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News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

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Repairs management tools help bike shops, jewellers, pool maintenance businesses, mobility scooter businesses, sewing machine businesses and more to manage the all important repairs function

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The repairs management tools in the Tower systems POS software are being used across a range of retail channels as they embrace the management of repairs, large and small, within their businesses.

Initially developed more than twenty years ago, the repairs tools today are current, made for today, serving fresh needs as more retailers offer customer service repairs in-house as well as through external repairers.

Some of the functions our specialist retail software’s repair features are being used for include:

  • In Jewellers: Jewellery and watch workshop repairs, dated manufacturing.
  • In Bike Shops: Bicycle and tricycle repairs, warranty returns.
  • In Garden Centres: Landscaping services management.
  • In Firearms Stores: Gunsmithy and equipment repairs, warranty returns.
  • In Pet Shops: Aquarium installations.

Repairs management software is flexible, serving a range of needs outside managing the actual repairs themselves. The flexibility in the software enables it to be used in different businesses for different purposes – from job management, to workshop management and traditional repairs management.

The software tracks the labour and resources used from a billing and inventory management perspective. It also handles allocation of repairs or parts of a repair to venues outside the business (for contracting and supplier exchanges or repairs for warranty issues, for example) and tracks repair staff and couriers used in shipping repairs. Once the repair is ready for pick-up by the customer, the software finalises the billing and advises the customer by SMS or another preferred method. Payments are processed with the usual depth of our retail software’s point of sale functionality – customers can make multiple payments against a repair or a specialist manufacturing, pay through cash, EFTPOS, PayPal or other methods.

See the repairs tools for yourself in this function-specific demonstration:

We are grateful to the jewellers, bike shop owners and others who have worked together to find common needs in this area of repairs management and tracking, so that one piece of software can be useful and efficient across multiple retail channels.

Managing repairs is not something you see in POS software usually as it is a complex area of business management, with many options to be handles and different business situations to be considered. Our years of experience and our many customers have helped us provide a piece of software of which we are most proud.

Serial number tracking POS software

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Our Aussie made and supported POS software with serial number tracking facilities is loved by a range of retail businesses. The serial number tracking tools set it apart, providing specialty tools for these businesses for which serial number tracking is vital.

From the moment inventory arrives in a business, serial numbers can be tracked, right through to when the items are sold.

Our POS software customers can choose the extent to which they engage with serial number tracking. some prefer to only track as they sell while others prefer to track from the moment the goods first arrive.

Using the software, retailers can record serial numbers sold to a customer. This can be helpful for insurance claims, warranty claims and more. It is this level of accurate record keeping that is particularly helpful to retail businesses.

Ideal for jewellers, pool maintenance businesses, mobility scooter businesses, music shops, firearms dealers, bike shops, pet shops, appliance businesses, the serial number tracking tools in the Tower Systems POS software are loved, they set the software apart. We have developed the facilities with retailers and others who rely on serial number record keeping.

By tracking serial numbers using the POS software, you can provide a level of service to customers they will appreciate. Serial numbers are listed on receipts. They are recorded, too, for later use should the item be stolen from the customer and they need to do a claim.

Tracking serial numbers in this POS software also sets your business up for longer term tracking of the service history of an item. This can be a valuable way to differentiate the services provided by your business.

Join Justin in this video made here in-house as he explains and shows some of the benefits of the serial number tracking in our POS software:

The serial number tracking tools in the Tower Systems POS software are another example pop the specialist nature of this POS software, they are another way this software helps specialty retailers be specialty.

If your retail business tracks product serial numbers, or pet microchip numbers, this specialty retail POS software is worth considering. We would love an opportunity to show it to you and to get your feedback.

We are grateful to be the newsagency software standard

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We are grateful to serve close to 1,800 newsagency businesses with our newsagency software, double all other newsagency specific software companies combined from what we understand.

The newsagency specific software we offer today is technically and visually fresh. The most recent major update is a few months old and is already in wide use.

Here are 5 reasons to consider our industry-standard newsagency software based on what our customers tell us …

  1. Being current matters. We meet connectivity standards including Indue welfare card, digital receipts, Epay, TitlePage, theLott, XchangeIT, Tyro, the banks, Newspower catalogues, GNS, Xero and more. Save time, cut mistakes and cultivate better business data.
  2. You can bank on loyalty. Our fresh and successful approach to loyalty can help you drive a deeper basket and bring people back sooner.
  3. Safe decisions make for a better P&L. While following your gut can see you catch wins, safe decisions, those based on the data, are bankable. From data feeds from suppliers through your POS to accounting software, we help you nurture data for the safe decisions.
  4. Not every shopper will walk past your door. A seamless connection between your software and a website can help you sell to people you will never meet. We develop websites for newsagents. Check out www.onebaby.com.au, www.backobourkecollective.com.au, www.heavensabove.com.au and www.goulburnstationery.com.au.
  5. You are a key asset. You and the people in your business are a differentiator to big business competitors. Our software helps you sell you in smart and engaging ways.

We also exclusively do the quarterly newsagency sales benchmark study and have done for 18 years. This is a valuable benchmark helps newsagents plan for the future.

Our newsagency specific software costs $185.00 a month. For on as many computers as a newsagent wants in their business.

There is no extra charge on top of this for support or updates. It’s all included.

How can we do this? It’s all about numbers. Size matters when it comes to software enhancement, support and pricing. We leverage our size to save newsagents money.

Our newsagency software solution is reliable, and valuable …

  1. Exclusive smart card reporting. Embedded in our software is category / segment level reporting that newsagents are using to grow card sales 25% and more. That’s money in the bank.
  2. You can bank on loyalty. Our fresh and successful approach to loyalty can help you drive a deeper basket and bring people back sooner.
  3. Safe decisions make for a better P&L. From data feeds from suppliers through to Xero, we help you nurture data for the safe decisions.
  4. Not every shopper will walk past your door. A seamless connection between your software and a beautiful website can help you sell to people you will never meet. We develop websites for newsagents.
  5. Easily accessed personal service. A key reason 4 times more newsagents have chosen Tower than any other software is customer service. We are here for you, with you, every day.
  6. Current software. Current technology. Fresh, current design.

Being current matters as currency = value, and you can bank on this.

Helping small business retailers cut employee theft

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We are grateful to have been of service in the last week helping another small business retailer address an employee theft situation.

Our POS software provides accurate evidence that police and prosecutors have found helpful in pursuing criminal charges. We have experts in our business who have presented to courts dealing with such matters.

Offering strong theft mitigation tools is something we have done for many years. Seeing them used again recently and in a way that saved a business a considerable sum is a reminder of the value of good back room software serving local small business retailers.

Employee theft in retail can be expensive. Our POS software offers robust tools that help track possible theft and reduce the impact of this theft.

The goal is a safe and profitable business that respects people and makes it easy to transact accurately. Dealing with the theft challenges of customer theft and employee theft is a key part of this.

Thanks to secret tools and secret in our POS software and secure data, we can provide evidence police and prosecutors trust to prove a theft situation. This data can be key to understanding what has happened, when and thew quantum.

This is the beginning, the truth, the evidence of possible employee theft. So, this is where we start, with the data, uncovering evidence and then offering this evidence to the business owner for engagement.

By providing small business retailers with these tools, we are giving them at their fingertips tools vital to cutting the cost of employee theft in a retail business. Using our POS software, a retailer can cut the cost of employee theft.

Let’s be clear though: not all employees steal, not even half, not even a quarter. However, you needs tools for tracking data and engagement with the software to reveal behavioural patterns that can indicate theft. This is key to early detection.

Our hope is that the audit tools in our POS software do not find misbehaviour and that simply having the tools in a business is the most value achieved. However, should they be needed and should they uncover misbehaviour, the audit tools stand strong and tall for the business and those who own it.

How we are helping greeting card retailers achieve double-digit growth

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Greeting cards are big business in Australia, responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in retail sales.

Here at Tower Systems, we are grateful to help gift shops, greeting card shops and newsagents to sell more cards. Thanks to specialty card product specific reporting and close relationships with key greeting card publishers, we have a leadership position in driving good card sales outcomes.

Cultivating accurate pocket-level card sales data and providing access to insights from this data in accessible forms enables us to help small business retailers drive good card sales.

In one high street retail business, card revenue is up 50% year on year, off a very solid base and even smoothing data for Covid impact.

In another high street business in regional Australia where the Covid impact on retail has been nil, card sales are up 37% following the implementation of advice guided by the reporting from within our POS software, the greeting card category and segment reporting for which we are well known.

Growing card sales is good business as it plays well in retail for gift sales. Also, with the margin on cards, growth in revenue is beneficial to bottom-line performance.

Related to our work with greeting cards is our work gift packaging. Gift packaging has been a focus in one of our client shops over the last six months. It was accounting for 3.7% of revenue within cards/gift packaging. Looking at their most recent data this morning, it is contributing 6.2% of total gift packaging revenue. This growth is even better considering the overall card/gift packaging revenue growth of 36% being achieved.

In our retail channel specific POS software we have tools that aim to help card and gift packaging businesses to achieve excellent results, thereby adding value to the businesses, helping them to be not only more successful today but more valuable tomorrow should be business be put on the market.

Card success really is rooted in card performance data. The toolkit in our specialty retail POS software in terms of cards is deep and strong, and it has a terrific track record of success … of which we are most proud.

Tower Systems goes beyond the software, offering support and services on which retailers can rely to achieve greater success in the greeting card and gift packaging spaces.

No secret commissions here

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We lost a sale recently in a situation where a business support / marketing group recommended against us. That same group asked us for a percentage of the value of each sale they recommend us for. We refused unless they agreed to tell their members about the payment for the recommendation. They have recommended against us ever since.

Transparency matters to us, as does the fit of our POS software for a business.

If anyone recommends POS software to your business, ask them if they will receive a commission or some other benefit from the recommendation.

Expanding the UI/UX skillset

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We are grateful to have been able to find a UI/UX specialist for a new role we have created in the business. This expands our software development skillset and will benefit several of our products.

This new hire is on the back of two more in recent months, as we enhance our products for the small business retail community we serve.

We surveyed our POS software customers

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We surveyed our POS software customers recently and have found the results most useful. While we follow up each help desk call with a quick service survey, this latest survey was broader. It’s also part of a series with which we are engaging, but more on that later.

This latest survey was focussed on understanding value. We did this across ten questions and compared the results with benchmark results, to see where we sit.

Plus, we have followed up with some customer who asked for contact direct without leadership team.

Being accessible is key to our customer engagement – through surveys like this latest one, our escalation process, our regular online workshops and also through one-on-one calls.

We are grateful to the customers who completed this survey and the hundreds who have taken part in other surveys over the last year. Every feedback point is appreciated and valuable.

Help for Access POS software customers

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We have a structured approach for helping Access POS software customers to migrate to our modern POS software. This includes data conversion if that is appropriate, comprehensive training and guidance on establishing business practices to drive data integrity and consistency.

It’s our work helping Access POS software customers make the move to our POS software that has informed our processes and guided us on the advice we provide once a business has made the decision to move.

Sometimes, a thorough data assessment means that an Access POS software user is better off starting detain, with a clean dataset and thereby not conversing data problems that has built up in their old software over time. It’s up to the customer, once they have the facts, they can decide what is best for their business.

Access POS software customers can expect to benefit from:

  • Access to a broad team of professional on our professional help desk.
  • The opportunity to suggest product enhancements.
  • Easy access to customer forums, which are held online.
  • Online access to a knowledge base, a searchable manual, with 700 or so articles covering how to use the software and how to leverage its facilities for better business management.
  • Access to our leadership team, and it is a team – five people who lead each core part of our business.
  • Access to comprehensive training long after the software is installed and the data converted.

Good POS software can benefit a retail business in many ways. Our goal when it comes to Access POS software customers who convert to us is to land them comfortable and confidently in their new and current tech environment, to help them make the most of the opportunities opened to them through the move.

Whether you make the move from Access POS is up to you. We don’t know their software. we have not used their software. This is why we say the decision is 100% yours to make.

Our message is that we are here with an alternative, an alternative that others before you have gone with. We can connect you with them, so you can see for yourself whether this move could be right for your business.

POS software update in beta release

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A fresh update to our POS software is now in beta release. This update delivers a range of enhancements including advances online sales tools, along with a significant productivity benefit.

Thanks to under the hood tech enhancements, we are rolling out some significant benefits with this update.

Along with enhancements driven by our team here, we are also delivering some enhancements suggested by customers through our Software Ideas platform, a platform through which customers suggest enhancements and other customers vote. It’s all very democratic, and transparent.

This latest POS software update has gone through internal QA, an alpha release cycle and, now, beta release. It will sit here for a couple of weeks prior to full commercial release.

Our update release process is not driven by speed. We prefer to take our time and ensure that what we deliver is stable and commercially loved.

The important role of local small business retailers during Covid lockdowns

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The latest Victorian Covid related lockdown has shown, again, the important role small business retail front line team members play in our communities … especially the retail businesses that are open through lockdowns.

For people living alone or caring for someone at home, the interaction at the counter is important. Over recent weeks there have been several examples we have witnessed of this, where shoppers talk for a bit longer, soaking up the interaction. Local retail shops are hubs for this warmth.

Good retail team members spot the need and provide interaction that is encouraging and helps the customers feel better than when they arrived.

What’s been happening in  in Victoria over recent days is a reminder of the importance of local small business retail in communities, the role they (we) play, the support provided.

We are writing about local small business retail as it is in that setting that shoppers are more likely to have a personal and nurturing experience. The local small businesses we serve are less focussed on KPIs, interactions are more authentic than the corporate national retailer dictate of the five rules of every customer contact or whatever corporate rules the staff are told they must follow.

The warmth and genuineness of the interaction in a local high street shop setting is helping plenty of Victorians through this latest lockdown. Local small business retail channels can be proud of the role they play on the front line, the role they play in the mental health of so many who visit these local shops.

If only politicians would take a moment to see first-hand the role local small business retail plays in the community in situations like this. There are retailers in our channel who do more good in a week of customer interactions than a year of words press releases, announcements and doorstops from any politician, especially federal politicians who love a big announcement but fail at the action.

Kudos to all retailers in Victoria who have been open through the latest lockdown and who have provided extra care at the counter to customers keen for personal contact and support.

Time off for Covid vaccines

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We support the call for businesses to provide employees with time off to get their covid vaccine shots. That’s what we have been doing since the first of our team members became eligible. We are grateful to be able to offer this worry-free coverage for our team members.

Let’s look at Australian made game shop POS software for specialty game retailers

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Here’s a recent video we shot in which we explore some of the features and benefits of this fresh Aussie game shop POS software:

This POS software for game shops from Tower Systems is made for game shops. It has evolved from our toy shop software.

Game shops have some unique needs, which we seek to serve in this marketplace specific POS software.

Packed with facilities that help these local and loved game shops better serve customers and attract new customers, this software is not your everyday POS software. It is not generic.

Our game shop software offers many benefits, including:

  • Save time with electronic invoices from suppliers.
  • Easy special customer orders. Smart tracking and customer notification.
  • Make money from pre-orders – Easily pre-sell before release.
  • Community group pricing. Set pricing rules based on customer type.
  • Easy record keeping: serial number tracking of items with serial numbers.
  • Ensure compliance when required with structured age checking.
  • Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd. Drive sales.
  • Differentiate with bundles. Make price comparison hard.
  • Say goodbye to LayBy – with integrated buy now pay later options.
  • Market to customers based on past purchases.
  • Cut accounting and bookkeeping fees with integration to Xero and others.
  • Easily sell online with a direct to Shopify link from your POS software.

We are grateful to local game shops for their advice and guidance we tune the software for marketplace specific needs.

Small business retail advice on handling community group donation requests

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Requests from schools, charities and other community for donations can be a challenge for any size business. If you do not take a structured approach to this you will find yourself giving away plenty for little or no return.

Requests are often loaded with guilt.  People can be passive aggressive in their approach. Often, people requesting help leverage pester power. It can be hard to say no. There are too many stories of retailers giving a gift as a prize, receiving the Thank You poster and achieving no benefit for the business.

having heard many stories from our POS software customers and experience ourselves in running retail businesses, we have put together advice for small business retailers on this challenge of the constant stream of community groups asking for donations.

Our advice is to manage your philanthropy as you would any business activity.

THE PRIZE / GIFT

Decide the amount in cash or product value or both that you are prepared to donate in a full year, calendar year or financial year.

Our recommendation is you give away cash, but in the form of a voucher to spend in your business. This ensures that value of the gift or prize is greater than the cost of it to your business.

The best mechanism for giving away cash or an amount to spend in-store is to do it  by way of a gift voucher. Use your software to manage this as any manual approach is dangerous and time-consuming.

YOUR PITCH, NOT THEIRS

Get on the front foot and write to local community groups outlining that you budget a year in advance. Seek their submissions. With this advice sheet we have included the text of a suggested letter. Please read the letter as it outlines the approach we suggest and why. It is important you communicate this with all community groups.

On the page after the letter is a suggested notice for use in-store when you are asked for donations.

HOW TO PICK GROUPS TO SUPPORT

Focus on community groups that support you. That is, groups with members who support you. The more they support you the better you are able to support the community.

Be prepared to ask where people shop for the items you sell in your business. Ask if they will change in return for your support.

Asking these questions underscores to you the importance of approaching the decision as a business decision.

Be thoughtful and deliberate. Support the groups that support you. This is important as it helps you stay within a budget.

LET YOUR SHOPPERS CHOOSE

If you run discount vouchers and if customers say they don’t want the voucher, invite them to contribute the voucher to a local group – one of three you setup for in the business. Every month, two months or three months, tote up the vouchers and give the group a parentage of the total voucher value ‘voted’ for them.

This idea could be in addition to any giving program you run in the business. It offers a daily reminder of your commitment to local giving.

Grill’d burgers run a program kind of like this where each shopper is given a bottle cap, which they place in a tub to vote on a group to receive a cash donation for the month. The process of groups submitting to be considered is onerous. You can find out more about that program with this link – it is a good place to research what others do: https://www.grilld.com.au/localmatters/

REWARD ENGAGEMENT

In addition to any direct gift, consider an offer whereby anyone who is a member of the group who shops with you accrues an amount you donate to the group. You could manage this through your software. It could be you offer a discount to the shopper as well as accruing a value for the group.

This type of program could also be in addition to your core giving program as the value here is driven by sales – hopefully, incremental sales.

EDUCATE GROUPS ABOUT GOOD ENGAGEMENT

Here are things groups you support can do to help your business. You should ask them to do these things:

  1. Tell members to buy from you.
  2. Write about your business on their Facebook page.
  3. Distribute flyers of your offers.
  4. Have you speak at a meeting.

WRITE ABOUT YOUR ENGAGEMENT

Once you have a decision on which groups you will support, write about this in your newsletter and on Facebook. Not just once but multiple times. Invite them to provide you with content to publish too. Talk about their good works.

Ask them to write about you too.

Your giving must serve your heart and serve your business. Going about it in a structured way will ensure you meet your objectives.

Here is suggested text for a letter:

 

[date]

 

 

 

Good morning

I write to invite your community group to submit a proposal to be considered one of the groups we support this coming year. We are taking this more formal approach rather than considering donation requests when they are pitched trough the year.

We are a small family business with limited resources. We seek to be engaged with community groups that support us as the more successful we are the more we can help the community.

The approach we are taking here is to allow us to plan our giving, to be deliberate in the support we provide.

We will not take on donations through the year from groups who call or visit. While this may seem unfair, we think it will result in more valuable support for the groups we engage with.

In addition to a financial donation, we will support the groups we select through promotion on our business Facebook page and in other practical ways. We want an involvement that is more than just financial, we want to help the groups we partner with to reach further into the community.

To help us consider your business please provide a one page written submission that briefly outlines:

  1. The goal of the group.
  2. Number of members.
  3. What you stand for.
  4. The work you do.
  5. Why it matters to the community.
  6. How a relationship with you could help the community.

We will consider all submissions at the same time and advise the outcome of our deliberations.

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Here is suggested text for a notice:

 

OUR POLICY ON HANDLING COMMUNITY GROUP DONATIONS.

We receive requests to support local community groups and charities regularly. As a small family business with loans, rent, wages and other costs, we cannot say yes to everyone. We wish we could but we cannot.

To help us better connect with and serve the groups we do support, we now decide at the start of the financial year the groups we will support over the next year. The selection process is based on written submissions from groups.

Our decision to select the groups we support at the start of the year means we cannot take on additional donation requests through the year.

We hope you understand and respect this.

Please consider applying in advance of the start of the next financial year.

But all is not lost…

If your group can bring in new customers to our business to purchase items they want we may have another way we can help. Ask us for details.

Thank you and we wish you all the best in your community group.

Fresh POS software marketing pitch

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We are loving the reaction from our new range of POS software marketing postcards, which are out now. Each features a happy image representing our software in a specialty niche retail channel. They are a good reflection of the specialty nature of our small business retail focussed POS software.

This is us, Tower Systems. We are proud of what we make and the businesses we get to help.

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