Expertise and affordability were the major factors which helped long-established Sydney retail systems specialist, National POS Systems to decide to contract the development of software for a new system aimed at revolutionizing competition in Australia’s fresh food and grocery sector. National POS Systems considered other methods and resources for developing the new applications including the use of in-house staff, developers in Australia and developers in other offshore locations but all had shortcomings said Ray Mallos, sales director of National POS Systems.
"Any reservations we may have had about using an offshore development resource were dispelled by the research we did on Mitrais and by the company’s approach to the project."
In a two year fixed priced project, Mitrais undertook the design and development of a new information system offering real time multi-store management and providing independent and small operators with the tools to compete against the major supermarket chains.
Spearheading the launch of the new .NET based system in the retail sector is natPOS Grocer for fruit and vegetable shops and grocers. The application includes advanced point of sale functionality and a comprehensive suite of back office functions for the realtime management of accounting and inventory.
It is joined by natPOS Fresh, for delicatessens and fish markets, natPOS A La Carte for the hospitality industry and natPOS Retail which is aimed at the broader retailing sector.
The development also ushers in a new era in which National POS Systems internal software resources will, if required, be backed up by Mitrais, to support users of the system.
Ray Mallos said, "Because natPOS was designed and written from scratch, we are able to incorporate functions aimed at revolutionizing how smaller retailers can operate."
"Mitrais undertook the entire development project. The new applications enable us to expand our systems in four different areas of retailing. The discipline and professionalism of Mitrais staff ensured that natPOS was well designed even before it was written," Mr Mallos said.
"And we had no reservations about a fixed price project methodology, even for a project of this size - it had to be nailed from the beginning."
"Any large project can present unforeseen obstacles but overall the Mitrais team worked hard and long to deliver. The technical skills and methodologies followed were great and reporting was always timely."
The first of the four retail applications, natPOS Grocer combines powerful back-office functionality, multi-store management capability and support for multi-media kiosks. It can simultaneously manage multiple physical stores at different locations allowing retailers to quickly transfer stock from one outlet to another to meet demand. A part from the other real time stores management, monitoring and analysis, the most important thing when this solution applied onto multi stores customers is its ability to manage purchasing ecosystems of all stores from the head office and through the tablets by the buyers in the market floor. This represents a huge advance in the capability of information systems to support independent and smaller retailers of fresh fruit and vegetables by potentially ensuring stock can be shipped to where it can be sold and also reduce spoilage.
The system also supports multi-media kiosks located in each retail outlet. Customers can use these kiosks to highlight specials, access recipes and monitor their membership of retailer loyalty schemes.
The key features are in the detail of the operation but notable are its Rich Internet Application natPOS Back Office/Head Office suite, natPOS Terminals Front End and the natPOS Mobility suite. All are working together simultaneously as a synchronized retail ecosystem.