Wow, what a year 2014 has been!
In addition to welcoming many new customers, we have enjoyed serving all of our long-term friends. These include customers who have been with us since the 1980s when we first began in business.
A thrill of the year has been the excitement of our customers when they discover a facility in or a benefit from our software that genuinely helps them in their business. Their happiness brings delight to us, it reinforces the value of what we do.
In a practical sense, we have delivered major POS software updates this year, brought on support for new suppliers and strengthened connections between retailers and their suppliers.
We have, unfortunately, helped many retailers uncover and confront employee theft.
Our firsts of PayPal integration, Xero integration, new EDI facilities and more have given us pleasure – technology people love innovation.
We have also enjoyed another year of service from a wonderfully skilled and committed team of software developers, support personnel, admin folk and others who make up the Tower team.
More than ever, though, 2014 has been a year full of wonderful support and guidance from our 2,800+ retail business customers.
Happy New Year!
Tower Systems will have a delegation at the National retail federation annual conference and exhibition in New York in early January. Participation in the 2015 even will our our fifth year in a row.
Retail’s Big Show, as the conference and exhibition are dubbed, is the single most important event for US retailers large and small. There are many excellent workshops and training sessions, a large exhibition space and many networking opportunities.
We are grateful for the opportunity to participate such an important event for retailers and those who serve them. There will be more than 30,000 participants.
Retailers using our POS software can provide gift vouchers on the fly directly from the software or they can load value onto a professional card like major retailers use. Either approach to gift cards / vouchers works easily.
The photo shows four gift cards designed by our in house graphic design team. Each card in a run has a unique barcode to which funds can be loaded by customers.
Offering a gift card design and production service helps us provide a more complete one stop shop service to our customers. It saves retailers time and ensures they receive vouchers designed to work well with our Point of Sale software.
We have produced hundreds of cards for our retail partner customers.
Another of our customers called today with praise about our POS software knowledge base – they were able to answer their own questions when they thought they could not:
I had to call and say I could not believe how helpful your knowledge base was for me today. I’ve been a customer for eight years and didn’t realise how good this way. Thank you!
We were thrilled to receive a terrific email from a customer today tanking our team for help over the Christmas break with a problem that was hampering their enjoyment of our POS software:
Just wanted to say a big thank you for resolving our issues promptly during the christmas time
We are seeing more and more evidence of successful use of email campaigns by retailers in driving traffic and sales in their businesses.
Using our POS software, retailers are able to easily harvest shopper email addresses and to use this in targeted marketing based on shopper interest.
being able to select shoppers based on interests and habits allows for more personal communication and our experience is that personal communication sells – especially when initiated by small local businesses to their local comm8unity.
Providing retailers with personal marketing tools which feed into email and other tools is a terrific benefit from our POS software – and another way we are helping retailers grow their businesses.
Even though our office is closed for Christmas (until tomorrow) our wonderful and skilled after hours help desk team has been busy with calls and queries for retailers using our POS software.
The after hours team is backed up with senior management – we make sure that all key people in our business are accessible at any time as a key commitment of customer service.
Most questions have been about handling post-Christmas related use of the software such as discounting and seasonal product quitting.
We are happy to be of service at such a busy time.
With our help desk calls cleared and no new calls coming in, we have closed our help desk for the day and given the team an early afternoon.
But, hey, we are not really closed: all our after-hours numbers and our senior management escalation numbers are live for urgent calls.
Reminder: our team tested and loaded new stock files for for retailers using our POS software.
Here’s the breakfast we’re serving up at the head office of our POS software company this morning for those colleagues not taking a break today. From savoury to sweet it’s got everything you could want.
If you happen to call our help desk today and someone sounds a bit high, it’s most likely a sugar high combined with a double shot of Nespresso Ristretto – yeah, we see ourselves as George Clooney clones when it comes to coffee.
The team at Tower Systems has had a busy lead up to Christmas 2014 with new installations being completed even this week, new software plans being finalised and fresh training opportunities being workshopped and retail business help being dispensed in good measure.
There has been no slowing to our efforts for our independent and small business retailer customers as we serve their needs of today and plan for great things for tomorrow.
With many staff not on leave at the moment, we have taken the opportunity to make a series of moves that position us well for 2015. We’re excited this last day before Christmas.
Tower Systems has been on the front foot with a prepaid Visa vending issue. the Tower newsagency software itself is not the problem. No, the problem is out of the US business from where the prepaid Visa product is sourced. From what we understand any software vending product from the supplier has the problem.
A conference call with the US supplier has been organised for overnight tonight thanks to the Tower Systems engagement.
UPDATE: The problem is now resolved thanks to the US being alerted by us.
We’ve had plenty of POS software help desk calls this week from retailers asking questions about setting their businesses up to handle Boxing Day sales.
Using our software it’s easy and flexible to setup for handling special event sales – retailers have many options for sales from individual to price to volume and mix and match discounts – that run by date and by time. flexibility is discounting is important in retail today as retailers compete with each other – especially at these major sale times.
Our smart POS software makes managing discounting easy and secure for our partner businesses.
Here are our live help desk Christmas / New Year hours as announced to customers last week:
- Saturday support: This Saturday, December 20, will be our last until Saturday January 31 when it starts again. Our after hours numbers and emergency escalation numbers will be operating all through for urgent (system down) calls.
- We will be closed on: Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.
- Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, we will close at 1pm.
- New Year’s Eve, we will close at 4pm.
- Dec. 29, 30, 31 and Jan 2, our hours will be 7am through 5pm AEST.
- Jan. 5 – all back to normal.
These opening hours are based on call traffic in previous years.
We are publishing here for transparency and to ensure the widest possible circulation.
Collections come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and collectors, too, are a diverse group. Serving the collector is easier for a retailer thanks to the collector management facilities in the Tower Systems POS software.
Retailers selling to collectors are urged to use these tools to leverage collection knowledge and the drip feed release of new collection items. Tower Systems can help retailers in the collector space be more appealing to collectors.
We have been learning more about collectors in recent weeks as we have visited with a number of importers in the collector space to help build a better interface between them and their retail partners.
A week ago today we had a terrific company-wide Christmas party at the Royal Yarra boat shed on the banks of the Yarra in Melbourne.
We flew team members in from interstate for a sumptuous BBQ lunch before people kicked on to smaller group events around Melbourne.
It was a good weekend of catching up with friends and colleagues … celebrating Christmas.
It’s not all tech talk and business this time of the year in the head office of our POS software company. Being Christmas time, we enjoy more Christmas cheer at lunchtime and during breaks thanks to more diverse food choices including tasty mince pies.
The office is decorated too – bringing some festive colour into our workplace.
The photo shows some of the decorations at our reception desk.
So while we may be all business on the phone during calls, we’re chilling out and enjoying the Christmas season in between. We draw the line at singing Christmas carols though – no one wants to hear that.
Jewellers appreciate design and elegance and we deliver on both fronts through our jeweller software thanks to easily customisable receipts, invoices and other business documents.
Offering freedom over design, font selection and other options, we enable Jewellers to present their business as they choose in these everyday business documents.
The flexibility offered is a point of difference in our software which is already used by hundreds of jewellers.
Whereas some see the shopper receipt as a necessary business document, we see the shopper receipt differently: as a key branding message from any retailer, a platform through which you can speak to the shopper and entice them back into the business sooner.
Here is another video in our instruction series on how to use our POS software integrated PayPal payments platform in any retail store. Whole the video was created for newsagents, it relates to any retailer using our software.
We are grateful to PayPal for choosing to launch this partnership with us.
What we have done with PayPal in 2014 has provided us with a valuable point of difference.
Tower Systems has just installed its 100th Pet Shop software site in Australia, making it the most widely used pet shop software solution in the country.
Thanks to close work with pet retailers and pet shop suppliers, we continue to evolve our solution and its implementation to better serve this vital retail channel.
2014 has been a stellar year with plenty of new installation. Already, we have significant installation bookings for 2015 taking our Pet shop software into more independent pet retailers.
Early in the year there will be further innovation that will make our software even more valuable to pet retailers.
We sent this advice to our customers earlier today:
Tower Systems website hacked
A representative of CERT Australia, part of the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, contacted us this morning and advised that our website had been hacked. They discovered this on seeing some user and company data on a platform commonly used by hackers.
We have confirmed the authenticity of the data.
From what we understand, the information hacked is user email addresses and Tower website usernames. We do not store any customer financial records or banking information on our website.
Our website is hosted off site in a commercial server farm with a high level of security. The same server farm is used by RMIT, Fosters, kikki.k, Hallmark and Australia Post. That the hacker got into our website back end demonstrates a level of determination and skill.
The next time you log into our website you will be asked to change your password. Please log in and do this ASAP.
We have today made a number of back end changes to security. Plus we are working with the off-site server farm business.
It is possible that the main impact of the hack will be an increase of spam emails to you. We apologise for this.
For the record, I note that our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system in which all support call records are maintained is separate to our website and hosted out of the US. The hacker has not chested this site.
Also, to be certain, when you purchase items through our website, all payment details are handled directly by the ANZ with no payment data recorded or kept by us.
M | 0418 321 338
Chief Operating Officer
M | 0418 554 759
Update: we now know how our website and others were hacked. We have other evidence which will help the investigators of the crime.
POS software company Tower Systems is helping small business retailers with its brilliant PayPal integration.
Using this first to market opportunity, retailers can expect to find new shoppers thanks to the help of PayPal in unlocking access to more than 5.5 million PayPal users in Australia.
This is an excellent example of how a POS software company can help retailers grow their businesses by attracting new and valuable shoppers.
Tower Systems is grateful to PayPal for selecting them as a launch partner.
Small business retailers using our Tower Systems Point of Sale software have booked out our cash flow advice training workshop tomorrow. The final session of our live online training workshops for this year, it is a thrill to see so many business owners interested in freeing up cash so close to the Christmas season.
In each of the training sessions offered this year, our training team has focussed on topics that will immediately benefit small business retailers – helping them to leverage technology for better business outcomes.
That retailers happily book and participate is a thrill for us as it helps them get more from their software and that is the key goal of these FREE training sessions.
The comprehensive regular online training from Tower Systems is an appreciated point of difference offered by Tower. Customers benefit from learning and we benefit from active feedback in a group satiation where our users can talk with each other and we can learn. It’s proving to be a wonderful two-way resource in 2014.
reflecting on our live training workshops for 2014, we are pleased to have delivered on our promises and proven that our blog posts here about what we will do are acted on for the benefit of our customers.
Tower Systems has developed for small business retailers a FREE cloud based QR code accessible content hosting and shopper interaction platform.
QRKI offers excellent facilities for allowing in-store and out of store access to product videos, instruction files, competition entries and other information sharing and harvesting opportunities.
Free from Tower for any business, QR code is another example of Tower Systems helping small and independent retail businesses to use technology to compete.
We created QRki to help small businesses harness the opportunity of QR codes without needing to invest in software of their own.
We’ve kept the price low to make access affordable. It’s part of our commitment to small businesses and independent retailers. We’ve also enabled QRki for anyone to use – you don’t need to be a Tower Systems customer.
Developed in Australia but for use from anywhere in the world, QRki is another example of cloud based innovation for small businesses.
Share your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also speak direct with the owner of Tower Systems, Mark Fletcher, on 0418 321 338 (+61 418 321 338).
We hope your like QRki.