See awesome POS software in Hobart & Launceston.
We are hosting user meetings in Tasmania, showing the latest release of our POS software for: pet shops, gift shops, jewellers, bike retailers, garden centres, newsagents, toy shops, firearms retailers and produce stores.
Tower Systems currently serves more than 100 customers in Tasmania.
We invite you to come to the user meetings to see the software and ask questions about how it may serve their businesses. It’s free.
Retailers switching from one POS software program to another usually want to convert their business data. Rather than saying yes this can be done, our approach is to provide our customers with advice on what can be done and what cannot be done and to explain the processes and the whys.
WHY CONVERT DATA
Converting data from your current software eliminates the need to manually key data into the Tower software. The time saving is considerable. If the current data is good data, the value of bringing that across can be vital to any business.
UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS
Converted data is only as good as the source data.
In other words, if the data in your current system is of poor quality, the quality will not improve in the converted data – unless you clean up the current data prior to conversion.
Simply converting data does not make the data better data. Here is advice on cleaning up the data prior to conversion:
WHAT IS CONVERTED
What we convert depends on the software we are converting from. Some software is restrictive, to lock you into it while other software calculates data such as loyalty points live, rather than storing a number by customer.
Here is a list of what we most commonly bring across in a conversion:
WHAT IS NOT CONVERTED
Due to data complexities here is a list of data we do not convert. We developed this list to ensure we provide to you the best converted data outcome:
A PRE-CONVERSION CHECK
The best way to be prepared for and certain about a conversion is a pre-conversion check. To do this we would need full access to your data well before the installation. This check will help us see any issues and either resolve them or raise them with you prior to the actual conversion. This check is done at our head office by a senior member of our team.
We will advise you of any issues we encounter during the per conversion check.
THE CONVERSION PROCESS
This is done either on site or at our office during or immediately prior to the installation process as it must be done using up to date data as you switch from one system to another.
The conversion is at a moment in time. In other words, you cannot flip from system to system if you want to have accurate data. Once converted, you are on the new system.
Conversions can take considerable time, overnight, or even longer than a day, depending on the amount of data to convert. Therefore, we encourage you to clean up your data prior to the conversion.
WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: THE HAND OVER OF CONVERTED DATA
Once the conversion is done and you are advised it is complete it will be important you check the converted data. Check customers, balances, points and other data to ensure you are confident the data you need has been converted.
We say we don’t know what we don’t know as it is true. You know your data better than us, you are better positioned to see mistakes we might otherwise miss – hence our reliance on you checking the converted data.
Once you have the converted data in our software and are happy with it, you will be advised to run a go live. This sees you enter up-to-date account balances. No line items are entered, only the balance.
It is important we know if you want data converted when you order your system from us. We are unable to do the work if it is requested during the installation as we have allocated time for the installation and training only, not for conversion.
If your year-on-year sales are not down in your retail business, this advice is not for you.
If your year-on-year sales are down, something must change if you want to turn the situation around, please read on.
Sometimes, when we are asked by retailers how to deal with a year on year sales decline, our suggestions are not taken up and the business keeps doing what it was doing. In doing this, the declining trend will continue.
We appreciate it can be challenging looking outside of the fog of declining sales and worsening business performance numbers. However, if you cannot reach out beyond this fog the survival of the business is at risk.
Here is the most important statement relating to our advice:
If you keep doing what you have been doing, the sales results in your business will be what they have been, the trend is unlikely to change.
It would be a mistake to think that external factors are the sole reason your sales are down.
So, change is necessary – change in what you sell, how you merchandise and how you promote.
It is only from change that the sales decline could be arrested and reversed.
Our advice is to look for u-turn or right turn opportunities, changes you can implement to divert you from your current path.
Suggesting such changes is something we can do through looking at your business performance data for you. Ask us to challenge you. We will first ask to see your year on year data at a detailed level as this will reveal the truth of the situation and from there we can develop change suggestions for your consideration.
Why ask a POS software company? We see data from many different businesses. That perspective can help. We are retailers too and have been for decades. That provides a body of experiences on which we can draw in considering advice we can provide. We will gladly leverage our experiences to help in any situation.
We don’t have all the answers, we will even suggest ideas we later discover are mistakes. However, doing what you have been doing in a situation of declining sales is a bigger mistake.
Can we help?
Age restricted products are a risk for small business retailers in that regulations are tight and penalties for selling to underage shoppers considerable, including the potential loss of right to sell age restricted products.
While it may sound simple to say that this product or that product cannot be sold to someone below a certain age, without the right forced checks and balances mistakenly doing just that is relatively easy.
Our advice to small business retailers selling age restricted products is that they implement appropriate barrier checks and balanced in their POS software to ensure that their age restricted product approach is best practice.
Use your POS software to fore an age check on every purchase. This shows the business having zero tolerance for avoiding the age check. Regularly remind staff about this. Do these things and any violation the retail sales person deliberately violating business policy and defrauding the business in their use of the age check facilities in the POS software.
These steps can help should the business be caught serving an underage customer. You can prove the processes were black and white and that the server needed to lie to the ach check barrier in the POS software for the transaction to proceed.
Retailers can decide for themselves which products have age check and which do not. This should be reviewed regularly to ensure it is up to date, to ensure that the right checks and balances are in place to show the business is meeting all regulatory age check obligations.
Get your age check processes right from the outset and you can layer the business with a level of protection that is vital. For sure, there is an operational delay in selling age restricted products, but this is minor when you consider the cost to the business of being caught breaking the law in this space.
Our advice to retailers is that they use the age restriction facilities in their POS software to ensure that they get it right, every time.
In our work, we deal with the issues of age restricted products in a range of retail channels including: newsagencies, firearms retail, produce stores and adult stores. In each case, there are different regulations and requirements to handle.
Another of our customers had their business severely impacted last week with their new National Broadband Network (NBN) connection taking almost the whole week to get up and running.
You would think this would be okay, that they could use their old non NBN internet connection until the NBN was up and running. That smart approach was not the approach those providing their NBN connection facilitated.
At the start of the week their service provider disconnected their internet access as the NBN was about to be turned on. Five days later, after many phone calls and extraordinary business disruption, the NBN was on.
There was no apology, no compensation, no empathy.
This small business was hit hard by not having internet access. They had to spend money on temporary arrangements, which were mediocre at best. Given their location that not only cost money, it also cost time to organise.
The poor handling of the NBN roll out was caused by the Internet Service Provider of the small business. This is where the poor customer experience occurred with them disconnecting internet access prior turning NBN on and then compounding the problem with poor, almost non-existent, customer service.
There were products the business could not sell over the counter, payments they could not take, services they could not provide. Yet their ISP did not help. The biggest challenge was with cash as this business relied on close to half all transactions being cashless and they lost that, without warning, when their ISP cut them off without warning because of the imminent NBN switch over. The agreed plan was switch one off and switch one on. The operational people at the ISP were not told of the agreed plan and once they switched internet access off it appeared to be too hard to switch back on.
We helped where we could with options on lodging a complaint against their ISP and with alternative access options they could acquire. But none of this should have been necessary. Their ISP, which claims to support small local businesses, should have had the entire matter in hand.
While there is a quality issue with the current version of the NBN roll out in our opinion, there is this other problem of poor ISP management of business cut over from existing internet access to NBN access. It should be easy, well managed with easy access contact points in the event of any issue.
Internet access is vitally important infrastructure in small business retail today. This switching over to NBN must be better, faster, for small business retail.
More Australian banks are pulling out of country towns, leaving local businesses and individuals without any over the counter bank services.
In one situation last week, a regional town with a population of 2,000 saw its last bank brand close, leaving locals a forty-five-minute drive to the nearest bank. This means local businesses have a round trip of ninety minutes just to bank business takings, increasing business costs by hundreds of dollars a week as banking, which used to be done locally daily, now must be done three times a week resulting in four and a half hours in the can and at least another hour and a half parking, waiting and more.
It impacts on how a business operates.
While some businesses can operate by promoting cashless trading, in regional and rural towns with an older demographic, cash is preferred.
In not banking every day, small business retailers carry more cash on their premises. This increases the risk of theft. Insurance company representatives have said this could result in higher premiums. The costs resulting from banks reducing their level of customer service cascade, hurting further these vulnerable local businesses that matter to their small local communities.
With more than half of our small business POS software customers in regional and rural Australia, matters such as the closure of local bank branches and agencies matters to us, because it matters to our customers. It is possible that a local bank closure is enough to tip a local business owner to closing their business. The knock-on effect on local jobs, local suppliers and out of town suppliers like us would be noticed.
We think there is a role for government here to offer an operating cost subsidy to banks that maintain regional and rural banks in towns with a lower than agreed population threshold. We think such a policy would not only help small businesses like our clients, it would improve the appeal of the town for new residents as well as improving security for those who use the bank.
Locally owned small business retail is vital in any situation, but more so in regional and rural towns. The retreat by banks is an operational challenge that disadvantages regional and rural Australia and this is bad for the economy.
Tower Systems actively supports calls by small business retailers for government action to provide support for local banking services.
Here is a question we are often asked by retailers:
In a cloud environment what happens when the Internet is unavailable? The offering is for an external cloud provider, can we leverage our own cloud provider? How are hosting charges calculated, i.e. data storage charges?
Here is our answer:
Our POS software system is very configurable. Users have the ability, if they wish, to run without being hosted. This solves any Internet stability questions, particularly for rural/regional Australian where this may be an issue.
The other challenge with cloud is the costs. Our experience is some small business owners are not happy with the monthly hosting cost for a cloud service. However, the customer can choose the approach that is best for their specific circumstances.
These are the reasons we have configured our software to suit whatever situation a customer prefers.
Alternatively, if users want, we can host the system in the cloud, 100% in the cloud. This can be hosted on our secure dedicated infrastructure (additional costs will apply) or on infrastructure of their choosing. We will provide guidance on the configuration so the ideal environment is created.
If hosted on our infrastructure customers are charged on a per user per month basis.
If the user runs in a hosted environment and the internet drops out the user can switch to a facility we call Outpost Mode. OUTPOST mode allows for basic trading, scanning sales, until such time as Internet access is restored.
The level of software access in the event of internet access being down, blocked or otherwise hampered does depend on choices made by the customer. Our customers can be secure in the knowledge that we support multiple choices, we make it easy for them transact if that is the core goal of their business.
Can you continue to trade if the internet is down? Yes!
Crucially, we can train our customers on how to be ready for this in advance of any problem occurring. This is important since customers might otherwise scrambling too get up and running in the middle of a problem could be too disruptive for the business,
Planning ahead of any incident or disaster is important in our view.
Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce are the best e-commerce platforms in the world today for small business retailers. They are well established, regularly enhanced and POS software commented.
Small business retailers don’t need to consider e-commerce platforms outside of Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce
We say this based on years of experience working with e-commerce platforms and deep experience connecting our POS software with e-commerce platforms.
The question is, which of Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce is better? Which should a retail business choose.
The answer depends on what a retail business wants to do with their site.
Here at Tower Systems we agnostic about the choice as we partner and work with all three, linking them seamlessly to our POS software.
We guide our customers who ask for help based on their answers to a structured series of questions about what they want to get out of a website along with their other business needs. Their responses to our questionnaire help guide our suggestion as to the best e-commerce platform for them.
Any of Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce could be ideal. It is unlikely a platform outside of these three would be recommended as it would mean they are not in the best-practice mix. These three are classed as the best POS software connected e-commerce platforms for good reason.
The platforms are different in terms of the data structure depth they support as well as multiple store connectivity they support. They also differ in terms of design flexibility. These are all important factors that need to be considered when determining mining the e-commerce platform for yo0ur business.
A web developer will push you to the platform they like. Some POS software companies only link to one platform and they are likely to push you ton that.
While we have direct and personal experience with Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce, our generic e-commerce link links with any website, so we really don’t mind what retailers using our POS software choose. This is why we say we are agnostic. It is only if a customer wants us to develop a site that we focus on the top three in there world: Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce.
I am frustrated with the world is ending type reporting relating to the arrival in Australia of Amazon. Most stories are not reporting. Rather, they are speculation. I even wonder if they reflect a wish. Unfortunately, the wrong people are quoted, like the ever-shrill Gerry Harvey.
I hopped into the studio last week and shot this video to provide some perspective on the arrival of Amazon and to share some thoughts that I hope are useful to small business retailers in Australia.
Here at Tower Systems we are grateful for the opportunity its to connect a growing list of Xero skilled accountants and bookkeepers with small businesses using our POS software and especially the POS software Xero link we offer.
We work closely with accountants and bookkeepers to help them better serve their customers. Having a CPA within our company as our CFO helps us provide a level of skill and attention in this area that is not commonly found in POS software companies.
That we use the Xero link to our POS software ourselves in ur own retail businesses also helps. In fact, that is an important differentiator tailor for us, k one we are proud of. Since February 1996 we have owned and operated retail businesses.
We connect small business retailers and Xero skilled accountants and bookkeepers through our participation in Xero events such as the recent Xerocon in Melbourne as well as other events we can access as a Xero partner.
We provide support for Xero skilled accountants and bookkeepers who have clients using our software. Our support for them helps them support their customers. We are grateful to be asked to do this.
We also provide training opportunities cities for Xero skilled accountants and bookkeepers so their skill with our POS software and the POS software Xero link is best-practice.
All of this combines to provide better service to small business retailers who use Xero and that is good for their business and all who rely on their business.
We are glad to help.
Xero is a pleasure to use. We say this as happy Xero users ourselves.
TO ACCOUNTANTS AND BOOKKEEPERS:
We list Accountants and Bookkeepers on our website.
To be included without obligation or cost, please email your details. We want to help retailers find Xero skilled accountants. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your firm name, your name, email, mobile and website URL.
If you have any clients in a retail business in any of the specialty channels in which we serve, we invite you to reach out to one of our sales team. They can arrange to meet with you and your client(s) to learn about the local business needs and see if our software is a match for them.
Retailers who partner with our small business focussed POS software company can rely in us for more than terrific POS software. Every day we offer business help, advice and support, beyond the software itself but using the software as a mechanism for help.
Many calls to our management and help desk team are from business owners not knowing where to turn. We help where we can, based on our experiences, but without providing advice that we are not qualified to provide.
Since we own and operate retail businesses and have done since February 1996 we can draw on considerable experiences when helping our customers.
Like any small business owner, we like to help our friends and we see any small business retailer as a friend.
There are people we help who do not even use our POS software. That is not a requirement at all. Our support is for small business owners and their businesses first. Getting a sale of our POS software is secondary.
The advice and support we can be called on to assist with includes these areas:
There are many areas where we help and discuss beyond these listed here. This list offers a flavour of the types of areas we are asked to provide advice or a comforting ear on. Often, we are able to drawn on our own personal experiences and small business retailers like that.
We are grateful for the trust our c customers show in seeking our advice or listening ear when they have concerns. We do our best, and if we are unable to speak with confidence on a query, we try and point them in a direction of someone who can.
This is all part of the Tower Systems service and assistance to small business retailers. We saw we’re here to help and try hard to live up to that.
Choosing what goes into each update of our small business POS software is a transparent and democratic process at Tower Systems.
We understand that good software needs to evolve as the needs of the retail channel in which it serves evolve.
This is why retailers need to look beyond what software does today and understand what they may need tomorrow. The commitment of their software provider to providing access to software enhancements is key as is their commitment to a structured process for considering and deciding on user suggested software enhancements.
It can be hard to choose a software company based on what they may do in the future as any sales person could make a promise knowing that fulfilment of the promise lies elsewhere in the company.
Here at Tower Systems we promise our POS software customers continuous evolution and improvement of our small business POS software.
Our customers can submit change suggestions.
Our customers can vote on submitted change suggestions.
The more votes, the more attention given a suggestion.
While we ourselves bump suggestions to the top of the list based on how amazing and valuable they are, others we like to see what our customers think.
We take this open and transparent approach to POS software enhancement suggestions to show our customers their active engagement with the direction of the software.
Our approach is unique in that it is highly engaged and inclusive with and for the custoemrs who like that.
The whole POS Software Ideas process is open for even those considering purchasing our software to see. While this gives our competitors a free-kick, we are confident enough of our processes and commitment to leave it as transparent.
We launched shed Software Ideas years ago. None of our vertical market competitors has anything similar. It is a genuine point of difference for us and we like that.
If you are considering POS software for your specialty retail business, make sure that the software company y you are considering will deliver access to relevant software into the future and not just today. Your software company relationship will be long-term. That is why engagement matters.
Mark Fletcher is the owner of Tower Systems. His mobile phone number is 0418 321 338. His email address is email@example.com. This information is on our website and almost every piece of company literature from our weekly customer email to our print newsletter to marketing literature.
It is rare for a POS software company Managing Director to be so accessible to customers and prospective customers.
We think such accessibility is important as it speaks to trust in the company, its products and its customer service. It shows the Managing Director as having such faith in the business that they are happy for people to know how to reach them directly.
To small business POS software businesses that do not publish this information, that do not make it readily available, we would say what are you afraid of? Why not let people get straight to the top?
A common contact with Mark is from customers who ring or email to say they are happy with an enhancement in the software or to compliment a team member for a service they have provided. Being accessible for this type of contact is as important as being accessible for people who would like to complain about a poor service experience.
Tower Systems is a business about people, small business people. Personal service matters in small business retail as much as it matters in a small business POS software company. It matters a lot. Therefore, we trust the process and gladly share the direct contact details of our Managing Director.
Mark’s background is diverse, meaning he can speak to a range of topics from retail strategy to retail business management to software design to actual use of our POS software. Most weeks he has time behind the counter in one or more of the retail businesses owned by Tower where he gets hands on with the software and with in-store customers. This personal engagement with the software in a regular basis provides personal experiences that not only inform the direction of the software, they also inform the services provided by the company and provide context for some direct contact with customers.
Here at Tower Systems we believe in making things easy for our customers.
This is why we do not use a computerised phone system with a menu a caller must navigate to get to the place in the company they want to contact.
It is also why we show our customers the people they can speak with. Real names with real photos and real contact details.
It is why we support multiple contact points such as phone, mobile phone, email, direct to our website queries, online chat, a private Facebook group, local user meetings, trade shows and more.
Yes, contacting us is easy. It is also a differentiator for us, one we are proud to support and grow.
In addition to the easy contact points we offer our customers, we support this with a structured escalation process, to provide small business retailers with escalation points on which they can rely to take any issue, concern or dispute further. These structured layers provide peace of mind to our customers and to our team members as there is knowledge that a door is never closed and that there is always an ear to listen and help.
While phone calls to our help desk are the most common method of contact with us, we are equally accessible by email, Facebook and elsewhere. We make sure we are where our customers want us to be. This is what we think good customer service is about – being accessible.
The priority service we provide our customers enables them to determine the importance of their contact with us. In setting their contact priority, they determine the speed of response they want. This is a form of self-triage for our customers. The result is greater focus on delivering to the service levels we publish.
We do not understand why POS software companies require customers to only email them with support queries. Often a query starts with a conversation. As the conversation evolves, the actual query emerges. This is important because sometimes small business POS software users don’t know what they don’t know, they are unable to ask a question that may be relevant. This is where early human to human interaction on the POS software help desk is vital.
One day to go and we’re excited. Our POS software is set to show off at The Retail Quarter in Sydney, from tomorrow.
Let us show you new software and websites for: gift shops, jewellers, bike shops, toy shops, fishing/outdoors businesses, garden centres/nurseries, pet shops, produce stores, firearms businesses and newsagents.
The integration between the Tower Systems small business POS software and Xero cloud based accounting software is helping more and more small business retailers to …
Xero does not connect to all POS software. Qs the premier small business account ting software in the world it is selective.
Tower Systems is proud to be a Xero partner and proud to deliver a quality Xero integration between our POS software and Xero. It is an integration we use ourselves in our own retail businesses.’
In addition to the Xero integration, Tower Systems POS software integrates with Shopify, magento and WooCommerce – the three leading e-commerce platforms in the world. The web development team at Tower has enhanced these to offer a multi-store solution whereby independent retailers can trade under a single branded website rather than needing their own website.
The Xero integration is the back-office piece where real labour costs are reduced. We only sell to independent small business retailers in selected retail niches such as bike shops, jewellers and garden centres. Having the xero integration is vital as they are all competing with big business and every saving, no matter how small, is loved.
Following Xerocon in Melbourne last week, we are set to bring our POS software to more small business retailers.
Here at Tower Systems we believe in small business and we believe in small business retailers. We love helping them become powerful … through easy access to good business data. We love helping foster superheroes.
What a terrific conference Xerocon was. Awesome presentations about Xero. Wonderful people asking about our POS software. New friends. New clients. 100% professional. Glad to be among the best of the best with it comes to Xero.
Plenty of fun.
Tower Systems is delivering more Shopify connected POS software solutions to small business retailers keen for beautiful websites connected to professional.
We have plenty of POS software integrated websites we can show off, demonstrating a broad range of design and integration capabilities.
Our Shopify connected POS software solution is powerful and professional. It is direct, too, not through a third party tool.
We are looking the Xerocon conference, which starts today in Melbourne. It will be terrific to see not only Xero users and accountants but the other select few software companies approved by Xero. Here is part of what we offer in our direct POS software Xero link:
Tower Systems will be featured at Xerocon, the international Xero users conference, this week in Melbourne.
We are grateful to Xero for the opportunity to participate.
The POS software Xero link is important to our small business retail customers. Using this link, our customers are able to save time, cut mistakes and streamline business operations.
This is a direct link, not through a third party. This saves money and time. It also ensures that ti is easier for questions to be resolved about data flow and similar topics.
We back the Xero link with Xero skilled folks on our help desk. We can help small business retailers, bookkeepers as well as accounts with questions on the POS software / Xero integration. This is important as it shows the help desk service as going beyond what is usual for POS software help desks.
Xero is selective as to the software companies it approves. It is good to ask a POS software company if their link is direct or through anther party.
The Xero integration designed by Tower Systems, working with the folks at Xero, makes it easy for small business retailers to cut accounting paperwork and thereby tap into time and money saving benefits.
We use our Xero integrated POS software ourselves. This enables us to provide practical advice on how to benefit the most from Xero and our POS software working together.
Our customers have access to our in-house CPA, to provide a professional accounting perspective on the link and how to get the most from it.
Tower Systems is a unique POS software company. In addition to serving 3,500+ small business retailers, we own and operate several retail businesses as live test sites. Our in-house CPA manages the accounts for these retail businesses.
Connecting to Xero can help a small business eliminate the need for a bookkeeper and shift out of business accounting functions to the end of the year. W have seen businesses cut $5,000 form their operating costs by implementing the Xero link. This saving and more can be significant for a retail business.
If you are a Xero user and plan to be at Xerocon this week, check us out. We are thrilled to be part of this event.
Tower Systems is an Australia based POS software company with thousands of customers in a range of retail niches: gift shops, jewellers, bike shops, pet shops, toy shops, fishing/outdoors, garden centres/nurseries, newsagents, produce stores and firearms retailers.
We could add many more reasons. This list is a start. As our motto says: we’re here to help.