The word is savvy

Employers will need to adopt savvy recruitment techniques and offer competitive packages if they want to attract and retain staff in 2008, according to LINK Recruitment’s practice leader in technical and operations, Sue Parsley.

“With an ageing workforce and a highly mobile Generation Y, organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to attract quality people with the right qualifications and keep existing staff on a long-term basis,” says Parsley, who specialises in logistics and supply chain recruitment.

“The skills shortage means it’s a candidate-driven market. Those people with the right skills and qualifications, such as 3-PL experience, have more choices and job opportunities than ever before.”

“Jobseekers know they are in demand and recruiters now have to sell organisations to them. This means it’s important for employers to provide recruiters with as much information as possible, particularly regarding staff incentives.”

Sue says logistics and supply chain professionals at a senior level are requesting competitive packaging and greater job flexibility.

“We are seeing increasing pressure on companies to offer more exclusive packaging, so employers need to start getting creative,” she says.

“In today’s environment, we’re talking cars, laptops and relocation costs. We even had a recent request for packaging school fees.”

“Candidates are also interested in what professional development and training opportunities an organisation can offer them.”

“For example, they want to know whether a company will offer financial support and time out of the office if they decide to undertake a masters’ qualification.”

“Global organisations also have an advantage, particularly with Generation Y, who view international career opportunities as a drawcard,” Parsley says.

Job flexibility is high on the agenda of supply chain and logistics professionals.

“With hectic lifestyles, maintaining a work-life balance is important. People want the flexibility to have fulfilling careers, while spending quality time with their families and friends,” Parsley says.

“To attract and retain talent, organisations should try and offer a greater range of options, such as flexi-time, part-time roles, job share and allowing staff to work from home.”

According to Parsley, some candidates are also starting to question an organisation’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies.

“People want to work with companies that they feel socially aligned to. Candidates are demanding to know what an organisation is putting back into the community,” she says.

The skills shortage in logistics and supply chain means employers are starting to look outside the traditional talent pool to attract staff.

“Mature age workers are back in demand,” Parsley says.

“Employers realise the depth of knowledge, extensive experience and skills mature age workers can bring to the workplace.”

“They also know baby boomers are a loyal generation, who will turn up every day and do a really good job. There is also the widespread perception that baby boomers are also easier to manage.”

In a highly competitive market, recruiters and employers are turning to non-traditional strategies, such as online social networking, to source candidates.

“Social networking sites, such as blogs, Facebook and MySpace, can tell you a lot about a candidate’s personality,” Parsley point out.

“Generation Y candidates are becoming savvy with using online technology to secure work, such as posting online videos to sell their skills to recruiters and potential employers,” she says.”This helps with headhunting.”

“Ultimately, offering competitive packaging, training and professional development, job flexibility and global career opportunities, will help employers tap into the talent pool.”

For more information on LINK Recruitment visit www.linkrecruitment.com.au or call 03 8319 1111.

Plug and Play -Syspro

SYSPRO’s philosophy is based on the belief that customers want a product that is easy to deploy and use, with a strong focus on business process management.

“We get constant feedback from new customers on how quickly they were able to implement or upgrade, and the speed of training for new users compared to other systems,” says Asia Pacific general manager Shaun Butler.

“While SYSPRO is highly configurable to suit a customer’s business requirements, the underlying Service Orientated Architecture is designed to be ‘future-proof’ protecting the customer from having to redo their report-design or customisations every time there is a new version of SYSPRO.”

Another way SYSPRO makes IT easy for customers is the company’s deliberate decision to integrate tightly with Microsoft Office, the de facto standard for desktop software.

“This means you have a great way to manage and disseminate information across your entire supply chain, regardless of whether SYSPRO is accessible to the user or not,” Butler says.

“With appropriate security, management can access customer inventory and supplier data from Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook for further analysis or publication to the local intranet or Web.”

“Nowadays, Australian companies are so directly affected by changes in overseas market demand and supply, customers want a solution that enables them to respond with speed and accuracy to changing conditions,” Butler observes.

“For this, companies want a system that enables them to be supply chain managers and not just product makers.”

“Secondly, companies only want to pay for the software it uses. SYSPRO prices its software according to business modules used and number of users with an annual maintenance fee covering product upgrades.”

“This dramatically reduces the initial cost of acquiring the software, total cost of ownership and ensures customers continuously receive product upgrades and support over the life of the software.”

SYSPRO has one single ERP solution that has been continuously developed for over 30 years.

“Our solution provides incredible depth of functionality ‘out of the box’, matched by breadth of functionality with 40 plus modules,” Butler says.

The company is also one of the few global ERP systems untouched by consolidation while many vendors attempt to grow through acquisition with declining organic growth.

“SYSPRO is one of the world’s largest privately held ERP vendors focused on a single product,” Butler says.

“The result is a high customer retention rate as they have the ability to continuously upgrade to the latest software version swiftly and smoothly.”

According to Shaun Butler, SYSPRO’s main opportunity lies in the ability to offer a completely seamless and integrated set of financial, manufacturing and distribution modules that covers the entire supply chain.

“Each module is virtually ‘plug and play’ and integrates seamlessly with the others,” he explains.

“Customers are demanding a one stop solution to meet their current and future requirements and put an end to the finger pointing between competing vendors.”

“A good IT system enables different views of the supply chain right from the shop floor to the end-customer with secure visibility available to external partners as well as management.”

Our world class supply chain solution can be quickly implemented at affordable prices to deliver ROI fast,” Butler says.

ISO Club honours Founders

On 28th March 1969, the container ship “Encounter Bay” arrived in Fremantle followed soon after by “ACT 1”.

This effectively established an international container service between the UK and Australia and the start of the transition from conventional to containerised shipping with one container ship replacing approximately six conventional vessels.

The changeover from conventional shipping to containers took many people by surprise!

Many shipping company managers, and their staff had to alter their modus operandi, and some did not wish to accept the change.

In the early stages of containerisation it also became evident that people and organisations in the industry were not communicating face to face and were unable to see the urgency of decisions being made today and not being left until tomorrow – vital for this modern style of shipping.

It was through frustration with the creeping malaise that Douglas Bourne-Jones came up with the idea of the “ISO Club” a parody on the ISO container, to provide a venue as neutral ground where key players in this new industry could meet, discuss and receive assistance with their problems.

The Club commenced in late 1970 which is acknowledged as the formation year.

On 22nd September 1971, at The Prince of Wales hotel in St Kilda, Phil Kelly as acting chair, and fourteen other eminent Victorian shipping industry identities, attended a specially convened luncheon.

In Doug’s absence, they elected him President. Doug continued as President until 1975, when Charles Burne took over.

After prising the presidency free from Doug it became policy that a person can only serve a one year term and so the thirty-fourth incumbent Chris Ryan hosted the 2007 end of year luncheon where past executives are acknowledged and assemble to renew acquaintances.

It is traditional to acknowledge the past executives but tradition was enhanced when Founder and Life Member awards were presented to Douglas Vivian Bourne-Jones and Phillip Charles Kelly.

The framed plaque presented states: – “This is to recognise the contribution to the ISO Club that the person named has made since the formation of the Club in 1970 and the inaugural meeting on 22 September 1971 whereby he …….”

When advised of the award Phil Kelly responded thus: – “For once in my life, I am at a loss for words!”

“T’was without doubt totally unexpected and all the more an honour knowing that it has been made by colleagues in port-related industries,” he says.

“I am sure Doug and you are equally proud in the knowledge that we share this touching gesture with our late colleague Alan Ralph.”

Doug Bourne-Jones endorsed Phil’s remarks and on receiving his Life Member lapel pin commented that it was a great honour and, one which he would cherish.

During 2007 two past Presidents of the ISO Club died.

Herbert Downer [Bert] Chandler the President in 1976 passed in July in his 100th year.

A decision had been taken in August, to award a Life Membership to Alan Ralph who passed in September.

Alan Ralph was the Honorary Secretary-Treasurer in the middle eighties and President in 1990.

A select group of members are aware the ISO Club would have foundered due to some financial difficulties but was saved only through Alan’s hard work.

He remained a significant player even through continuing ill health over the last couple of years.

A posthumous Life Member plaque and lapel badge in the name of Alan William Ralph was on display at the meeting.

Another recipient of Life Member was Michael Barrie Halley the President in 1993 and the Secretary-Treasurer since 2004.

The ISO Club welcomes new members and can be contacted on the web site www.isoclub.asn.au

Written by Michael B Halley Honorary Secretary-Treasurer

Global focus for Materials Handling in 2008

Forklift and telehandler industry associations around the world say their goals for 2008 include promoting safety, assisting members to become globally competitive and tackling skills shortages.

Industrial Truck Association (ITA) president Stan Simpson told the association’s annual meeting in Alberta, Canada, last September that ITA was undertaking two pilot projects that could become major efforts.

ITA wants to track state legislative issues relevant to its members and level the playing field for tariffs levied by other countries on US forklift exports.

The US-based Material Handling Equipment Distributors’ Association (MHEDA) plans to educate its members on the opportunities and challenges of globalisation.

This will be addressed through conventions, educational offerings, its publications and the work of its standing committees.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) of Wisconsin, US, says the off-road equipment manufacturing industry is increasingly worldwide in scope.

Hence, AEM aims to provide services to help members compete effectively on the global stage.

The UK’s Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) encourages its members to stay competitive through its annual awards for excellence.

This year, the event to recognise industry members’ achievements in 2007 will be on February 9.

The Japanese Industrial Vehicle Association (JIVA) is co-organising Logistech-Tokyo 2008 from September 9 to September 12, and will host the 11th Alliance of Industrial Truck Organisations’ meeting on May 16 to open a forum for international forklift manufacturers.

The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), of Sunninghill, UK, will continue to draw on its members’ real-world experiences to influence new legislation and regulations, then interpret their technicalities for members in an understandable form.

MHEDA wants to contribute to raising the materials handling industry’s profile by better defining the industry’s role and impact in the supply chain to its members.

AEM says it will “aggressively address” the need to develop a future workforce for the industry by spotlighting the industry’s vital contributions to good roads and clean water.

Other efforts include its teen-friendly construction challenge program that will culminate in a finals event at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show in March 2008.

FLTA chief executive David Ellison says the lack of skilled forklift engineers threatens the future of our whole industry.

“Engineers are ageing and retiring and new talent is needed,” he says. “I urge employers, including non-FLTA members, to hire apprentices and young people to consider the industry for a career.”

Ellison says the association’s national forklift truck engineer apprenticeship program is improving the quality of apprentice training in the UK.

This year, FLTA will emphasise forklift safety messages through its campaigns, Safe User Group and the National Fork Lift Truck Safety Conference.

One issue to be discussed is the safety of engineers working at height on masts.

For the full story: Forkliftaction.com

Supply chain overhaul for Komatsu

Komatsu Australia is engaged in a complete overhaul of its supply chain — covering shipping from its factories, transport within Australia and New Zealand, uniform quality machines, and the implementation of strategic procurement.

Headed by Michael Bragg, Komatsu Australia’s general manager, supply chain, the overhaul of the company’s supply chain and procurement systems is already delivering substantial customer benefits including shorter delivery times, better and more consistent machine quality, and improved cost control.

“When Komatsu Australia’s restructuring began three years ago under company president Bill Pike, there was no supply chain management within the company,” Bragg says.

“I was appointed with a specific brief to focus on logistics deployment and supply chain management across the company.”

“We are looking for opportunities for efficiency, with one of the first areas being to focus on the machine logistics pipeline.”

“This includes mapping the supply chain from factory to customers, understanding lead times and developing shipping standards,” he says.

“For example, we are dealing with 12 different factories around the world. No matter where a machine comes from, we will eventually require it to be in a standard set up and a standard package — with the aim being to reduce shipping costs and gain more control over our cost structures.”

Komatsu Australia is using its SAP system’s logistics management capabilities to improve supply chain management.

“This is allowing us to cover the entire pipeline of logistics, all the way from the factory through to delivery to the customer,” says Bragg.

“Already this is paying dividends in delivery of machines from the factory to the customer.”

Another major change has been the appointment of a single company to handle machine transport throughout Australia.

“In early October 2007, we appointed McAleese Transport to handle all our heavy haulage of equipment around Australia, covering both mining and construction,” he says.

“In doing so, we’ve gone from 70 different players to a single transport supplier. Before we did this, our transport costs were going through the roof.”

“However, costs were not the only issue for this move. There were also OH&S issues and compliance issues that were not being addressed with so many different transport suppliers.”

According to Bragg, consolidating transport ensures the company has much better visibility of where equipment is at any one time.

“We are fully complying with legislative requirements, and we are better controlling our costs,” he says.

Komatsu Australia’s Utility Central was one of the first implementations of the company’s improved supply chain management.

Utility Central has just delivered its 600th machine since it was established in late 2005.

“The advantages of centralising our utility products pre-delivery preparations in one place include improved quality, faster delivery times to customers, lower costs and the delivery of a standardised machine,” Bragg says.

“We are now working on implementing strategic procurement on a wide range of goods and services nationally, with the aim of keeping our costs down, and delivering a uniform standard of products and services throughout Australia and New Zealand.”

One of the company’s next developments will be the release of Komatsu Genuine Attachments — a Komatsu-branded, Australian- and New Zealand-built, engineering-compliant range of buckets and quick hitches for excavators and wheel loaders across the construction range.

Komatsu Genuine Attachments will be available from the first quarter of 2008.

“As part of this, we are substantially reducing lead times for the supply of buckets and attachments,” Bragg says.

“We’ve adopted a philosophy of developing strategic supplier relationships, working closely with these suppliers with the aim of having a long-term relationship, and helping them grow their capabilities — even to the extent of supplying Komatsu markets outside of Australia and New Zealand,” he says.

There is also a range of other supply chain projects in the pipeline sponsored by his colleagues in sales and operations, said Bragg.

Further information (AUSTRALIA): Komatsu Australia, ph 1300 KOMATSU (1300 566 287), website www.komatsu.com.au e-mail info@komatsu.com.au.

ARTA backs merit based road safety plan

The Australian Road Train Association says a proposal before the Victorian Government of actively encouraging better driver knowledge and behaviour rather than simple punishments is a step in the right direction for road safety.

The government is considering a British model of allowing drivers to trade demerit points in return for undertaking driver education.

“ARTA has long held a policy of reward as well as penalisation when it comes to the merit point system, and we see this type of policy proposal as a positive step forward,” ARTA Chief Executive Duncan Bremner says.

“It is about time governments recognise that masking one of their most significant revenue streams as ‘road safety’ is being proved for the furphy it is, and we congratulate the Victoria Government on working towards real solutions in addressing the unnecessary carnage on our roads.”

The proposal is an extension of ARTA support for a policy that would provide merit point rewards in recognition of the stringent training undertaken particularly by heavy vehicle operators.

“As regulators continually apply criteria and impediments in the form of accreditations and penalties, then they must equally recognise that the professional heavy vehicle operator is — through their experience, skill, and accreditation — a far more capable and safer driver than your average commuter.”

Bremner says the next step was for governments was to look further than simply ‘good’ and ‘bad’ drivers in regards to driver education and demerit points.

“Pro-active education is the only way to address the issue of road safety,” he says.

“Governments need to stop diverting the funds from their road revenue cash cows into general revenue, and provide real training systems for drivers rather than believing simply a couple of hours with mum or dad in the car before the test is enough.”

Creating the perfect merger

Companies are increasingly operating in an environment of significant change — with M&A activities at the top of the agenda of many CEOs.

Industries such as financial services, and telecommunications are still rather fragmented, while other industries like energy & utilities are rather monolithic.

Both are in need of transformation. Leaders will consistently look for ways in the future to capture market share and protect their turf by M&A activities.

With increasing M&A volumes and number of transactions, integration activities will not only face a higher complexity, but companies need to be integrated faster.

Commitments to shareholders, customers, suppliers, employees, and communities need to be fulfilled and all interdependencies resolved, which requires careful planning and coordination.

A recent Capgemini survey on 835 operations shows that 55% of mergers fail (i.e. their stock price under-performs the index) along a 2-year period.

A major reason for this is a lack of professional post-merger integration activities.

Other studies have shown a strong positive correlation between the speed at which integration is performed and its success.

A merger opens a window of opportunities when change is generally expected and more easily accepted.

It is crucial to use these opportunities to operate with a well aligned and holistic PMI approach covering all relevant aspects of the integration.

Setting the strategic cornerstones of an acquisition and closing the deal is only the beginning of a hard and bumpy road.

The integration of a newly acquired organization bears a number of challenges:

· the integration process has to be completed by a certain — usually ambitiously short — deadline

· integration activities must be kept in sync with legal merger steps

· synergies committed to shareholders have to be achieved

· integration costs are not allowed to spill over budget

· daily business must continue without disruptions despite the ongoing integration

· former competitors with different corporate cultures need to become one enterprise with a common set of shared values

An integration of organizations — irrespective of their size and geographical coverage — is always a highly complex process, affecting every single area of the organization.

The risks of mismanaged post-merger integration are versatile:

· extended project duration, resulting in skyrocketing costs

· loss of key staff

· loss of clients and business to competitors

· increased operational risk due to new, unfamiliar processes

· damaged image and bad press due to mismanaged external and internal communication

A well structured approach and strong project management skills are key to minimizing these risks and achieving a successful integration. Further than only minimizing risks, a well planned and managed integration can even create additional value, leaving the new organization with

· a redefined, stronger competitive position

· a strategy reflecting the joint companies’ strengths

· a substantially improved cost/income ratio and

· staff that has teamed up, all ready to make the joint company prosper.

Capgemini has successfully supported clients from various industries such as financials services, energy & utilities, retail, and telecommunication during their integration processes.

For more information: roy.lenders@capgemini.com

Logistics is hot

According to Hays’ January Forecast, the hottest jobs and boom markets for 2008 lie in in the logistics market.

“The New Year has brought in the traditional increase in vacancy activity as businesses determine the staff they require for the year ahead,” says Tim James, Regional Director of Hays Logistics Personnel.

The Forecast shows that 2008 could be the year for you.

“The shortage of experienced skills means solid candidates will be snapped up with speed in 2008, and provided jobseekers know what they want and why they want it, it is a year that will provide prime opportunities to advance your career,” James says.

“Employers are moving quickly once they identify a candidate they wish to offer a role to, particularly since good candidates will continue to receive multiple offers of employment.”

“While the first quarter of the year is traditionally the quietest in the logistics market, many employers have continued to recruit in order to attract the best possible candidates.”

“Organisations are optimistic about their general business activity, and therefore have hiring plans in place.”

“The majority of vacancies are expected to be operational, however senior leadership activity will also be positive,” he says.

The year’s hotspots are revealed in the Hays Quarterly Forecast.

The top areas of strongest demand in logistics are as follows:

Within the transport arena there is a severe shortage of drivers and experienced mid level operations staff, specifically transport schedulers and fleet controllers.

With the level of candidates not meeting the number of vacancies, the shortage of candidates is also affected by the low appeal of mid to lower level transport operations roles to potential candidates, who do not view the long hours or stereotype of the industry positively.

In warehousing there is an increased demand for warehouse supervisors who can motivate and manage staff while controlling profit and loss.

This demand is driven by the increased pressure placed upon warehouses to be efficient.

With more warehouses viewed as production plants and Six Sigma and Kanban utilised to drive changes, the traditional supervisor now needs to be multifaceted — more than a leader, candidates need to demonstrate their ability to be an essential part of processing and analysing information.

Within supply chain the key hotspots of demand exist for supply chain planners and demand analysts.

Over the past five years these roles have become more highly valued functions within a business, as new and cutting edge world-class processes become available and organisations become aware of technology and methodologies available to them, requiring planning and demand accuracy.

Candidates with front-end planning experience are also required to accurately manage production/import requirements.

A more extensive review of hotspots for each market sector, along with hiring intentions, salaries and candidate attraction, is contained in the Hays Quarterly Forecast: www.hays.com.au/forecast

Queen of Netherlands arrives

The Queen of the Netherlands — one of the world’s most technologically advanced dredging vessels has arrived in Melbourne

The Queen of the Netherlands will be the main vessel to undertake dredging as part of the Channel Deepening Project in Port Phillip Bay.

Stephen Bradford, CEO of the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) says the Queen of the Netherlands is state of the art dredging technology recognised as an environmentally responsible and sustainable method of dredging in the bay.

“It is environmentally and technically superior to any which has been previously used,” he says.

“The vessel has had to comply with extensive environmental, social and economic criteria and has been assessed in line with world’s best practice.”

“The vessel will operate under what are quite possibly the strictest environmental controls ever seen for a dredging project anywhere in the world, and its technologically advanced features will minimise disruption to the bay to as low as practicably possible.”

Bradford says the dredge operator — international Dutch dredging company Royal Boskalis – has extensive expertise in minimising the environmental impacts of dredging, and has carried out dredging programs in many of the world’s major ports.

“As a result of the Channel Deepening Project around 40 new Australian jobs had been created as crew positions aboard the Queen of the Netherlands,” he adds.

“We’ve consistently said that channel deepening will safeguard jobs and already there has been jobs created as a direct result of the project,” he says.

“Channel deepening is forecast to generate almost $2 billion in economic benefits and create over 2000 jobs.”

“It will see the Port of Melbourne, as the biggest container and general cargo port in Australia, remain a driving engine for economic growth in Victoria.”

The Queen of the Netherlands is a self-propelled, highly manoeuvrable vessel known as a Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge.

The advantage of this vessel is its ability to load its own hold or ‘hopper’ while moving or ‘trailing’ slowly along a pre-set course.

The vessel removes material from the seabed via suction pipes that lead from its side.

The material is then stored on the vessel and deposited at a designated location in the bay.

The vessel, which completed the eight week trial dredge in 2005, will shortly begin work in the Port Melbourne Channel in the north of the bay subject to all final approvals.

“The channel deepening project has the backing of the State and Federal Governments, business groups, unions, shipping lines, manufacturers and farmers,” Stephen Bradford says.

“PoMC has the responsibility to deliver this project by the end of 2009 and we fully accept this responsibility and will fulfill the trust placed in us to safely and successfully complete this essential project.”

A comprehensive Environment Management Plan will embody all the necessary safeguards to ensure the protection of the bay, and project works will be subject to independent monitoring.

Bradford says bay users should be mindful of the restricted access areas that have been established around the dredge.

A restricted access area of 200 metres in Port Phillip Bay and 50 metres in the Yarra River will apply around dredging equipment.

“The Queen of the Netherlands is a large vessel and safety is a key priority for the port,” he says.

“Public safety is paramount and I would urge all bay users to be mindful of the restricted access areas, and in the interest of personal safety keep clear of all dredging equipment.”

The Queen of the Netherlands previously worked in Oman in the Middle East.

PoMC will maintain a proactive approach to keeping the Victorian community informed on the progress of the project through the dedicated website www.channelproject.com.

PoMC can also be directly contacted using the toll free number 1800 731 022, or via email channelproject@portofmelbourne.com

Tactical Business – Pronto Software

Pronto Software’s goal is to develop a zero administration footprint for supply chain so that trading protocols and networks ‘just work’.

That way, businesses can focus on strategic issues such as competitive edge and market differentiation.

“When developing and providing PRONTO-Xi Supply Chain Solutions, we stay abreast of industry and technology trends so that we can continue to align our extensive product development initiatives with our customers’ strategic business needs,” says managing director David Jackman.

As an example of this commitment, Pronto Software was the world’s first ERP Vendor to receive GS1/EANnet certification for our data synchronisation tool PRONTO-Xi iSupply in 2005 and we will release our new GS1net certified product in 2008.

According to Jackman, customers are looking for a fully integrated supply chain solution that not only enables improvement in efficiency and effectiveness in business operations, but is also easy to implement and use.

“A supply chain solution should provide real-time intelligence to assist supply chain managers to make informed and rapid decisions,” he says.

“PRONTO-Xi Supply Chain is an easy to implement and use software suite. It integrates and streamlines operational processes such as inventory management; sales and purchase order management and advanced warehouse management.”

“PRONTO-Xi Distribution manages the entire gamut of operations across the extended enterprise,” Jackman says.

“It enables dramatic reductions in cycle times for transactions crossing enterprise boundaries from suppliers through to consumers.”

“With an open architecture and powerful collaboration applications, PRONTO-Xi Distribution manages the information flow both upstream and downstream through your entire supply chain.”

David Jackman points to accuracy as a key attribute in an efficient supply chain.

“In a global economy, supply chain companies need to have better visibility, logistics efficiency and address compliance issues,” he says.

“This is driving companies of all sizes to re-look their supply chain/IT strategies.”

“Pronto Software is in a strong position to meet market demands with our affordable, out of the box, highly scalable, easy to use software that deliver unparallel visibility and control of supply chains processes.”

Jackman says Pronto Software’s strategy of remaining independent has been very successful and the company is enjoying double digit growth, while some of its traditional competitors are struggling.

“All businesses seek stability and continuity from their business partners,” he asserts.

“The consolidation in the IT industry has not delivered added value to customers but instead has introduced uncertainty.”

Jackman predicts that IT will move beyond the traditional reactive computing utility to one that drives more value, innovation and competitive differentiation for companies.

“One such innovation is ‘Management by exception’, where IT delivers top notch analysis to a wide range of users regarding the strategic and tactical decisions they make during the course of the day,” he says.

“Pronto Software is leading this change with features such as the award winning Alert Intelligence™ being incorporated within PRONTO-Xi.”

“Alert Intelligence™ instantly alerts staff, suppliers and customers to business events and exceptions that require attention, such when a delivery date for stock is missed.”

The technology also allows retailers to notify customers via SMS when their ordered goods are ready for pickup or advise purchasing managers as soon as key stock items have dropped below minimum.

“It’s a really exciting concept,” Jackman enthuses.

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