran a story about more challenges for bike retailers as they face tough online competition. While the news story was a bit of doom and gloom, here at Tower systems we are thrilled to be able to help bike retailers compete with online businesses.

Bike and other retailers can compete with online by engaging with POS software and improving the customer-facing experience.


Using our Bike shop software, bike retailers can deliver a better customer service outcome. They can do this by streamlining the sales process, offering shopper rewards for the next purchase, providing more meaningful and valuable after-sales follow-up and through offering buy-now pricing – two-tiered pricing that combats the showrooming challenge faced by many retailers today.

While our bike shop software offers more facilities than these, this list covers the items we see working the best.

Indeed, the buy-now pricing opportunities in the software present an excellent way for a bike retailer to convert a browser into a purchaser on the shop floor on the spot. This can be money in the bank if handled well by the business. hence the value of using the software to target this in a structured way.

Here at Tower Systems we believe in high street retail and the important role it plays in local communities in employment and community engagement. We will continue to enhance our software to ensure that it delivers practical value for retailers with which to compete with online businesses.


POS Software helps retailers make the most of Halloween opportunity

Tower Systems has been working with a range of retailers to make the most of the Halloween 2013 opportunity using our Point of Sale software. Halloween has grown from a niche season of minimal interest outside the United States to a season of extraordinary value to retailers across the globe.

Strategically, Halloween is an excellent lead-in season to Christmas. However, to make the most o the opportunity retailers need to engage with their POS software, leveraging tools encoded in smart POS software to make the most of the Halloween opportunity.

Our own experience as retailers gives us the inside-running here to make Halloween work valuably for retailers. For example, using our software retailers are able to easily promote Halloween on receipts to shoppers, email halloween shoppers from last year, promote other products to Halloween shoppers and handle the make-up and deconstruction of Halloween hampers and gift packs.

Well before the season started we have been able to help our retail partners with product ordering based on previous sales. This is important for seasonal products since those handling product ordering are likely to not have easy recall of exactly worked and what did not work last year.

These and other benefits are helping our retail partners to make the most of the Halloween opportunity in retail this year.


POS software makes emailing purchase orders easier

The latest enhancements in our Point of Sale software make the emailing of purchase orders from retailers to suppliers even easier, thereby building a stronger connection between retailers and their suppliers. Doing this in a structured and standard way provides retailer greater certainty over business data dn replenishment stock than if manual paper-based processes were to be followed.

By initiating replenishment of inventory from within the POS software, retailers are able to control data from their end. This helps fuel certainty for the businesses from their end rather than relying on supplier driven data. This is vitally important for business owners who are actively engaged in making decisions based on accurate business data.

Tower Systems actively works with suppliers across a range of retail channels including jewellers, bike retailers, garden centres, adult shops, homewares shops, pet stores and newsagents to serve the various industry-specific needs and thereby provide maximum flexibility to retailers.


Sunday small business retailer management advice: 10 ways POS software can save money

  1. Roster based on sales. Look at your sales by time and roster accordingly.
  2. Order based on stock sales – using a recorder report is more efficient than manual ordering.
  3. Use integrated eftpos – Tyro connected directly to your Tower software – eliminate costly mistakes.
  4. Eliminate keystrokes at the counter. Every keystroke eliminated is a potential mistake saved. Scan all you sell for a good start.
  5. Manage your end of shift. Use the end of shift processes in our software and get rid of challenged manual processes.
  6. Backup when you want. Using flexible backup processes save time with an off site backup done when you choose.
  7. replace manual processes where appropriate in your business: customer age checking, LayBy, serial number tracking, shopper loyalty, shopper special orders.
  8. Easily transfer accounting related data to your accounting system and eliminate double handling.
  9. Catch shopper theft through structured spot stock takes.
  10. Catch employee theft through consistent use of theft management tools.

Tower Systems offers more money saving opportunities in its Point of Sale software for a broad range of retail niches. We will help you get the most from our software.


New release POS software moves to beta

The next update to our POS software has moved to beta release with test sites now running this latest software. Early feedback from the beta sites has been excellent. We are excited to be preparing to make this latest software update more widely available. We need some more beta site time under our belts before we set a release data – we take quality assurance seriously.


Terrific first day at Pet Expo

Wow! What a trade show! The Pet Expo went off for us yesterday – in a great crazy busy way. We met plenty of sales prospects in the form of pet retailers and wholesalers.

We had a terrific time today developing excellent connections in the pet retail channel on the trade show floor. We’re thrilled to be the only software company at the Pet Expo trade show.

The reaction to our pet shop software has been terrific with many loving the facilities tailored for their needs.

We rate the Pet Expo as one of the best trade shows for us in 2013 and we still have what should be a busy day to go today.

UPDATE (20/10). Day two was excellent too. Plenty of sales leads and many new supplier connections. What a joy this trade show has been!


Flexibility the key to success for newspaper home delivery software

Flexibility is a key reason Tower Systems has more than 1,850 newsagents using its newsagency management software and the best example of flexibility is in our handling of newspaper home delivery.

Offering the industry-leading best-practice approach to newspaper home delivery management for decades, Tower has always been at the forefront of technology developments to drive efficiency of newspaper home delivery by newsagents from the country to the city to capital city CBD situations.

Our work with in-car technology more than ten years ago was ground breaking. We have fed electronic runs to a wide variety of devices including the first electronic book platform, the Sony PSP computer game device, a host of e-books and tablets plus the Apple iPad. Delivering access to electronic runs has revolutionised newspaper home delivery.

But it’s the flexibility we have delivered in managing wrap mixtures of newspapers, the inclusion of special delivery requirements such as driving directions and specific newspaper placement as well as tracking and managing delivery performance that has helped newsagents deliver a world class newspaper home delivery service.

The home delivery of newspapers in Australia by newsagents is regarded by experts around the world as the best in the world. From capital city deliveries to major corporate operations to small country town main street deliveries to 25 shops and homes, our newspaper home delivery management software is serving the needs of Aussie newsagents as they ensure that the daily newspaper is delivered on time and accurately.

Thanks to our smart newsagency software we help newsagents easily handle price changes, public holidays, one off price changes, publisher special offers, customer billing and a variety of delivery run structures.

With under 4,000 newsagencies in Australia and around 3,000 with newsagency computer systems, the Tower Systems market share sits at 61%. We take our market share position seriously and respect the trust invested in us by newsagents.

As the number of newsagencies and newsagency software companies consolidates this market share is increasing. Tower Systems is growing through a mixture of natural growth and acquisition. 60% of the newsagencies added in the last year were through a software company acquisition and the rest were through businesses choosing to install our software for themselves.

We serve delivery only newsagents, retail only newsagents and delivery / retail newsagents. This latter group can leverage their newspaper home delivery customer data to drive shop sales thanks to a range of flexible and powerful marketing tools that cultivate and harvest data.

As the newsagency channel changes so to does the Tower Systems newsagency software. We make it easy for newsagents to evolve their businesses using our software to facilitate this evolution. Even through our newspaper distribution software we have been able to help newsagents expand into new areas while continuing to use the same software.

As 2013 sneaks to a close we’re thrilled with the growth we have achieved with newsagents and look forward to the exciting developments in the newsagency channel that will happen in 2014. We are working with others on a couple of initiatives that will help proactive newsagents grow their businesses.


Tower Systems supports EROS Association as gold level sponsor

Tower Systems is proud to sign on as a gold level sponsor of the EROS Association – serving adult shops and their suppliers. As developers of adult shop software that is already in use in many adult shops around Australia as well as supplying software to a major adult shop wholesaler, Tower Systems is well engaged with the channel.

Our sponsorship of EROS is in support of an association vital to the industry and the health of the retail and wholesale businesses in the industry. Through the relationship tower Systems will be in communication with EROS members, sharing business management and growth insights that should serve these businesses into the future.

Across a range of retail channels Tower Systems leads in providing industry-standard software that connects retailers and suppliers. Our common approach to all is to provide professional and proves software solutions backed by understandable and accessible support.


Jeweller software LayBy (Lay Away) facilities shine

Right now is LayBy (Lay Away in the US) season for jewellers and the Tower Systems Jeweller software is playing an important role serving the LayBe needs of hundreds of jewellers.

Using our LayBy facilities jewellers and other retailers can accurately record customer details, track payments, send reminders and harvest shopper data for future marketing.

Professional and time-efficient management of LayBy transactions helps win more business for jewellers and other retailers. This year the Tower LayBy facilities have been further enhanced thanks to some excellent in-the-field feedback. The LayBy facilities were enhanced earlier this year.

While many Point of Sale software packages offer LayBy (LayAway) facilities, few deliver flexibility which is vital in a retail situation. Ax retailers ourselves and having current experience with layBy, we have ensured that our software delivers retailer and shopper friendly facilities … delivering a classing win win.

We saw one software package recently where you had to tell the software that the customer wanted to Lay By an item before you started processing the sale.  This is poor design. using our software you can decide that it’s at layBy at any point in the sale processing.

Giving retailers the ability to set, manage and advise LayBy rules is another way retailers using our software can bring needed structure and certainty to the LayBy retail shopper offer.

Using our Point of Sale software package, retailers can process the sale as a Lay By at any point in managing the sale.  This delivers excellent flexibility to the retail associates, the business and, most important, the customers.


Pet Shop Software ready for Pet Expo

The Tower Systems Pet Shop Software is ready for display at the Pet Expo starting in Melbourne tomorrow. This national event is the premier event for the pet industry and tower systems is thrilled to be an important sponsor of and exhibitor at the event. We have created new collateral for the show, to present the very latest opportunities to pet retailers looking for smart POS software with which to run their businesses.


Gun shop software helps gun retailers manage licence requirements

The latest Tower Systems gun shop software has been enhanced to further assist with gun retailers meeting their obligations in terms of licence numbers and associated details. While our software has served in recording these details for some time, the latest enhancements are a further improvement based on in the field feedback.

With more gun retailers partnering with our gun shop software we are able to draw on a broader range of experiences with which to build even better software. The next software release, for example, will have more software enhancements that will be appreciated by professional gun retailers in Australia.

Core to our gun shop software and well-run gun retail businesses is adherence to regulation around the sale and care of guns. Our software plays a vital role in this area of gun shop management.


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