Australia has a new big player in the point-of-sale (POS) hardware distribution market as the global PC-POS International organisation commenced local operations last month on the back of what is proving to be a GST- and Y2K-compliance-led boom in this lucrative sector.
Opportunities abound at the moment for resellers of point-of-sale technology into resurgent retail and hospitality markets, according to David Kroser, managing director of PC-POS Australia.
"The boom in point-of-sale markets is likely to continue for at least the next two to three years," Kroser said. "We feel we can make a big impact on the market and make a difference to the way traditional POS resellers deal with suppliers."
He is promising that PC-POS will deliver unprecedented levels of service to Australian software developers and systems integrators who are chasing the POS solutions dollar.
"We firmly believe in the term value-added distribution. We want the resellers in this market to understand that we are serious about becoming a major player," he added.
Kroser said PC-POS' research shows some 80-85 per cent of the small retailers in Australia are still using either cash registers or smart cash registers with debatable Y2K compliance. That smells like opportunity.
To achieve mind-share with the main players, PC-POS is officially launching itself and the brand names it distributes on June 26. The launch will take place in the presidential suite of Stadium Australia during the Centenary Test rugby match between England and Australia with 40 hand-picked personnel from Australia's 25 largest POS resellers.
"We have researched the Australian market very thoroughly and know where most of Australia's medium and large retailers are at with their POS technology," Kroser said.
"There are some pretty large retail organisations that are desperately in need of an upgrade and we will be passing leads on to our resellers where applicable."
The PC-POS product range is targeted at small-to-medium size retailers with "30-100 stores nationally", which represents the largest slice of the market, according to Kroser. He also expects to make some impact on the high and low ends of the market.
Kroser was quick to point out that PC-POS never deals direct with end users and trades exclusively in POS hardware. As well as assembling its own PC-POS brand in Australia, the company has distribution agreements for popular POS hardware such as Javelin touch-screen products and Metrologic barcode scanners.
It boasts considerable buying power on the back of sister companies in eight countries and the parent company is planning a NASDAQ float next year.
Without a solid breakdown of the hardware, software and services figures, he estimated the hardware side of the trade in Australia to be worth about $350 million a year in Australia.
Kroser also said PC-POS is currently negotiating with several well-known third-party maintenance companies to get its service providers in place but has also refused to rule out starting its own service arm.
"It is important to have control over our own destiny and if that means that we have to start our own maintenance operations to deliver the level of service we are aiming at, then we will do that," Kroser said. "We must deliver extreme service because that is what we perceive the market is looking for."