Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Tag: retail management

Excellent pool of POS software help desk candidates

We have received applications from many candidates interested in our new help desk role and our advertisement has not even been running for a week.  We triage all applications and only keep those from the very best candidates.  We then put these through a pre-interview screening process designed to further cull the candidate pool.

While time consuming, our pre-interview process results in the best quality candidates presenting for interview.  Our goal is to commence interviews late next week.  We anticipate interviewing up to ten candidates for this role.

By taking time in selecting candidates we are able to find those with the most commitment to customer service and affinity with small business retailers.

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Greeting card performance reporting in Point of Sale software drives sales

Months ago we released a new quite of reporting on greeting card performance, the first of its kind for newsagents and other independent retailers in Australia and New Zealand.  Developed over several years in close and confidential association with Australia’s best known (and loved) card company, Hallmark, our new greeting card performance reporting is now well established.  Others are following our leadership innovation.

A feature of this reporting is the MAT or Moving Annual Total metric. This is used in several suppliers and big businesses – we have found it tremendously useful in tracing year on year to date business performance.

Retailers using the new reporting are loving the immediate and easy access to category level sales reporting.  For example, being able to report on Father’s Day sales the day after the big day is terrific.  Being able to break down overall Father’s Day card sales into categories within the season is even more valuable.  that retailers can do this faster than any card company is where our software really shines.

This new greeting card performance reporting suite has been delivered to our users at no additional cost, adding tremendous value to what our Point of Sale software customers can extract from theirs software.

Watch for more innovation around greeting card sales and performance tracking.

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Selling a $10,000 item is different to selling a $1.00 item

We have a diverse portfolio of retailers using our Point of Sale software.  From newsagencies selling a newspaper for a dollar through to high-end jewellers selling beautiful designer pieces with a ticket price of well in excess of ten thousand dollars.  Our help desk team can take a call from each of these businesses in a row.  They seamlessly switch between retail situations.  It is a challenge which is embraced by our committed help desk team.

This diversity of customers broadens our perspective and this assists us to create software which is more diverse and useful for all of our customers.

The one dollar sale is all about fast and accurate selling.  The ten thousand dollar sale is all about the sales experience.  Combine the two and you have business facilities which serve the retailer with good shopper throughput and accurate sales tracking while providing the shopper with a professional, well documented and enjoyable experience.

Good Point of Sale software enhances shopper and retailer experiences. We are grateful of the help from our customers which has enabled up to create software which makes them shine.

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Helping retailers avoid the over used SALE sign and drive retail sales

Retailers who regularly discount as their point of difference are not offering much of a point of difference.

By using the smart catalogue facilities in our Point of Sale software, retailers are able to avoid the discount trap and demonstrate value in more creative ways.

Offering, say, three for two or buy this with that offers enable retailers to create package deals which are exclusive to their business.  It is these types of deals which can be unique and exclusive to a retailer.  A SALE sing is far from unique and never exclusive.

We will happily help retailers using our Point of Sale software to be smart in how they demonstrate price based value in their retail businesses.  There are many options and our help desk team can help retailers leverage these.

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How to choose Point of Sale software for your retail business

Choosing Point of Sale software can be daunting for any retailer.  Tower Systems makes choosing Point of Sale software easier thanks to easy access to live, in-store, face to face demonstrations as well as online live demonstrations.  We provide those looking at our software with the ability to play with the software, to ensure that it meets their needs.

We also happily share reference site details along with sample reports and other tools and facilities with which to assess our suitability.

The most important step in considering any Point of Sale software is to know your needs.  To guide retailers to determine their needs we have developed a guide to choosing a Point of Sale system.  This helps retailers work out what they want and then to prioritise these wants into some orde5 – to facilitate the selection of the right software for their business.

With more than 2,500 retail outlets as customers, Tower Systems is well prepared to serve retailers with Point of Sale software and to back this up with quality customer support services.

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Suppliers support Point of Sale initiative

Retailers using our Point of Sale software now have access to electronic invoices from more suppliers thanks to initiatives we have taken in recent months.

Earlier this year we embarked on an education program for retail suppliers to help them understand the payoff for their businesses when they engage with retailers electronically.

While it has been a slow field to plough with some suppliers, once they get it they jump on board.  Retailers and their suppliers soon unlock tremendous benefits thanks to the supplier support facilities embedded in our Point of Sale software.

We see retail as a partnership between a many stakeholders.  Two of the most important stakeholders are the retailers and their suppliers.  Bringing them together electronically as we do enables them to better support each other and this is reflected in the bottom line performance of the respective businesses.  Further, a better relationship between suppliers and retailers supports all other stakeholders.

We are grateful for the excellent facilities we have for easily connecting with suppliers.  Our line online video conferencing tools have been especially useful in this project.

The pay off for this supplier-focussed work is more sales.  The word of mouth from suppliers and customers is welcome and wonderful.

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Help for retailers in tough economic times

We were recently approached to help some retailers address their concerns about the tough retail trading conditions being experienced by many. Here is a brief summary of the key points we covered. We share it today in the interests of helping retailers more widely improve their trading situation.

Every retail business needs:

  1. Timely access to accurate business performance data.
  2. A commitment to efficient use of all resources.
  3. A focus on quality fact-based business decisions.

Too often, retail stores in decline or closed have ignored these three key factors.

Good Point of Sale software, used well, can address these and other key goals of any retail operation. Good is the key word. Generic off the shelf POS software is probably not good. If your retail store has specialist needs, or needs which are particular to your channel then you will need software designed for these needs.

Having the right POS software is only part of the battle to save the business though. You need to use the software well otherwise it will store garbage and garbage data will guide you to making the wrong decisions. To use POS software well:

  1. Get suppliers to provide invoices and stock files electronically. Load these into your software without re-typing the information.
  2. Track your sales by scanning everything you sell. This is a must! Retailers who record sales only by a department key are wasting their time.
  3. Track your sales by employees – yes, get them to enter their code for every sale … mistakes will fall as a result.
  4. Place orders for replenishment stock by using your software to do this for you. Stop ordering by a visual review of what is on the shelves or gut feel.
  5. Manage customer theft by doing spot stock takes. Once you know something is being stolen you can work to address this.
  6. Regularly check on employee theft by looking at audit logs and other reports in your software.
  7. Use the software to see what items are not selling as fast as they should. Quit this stock. Slow moving stock is death in retail.
  8. Choose the best two or three reports from the software and produce these weekly. These reports, if your data is good, should help you make better quality, fact based, business decisions. The best reports are those which track sales comparing trading periods by unit sales and revenue, list basket size and enable an easy comparison of supplier performance.
  9. Commit a set amount of time each week to analysing data ans makingbusiness performance data based decisions.

Using your Point of sale system well is the key. It takes discipline from the front counter to the back office, the support of suppliers and vigilance throughout the business. The result is a more efficient, profitable and enjoyable business for the owners, employees and suppliers. Seriously, good software used properly can deliver a genuine turnaround result for a retail business. A modest investment can create a retail business which is profitable for the long term.

If your retail business is doing it tough, look at your POS software in the context of the advice above.

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