Thursday, 26 February 2015 02:13

VIDEO Interview: Infomotion’s MD and Founder, Robert Frandsen

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Infomotion is an Australian success story, delivering Tier 1-class supply chain and logistics software and solutions for small-to-medium sizes companies in contract logistics, manufacturing and distribution.

When minds meet with great ideas and and take software, business processors and an industry to the next level, something special has been achieved.

This is the case with Infomotion, managed by Robert Frandsen and Louie Kouvelas, whose ERP software is used by the wider supply chain and logistic industry, and has fully integrated solutions for the third-party logistics, wholesale distribution and manufacturing sectors.

Its icsLogistics platform is a fully integrated supply chain ERP solution offering warehouse, financial, manufacturing and transport and distribution management systems. In addition, the company supplies RF warehouse and ePOD mobility terminals as well as wireless and server infrastructure products and installation services.

EDI is also enjoying a second coming, allowing companies to easily share data with others as required at the industrial level - although there’s the surprise of Infomotion explaining that while there is interest in cloud technologies, the companies Infomotion counts as customers have had a resurgence in demand for on-premise systems.

The company can also manage the complete IT infrastructure for small-to-medium sized companies at fixed or near-fixed pricing, but can only offer this service to its existing customer base due to existing high demand.

So, who are Robert Frandsen and Louie Kouvelas?

First is Robert Frandsen is the Managing Director and Founder of Infomotion, whose start in the Navy at age 17 as a radar technician was the start of a career in supply chains, distribution, sales, business development, system design, customer account management, and more, all working for others, saw an opportunity to create a new company of his own that could do a better job.

Who Frandsen met is explained in the video below, where we interviewed Frandsen to ask him about Infomotion’s products, services and platform, the types of companies it counts as customers, how it has become a leading provider of supply chain and logistics solutions.

The interview is embedded below, and the article continues thereafter.

So, as you would have seen explained in the video, Frandsen met his current business partner, Louie Kouvelas, who owned and operated a small software development company (known as Infocomm Software), specialising in solutions to the wider supply chain and logistics industry, Frandsen’s opportunity had arrived.

Kouvelas invited Frandsen to review what his company had developed, and from that day on Frandsen immediately knew that the base software that Kouvelas team had already produced had the potential to be class leading in Australia.

Fast forward several years, and Infomotion is an Australian success story with many top companies as clients, from WA Freight Group, Jayco Caravans, Vellex Logistics, and BR International to name just a few.

What Infomotion has done is to level the playing field, making Tier 1 vendor tools accessible to all types and sizes of logistics, contract distribution and manufacturing businesses.

Mobile devices are playing a huge part in the way companies manage their businesses, with developers building ever-more mobile functionality into their software and this means the gap between tier one and tier two software has become barely discernible.

Leading functionality has become available to all at an affordable price. Another big trend is the push for efficiency. Given productivity, competitive and financial pressures, Frandsen says it's not surprising that Infomotions’ customers are particularly focusing on software tools that will help achieve efficiencies by streamlining workflows and reducing operational costs.

An example is in the logistics field, one of the sectors Infomotion covers. Over the last 12 months, mobility, simple yet advanced functionality and efficiency have combined to encourage a more holistic approach to mobility.

Logistics companies are moving well beyond simple bar code scanning and are introducing a wide range of mobilised processes and systems across the business, from electronic manifesting, sign-on-glass delivery systems, to item level inter-company traceability, depot audits, pallet management to fatigue management and more.

The idea of capturing data at the source of activity is extremely appealing, especially as a way to speed up processes by reducing re-keying and removing time lags affecting the flow of information.

Frandsen says his company differentiates itself from competitors by taking a holistic view of a customer’s individual business and its requirements and then to provide a fully integrated solution primarily using existing modules but also tailoring icsLogistics to meet an organisation’s specific needs.

“Our system is entirely developed in Microsoft .NET on MS SQL Server as opposed to many IT vendors which rely on legacy development platforms which means they can’t guarantee longevity, makes their systems less flexible and ultimately more costly to own and operate. Our platform also provides a guarantee for being able to handle new applications as they come on tap in the years ahead,” says Frandsen.

While the company’s aim to is to organically and sustainably grow the product and the company’s range of services, Frandsen sees many green field market opportunities. He says that many inefficient processes still beset the industry with double handling and double keying of information.

“The problem is confounded by a serious lack of management controls and companywide visibility. Lack of process control, lots of manual processes and paperwork, and slack planning and forecasting tools hold many Australian business back and this is where our solutions can assist,” continued Fransen.

“At the same time, there are ever increasing requirements by many leading businesses for greater visibility and increased connectivity between suppliers and customers in the supply chain. We have a golden opportunity to help companies reach their target market with technology solutions which can boost productivity, cost control, cash flow, supply chain visibility and assist with compliance to regulatory requirements.

“The aim ultimately is to drive efficiency and productivity in support of exceptional customer experience right across the supply chain.

“We want to be known as the company which provides leading supply chain products to industry that in turn enhance their service capabilities and contribute to their ongoing success.”

Another of the company’s top priorities is to better engage with the industry it serves so that it can ultimately provide leading innovative IT solutions. In addition, InfoMotion now has its radar firmly set for expansion into New Zealand and South-East Asia.

“The ingredients for success are all there for our taking. Our brand is becoming more recognisable and that’s now affording us greater opportunities within tier two companies with around 500 to 1,000 employees. As icsLogistics has been designed and developed from the ground up as a true multiuser system, the software is highly scalable and capable of running companies of all sizes and complexities.

“This is a very exciting time for us. We have focused heavily on laying the foundations of our company and our products to handle rapid expectation in growth over the coming years. We have a stable product that has been in the market since 2006, a satisfied customer base and many quality opportunities in the pipeline which will now provide us with a platform for growth,” Frandsen concluded.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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