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Thread: New Product Market Survey

  1. #1
    Email problem KimH's Avatar
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    New Product Market Survey

    One of my clients has approached me with an opportunity to make an additional bit of dosh - they have designed a paperless stock take system with asset tracking capabilities - the City of CPT currently use this system as do a host of other big name companies in SA and neighboring countries. This system also integrates into Pastel, Excel, etc.

    Their branch in Gauteng does the majority of the sales while CPT office focuses more on the support side - the opportunity that has arisen is for me to act as a sales agent for them in return for a decent comm (my own business will continue trading as normal).

    The cost of this system is reasonable and the company is very conscious of client services, they have also been in business for over 9 years - a reasonably safe bet in this day and age of flash in the pans and downright dodgy business practice.

    I would like to gauge if there is potentially a market out there.

    My question is to the business owners that have warehouses, maintain stock and store rooms -

    1. What system do you currently use?
    2. Are you satisfied that this system meets your needs?
    3. What kind of industry are you?
    4. What are the main features you would expect in a stock take and asset tracking system?
    5. Would you consider introducing a new system?

    All input will be greatly appreciated and I just know I will get straightforward and honest assessments from this group - that's why I'm posting this here
    "If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you."

  2. #2
    Bronze Member rfnel's Avatar
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    I'm not in the market for buying software, but I am in the business of writing software, so I'll try to answer your questions as best I can. Just out of curiosity - what is a 'reasonable' cost? Is the system purely for keeping track of stock, or does it cover other areas of the business as well (e.g. production and sales)?

    1.) My employer's flagship product is a system called EMC by ASD, so I'll use that as my answer.
    2.) I think that very few systems will meet everyone's needs. In my experience, no two companies work in the exact same way, especially larger companies. This leaves one with two options - either the customer has to adjust their business processes or the system has to be adjusted to cater to a particular customer. Customers don't like the former, and the latter pushes up the cost of the system.
    3.) I'm in the software industry, but I have experience in working with companies in the manufacturing sector.
    4.) I'd expect such a system to allow me to do stock inquiries (counts and values), move stock in and out of the system, generate picking slips and control who has access to stock.
    5.) If a system can streamline business processes and save money, it's worth looking at. However, If I were already using a full-blown ERP system, it is unlikely that I would move a part of the business (e.g. stock control) to another system. This would cause all sorts of integration headaches and it would defeat the purpose of having an ERP system in the first place. If I did not have any systems in place, I would considering installing a system - considering that it would save me time and/or money. Looking beyond the system itself, one has to take other costs into consideration as well. Will you need new hardware? Will you need MS Windows licences? Will you need MS SQL Server licenses? Support is also an important factor - will it be readily available? Is the system intuitive and easy to use?

    I think that your best bet will be to try and identify a specific niche that you can focus on (small retail startups come to mind).

    I hope this helps!
    "Fortune favours the bold" - Virgil
    Riaan Nel
    Freelance Software Development | LinkedIn | Skype

  3. Thank given for this post:

    Dave A (06-Aug-11), KimH (05-Aug-11)

  4. #3
    Email problem KimH's Avatar
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    Hi Riaan,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    I'll respond to your questions with as much info as I currently have available at the moment:


    Single user kit which includes software & scanner costs 14k - this is an inventory including asset module (up to 1000 assets)

    The assets including inventory module ranges from R17 000 - R790 000 (1000 - 100 000+ assets)

    Stock Features:

    Stock managed per location (bin)
    Immediate electronic results (export capability - Excel/.csv)
    Electronic stock transfer between locations

    Asset Tracking features:

    Asset Take On
    Asset Movement
    Asset Audit
    Multiple Locations
    Categories and pictures
    Barcode Scanning
    User Log
    Date and time Stamp
    Synchronises to FAR (no manual capturing required)

    Currently this system is being used by 200 companies in SA - from SME's to large enterprise clients.

    Larger clients include:
    City of Cape Town which has more than 400 000 assets and 100 users - is integrated into SAP
    A nationwide Casino - 100 000 assets, 1000 locations and tracks components in slot machines

    Licensing:
    License fee payable each year on anniversary date of purchase
    Additional licenses available @ R2 860.00 each

    Accessories include
    Bluetooth Scanners
    GSM Scanners
    Printers
    Extended Battery Packs (handheld device)
    Stock Labels, etc etc

    Support is excellent, the Directors are personally involved frequently travel to call on existing clients all over the country - they even help with larger stock takes if need be
    System is apparently very easy to use, I am going on training myself later this month - and will then be able to offer a first hand opinion.
    Last edited by KimH; 05-Aug-11 at 06:11 AM.
    "If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you."

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great opportunity, I used to hate stocktaking when I worked for a boss, I always got the shitty, dirty counts to do.
    "Nobody who has succeeded has not failed along the way"
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    Email problem KimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wynn View Post
    Sounds like a great opportunity, I used to hate stocktaking when I worked for a boss, I always got the shitty, dirty counts to do.
    I used to work for a vehicle accessories retailer years ago and always ended up counting tyres..... I fully understand
    "If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you."

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    Bronze Member rfnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimH View Post
    I used to work for a vehicle accessories retailer years ago and always ended up counting tyres..... I fully understand
    During my matric holiday, I worked for a company called Agrinet. Try counting screws...

    Back to the software - are the annual license fees percentage-based, and if so, what percentage? When you say additional licenses, are you referring to additional users? All in all, I think that the system sounds a bit pricey, especially if it only covers stock control.
    "Fortune favours the bold" - Virgil
    Riaan Nel
    Freelance Software Development | LinkedIn | Skype

  8. #7
    Email problem KimH's Avatar
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    Hi Riaan,

    I am sure I mentioned that it is a stock take and asset management system.
    The license fees are based on 15% on the software costs.

    Yes, additional licenses can be purchased for users.

    The reaction I have had so far to pricing has actually been very well received.

    Thanks again for your input.
    "If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you."

  9. #8
    Bronze Member rfnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimH View Post
    Hi Riaan,
    I am sure I mentioned that it is a stock take and asset management system.
    That's what I meant - it was an error on my part for not being specific enough. I was referring to completely separate business-areas (e.g. production or financials).

    Thanks again for your input.
    You are most welcome. Good luck with your new venture!
    "Fortune favours the bold" - Virgil
    Riaan Nel
    Freelance Software Development | LinkedIn | Skype

  10. Thanks given for this post:

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