Newsagents switching to Tower Systems

We are pleased to welcome more newsagents switching to our software from POS Solutions.  Users of their old DOS software look at us when considering switching to Windows and often when they get the POS Solutions support bill.

If newsagents don’t tell POS they are considering us we usually win on our merits: better software, better support and a lower total cost of ownership.  Where POS is told, we usually see them discount heavily to retain the business.  In one instance recently we were told of a discount of 80%.

The migration from POS Solutions to Tower Systems is driving our competitor to act some unusual ways.

We will continue to run the free online workshops for former POS Solutions users who have switched to our newsagency software.  Our commitment is to help former POS Solutions users and all Tower Newsagents get the most out of their software by learning how it operates.

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POS Solutions legal action update

As I wrote in August last year, POS Solutions has taken us to court, saying that some things I have written at this blog which have hurt their business.

Central to their claim is a report of a loss of a significant number of newsagents – switching from POS Solutions software to Tower Systems software.  The POS claim is that many switched because of this blog.

While a judge of the County Courty will ultimately decide the merits or otherwise of their claim, I can’t help but feel somewhat anxious each time a newsagent switches from POS Solutions to Tower Systems.  This continues to happen.  Newsagents seek us out, keen to make the move. We happily accomodate them.  With each move we have more newsagents who can explain why they switched and what opened them to the opportunity in the first place.

The court action is still moving through the preliminary phases.  Unfortunately it is taking up time and money which could be better invested in our customers.

Newsagents want great software backed by friendly and accessible service.  These are the key drivers of change.  Word of mouth generates more newsagent leads for us than anything – and for that we are grateful.

Point of Sale user meeting in Hobart

We are meeting newsagents and other retailers using our Point of Sale for a user meeting in Hobart on April 8.  This session will be held at the Mercure Hotel, starting at 11am.  I will be there along with Jonathan Tay our Software Development Manager.

At the session we will provide training in our new software, preview our next release, provide training and asnwer all questions.

The date and location are locked in.  Anyone wishing to attend can book online at our website.

Face to face user meetings are important learning opportunities for us and for our customers.  We appreciate the opportunity.

Help for former POS Solutions users

We are running another free training program for newsagents switching from the POS Solutions software to our Point of Sale software.  We will share experiences of moving from their software to ours.  With more than 200 having made the move, we have a good body of experience on which to draw.

The training will be delivered live an online at 11am this Thursday, February 4, at 11am.  To book, please click here.

Helping newsagents switch from POS Solutions

We are hosting another training sessions for newsagents migrating from POS Solutions software to our software.  This Thursday at 11 am we will bring together a group of newsagents in a private online session where we will go through the transition process and help you navigate any challenges with accessing your old system after the change over.

While we migrate newsagents from Access POS and Computerlink, there are more switching from POS Solutions.  This is more a fuction of their size (around 600 newsagents) than anything else.

To book for this free session, please click here.

What does it cost a newsagent to upgrade from POS Solutions to Tower Systems?

pos_solutions_tower_systems.jpgWe have made it easier for remaining POS Solutions newsagents to upgrade to Tower Systems with an offer sent out this week.

For the all-inclusive price of $7,995 (inc GST), we offer to provide the full suite of replacement Tower Systems software (point of sale, magazine management, stock control, home deliveries and distribution management, marketing tools, loyalty, gift cards, putaways, theft management, SMS facilities, integrated phonecards … and tons more), on site installation, on site training, support coverage for a year, software updates for a year, conversion assistance and guidance on the conversion journey.

With well over 200 newsagents having made this move, we are well prepared to help more.

A couple of newsagents have asked us why we target POS Solutions in our advertising.  Besides their vulnerability, they have plenty of newsagents using old technology who need to change their software regardless.  We know that we appeal to many of their customers because of the number who have shifted already.

Consolidation is happening in the newsagency channel on a number of fronts, including software.  Our customer base positions us well to grow.  As moves documented on this blog and our company website show, we are not becoming complacent as we grow.  We are newsagents ourselves and as such are committed to the channel for the long term.

POS Solutions wanders off track

POS Solutions published a blog post yesterday which demonstrates how off track they have strayed.  While we have proactively worked with newsagents without a computer system and newsagent suppliers to develop a package which helps, POS Solutions has done nothing.  Now that our offer is out, they have published misleading information in an attempt to spoil the offer.

They say a competitor “indirectly” refers to them.  We don’t.  Both companies are completely different in terms of software, support, commitment to newsagents and size.  We now serve around three times more newsagents than POS. Their blog post yesterday and others this year demonstrate a focus on words and not action in an effort to gain relevance with newsagents.

The best way they could compete with our continued innovation for newsagents is to genuinely innovate themselves.  Instead, they copy.  We launched online training workshops – they said they would never work.  Now they are doing them too.  Good on them.  We launched a comprehensive video training program – they said they were their first yet offered no evidence of such a program.

This copying is flattering but it is confusing for some newsagents.  POS Solutions spent many years confusing newsagents about software, selling what I’d call sub-standard out of date DOS software to which is now worthless by industry standards.  The loss to the channel of their strategy was considerable.

Newsagents need suppliers who work hard, transparently and with total commitment for newsagents.  This means engaging with newsagents in their businesses, at conferences and with newsagent suppliers.  As a newsagent myself, I and Tower Systems are more deeply embedded with the channel and more practically committed to its future.

The POS Solutions blog post last night is a great example of how far their focus has slipped.

Why does what they say concern me?  Because even one newsagent believing the drivel they published last night is one newsagent too many.  There are better computer companies than them serving newsagents.

Help for newsagents using POS Solutions software

pos_solutions_offer.jpgWith another 32 newsagents switching from POS Solutions software to Tower Systems in the last few months, we have extended our knowledge of the conversion process and the considerable differences and this helps with the next round of conversions.  We have mailed a flyer to the remaining POS Solutions users to offer them an upgrade to Tower opportunity.  In most cases, we are delivering a newsagent software solution with a considerably lower annual support and service cost.  We are seeing POS Solutions support invoices for $3,000 – and considerably more in some cases.  We can usually cut this in half and deliver more services.

Newsagency software is a competitive marketplace.   I am happy for our software and services to be compared against those from any other company.

Our market share tells us that we are offering newsagents what they want and at a price which they like.  We have close to three times the newsagency users of POS Solutions.

Huge different in newsagency software

There is a huge difference between software systems available for newsagents.  Anyone saying otherwise has an ulterior motive – they probably don’t want comparison for this would most likely the software they are pushing as not the best.

Software sales people who are confident of what they are selling encourage comparison.  They offer to put two or more systems on the table next to each other,  This is how we  operate at Tower – we welcome comparison.  Unfortunately in the newsagency space others do not agree to this.

The differences between newsagency software packages are: functionality, speed, integration with the business, supplier interfaces and support.  The other difference is on total cost of ownership.  One competitor charges $3,200 (and more sometimes) annually from what we see.

My message for newsagents considering buying a computer system is reject those who say all systems are the same.  They are not!

Converting from POS Solutions

We have enhanced the help we provide newsagents switching from the POS Solutions software for Tower Systems newsagency software.  Our latest transition innovation has been developed in consultation with newsagents who have made the switch recently.

We will not publish the details here for to do so would give away a competitive advantage, we are happy to share details of the innovation with newsagents keen to stop using POS Solutions software.

Tower Systems picks up close to 10% of POS Solutions users this year

POS Solutions has lost close to 10% of its newsagent customer base to Tower Systems this year based on the latest newsagency software migration rates released yesterday.

Tower Systems has picked up more than 50 POS Solutions users, through excellent word of mouth among newsagents.

I am thrilled to welcome former POS Solutions users to our newsagent community along with the many other newsagents who have joined us this year.

Our reserach indicates that most newsagents make the move because they hear great things about our software and support service and the valuable outcomes available from using our software.

The newsagent software migration rates also showed Tower Systems switching newsagents from Computerlink and Access POS software.

Tower Systems now serves in excess of 1,600 newsagents.

Why people change their POS software

We have been asking some of those who recently joined Tower Systems from using other software why they switched to us. Strong word of mouth about our customer service and poor experiences with their prior system are the prime reason. The second reason is the depth of functionality in our software. Our energy is a third reason – that we continue to change and offer new and unexpected benefits. Our free online training was cited as a good example of the third reason.

No matter why people change, we gladly welcome new more business owners to our community of retailers.

Help for newsagents using POS Solutions software

We are hosting an public online demonstration of our software for newsagents using the POS Solutions software.  This idea was pitched to us by a couple of newsagents using POS Solutions and we thought it was a good idea.

In the session, we will draw on the experience of switching many POS Solutions users (more than 200) to our software and show how newsagents benefit from the moves.  We will also show how the move is often financially rewarding thanks to our transparent approach to support fees.

This session will be held next Wednesday (Sept 16), at 2pm.  Please email bookings@towersystems.com.au to reserve your free place.

Helping POS Solutions users migrate to Tower Systems

With every newsagent we migrate from the POS Solutions newsagent software to Tower Systems newsagent software we learn more about how to make the transition easier. How we handle this process for the many switching is generating good word of mouth and encouraging more newsagents to join the Tower newsagent community.

We are grateful to the former POS users who act as reference sites for newsagents looking at both companies. The growth of this newsagent community is helping to improve the services we offer and thereby help us grow even further.

While we do take an interest in the churn rate of POS Solutions – given the new customers it provides, we continue to monitor our own to ensure that we provide the software service necessary to keep existing Tower Newsagents happy.

The rush to quit POS Solutions DOS software

We are seeing an increase in the pace of newsagents looking to switch from the POS Solutions DOS software. This is good for the newsagency channel because the POS DOS user community has been holding newsagents back for some time.

We help POS Solutions DOS users switch to Tower Systems Windows based newsagency management software through expert training, transition help, a service level commitment which they will enjoy and special upgrade pricing.

We also offer free online training workshops for former POS Solutions users – to facilitate discussion about what they used to do with their old software and how they do this today.

POS Solutions sues Tower Systems

POS Solutions has issued proceedings against Tower Systems in the County Court of Victoria.  In the fifteen page writ POS Solutions claims that they are suffering damage including the loss of customers because of posts published at this blog.

Further help for newsagents switching from POS Solutions software

Due to demand, we are hosting another online training event for the POS Solutions users who are switching to our Tower Systems newsagency software.  This free online training event will be held this Thursday, July 30, at 2pm.  Using WebEx we connect people from across Australia for free training on the best way to move from POS Solutiosn to Tower Systems. Any current users of POS Solutions software are also welcome to participate.   Book online here.

The 300 or so newsagents using the POS DOS software need to move to access lower cost EDI data from magazine distributors.

More help for POS Solutions newsagents

We will be repeating our training for newsagents using the POS Solutions software and switching or wish to switch to our newsagency management software.  This training focusses on the transition steps and the most common questions we get as newsagents move from POS Solutions to Tower Systems.  The next POS Solutions conversion session will be on July 30 at 2pm.  We can also arrange in-store visits for people yet to make the move – as a free pre-move consultation.

This training provides transparency of the process, makes the journey easier and reveals more about the difference between Tower Systems and POS Solutions.

POS software for convenience stores

Our convenience store software solution is growing in popularity as more convenience stores look for business-specific solutions which deliver integrated phone recharge and other electronic vended products, integrated eftpos processing as well as fast selling options for c-store lines.

The synergy between our c-store and newsagency projects is excellent as most c-stores need to properly handle magazines and newspapers.  Both benefit from our incolvement with the other.  But it is our mobile phone top-up, phonecard and eftpos interfaces which win this business for us.

Comparing newsagency software labels

label_comparison.jpgMagazine labels are one way newsagents compare software systems.  While we support printing labels one-up on a roll, our recommended medium is labels on a sheet.  Click on the image for a better view of our laser printed label compared to a label printed on a thermal roll from the POS Solutions software.

Better labels is one reason three times more newsagents partner with Tower Systems than POS Solutions.  Compare the labels for yourself.

We recently compared the price of our labels and here is what we found:

Tower Labels – A4 labels:
A4 Sheets with 65 per page
No seperate printer required
$143.00 per 1000 pages = 14c per page of 65 or $0.0022 per label
This pricing is current, and includes delivery charges

POS Solutions Labels Thermal Labels:
$295.35 for 50 rolls of 750 labels each = $5.91 per roll, or $0.0079
Require a seperate label printer – an added cost
Pricing is from the POS website yesterday

Around 90% of our users print on laser labels and 10% print on thermal labels.

POS software blocks access by retailers

pos_solutions_newsagent_software.jpgTower Systems refuses to block users from accessing their software or business data should they choose to not continue with support coverage.  Not all software companies are the same.  Click on the image for a larger version of a photo of a screen which appeared on a computer in one newsagency earlier this year.  Contact with the company left them with no doubt that they would be blocked from accessing their software and their business data if they did not pay the support fee.

As I said at the start of this post, Tower Systems does not block access.  Our view is that once a business buys our computer software, they have a licence to use the software for as long as they like and without any requirement to pay annual support fees.

While the majority of our users do pay a support fee, it is their choice and not done as a result of blackmail to give them access to their own business data.

Newsagents trade in POS Solutions for Tower Systems

We are grateful to the many newsagents who have made the decision to replace their POS Solutions DOS software with Tower Systems software.  The move from POS Solutions has gained considerable pace since XchangeIT wrote to newsagents about the penalty charge they will impose on DOS users for EDI access.  While POS is winning some of this business, our numbers indicate that they are experiencing a net loss of market share. This is what is driving some of their recent  activity – at their blog and elsewhere – in case you were wondering.