Local business software vendor, Happen Business, has collaborated with Ingram Micro to provide integrated logistics and sales capabilities to Leading Edge Computer stores across the country.
The new deal sees Happen's front-end ERP engine, Jim2, integrated with Ingram's back-end Techlink systems. This will give Leading Edge Computer (LEC) retailers direct access to stock feeds, pricing and ordering from Techlink into their Jim2 point-of-sale (POS) system in real-time.
Happen managing director, Paul Berger, said the deal was about helping resellers improve their operational efficiencies. The new functionality will be available free to all LEC stores using Jim2 from next year. The standalone Jim2 software starts from $2000 per user. Happen's existing customer base includes distributors such as Manaccom and Tech Plus as well as systems integrators, Clariti and XSI Data Solutions.
Because LEC stores run independently, there is currently no common product tree or stock codes systems in place. Staff also have to double key in customer orders - once into their POS system, and then again into Techlink to place the order with Ingram.
"For years we have talked about the utopia of e-business, but often organisations have not been in a position to do this because of a lack of standards and the difficulties in getting involved," Berger said. "This is the first time an IT retailer, distributor and software supplier have worked together and developed an end-to-end, e-business solution.
"It will provide retailers with instant product information and electronic ordering."
Users will also be able to setup automated electronic ordering based on their stock procurement history and demand forecasting, Berger said.
LEC general manager, Ross Whitelaw, said just under 50 per cent of its buying group members used Happen's point-of-sale software today. These stores accounted for about 70 per cent of its total turnover. The reseller buying group has 137 members nation-wide.
"We hope to get all LEC members using this system, because it is a no-brainer," Whitelaw said. "A lot of retailers still don't have efficient front and back-end systems. This [new initiative] allows us to access retail software information [from Ingram] that we can't get to now, and it presents tremendous efficiencies to all of our members."
Ingram Micro retail general manager, Gordon Nugent, said LEC was its first retail partner to launch an integrated POS and logistics system. Other major players, such as Harvey Norman, also have initiatives to pull together back-end stock information and POS systems in the pipeline.
Berger said Happen was looking at working with other LEC suppliers and IT distributors to offer similar supply chain capabilities.