The POS Software Blog

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


How does the Tower Systems POS software compare with Retail Express?


The short answer is we don’t know. we have never used Retail Express in any of our software. We’ve not even looked at their software. Likewise, we are not aware of any Retail Express staff members looking at our Tower Systems POS software.

So, How does the Tower Systems POS software compare with Retail Express? … we don’t know.

This question is on our mind today because someone asked us. They had been told a view and wanted our reaction.

The best we can do is make it easy for you to see our software in a demonstration for your specific business, or across at our publicly accessible Tower Systems YouTube channel. You don’t have to give us your email address to access these videos. We believe in transparency and show it through easy access to this software we make and support.

We are even happy to arrange a personal Zoom meeting where you can see our software compared function for function with Retail Express.

What we want for every retailer we speak with is for them to find the software that best serves their needs.

If the Tower Systems POS software is not the right fit, we’ll say so and wish you all the best. We won’t pressure you or pitch to you. We let your needs guide what’s best, yes, your needs and how they match, or don’t, with our POS software.

From our sales team members to our leadership team to our help desk team members we are all about providing personal service in support of ever evolving POS software. We mention ever evolving since the Tower software today is very different to what we offers a year ago or two years ago. This continual improvement with which we engage is driven by customer suggestion, for which we are sincerely grateful.

Functionality is everything and comparing two POS software programs function buy function is useful to determine which better serves your needs. This is another reason for wanting the assessment to be done in your business, at a time of your choosing.

This is what good personal service is all about – putting the needs of your business first.

How does Tower Systems compare to Retail Express? Compare the two software programs in your business side by side and see for yourself.

Our 3,000+ local retail businesses that we serve help us create better software every day and for that we are grateful.

People see copying for what it is


We demonstrated our latest integration with Google maps last week, through our enhanced integrated dispatch tools. We have been working with produce businesses, garden centres, landscapers and more to deliver an advanced solution that serves their needs for managing anything from one delivery vehicle to a fleet.

The enhanced Google maps integration is a small part of a much bigger solution. We say enhanced because it is ahead of what we have done for years.

Rather than speaking to any innovation of their own, a wannabe competitor wrote publicly about Google maps integration, a day after we did. They’ve done it before and we’re sure people see it for what it is.

Retailers would benefit more from innovative competition, not a game of follow the leader.

Who owns your small business data?


We have a local retail business switching to our POS software from another POS software company. Once they let their current software company know they were moving to us, they were locked out from being able to access their business data, including product images that they had loaded into their software. This is their own intellectual property that they loaded into the software.

This is an appalling situation that has come about solely because someone in the POS software company losing a customer has decided to block access to their current customer.

Is our POS software right for you?


Yes, you, we are asking you. This is a personal question directed at local retailers, small business retailers.

Is our POS software right for you?

We think this is a question any local retail business owner needs to answer for themselves prior to purchasing POS software, prior to making that decision for themselves.

Yes, it is a personal decision, like any vital and important decision you make about the business.

You have to feel good abut the decision. It has to feel right. It has to fit. It has to be the decision you are comfortable and happy with.

We say, take your time, research thoroughly, be sure of what you want, be sure of the people you will deal with. It’s your business after all and every decision you take in and about the business is a reflection on you. This is why we say the decision about the best POS software for your local retail business is likely to be a personal decision for you.

Is our POS software right for you?

We are not seeking to be combative or offensive in asking the question. rather, our goal is to help you make the decision that best serves your own needs for if they are served then the POS software you choose will serve the needs of the business as well. It starts as a personal decision and evolves into a business decision.

The way to answer the question Is our POS software right for you? is by being personally involved, looking at software, talking to people from the company, talking to existing customers, being sure about your needs and being sure about your ultimate decision. If you are not sure, don’t rush, there is no hurry – expect sometimes from the software sales person who is chasing a target. We will not pressure here at Tower Systems – we are here for the long haul. make your decision when it is right for you.

So, Is our POS software right for you? We hope so. But, if it is not, we will wish you all the best. We may even suggest other POS software to consider.

Tower Systems makes specialty POS software for selected niche retail channels. Our focus is on local small business retail.

No secret commissions here


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.

The important role of local small business retailers during Covid lockdowns


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.

The ethics of using POS software to hide income from the federal government


Many many years ago we were shown a function in POS software from another local software company that enabled a retailer using the software to take cash out of the business in a way that was difficult to detect.

Using a special password, anyone using the software could enter the amount they wanted to withdraw. the software adjusted records to hide the withdrawal, maintaining accounts records for any tax audit and a separate, hidden, set of records for the business owner.

We discovered the unique tax free cash accessing facility when we were asked many many years ago to add a similar facility in our software. The business owner wanted to remove $2,000 cash a week from their busy business. We refused. We lost that customer and some others who wanted such a facility.

Eventually, the knowledge of the facility in the other POS software reached state and federal government authorities. Several agencies from state and federal governments got together to look at the facilities. We were able to observe this first-hand. It was breathtaking. Their interest was in how a retailer was assisted in removing cash from a business without detection. This was demonstrated.

We have been asked since several times by some retailers to make it easy for them to remove cash undetected from the business. Our answer is as it has always been – you can’t do this with our software. To do so within the code of our software would be illegal, just as doing so in any retail business would be illegal.

With benchmarks and other data analysis tools, the federal government is especially well equipped today to detect such activity.

We have many ways we can lawfully help local retailers make more money in their businesses – through better decision making, faster decision making, tactical shop floor engagement, efficient online selling to shoppers they will never see. retail today is growing for many local retailers thanks to these and other engaging tools in smart POS software. This is where good business growth can be achieved and through which value can be cultivated to make a business worth more when it comes time for the owners to sell.

Bad business decisions can be a big burden in a retail business. make better business decisions and you can make more than any cash you may wish you could take form a business.

Using fake images online can hurt your business


The best images to use on your website or on your blog if you are writing about your business are images you have taken yourself. It only makes your business look bad when you take a stock image and manipulate it in some way and claim it as your image, representing your business or what you sell. People see this for what it is.

Taking your own photos and being in control of images you use for your business speaks to your commitment to authenticity and this speaks to what you make and sell.

If you are feeling guilty reading this, check the images you are using online.

How to spot an out of touch out of date POS software company


Here are some tips on how to spot a POS software company that may be out of touch or out of date and thereby maybe not ideal for consideration for serving your business.

  • Nameless / faceless. POS software businesses that do not provide public-facing access to the names and contact details for their leadership team demonstrate a lack of faith in your business in our view. Retail is personal. The service of needs of retailers its personal. Here at Tower Systems you can see who we are and tap into our contact details easily, quickly. If you are looking at a POS software company and can’t see authentic photos and genuine leadership team contact details, wonder about their commitment to personal service.
  • Fake sales people. Some POS software companies use fake names for sales people. They use a cartoon type image to represent them, too. This should be a warning sign. Not using real names and real images or videos may reflect rapid turnover of sales people. That’s a warning sign right there. You want your POS software sales person to stand by what they sell. they do this by being themselves and sharing their real contact details.
  • Clip Art. if you see that on a POS software business website run, run fast! It’s so 1980s, so out of date … leaving you to wonder if their software is out of date.
  • Free software. You’re in business right?! You understand that businesses need income to exist. Free is not a sustainable business model.
  • Are they on a list of the best? Check it out because it may be a list they paid to be on. If a few clicks you can soon discover this.
  • Fact check. Let’s say, for example, they claim to a partner with, hmmm, Microsoft. You can soon see if this is true. If they are not such a partner you then know they have made an inaccurate claim on their website. Is that what you want from a PSO software company.

We share these tips today as a reminder that not all POS software companies are the same. Do your research. Start with what you need in your business and then focus on the best software that serves your business needs. remember, you are in control. Choose what you want, what you know is right for your business.

Beware the con of POS software comparison websites


There is a con online that is duping small business retailers. The con is POS software comparison websites … that they do not compare software.

Too often POS software comparison websites do no comparison at all. They will accept any POS software business to be listed through them as long as that business agrees to the fees charged by the comparison website. It really is that simple. Pay the bucks and your business is put forward as one recommended as worthy of consideration.

There is no comparison done by POS software comparison websites. They are an ad platform that POS software companies pay to be listed on.

We know this from first hand experience being signed up to a POS software comparison website for a short time. They didn’t;t compare us, check us out, look at our software or do anything that could be considered an assessment of our suitability.

POS software comparison websites do not comp0are POS software.

Sure, you enter responses to some questions – this is only so they can provide their customers, the paying POS software companies, more information about your needs.

POS software comparison websites are an ad platform plain and simple.

Look at the POS software listed through them and you may not be seeing all of the software options that could be suited to your specific business needs.

There is no substitute to thorough research. You owe it to your retail business to do that. This is why we recommend against using a POS software comparison website – they restrict the businesses pitched to you. They do this without really understanding your business needs.

POS software comparison websites do not compare software, certainly not in our experience at least.

Our opinion is that if your business is serious about its POS software you need to do your own research, create your own short.list and do the work of looking at the software yourself. This way you are pursuing the outcome that is most appropriate to your own business needs, based on your own work and focus. We are certain this approach will give you a better business outcome.

Buyer beware. That POS software comparison website that says it has done the work for you and done the comparison and found the best of the best may have done none off those things.

Buyer beware: comparison websites may not have compared as they claim


Product and service comparison websites are popular online. If you search for POS software, it is likely that an ad from a comparison website will be the top result. Indeed, depending on the time of day you search, the first three or four results will be be for comparison websites advertising POS software.

What’s wrong with advertising? Nothing, if the claims in the ad are accurate.

Based on our personal experience, comparison websites do not provide the service they suggest they offer. While online the comparison website we worked with claimed to have compared POS software in order to recommend the best, no such comparison was undertaken. Once we saw, first hand, what they were doing we ended our short relationship with them.

Does this mean all comparison websites operate this way, claiming they have compared products and services to bring you the best? No. we can only speak to what we experienced ourselves. However, that experience was enough for us to say, no thank you. We will not engage with sites that claim something they do not do.

We wish the ACCC, state based Consumer Affairs and other authorities would look into the operation of comparison websites, getting behind the scenes, looking at the contracts and understanding the evidence. we think they will find that some comparison websites are an ad platform plain and simple – claiming to compare when they in fact do no such comparison. Shoppers are duped in these situations, thinking they are being recommended the best fit, the best software … when, in fact, they are being pitched software the comparison website is paid to ‘recommend’.

We wish Google would look at this as well as they are making money from the comparison website game being played. these websites pay Google too appear ahead of natural search results. They are profiting from the game being played.

Here at Tower Systems we want our software to be installed by businesses that choose it based on their own research and active comparison with other possible solutions. We want to be authentically chosen for good business reasons and not because we paid to come up first in some fake best of the best search result online.

If you are searching for a product or service and a comparison website advertises to be a top result, our advice is beware, do your research … choose based on what you discover for yourself and not based on what a nameless and faceless website claims is the best of the best. Deep pockets for advertising doe not make a company or product the best.

Beware POS software comparison websites as they are unlikely to have compared the software they pitch to you


There are websites that claim to be software comparison websites. They claim to have done the work for you, comparing software. They offer to suggest several vetted software companies for your consideration.

In our experience it is unlikely the comparison websites will have compared the software they pitch to you.

It’s our opinion that software comparison websites are purely an ad platform for the businesses that pay to have their software pitched as worthy of consideration by prospective customers.

There is no comparison. We say this based on our own first-hand experience. Our software was not looked or assessed. They wanted money from us per lead. That was it. This makes the comparison website an ad platform plain and simple.

Online they pitch as offering a service, something of value, to the software shopper. The reality is the comparison website businesses offer a commercial service to the software companies – the software companies are their customer.

We dug deeper, presenting as a business looking for software. Sure, they pitched us to three software companies. There was little in the way of filtering. Knowing what we know from when we assessed them as a software business, they charge 3 businesses $100 each for the leads. That’s an easy $300 made for having a slick website that looks like they have done the assessment fork for you when they have not.

Our advice, based on our experience is do not use a comparison website to consider software.

It’s worse than this though and here’s why …

Having considered a comparison website, trying them for a couple of weeks and then saying no thanks, they started paying Google for our business name as an ad keyword. You search for us and their ad comes up. They then contacted us and said he you should do business with us because we have leads for you. These are leads they got by paying Google money to run ads when people type Tower Systems into Google.

Our company lists first in the natural results. The software comparison company and several other similar companies come up ahead us, with ads.

Software comparison website ads claim to offer quotes from leading companies, trusted companies, the most reliable companies. How can they make these claims when they have not themselves assessed the companies? They cannot.

One company claims we compare all the big brands and more. No, they do not.

One company claims that by using them they can provide access to 20-40% saving. No, they cannot as they do not negotiate on price.

One company claims that they let you compare the best-suited products. No, they do not. They don’t look at the software. They have no experience to make an assessment as to what is best.

The only service the comparison website businesses offer from our experience and research is to advertise on Google and provide their partner software companies with leads if a query falls into an area directly or vaguely covered by the software company.

Buyer beware. Comparison websites we have looked at do not compare. They act as a front for ad dollars, being paid for leads they give to partner software companies, that may not offer the best software in their field.

The scam of best POS software lists


Just about every couple of weeks we receive an email saying we are in the top 10, top 5 or better of POS software companies as determined by some unknown publishing business. They write and say how awesome we are and then ask us to pay for advertising or co-sponsor a feature article.

We are pleased to say we have never fallen for it, never paid to be on such a list. Doing so, in our view, diminishes the participating businesses and, potentially, dupes shoppers for good POS software.

In our opinion, these assessments are not real, not based on evidence. Rather, they look and feel like ad revenue raising campaigns for the platforms and nothing more.

Here is an email we received this morning:

This is typical for this type of ad-revenue you’re a top software company approach. You can tell it is dubious in that the publication is not well known, has never been on our radar, is not aimed at customers who would appeal to us and has content that does not feel it has been written by a journalist. The whole thing feels like PR, paid-for PR.

The only assessment that matters to us is that from customers, people using our software. We serve them. They provide us with income.

Buyer beware: hidden costs can make POS software expensive


That cheap POS system you might be considering m ay not be as cheap as you think by the time you add the four or five optional facilities that, with our Tower Systems POS software, are included in our everyday transparent price.

Too often right now we are seeing POS software offers, especially from businesses based outside of Australia, where the price quoted and the initial price signed for is not the price you pay foe what you want to do.

The pitch is appealing, hey start here for this price, sure it is cheap wbut it is a perfect place to start.

Soon, though, yonce you try and do what is core to your business, you need extra modules that cost more and, soon, you are paying more than the other software you decided against because it was too expensive. But, since you have invested time in your data, you don’t switch. Then, a year down the track, prices go up and there is something else that is an add-on cost and by then you are paying 50% more than the then price of the other POS software product you decided against because it was too expensive.

Buyer beware, take your time, get all the facts, ensure you understand the full cost, the total cost and the trajectory of the costs and then compare this across POS software packages.

Cheap POS software is not cheap. What may appear to be cheap POS software today will, for sure, be found to not be cheap at some point down the track. We hear this often.

We urge people to shop around, to look at other software, to compare functionality and to compare price. However, this has to be done based on the facts and not marketing spin. It has to be done thoroughly so that you as the customer are not let down. Only the facts matter.

This is why we say, don’t rush into a free trial because, that’s how they get you. They want you to become time and data invested and thereby less likely to actually look around what is genuinely best for your business.

Cheap POS software is like any cheap product, they have either cut corners, paid less for professional work than is the market rate or included less in the product. Its;s business 101. Sure, there is cheap POS software out there, it is not, in our experience, good for most retail.

Buyer beware. The hidden costs of POS software can make cheap POS software look expensive.

Small business retail advice: 7 principles for navigating the Covid recession


Through our work with small business retailers, we help with POS software and broader management advice. recently, we have been asked for advice about trading in this period of recession.

7 principles for navigating there Covid recession

We get it, Australia is in a recession, a Covid recession brought on by the pandemic and responses to it here and overseas.

Relentlessly, media outlets overload with recession stories, fuelling worry and anxiety and challenging consumer confidence.

It’s tempting to get drawn to the doom and gloom stories, to amplify the woe is me narrative. But that does not help.

Plenty of people in business, especially small business, prefer to look ahead, to focus on the other side of the recession as it is that view of what could be that motivates.

We think a back to basics approach is what is needed to get us through the recession. We think it’s right for our software business, the retail shops we own and for the many local businesses we serve.

The back to basics guiding principles we share here are focussed on this, focussed on providing sure footing today and encouraging optimism for tomorrow.

This is not a list from which you choose what you like. Our advice is that you do everything on this list, because in our experience, together they provide the best chance of navigating the recession well.

  1. Nurture what makes the business money and fix or stop what does not make the business money. Leverage strengths. Fix or eliminate weaknesses.
  2. Embrace ways to broaden the reach of the business.
  3. Make safe decisions, decisions you know will work. For example, buy well. That is, buy what will sell easily, quickly.
  4. Embrace ways you can add value to what you sell without spending more.
  5. Be frugal. Before every spending decision ask 2 questions: do we need this? Will this add value? Review every business expense. Cut those that do not add value.
  6. Your next step is in front of you. Look ahead, not behind. Talk up, not down.
  7. If you feel overwhelmed, take it one step at a time. Every day, do something that makes you happy.

When should you start? Now. But not alone. This is a whole of business project. Involve the whole team and embrace all the points at every opportunity.

How do we know these principles work? We have experience trading through two recessions, one country wide and the other sector wide. We’ve also traded through Covid with excellent results – because we embraced these principles back in early March 2020.

Let’s take a moment to unpack principle #3, make safe decisions. Safe decisions are those you can bet on because they work every time. They may not be exciting, but they are safe. They may not be the best margin, but they are safe. Safe decisions are all about certainty, providing a small step that is stable, sure-footed. Put a few of those in a row and you feel better. Feeling better is key to helping you navigate the Covid recession.

While we understand the value of news, there may be value in consuming less news, staying away from the negative stories. Your success is the most important news right now.

We  provide practical support for local small business retailers.

It is cliché, but …. We are here for you.

Why you will not see our POS software listed on on top lists


There is a scam in the software business space where software companies are invited to pay to be put on lists of the top software.

Some lists are application specific like POS software while others are retail channel specific like gift shops, jewellers and similar. There is another list going around for top inventory management software and another for top retail software linking to accounting software.

Tower Systems has been approached five times in recent months to pay to be listed on such lists. In one case, the amount you paid determined your position on the list. The fee sought to be on such a faux list of the best has ranged from $2,500 to $15,000.  With between 8 and 15 companies on such a list and the promoters often creating 10+ lists every few months you can get a sense of the financial value, to them, of the scam.

In each case the invitation said they had assessed us and our POS software as being worthy. We checked them out and there had been no assessment whatsoever. Each approach was, in our view, a scam, a commercial operation designed to drive revenue for the business in control of the like by providing a fake ranking that the software companies listed could point to in their marketing – further promoting the fake.

We have never participated in these scams at Tower Systems. We have not and will not pay to have our POS software listed in a list that says we are one of the best.

The only assessment we trust is that of each of our POS software user small business retail customers. The toy shop owners, farm supply business owners, jewellers, garden centre owners, landscapers, pool repairers, newsagents, bike shop owners … these small business owners matter to us.

Paying to be on a list reflects poorly on the software companies on the list in our view. It demonstrates that the software and services provided by any company on such a list were not a factor in determining place.

The next time you see a software company promoting that they are on a list, ask them how they got there, ask them if they paid anything to the creators or promoters of the list. You will not see our Tower Systems POS software there, and for that we are grateful.

Challenges for suppliers of products sourced from China


Shoppers are keen for Australian made – more so now than at any time we can recall. Our advice to suppliers and retailers is consistent: If your products are Australian made, make sure you are bold in pitching that on the products.

Since COVID hit and more so in recent weeks as tensions with China have escalated in Australia and in recent weeks as democracy in Hong Kong has come under attack from Beijing, shoppers and retailers are more wary of China sourced product. And more recent still is the attack on the international student business.

Is sourcing products from China a long term concern? It’s hard to say. It is, however, enough of a concern in our view that we expect some suppliers are actively working on adjustments to their supply chain so as to not be impacted by anti China sentiments.

We have been discussing the situation internally and with our retailer partners and we feel that it is Beijing’s moves against Hong Kong and the recent war of words from China against Australia that represent the most significant risk to the commercial viability of China sourced products.

Does this mean retailers don’t want to source products from China? No. However, it does mean that it is on the minds of retailers and that they do talk about it with us.

In our own retail businesses, yes, we are a POS software company with our own shops selling gifts and homewares as test sites for our software, we are concerned about the source of what we sell. Where possible we preference locally made, ethically sourced.

What’s happening in Hong Kong showcases suppression of democracy and at some point we anticipate the world will respond to that. What’s being published by state owned news outlets in China against Australia also indicates the challenges and risks ahead for the supply chain.

These are reasons why we hope suppliers have alternatives in development so that supply is not impacted.

As a POS software company we became involved in our customer businesses in many ways. We have written about this topic today as it has come up in several retailer forums we have hosted.

How our Australian POS software company helps Australian small business retailers to ethically pitch shop local


Shop local is a common pitch from small business retailers. You see it on social media as well as on signs in front of shops. It’;s usually an emotive pitch without substance.

We think such pitches, while well intentioned, fall flat as they offer little evidence of what shop local looks like.

Small business retailers who pitch shop local need to, themselves, look at where they shop for products and for infrastructure. The shop local pitch can fall flat if the business clearly sells products primarily sourced from overseas.

For businesses sourcing products locally, we can help in our POS software with opportunities and tools through which the local Australian made message can be pitched and reinforced, to help shoppers see and feel the local connection at the transaction and product level.

In our Australian made and supported POS software we can help small business local retailers practically and consistently advise customers about locally made products – in-store as well as online. We can help retailers to do this in a way that demonstrates their actions speaking louder than words. We think this approach will have more valuable impact than a social media post calling for people to shop locally.

Sharing information on receipts and through other platforms about locally made product can be the difference in winning a sale or not. Doing it with consistency across the inventory fleet is critical. It can be systemised for consistency of delivery and of wording itself. This is where our Aussie POS software can help small business retailers be smart in their shop local and buy Australian pitch.

We’d love to see more retailers being smarter in their shop local pitches. Of course, it is locally made and supported software that will do best at this for Aussie small business retailers. Our goals are more likely to be your goals when it comes to what is good for Australia and Australians. Yes, this is out pitch to you for POS software – buy locally made and ask what it can do for you to pitch shop local and shop Australian.

Here at Tower Systems we can help with this. Indeed, we’d love to help you with this. We live and breathe shop local.

The more we work together the strong our local communities, the stronger our country.

Online user forum brings together small business retail POS software users


Today we are hosting an online user forum for independent small business retailers across Australia and New Zealand to talk business.

This free ranging and open forum is another enamour series of facilitating opportunities for small business retailers to talk to each other. That it is online makes it easier for these retailers to connect without a cost or disruption of travel.

Today’s online forum will include discussion on:

  1. Life after the bushfires.
  2. The economy and its impact on local small retail businesses.
  3. The Coronavirus challenge.
  4. Ideas for stimulating your retail business.
  5. The single most effective tool in the POS software to drive sales.
  6. Free POS software training.

Open to any retailer using our software, the meeting will be recorded and made available to all Tower Systems customers.

We are grateful to all who will participate as it is contributions from everyday retailers that makes meetings like this useful for all.

Audit tools in POS software help small business retailers find out what they do not know


Secret audit tools in POS software are critical in small business retail for they provide insights into behind the scenes activity in a business that could be harmful to the business. By tracking activities including keystrokes designed to manipulate business data, good POS software is able to help a retail business compare bad behaviour including fraud.

The Tower Systems small business POS software has terrific audit tools that can only be accessed with the most secure password managed by the software, a password only given by the comp0any to business owners.

Using the smart audit tools, we have been able to help retailers to track employee fraud, supplier fraud, customer fraud and what could have been expensive but unintentional mistakes.

The Audie tools and the secret mirror data they have access to represent a valuable asset to any indie retailer as they make the POS software operational smart for and protective of that business.

This area of data curation and management is not often talked abut because it can be construed as a negative given the connection with bad things happening in a business. The reality is that knowing the tools are there creates a positive situation, a comfort, a peace of mind as the POS software is offering a set of eyes and ears watching over the business and providing the business access to insights to help reduce the negative.

The Tower Systems small business POS software provides to indie retailers audit tools that are exemplary in their service of ethical business operation. This is especially useful inn businesses that are run with owners and even senior managers not in a location full  time.

So, in addition to accurately and quickly transacting retail sales, the Tower Systems POS software offers retail business owners access to tools through which they can review data that sheds light on behaviour that could compromise the business. This is what a good audit is about.

Our POS software audit tools have been used in legal cases and by business financial auditors and forensic accountants to track potential misbehaviour. the resulting data can be a body of evidence in criminal or commercial legal action. It is data on which expert evidence can be offered as to actions taken in a business that cold be the matter of such a case.

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.

ATO warns small businesses on sales suppression software


The ABC has reported the ATO is clamping down on small businesses using sales suppression software to minimise tax.

Ms Jenkins said the ATO was also cracking down on the use of sales suppression software that disguised the transactions within a company’s records.

“There is some really sophisticated software out there that is helping people avoid paying the right amount of tax.

“But whether it is cashless payments or whether it is the use of platforms or apps, it means there is really a trace of your transactions.

“We use merchant data and other sources of information to identify where things just don’t look right. Then we go and have a chat to them and say, ‘Hey, can you explain?’

In the mid 1990s there was sales suppression scam operating in the newsagency channel. I became aware of it because my newsagency software company lost businesses because we refused to offer such a facility.

There was a software program into which the retailer could enter a code and then an amount of cash they wanted to take out of the business unreported. A second set of records was maintained for the ATO and another records for the business owner.

I know because the software was demonstrated to me several times, by someone who had worked for the software company that created the software. They had approached me. I did some more checking with newsagents and discovered the facility in the software was being used.

The matter was reported to the ATO. At their then Box Hill office in Victoria they assembled a task force including representatives from the ATO, Federal Police, Federal Attorney General office. Victorian State Revenue and Victorian Attorney General office. Several of us with knowledge were brought in for a demonstration of the software. There were several follow up meetings with the ATO in Sydney.

Eventually, my software company stopped losing sales due to us not having the tax avoidance facility in our software.

Any retailer deliberately and systematically underreporting their income to avoid tax deserves what they get from the ATO and from any suppliers they impact through their actions.

  1. We refuse to help any retailer avoid tax.
  2. We will not code for tax avoidance in o0ur software.
  3. We will report it if we see it.
  4. Retailers and taxpayers need to be able to trust POS software.

Advice for small business retailers on dealing with employee theft by a minor


This advice is from our vault of business management advice for indie small business retailers. This vault contains advice on many diverse aspects of small business management, often far removed from the POS software we are known for.

Today our advice is about how to deal with employee theft by a minor in a retail business.

If you suspect an employee aged under eighteen of theft from your business you need to be careful as to how you navigate this. It is important to take time to decide the appropriate plan of action before you approach the suspect to even investigate the matter. The wrong approach could have challenging consequences for you, your business and the person you suspect.

Our suggestion is that the moment you have a suspicion, invite the suspect and a parent in for a meeting. Have someone else there as well, as your witness.

  1. Present your evidence and invite their response.
  2. Ensure you are civil, factual and not emotional.
  3. Listen to their response without interruption.
  4. If they ask what you want to do about it, be sure you have a reasonable response ready. If there is agreement on this, move forward.
  5. If there is not agreement on what you propose, or if they deny the theft, you need to be ready with your next course of action. This course of action should be reasonable and focussed on getting to verifiable truth.

If there is agreement that theft occurred and the employee is casual, my suggestion is immediate termination with you paying out what is owed by law. Put it behind you. Never speak of it outside the business. To constantly revisit it, especially outside a major city, can be debilitating.

If there is not agreement, ask they other side what they want to do. It could be that even though they deny it they are happy to walk away from the business. If this is not the case, you could suggest mediation. The Fair Work Obmudsman office could possible play a role here. You could equally suggest that both sides take the matter to the police.

The reality is that once you make a complaint to parents you have to be prepared to follow through, to see the matter to a reasonable end.

My core message today is that handling the suspected theft by someone under eighteen takes care and planning, to ensure that you, your business and the suspect are all dealt with fairly and safely.

The scam of Top 10 POS Solution providers in APAC 2019


Like what we suspect is a long line of POS software companies, we were contacted last week with advice that Tower Systems was shortlisted for Top 10 POS Solution providers in APAC 2019. Yipee! No, not really. Not at all in fact.

Having read the email announcement and associated details, we reached the conclusion that this is an advertising scam, not worthy of further time investment from us. Okay, scam might be too strong a word. However, it feels like a scam from where we sit, because of what they actually want.

Their email was a request for us to spend money with them to go to the next step. This is why we say their email congratulating us is a scam.

We doubt there is a top ten as such. We doubt that they only emailed ten companies.

Our experience with this Top 10 POS Solution providers in APAC 2019 pitch is that retailer should be aware of claims made by companies about being in the list. If, like us, they got the congratulatory email and other materials, a swift read would have revealed that it was off, odd, feeling and reading like a scam or marketing at best, that the aware is not real.

We, for sure, would not trust the claim of Top 10 POS Solution providers in APAC 2019, for us or any other company on the list based on our experience with this unsolicited call for marketing funds to be spend to get to the next step.

Our advice to, for what it is worth, retailers is to not trust this list or any other top of or best of list. In our experience, you cannot trust the genuine independence of these lists. That we are on this top ten POS Solution list is enough reason for us. We are a specialty POS software company, niche, narrow in focus, only serving specialist retail channels. We should not be on this wide and generic list. We don’t aspire to.

We didn’t get scammed or conned, we didn’t spend any money, we did not. get caught up in what we think is a false and misleading claim.

Our call out to small business retailers is to not get caught up in what is essentially a money-making marketing activity. beware companies that claim to be on the list because we know from experience what they have spent and done to get there.

Transparency matters.

Bigger, better, more customers – claims from POS software companies to beware.


Facts matter in business. Provable facts, on which you can base business decisions. Too often we see POS software companies make claims without specific facts or that are plain wrong.

A company claiming they are the biggest in a marketplace should be considered with suspicion if a competitor says they have a specific number of customers. One is providing a specific number while the other is making a broad claim. The former, under consumer law, respects obligation while the latter could be claimed as puffery and therefore allow them to get away with it.

Facts do matter in business, especially small business, they end of the marketplace for retailers in which tower systems focusses.

Here, we eschew broad claims. We’d prefer to be specific. For example, we wrote recently that we have 29 firearms dealers using our software. At the time of writing that number was accurate. By the time, you are reading this it is bound to be more because even then we had sales that were yet to be installed. I mention this as a competitor, who makes a broad non-specific claim, seeks to use our honesty to say they have more without being specific.

We see this as a problem for the competitor as their generalisation reflects a flexibility with the facts, maybe dishonesty even. This is a problem as it makes it hard for small business retailers. People like the blood glossy claim if it sounds better. However, the accurate claim with the real number matters.

In many years in this business of POS software for small business retailers, we have come to see the competitors who make the bold and regular marketing claims about having more customers or being the biggest or being the first, they are the ones we believe less.

What really matters is that you verify claims, that you check for evidence and satisfy yourself that you have been told the truth as truth matters in business and in life. If someone lies to get your business then how will they behave toward you once they have your business. Facts matter. That is what we believe and that is what we live by, here at Tower Systems.