Retailer looks to pet project to accommodate interstate expansion

Company set to double in size in six months

Tasmanian-based retailer, Pets Domain, plans to double in size in the next six months putting a lot of pressure on the company's manufacturing supply and warehousing capabilities.

The provider of pet food, accessories and products opened its first store in Tasmania 19 years ago but now has plans to open eight new stores in Victoria and South Australia by December, 2008.

Pets Domain currently employes 45 staff across its seven retail outlets.

To accommodate the rapid expansion interstate, the company has appointed Melbourne-based IT company, Retail Directions, to provide its retail management system.

Pets Domain managing director, Jason Van Peelen, said its very first store used an off-the-shelf IT solution but as the company began to grow, realised it would need a more specialised retail system.

He said the new system will streamline operations from product manufacturing all the way through to the shop floor.

"This will allow us to provide our customers with a greater range of products at competitive prices, which was not possible with our previous off-the-shelf software," Van Peelen said.

"The software will be used as an end-to-end solution for warehousing, sales tracking, order processing and point of sale operations.

"Staff will have better control of the availability and location of stock in both our own warehouses and other suppliers throughout Australia."

According to Andrew Gorecki, managing director of Retail Directions, not all systems can scale to handle the needs of the business as it expands.

"We have helped many retailers who started up with light-weight systems move to an enterprise-level solution," he said.

However, Gorecki admits implementing a typical retail management system and a store management system can be a costly and a difficult process for smaller retailers.

"But a smart system specifically designed for the retail industry, is a different story altogether. It really does have an impact on the bottom line," he said.

In fact, a study released earlier this month found that legacy information systems are one of the biggest barriers to retail industry growth.

The Retail Systems Research (RSR) study surveyed 103 companies worldwide with most respondents identifying the need to invest in technology that will enable them to perform real-time inventory and customer updates.

Respondents also placed a great deal of importance on having a central customer-facing order management system across all channels of the business.

"A key component of that is to move toward technologies that have a single point of control ... for product and customer information," RSR said.

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