Genie trims in US but says all well

Auckland e-commerce software supplier Genie Systems admits it is 'watching our pennies' in the face of a downturn in trade in the US.

Auckland e-commerce software supplier Genie Systems admits it is “watching our pennies” in the face of a downturn in trade in the US.

But general manager Nigel Varcoe rebuts any suggestion that the company is in financial difficulties. “Our financial position is robust,” he says.

Genie has asked one creditor to reduce by 20% the amount owed — sponsorship for an event — and agree on an easier schedule for payment, Varcoe acknowledges. But he claims there are no other such cases. “We are just being prudent in the way we run our business,” he says.

The US market “has been a bit soft” for Genie in the wake of the dot-com turndown, and the company has pruned its US staff from 15 to 12. Two of the reductions were achieved by people resigning voluntarily. The third was told “that we needed to reduce our strength by one further person”, says Varcoe.

He says Genie’s flagship contract with US retailer Toys R Us is progressing well.

Having started by supplying its online ordering system Order-ware to the retailer’s wholly-owned subsidiary Babies R Us (see Genie sells flagship product to Toys "R" Us), Genie is now deploying Orderware into the main company, and has been asked to accelerate the Babies R Us rollout, Varcoe says.

Meanwhile, it has sold Order-ware to Blue Star Print Group (BSPG) as a component of its systems to help customers with print management.

As part of the service, BSPG conducts audits of customers’ procurement and use of print, and advises them on how to be more efficient.

Blue Star Print Group IT manager Jill Cowling says Orderware “has a good track record”, and the deal was helped by the fact that it’s a local product.

Orderware is delivering the expected benefits, she says.

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