Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Category: pos solutions (page 1 of 3)

The POS system helping small business retailers through corona

There was a time when talking about a POS system was enough to put someone to sleep. It was a snooze that only techies and their ilk would talk about. Now, in this corona world, the POS system has come into its own. It is central to any business that is trading well through corona.

A good POS system is a system in the true sense of the word. It is more than software, more than most would expect. It is a system for doing business, and in this corona world it is a system for doing business in-store on the high street as well as online. It is holistic in approach … this is in the form of the software, training, advice, processes and more packaged by the supplier to help small business retailers leverage the POS system to full advantage.

So, a good POS system is a good whole of business solution. It is about more than learning which button to push to do what. It is about learning the systems and processes to facilitate maximum benefit of the POS system for the retail business.

Here at Tower Systems, see the system in our name, we are focussed on delivering a systematic solution. Our approach is whole of business from in-store to online, from sales counter to back office, from the register to the supplier relationships, from product to how the products are used by customers.

We understand the value of systems and have embedded in our software, our training, our support and our additional materials information that is all about the system, the POS software, in service of successful, enjoyable and efficient retail business.

In the corona world of 2020, our POS system is helping retailers by supporting contactless retail, easy curbside pickup, more efficient home delivery, easy integration with Shopify and Magento for online sale, easy links to accounting software and suppliers to reduce even digital contact points.

And, like any good system, a good POS system evolves to the needs of the marketplace, it evolves to better serve as the needs themselves evolve. This is critical, that your POS system evolves with needs as they do evolve.

Seeing POS software as being about more than the software itself is a good and helpful thing.

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What is a Point of Sale system?

What is a Point of Sale system? This is a good question that many specialty retailers ask. Often, they know they want to improve the operation of their business, transact safely and to connect with others platforms such as MYOB and Xero.

The thing is, a Point of Sale system, POS software, Point of Sale software, a POS system, a Point of Sale solution or a POS solution are all the same thing, a solution, system, software package that serve the data and operational management needs of a retail business.

Yes, a Point of Sale system is the same as these other buzzwords, the same as POS software, Point of Sale software, a POS solution and the like. They are all the same in business goal. These solutions serve the business need, through software, running often time on specialist hardware, to help the businesses run more successfully, efficiently and with fewer mistakes.

So why can it be called a Point of Sale system? That’s because way back when software was called a system. So, the term harks back to older times when terms were more about the technology.

The reality is that a Point of Sale system is a solution to needs in a retail business, especially a small retail business where there is limited time to run the business. the right software, system or solution will help the business run competitively and efficiently so that the business can thrive and serve the local community as well as online shoppers buy connecting to online selling platforms such as Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce – the best e-commerce platforms in the world.

The Tower Systems Point of Sale system, software, solution, is all of this – tailored to the needs of specialty retailers, connected to Xero and MYOB, integrated with Shopify, Magento and Woo Commerce. These and other integrations and connections offer solutions to Tower Systems retailer customers that help underscore successful business operation, they sit at the heat of business growth opportunities.

So, while the term system can sound old school, the solutions delivered are current and relevant to the future of engaged small business retailers.

With a future in physical retail as well as online, having a software system that is flexible yet specialty focussed is key to the business being able to deliver on the deals and hopes of the owners.

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Small business retailers love our cloud based POS software

Here are some questions we are often asked about cloud based POS software. Below each is our answer.

Does your POS software run in the cloud?

Yes.

Is your POS software cloud based?

Yes.

I read that your POS software runs in the clouds. can I run it on the desktop?

Yes.

How can your POS software be cloud based and run in the desktop?

We designed it for both. You choose what is right for your needs.

I have your software on my desktop. can I switch to the cloud?

Yes.

I want to run your software in the cloud but on my own server. can I do that?

Yes.

How long has your POS software run in the cloud?

For many years. We setup our first hosted cloud based POS software more than ten years ago.

We share these answers here for the record, to ensure that our answers are on the record.

Our POS software can run on the desktop or in the cloud. Our small business retail customers choose where and how they host the use of our software. We believe in choice and that is what we offer.

We have many customers running in the cloud. Some run on servers they organise while others use the secure server farms we provide access to.

Retailers who want a 100% cloud hosted POS solution that is fully maintained for them can find satisfaction with our tower systems POS software solution.

Using a Tower hosted cloud based POS software solution means that our customers have automatic, safe and secure perpetual backup,  up to date software, access from anywhere and security with state of the art security measures in please protecting vital business data.

The Tower Systems cloud based POS software solution is supported by one of the most respected server farm operations in the country, ensuring strong protection and fast access for small business retailers of a level and power that is what big businesses expect.

Our approach to cloud based POS software offers our indie small business retailers security, certainty and competitive focus in a competitive retail environment.

If you want to run our POS software in the cloud, the answer is yes – through us or on another server you prefer. The choices are 100% yours to make. We will support you as much as you want.

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Avoid POS software confusion, Tower Systems is not POS Solutions

When you do a Google search for our company, Tower Systems, POS Solutions comes up high in the results. This is unfortunate as it misrepresents our company.

We have nothing to do with POS Solutions. They are a different company with different owners, thankfully, in our opinion.

Tower Systems has a proud tradition of serving small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand with awesome POS software that we have 100% developed. yes, this is local POS software for local retail business needs.

Our support is local too. The support is provided by humans working in our Melbourne head office, in the inner suburb of Hawthorn. You can come visit us and see for yourself the wonderful team we have here providing human based support for small business retailers.

We are proud of our software and our support and grateful that is is very different to what POS Solutions sells. This is why we say be careful when you do a Google search for us and see POS Solutions in the result. They are not us.

Our POS software serves a bunch of different retail businesses. We have different versions for each type of retail business. We dive deep into the needs of each retail business as we try and make sure that our specialty software is genuinely special for the needs of our customers.

Here are some of the things that matter to us and through which we serve the needs of our customers:

  1. Our software continues to evolve. We release two to three major updates each year. You choose when to load them. Each update is thoroughly tested in a comprehensive beta program.
  2. We own retail businesses. Yes, we walk in your shoes.
  3. No locked-in support fee. Taking up support coverage once the three-year period ends is optional.
  4. Lower support costs. Also, transparent. No mates’ rates for a select few.
  5. Fast support. Most calls are handled when you call. If not, we call back.
  6. Transparency. At any time, you can see live how many help desk calls we are working on and how many we have closed that day.
  7. Support escalation. We have a structured escalation process should you be unhappy with a support call.
  8. Easy management access. The leadership team of Tower Systems is available to you. We take customer service seriously and personally.
  9. Updates when you You are in control of when you load updates.
  10. You are listened to. We offer the only transparent, user driven, software enhancement suggestion service. All our customers are listened to.
  11. Free training. Long after you install our software you have access to free personal training to refresh knowledge or cover new facilities.
  12. More integrations. Our direct links to Xero, Magento, Shopify and more mean you have more direct link options to help you grow your business.
  13. Business management insights. We can look at your business performance data and provide a personal analysis of what we see
  14. Owner access. Call Tower owner, Mark Fletcher, on 0418 321 338 or email mark@towersystems.com.au.
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POS Solutions is spending money to get the attention of potential Tower Systems customers

When you go into Google and search for Tower Systems, here is what comes up:

A small competitor of ours, POS Solutions, is paying Google to have their ad placed in the search results when people search for us. You can tell it is a paid ad because of the AD box next to their listing. Each time someone clicks on the ad, it costs POS Solutions money.

This year we have switched plenty more customers from POS Solutions to us.

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TOWER SYSTEMS HELPS SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS WITH LEASE NEGOTIATIONS

Outside of the usual POS software help desk support, Tower Systems helps small business retailers navigate lease negotiations by providing accurate sales and traffic data that can help landlords approach negotiations more fairly.

Serving many retailers in many lease situations, we are able to drawn on excellent experience and through this help retailers approach the challenges with care and a broader view than is often the case. This helps the retailers to look at lease negotiation and renewal from a broader perspective.

The work we do in this area is pro-bono, another service we offer small business retailers to help them run businesses with greater financial viability.

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Is POS Solutions following us?

We posted this at 6:20am yesterday: http://blog.towersystems.com.au/2015/12/29/massive-fail-in-pos-software-loyalty-offering/ POS posted this at 4:25pm yesterday: http://www.possolutions.com.au/blog/so-why-settle-for-good-when-better-is-available

We think it is funny when we see them write about what we write about here first.

Good software comes from genuine innovation not inly in the software but the agenda-setting through commentary about the software.

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Comparing discount vouchers from POS software companies

We know the discount vouchers generated by our POS software work well based on feedback from hundreds of retailers using them. We know they drive traffic, revenue and profit. We know they fund themselves. You can see the benefits in the P&L.

One competitor, POS Solutions, has on their company blog published extensively criticising discount vouchers. Having now compared their facility to ours we can understand why.

The Tower Systems discount voucher facility is completely different to the POS Solutions discount voucher facility. We have counted twenty key differences between our facility and the facility POS has. This comparison was undertaken on documentation POS published on their blog recently. Their settings documentation enabled us to compare facility for facility.

The twenty differences demonstrate greater flexibility and power in the Tower discount vouchers facilities. This could be why our customers love them and why we are able to leverage discount vouchers for profit in our own retail businesses and why POS Solutions talks discount vouchers down.

Our opinion is we would talk the facility down too if we only had access to the settings POS has documented.

There are some similarities – in six areas. 23% of the available comparison points. While the two software companies call their facilities discount vouchers, they are clearly not the same thing.

UPDATE (8pm 27/4): We note POS Solutions ‘responded’ today – but what they wrote is not really response. They use obscure and unrelated quotes from others and say nothing about the specific comparison we have made what what is in the document they published about their own software and what we know is in our software. That they have responded as they have indicates they have no response other than to try and divert attention from the difference in response retailers get from their software versus ours. Retailers love our discount voucher facilities and the outcomes they achieve.

They have reproduced a screenshot from our software and used it incorrectly and inaccurately. Their time would be better spent serving their customers with better software.

UPDATE: (10:30pm 28/4): Garth Brennan a POS employee has commented on their blog saying we don;t detail the 20 differences. We have learnt our lesson of not being specific about differences between our software and POS – so as to not show them what to fix. The document we used was a comprehensive document by POS detailing how to use their software and all of the settings opportunities in their software.

The Director of POS talks down discount vouchers as not being viable, to working. What that may be the case for his software, it is not the case for us. The evidence of success is strong despite their wishes that it would be otherwise.

UPDATE: (7:05pm 30/4): Garth Brennan now says their comparison was about the cost of our voucher program. It cannot be as they have no idea of the cost. They claim there is a cost of 4.6% The problem is they are making assumptions on how their system works. Our cost is considerably less as retailers using the facility know. Their system is not our system thankfully. This is why so many customers love our system. Bernard Zimmermann the support director of POS weighs in too trying to walk back his own document we compared with. We took the document he made public and compared with the equivalent document for our software. Each document outlines the settings available. This is where the differences emerge. POS users wanting to use a successful discount voucher program are discovering this for themselves. I think this is what is driving their comments about this post.

We understand POS wants to talk discount vouchers down. We suspect we would if our software had only their settings.

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POS software on show at 2015 Melbourne Toy Fair

toyThe Tower Systems stand at the 2015 Melbourne toy Fair has been a hit this first day of the fair. Our Toy Shop Software is proving to be popular with toy shops and our POS software more generally is appealing to other retailers. As the only specialist software company integrated with Australian retailers and suppliers at the fair we are having a terrific time.

Toy retailers are loving what we have done already to serve channel specific needs.

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Mixing with retail leaders at #NRF15 helps Tower Systems refine its POS software leadership

bbAustralian POS software company Tower Systems was well represented at the NRF annual concern in New York this past week with active attendance at conference sessions and plenty of time and connections on the floors of the Expo. There is no doubt that active networking is a real benefit of getting away from the office and exploring how others do things today and talking with them what we are planning for the future. Discussions were very much two-way.

From hearing former head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, speak through to hearing how independent retailers use social media to playing with retail product of the future prototypes, our representatives soaked u a tremendous experience and made any new connections which will serve the company well into 2015 and beyond.

Sharing experiences with colleague specialist software companies in another market has been valuable for Tower Systems as it has lead retailers in a number of vertical market channels in Australia. This latest trip to the US continues these experiences.

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Helping newsagents switch from POS Solutions

We are offering help to newsagents currently using the POS Solutions newsagency software to switch to us. This help is above and beyond the usual assistance in training and supporting a newsagent and their staff when they install our software.  Recent insights have assisted us in helping POS Solutions users make the move.

We are grateful to former POS users for their assistance in this important project.

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Point of Sale software update out next week

Tower Systems will launch its next major Point of Sale software update late next week. With an extensive beta release close to an end further comprehensive quality assurances reviews in-house, this latest POS software update is ready for mass release.

Packaged with extensive advice, documentation and assistance, retailers using the Tower Systems Point of sale software will be able to install it knowing the update has already been extensively field tested. Tower users will be able to install the update when they choose. This is an important difference over other software companies that impose their software updates often without warning.

Retailer 2.5, as this major update is known, delivers access to excellent new facilities and many enhancements to existing facilities. The release of the update will come with considerable documentation listing all changes and new facilities. We’re not detailing them here as we don;t want to provide competitors with a shopping list for spoiling.

We’re thrilled to be so close to releasing another good quality software update in a way our retail customers like and respecting their desire to control when they install this in their business.

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Assistance package for POS Solutions software users

Tower Systems helps newsagents using the POS Solutions software to upgrade to the Tower Systems newsagency software in a range of ways. The package of assistance was developed in response to newsagents approaching the company and have proven to be successful over many years.

The POS Solutions – Tower Systems conversion package includes:

  1. In-store one on one training.
  2. Data conversion where POS Solutions enables the extraction of data.
  3. Follow up training – long after the installation.
  4. Access to experts who have undertaken many POS Solutions software conversions.
  5. Access to newsagents who have converted.
  6. Re-training of employees in business processes to leverage time saving opportunities.
  7. Strategic planning advice to proactively eliminate surprises along the way.

This is a carefully constructed and considered package which has helped many newsagents make the switch. With more than 1,800 newsagent customers, Tower Systems is resourced to help newsagents make the switch understanding that people switching from other software have needs which are different to the usual first time software installation.

With well over 200 newsagents switching from POS Solutions to Tower Systems and only a fraction going the other way, Tower has become skilled in making the transition easier.

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How to switch from the POS Solutions newsagency software

Newsagents wanting to switch from the POS Solutions brand newsagency software – either the POS DOS software or the POS browser software – to our newsagency software can do so by contacting Tower Systems.  Our newsagency specialists can help convert data, switching this to the latest Tower Systems newsagency software.

Former POS Solutions users are welcome at Tower Systems with special training and assistance designed to ease the transition.  Since so many newsagents have made the transition we have an often used and well proven structured approach to assistance in making the move.

With the Tower Systems newsagency software having been chosen by more than 1,760 newsagents, the company has the largest newsagent user community out of all software companies serving the channel. This positions Tower well for navigating changes brought on by suppliers and other factors.

Newsagents considering a move from POS Solutions newsagency software to Tower Systems should contact Tower Systems for details of newsagents who have made the move.

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Launching a second Point of Sale software website

We are well advanced in development of a website for our New Zealand Point of Sale software business.  This will be separate to our Australian based website and be built to serve the needs of existing and future customers of our New Zealand business.

While some assets will be shared between the two websites, each will have its own voice and unique content.

In launching this new website we are being true to the commitment we made to our New Zealand customers a few months ago.

 

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Accessible Help Desk Support Vital to Software Success

A key reason given for retailers switching to our Point of Sale software is disappointment and frustration with the Help Desk service backing up their system.

To many retailers, easy access to friendly, knowledgeable and training is vital to their customer service experience.  We agree and have configured our business around this.

Our own research indicates that our customer service commitment is a key factor in our growth and market share position. Instead of resting on our laurels, we work hard to improve beyond our own benchmark.

Delivering on the customer service commitment day in day out is mission critical to us. It is why we resource the various customer contact points in our company to be able to deliver on our promises and our own benchmark.

We are very lucky to have a company full of people who share this customer service commitment.

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Point of Sale Software Training Opportunities This Week

We are proud to be hosting another three live (and FREE) online training workshops for retailers using our Point of Sale software this week. Each training session is timely and will add genuine value to what participants can get out of our POS software. Here are the four workshops on offer:

  1. Putaways Management 23 Aug 2011, 11:00AM
  2. Former POS Solutions Users – Helping Ease the Transition 23 Aug 2011, 02:00PM
  3. Mastering Catalogues 25 Aug 2011, 11:00AM

Online training is a wonderful way to learn more about our software. The result is improved productivity and better business outcomes.Bookings can be made at our online training portal.

Our continuing and consistent online training program is in addition to an excellent range of advice sheets and other training opportunities provided to users of our Point of Sale software.

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Managing Credit for Retail Customers Through LayBy and Other POS facilities

credit-limit.jpgSmart retailers in today’s economic climate want to remove as many barriers as possible between an opportunity and a sale.  This is why we have seen a rise in the use of LayBy as well as store credit and other payment mechanisms in a variety of retail situations over the last year.  Retailers who want the business sometimes need to provide funding.  While this approach has been common in big box and furniture situations, it has been less common in marketplaces in which we serve: jewellers, bike retailers, gift shops, homewares stores and newsagents … until recently.

Our Point of Sale software provides robust and flexible facilities which enable retailers to provide and manage the LayBy, store credit and other flexible payment options.

Using the credit limit facility, partially shown in the image, our retail business partners are able to control the acceptable credit limit balance at the customer level.  This can bee set and controlled by senior management, thus removing the challenge for retail associates having to deal with this as they can say that ‘the system’ does not allow an increase.

By managing credit limits, retail businesses can better manage their exposure.  This is vital as the provision of credit to customers increases as economists predict.  One report recently said that while credit card debt is not growing as fast as it used to in Australia and New Zealand, there has been somewhat of a transfer of debt to store credit as discussed here.

Here at Tower Systems we are watching changes in the use of credit in retail situations.  We are committed to ensuring that our software maintains relevant and useful facilities which enable our retail partners of ensure that barriers between opportunities and sales are kept at a minimum as far as our Point of sale software is concerned.

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Training for former POS Solutions users

We are offering another free online training session for newsagents who have switched from POS Solutions to our using newsagency software.  While newsagents continue to switch we will offer this training along with other services and facilities to ease the transition.

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Newsagents Continue to Switch from POS Solutions to Tower Systems

We are thrilled to welcome more newsagents who have switched from POS Solutions to Tower Systems this month.  We are attracting newsagents to switch from the POS Solutions DOS software as well as the POS Browser software.

We help newsagents migrate by managing data conversion, staff training and management support around business performance reporting.

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Helping POS Solutions Users Save Money

A newsagent using the POS Solutions software we were speaking with recently was shocked that our newsagency software support fees were not at the $3,000+ level he was used, that our support fees were not compulsory, that there was no compulsory registration licence and that we did not charge an XchangeIT access fee.  He though all newsagent software companies charged like POS Solutions.

This newsagent is now going to cut their annual software support fee by more than 50% by switching to Tower Systems.  

Outside of the annual fee savings, the newsagent will have access to software which we consider to be better on a range of fronts.  Market share suggests that is what more newsagents think too.

We are able to deliver access to high quality software support and updates because we have around three times more newsagents using our software than POS Solutions.   We think that the gap will grow and this will enable us to further demonstrate the benefits of our market share.

Newsagents wanting to switch should speak with one of our newsagency sales team members.  We would be happy to connect you with newsagents who have switched.

I expect that POS will complain about this blog post saying that we are criticising them. They will try and paint us as weak for doing this.

This blog post is designed to educate newsagents to not pay more for software support than they have to.  We happen to think that POS Solutions newsagents we have seen have been paying too much  If the result is a saving to the business then it’s good news for the newsagent and that is what matters. POS can address this by charging less.

While the software itself is the key difference between competitive companies, total cost of ownership is also a factor to many.

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More Help for Former POS Solutions Users

We are running another workshop for newsagents who have switched from the POS Solutions software to our point of sale software.In this session we deliver training on specific differences between their software and ours as advised by some of their former users.  The training is designed to help former POS users unlearn what they used to do and learn how to achieve the same as they were used to and more in our software.

The next free online training session for former POS Solutions users will be held next Thursday, Feb. 2 at 11am.

The feedback from these sessions has been wonderful and as long as there is demand we will continue to offer them.

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Free online training workshops next week

We are hosting four free online training workshops for our customers next week:

  • Security. Thursday Nov. 23 at 11am.
  • Gift Vouchers Nov. 23 at 2pm.
  • Help for former POS Solutions users. Thursday Nov. 25 at 11am. With more newsagents switching from POS Solutions to Tower Systems, this session remains a welcome and helpful transition resource.
  • Importing stock files. Nov. 25 at 2pm.

Bookings can be made at the online training portal at our website.

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Further delays on POS Solutions legal action

The legal action commenced by POS Solutions Australia Pty Ltd against us in August last year has been delayed once again.  Mediation was set to take place this week, on the 27th. All parties had agreed on the date and the mediator.  For some reason POS want to push this out to the middle of November.  Once again, we have agreed to the POS request.

This case is about a claim by POS Solutions that we have switched many of newsagenct from POS Solutions to Tower Systems.  I am told they will be seeking two million dollars in damages.

The sooner the matter gets to court the better as this is when newsagents can tell why they made the switch from POS to Tower.

We are running another free training session this week to help former POS Solutions users settle in with our newsagency software.

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Smartbox range popular with retailers

smartbox.jpgThe Smartbox range of gift experiences which we released to our customers last week has generated considerable interest. Supported by good merchandising options and excellent marketing, we feel that the Smartbox range will generate good business.  Tower retailers can access the Smartbox range for no cost.

These gift experiences are a nice add-on to any sale, a diverse range of products without financial risk.

Smartbox is a well respected international company in this valuable space,

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