Jade developers get export help

Two companies whose software is based on the Jade language are hoping for export success following the receipt of government development grants.

Two companies whose software is based on the Jade language are hoping for export success following the receipt of government development grants.

The packages the two companies sell exploit the ability of Jade to function efficiently over a remote connection, one for data collection and the other for support provision. Both companies — Retail Reporting and Systems Software and Instrumentation (SSI) — are based in Christchurch, the home of Jade creator Aoraki.

Retail Reporting is testing version 2 of its Retail Manager software. The new release adds the ability for retailers to compare their performance with other stores.

Company head John Saywell says the system extracts data from point-of-sale systems, collates and analyses it, sending the data back to the retailer via the internet.

“Retailers can log on from any internet-connected computer and view their sales portfolio, by categories or by staff member, and view the profitability,” Saywell says.

Saywell, a pharmacist, started out producing Excel-based reports for retailers. He says retailers wanted the ability to make easy comparisons with each other and for franchise groups to easily collect data for similar comparisons.

Funding of development of version 2 of Retail Manager was helped by a $15,750 government Enterprise Award, given last month. Saywell hopes to translate that into UK and Australia sales late next year.

Another grant recipient, SSI, wants to turn its bakery management software into loads of dough in the US. It has formed a subsidiary, Global Com, to run a US sales network, says managing director John Baird, although plans have been set back by the US recession. “It has been delayed by recent events, which has flattened the US market,” he says.

Baird says Jade-based Baker Management is readily scalable, fully integrated and easy to customise and update. The software deals with inventory, labour costs, order entries and a cashbook. Modules include production and distribution, ledger, creditor module and payroll module.

“We missed the last big baking show, but we will be there in 2002. We are talking thousands of sites in the US market. It’s scaled beyond my dreams,” says Baird.

The 20-year-old firm, which has seven staff, supplies has almost 50 bakeries across Australia and New Zealand. Exports form around a third of its income, helped last year by a rush with the introduction of GST in Australia. Last year, it built up a base of almost 40 Australian customers thanks largely to the introduction of GST. These are supported from Christchurch, using a web-based support package, Baird says.

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