Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: August 2015 (page 1 of 2)

Kudos for Tower Systems POS software – Xero interface

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 5.01.22 pmRetail businesses connecting with the Xero cloud based accounting software through our POS software are growing in number as word spreads about the time saved as a result of the seamless link.

As users of Xero and our software in retail ourselves we are able to speak to the difference and share practical insights into the time saved and the mistakes eliminated through the elimination of what would otherwise be manual processes.

Being approved by Xero is not a simple process – as it should hot be. Their approval process is one reason some POS software companies don’t get to the point of partnership.

The Tower Systems POS software – Xero link has featured in a Xero approved promotion this month to retailers in the specialist retail channels in which we serve.


Sunday retail management advice: how to cut employee theft in retail

Employees can steal from retail businesses in a variety of ways. Often, such theft goes undetected because of poor or unmonitored business processes.

The best way to cut employee theft or fraud is to commit to a consistent approach to theft management:

  • Ask prospective employees if they object to a police check. Those with something to hide will let you know they have found a job elsewhere.
  • Implement zero tolerance for abuse of systems. For example, ensure that every item sold is scanned.
  • Implement zero tolerance for an end of shift discrepancy of, say, $5.00 or more. Once employees know you will be fierce about this sales will be more accurate.
  • Reduce manual eftpos transactions – connect your eftpos terminal to your point of sale.
  • Change responsibilities – sometimes changing who handles money can uncover fraudulent behavior.
  • Change your timing. Habits are what allow people to think they can get away with theft.
  • Modify your counter policies:
    • No refunds.
    • No credits without management approval.
    • No employee bags at the counter.
    • No jackets or cardigans with pockets.
    • No calculators with memories – I have seen these used to record how much cash in the register is theirs.
    • Track every sale by employees – using a card with an employee barcode and making it harder for an employee to use the system as someone else.
  • Track all cash movements from the sale through to your bank account. Many retailers do not do this and open themselves to blatant and regular theft. Employees do it because they know they can get away with it.

Cutting employee theft can be achieved with vigilance. A small time investment in developing and following processes will find you with more money in your bank account.


POS software for jewellers on show at Sydney International Jewellery Fair

11954615_10155941710050142_4235377724170455486_nTower Systems is thrilled for the opportunity to demonstrate its latest Jeweller management software at the Sydney International Jewellery Fair that starts today at Glebe Island.

Running for three days, this fair is the preeminent jeweller trade show in Australia.

Serving more than 300 jewellers already, Tower Systems is market leader in numbers. Thanks to continuous development and guidance from its customers, Tower will today and for the next three days show technical leadership with new facilities released including cloud based told that will help in Jeweller business management.

The photo shows our trade show stand – already setup and ready for the show opening at 9:30am today. The stand itself speaks to the professionalism and consistency we bring to our service of jewellers.

Our work with jewellers in developing our specialist jeweller software helps our other marketplaces as they do jewellers. Trade shows are important as they providing us opportunities to expand our knowledge as well as make new friends.


Helping newsagents navigate major IT changes

It has been a busy two months for small business newsagents as they navigate major IT changes driven by several of their key suppliers.

Tower Systems has been at the forefront of providing assistance by working with suppliers in advance of the release of their changes, ensuring supplier communication reflects the Tower best practice approach for newsagents using our newsagency software.

Back in our offices we have been providing front line support, taking hundreds of calls to ensure newsagents are able to deal with the supplier driven changes simply and with the best possible outcome.

All of this work has been done at no cost as part of our service to this small business channel.

The most complex of changes relate to structural changes in newspaper subscriptions as well as changes as to how data flows to and form newsagents.


Announcing the Tower Systems POS software user meeting tour

Tower Systems is thrilled to announce details of a national POS software user meeting tour in capital cities. We will be offering free training, insights into the latest released software and previews of what is coming. This will be an exciting interactive event where our customers will have access to senior management of our business.


Helping retailers manage cash flow with monthly support coverage

For many years Tower Systems have offered the option to its customers to pay for software support on a monthly basis. This offer continues today. We see it as respectful good customer service.

Our support fees are transparent with the same price for all customers using a software package. This transparency builds trust and trust is important to us.



New free small business POS software training opportunities launched by Tower Systems

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.14.43 amSmall business POS software company Tower Systems is proud to have launched a new series of free online POS software training for retailers using its specialist POS software.

The latest training continues our commitment free weekly training opportunities for small business retailers. It is actions speaking loader than words.

We launched the training early this week. We are writing about it here after the launch to our customers.

Anyone can announce training. It takes commitment to deliver it week in week out.

We are grateful to our customers for their support.


The human POS software help desk

We won a customer last week on the back of them calling our help desk and posing as a customer. They were thrilled a human answered the phone and wanted to hear from them about their query regarding our software. Their experience with another software company has been struggling with a computerised phone system to log a call and wait for someone to call back who runs through a script from which they cannot deviate to find out what the question is about.

We refuse to do this at Tower Systems.

Since retail is personal, so to should a retail software help desk experience be personal. We do this well and enjoy our personal contact with our customers.


Buy X get Y facility sets Tower POS software apart

The smart POS software from Tower Systems offers small business retailers choice when it comes to loyalty options. Our customers can choose from:

  1. Points accrual based on purchases.
  2. Linking to one of several external loyalty programs.
  3. Linking to FlyBys.
  4. Discount vouchers offering $$$ off next purchase Buy X get Y free.

Our customers can choose the loyalty options that best serve their needs. We do not presume to dictate which of the loyalty options is best as they all have a place.

That Tower Systems offers these options is of itself a point of difference for us.

We are grateful to our customers who have helped us finesse these loyalty facilities making them best practice and through this helping us win more business.


Helping small business retailers manage end of the day with POS software support

The Tower Systems POS software help desk is open to 6PM AEST with after hours coverage being 24/7 through our network of mobile phones. The office based help desk being fully staffed to 6pm enables us to help customers with any end of shift queries and we know from shopper feedback this service is appreciated.

Between 5pm and 6pm is when we get most queries about end of shift from queries from a new staff member through to backup queries if they have switched media or made some other change.

Being here to answer these queries is an important part of the service we provide our customers. It is a service they would not get from a remote overseas located help desk that is only accessible by email.

When it comes to help desk support, retailers get what they pay for. We are proud to provide the personal premium service our customers love.


Sunday retail management advice: track staff sales

Have your staff members record sales by using their staff card barcode or some other unique code and report weekly on the sales achieved. Sharing this simple data point will encourage competition and this is good for all involved in the business including customers.

In one business where we guided this implementation revenue growth can be tracked back to the implementation.

We’d love to help any retailer do this.


Changing our approach to advising new stock files

We no longer publish here new stock files available to customers. We have made this move for competitive reasons.

There are some files that give us a competitive advantage that is better protected by not publishing details here.

We publish to our customers details of new stock files via secure direct email communication that includes a link directly to each file tested and available online for our customers.

This change not only protect our IP it also helps our customers leverage their competitive advantage through their relationship with us.


Actions speak louder than words when it comes to POS software training options

Years ago we launched our weekly (FREE) online training workshops. We still run them today. They are popular.

We are proud we are able to continue to be true to this commitment, to demonstrate that we back our words with actions our POS software customers can trust.

POS software help desks come in for belting from some retailers. We ensure this is not us by providing access to a range of help desk and service touch points delivering personal in the moment service based on real conversations from customers to someone not following a script. This is also true for our workshops where we always offer a Q&A session at the end to encourage engagement.


Loving our POS software customers

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 8.07.12 amTower Systems is thrilled to be engaged with a range of our customers photographic them in their businesses and bringing to life their relationship with our software- in a way we and they can use.

Professionally photographed, the images reflect a pride in locally owned businesses. They also provide us an opportunity to connect ourselves back at the office with these businesses we serve.

The photos are part of a project within Tower Systems to shine a light on wonderful small business retailers.


Personal service a differentiating factor for Tower Systems POS software

Tower Systems is proud of the personal service it provides to small business retailers using its POS software.

Retailers engaging with the Tower Systems POS software can expect to increase sales, cut mistakes, save time and make fact-based business decisions – all thanks to high-level personal service provided by the company through its professional team.

Tower Systems has been in business since 1981. The software we sell today is fresh, designed for today’s needs. Use it and expect to reap rewards. We are a trusted Aussie success story working only with independent small business retailers, providing personal service you can trust.

When you call us you speak with a human, every time. We don’t hide behind a general email address or an overseas call centre. We don’t sell through agents. We make the software we sell. We are here to personally serve you.

Attention to personal service matters to small business retailers as it is through your personal service that you define your business.

We own retail shops ourselves where we use our software. We walk in your shoes.



Field training for new help desk hire

Travis, the new Tower Systems help desk team member next week passes through the next phase pf training with several days on site in the field installing a new system and providing training – under the guidance of our longest serving POS software trainer.

Our structured training process of new team members provides for far more experience than in-office training. The result is practice shop floor reference points in how to use the software.

This is a valuable point of difference at Tower Systems. Our help desk people do not follow scripts. Rather, they draw from experiences through which they can help customers not only with how to software queries but also the why.


Certification for POS software training achievement

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 8.00.46 amTower Systems is thrilled to issue certificates to retail business employees who complete the structured curriculum based training in the use of our POS software.

Across several curricula developed y retail channel and retail business task areas, the training offers an opportunity to develop valuable knowledge not only in the practical use of our software but also in the business application of the software.

POS software training achievement certificates give retail employees a marker of their learning achievement, something of which they can be proud.

The image is of a certificate issued last week to another successful candidate in a business using our pet shop software.


New videos reflect new POS software value

Tower Systems released more new training videos to retailers using its POS software this past week demonstrating its commitment to providing up to date video based training reflecting its up to date software.

The latest published video training is longer form videos, taking people deep into the discount voucher function from setup to use. It is perfect training for a retailer getting started with this powerful set of business growth tools.

Like all our videos, it is professionally produced with excellent representation of the software running live.

Retailers can judge a POS software company based on the content it publishes. Tower Systems through its regular public and private content refresh reflects modern software designed for retail today.

We think this is far more important than trotting out an old video from years ago as they are of historic value only and no reflection on the content we offer today.


Retailers love 7am access to the POS software help desk

Retailers using the Tower POS software love that they have office based help desk service from 7am AEST. Most early morning questions are more about training and business advice than your usual help desk calls. Being able to get these addressed early in the day helps with productivity with and enjoyment of the software.

The Tower help desk has opened at 7am AEST for many years. It’s a point of difference for us.

While our after hours service is 24/7, it is through an office-based help desk service where we have access to the full deck of services through which to answer questions, provide access to additional resources and log into client systems. It is the best platform for service.


Mobile POS software helps retailers on the shop floor

The shop floor is where the action is in retail and POS software company Tower Systems is there to help retailers serve customers and transact business where the customers are.

Using devices such as the Microsoft Surface and the ElitePad from HP, retailers have access to the full suite of tools through which to transact business whether it be arriving new stock, making sales or undertaking stock takes.

Getting retail employees from behind the counter and on to the shop floor brings them closer to customers and this helps drive sales. We see it every time our engagement with retailers in their businesses.

Retail employees getting from behind the counter and working the shop floor. Having software that is fully and easily accessible from the shop floor is the key to driving this.

As retailers ourselves here at Tower Systems we understand from our own experiences the value of shop floor engagement with shoppers and that the best way to achieve this is to be working naturally on everyday tasks on the shop floor.


Sunday retail management advice: leverage shop local

IMG_9093The shop local movement has a good profile. Locals do tend to prefer to shop local. Retailers need to actively and consistently leverage this through a regular reminder but such a reminder is hollow unless you offer local benefits such as community engagement, hiring locally and sourcing locally made products. Actively engaging in the business through locally focussed decisions helps any retailer bring power and strength to their calls for people to shop local.

This is our advice today – if you pitch shop local, live in in your shop every day and show you yourselves believe in it.

Tower Systems helps retailers actively pitch and live the shop local mantra through its POS software and through the business support the company provides in its training and on its website.


Our #smallbusiness #retail POS software by the numbers


Helping newsagents leverage the Ladbrokes opportunity

Tower Systems has been helping newsagents embrace the Ladbrokes opportunity in-store with support for facilitating a technology solution for selling recharge of Ladbrokes accounts.

While we do not have a commercial relationship with Ladbrokes or Blueshyft, the platform through which the Ladbrokes service is offered, we have been active in helping newsagents embrace the opportunity and undertake appropriate tracking through their Tower newsagency software.

Tower Systems actively supports newsagents across a range of new business growth opportunities.


Sydney power outage

Our Sydney office is in the middle of a region hit by power outage today. While the power company is working on this, all our NSW customers can call any other Tower office or email us and we’ll call right back. We did email this information to all customers earlier.


What is the cloud and does our POS software run in the cloud?

The cloud is a marketing term used by technology companies to describe the accessing of software through a browser in one location where the actual software and data are stored in another location.

The cloud is not new. The first versions of this were running in the 1970s in the early days of computing.

In a small business retail sense, there were retailers in the 1990s operating this way. Indeed, Tower Systems had customers as early 1999 running in the cloud.

While technology has refined, the principles have not.

On a server located away from your business runs your software with your data. From your retail location you access this through a web browser. Around ten years ago, in 2005, we ran four of our own shops in the cloud – none of the shops had our Retailer POS software or data on their computers. This was before the term cloud became a marketing term.

While the marketing of the cloud has been excellent, the business benefits have not been so great, especially for small business.

The cloud seems cheaper because there usually is no up front cost. Add up all costs over three years and a cloud based solution will in almost every case cost you more. This is not necessarily a bad thing. We mention it in case you prefer the cloud as a cost saving measure.

In terms of business commercial outcomes, a cloud based solution may not deliver you better business outcomes. Business outcomes depend on your engagement with the data collected and managed by your software. This is on you and has nothing to do with where your software and data are hosted.

You get out of your software what you put in and not because of how you access it.

To run in the cloud, you need a good and reliable host with quality data backup, speedy access and 24/7 support from your country of location. Too often this is not the case.

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