Computerworks hopes it has hit the right note with the Australasian music industry after signing a six-figure sale and a reseller agreement.
The partnership with MMS Retail Solutions, a large software developer in the Australian music retailer industry, looks set to open doors to other FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industries there.
It may also lead to Computerwork’s email-based document exchange program MailRules being used to compile this country’s national music charts through an MMS subsidiary.
“Retail is proving an early adopter of MailRules,” says Computerwork’s chief executive, Mike Mohanbhai.
“It is becoming more important to manage the retail industry from a central point and staff are so busy making sales they don’t have time to update their stock information manually. Stores are looking for business intelligence tools in their retail strategy.”
MMS produces a point of sale and store management system called Winstore and has bought an initial 150 licences of MailRules 2.1. But Mohanbhai says further business is expected both through MMS buying more licences, and through MMS acting as the first major Australian reseller for Computerworks.
Winstore is installed in over 240 stores in Australia and MMS claims its clients represent over 80% of all independent music retailers that use computerised systems. But MMS general manager Geoff Rudd says the complexity and the cost of transmission to date meant individual retailers had often been left out of industry-wide initiatives or moves to share information electronically. MailRules will now be used to link them up.
MailRules is to be used for interstore sales and stock updates – that is, between shops in individual chains using MMS’ software.
It is also to be used to gather sales data from over 100 of MMS’ clients who are part of an independent bulk-buying group called the Leading Edge Group, and will send this data to Leading Edge’s head office in Sydney. Leading Edge’s membership extends to other retail categories, and it is with this group that Computerworks hopes to enter other FMCG industries.
MailRules will also distribute a US electronic music catalogue via email to the retailers, with several Australian catalogues planned as well.
It will also replace a Telstra X400 MEA network used to collect the country’s weekly Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) music charts and distribute them to the retail stores. MMS says the legacy nature of the Telstra system has made the data transmission “a continual cause of delays and frustration” and it needed to be replaced.
Computerworks’ consultant Richard Millar confirms the company has talked to local parties about backing New Zealand music charts as well.
Millar says three resellers for Computerworks have been appointed in New Zealand – Enterprise Wide Solutions, ECN (Electronic Commerce Network), and network solutions company ATL. ATL’s customers include Coca Cola and Comalco and Mail Rules 2.1 has already been sold to another of its clients, sanitary products giant Kimberly Clarke.
He says Computerworks is still looking for a cornerstone investor to help with both a cash injection and knowledge in distribution and sales.