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Tuesday, 04 December 2007 03:39

Harvey Norman selects IT partner for new OFIS venture

Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX:HVN) has selected Pronto Software as its IT partner to launch a new business venture called Harvey Norman OFIS, a stationery and computer chain designed to take on Officeworks head-to-head in the competitive office supplies market. The deal is a major win for Pronto Software and confirms its growing market share in the retail sector.

Harvey Norman will implement Pronto Software's leading ERP solution, PRONTO-Xi, to provide a complete end-to-end solution to meet all of Harvey Norman OFIS' front and back office requirements, from online sales and purchase orders to fulfilment, distribution and financial management.

Harvey Norman OFIS will be operated and managed as an independent operation under the direction of General Manager, Paul English.

Mr English said, 'We chose Pronto Software to be our IT partner in this venture because it was a cost-effective, flexible, out-of-the box solution that would also ensure speed to market. Pronto Software showed they could work within our timeframes, and, like us, is a very customer-focused company.

'To be relevant in this market, you have to have an online presence. We want to ensure our online offering is equal to - if not better - than our competitors. The customer experience is paramount, which is another reason we selected PRONTO-Xi as it provides a user-friendly web-based shopfront to easily shop online.

'We referenced Pronto Software customers and liked what we saw in terms of the volumes and complexities that Harvey Norman OFIS will be dealing with. We're very confident Pronto Software is the right solution provider to move forward with in this exciting venture,' Mr English said.

Harvey Norman OFIS has initially purchased 60 user licences to support head office and the first two stores, utilising a range of PRONTO-Xi modules including Financials, Distribution, Warehouse Management, Point of Sale, CRM, EDI, and iShop.

The Harvey Norman OFIS online store is scheduled to go live in the first half next year, while the first two 'bricks and mortar' stores - in Albury and Auburn, Sydney, will open in March. Harvey Norman plans to open eight to 10 stores by the end of the year.

Pronto Software Managing Director David Jackman said, 'That one of Australia's biggest retailers has chosen Pronto Software's platform to launch its next venture validates our expertise to address sophisticated retail business needs.

'Not only were we able to demonstrate that PRONTO-Xi is technically a superior ERP solution than our competitors, but also the best-fit supplier in terms of our customer focus and practical approach. We look forward to working with Harvey Norman on the successful launch of Harvey Norman OFIS,' Mr Jackman said.

English said the Pronto Software team has been great to work with. 'There's been very little red tape and not a lot of management tiers to get through. Pronto Software is working with us at a grass roots level and these cultural synergies have been a benefit given the aggressive timeframes.'

Pronto Software's growing community of world-class retailers include Haymes Paint, Jessops, Kathmandu, Photo Continental, Snooze and The Body Shop.

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