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Task Retail wants to conquer POS world with Sydney centre


Australian Point of Sale solutions provider, Task Retail Technology, intends to grow an existing network of franchise operators and their stores and expand overseas with a new $1 million Sydney-based Global Support Command Centre. The centre already provides Internet-based real-time sales tracking information to 1300 retail stores in Australia.



The new support centre has been funded and developed by retail software industry veteran Kym Houden, who told iTWire that it has the capability to provide retailers with services previously not available anywhere in the world.


"I've been in and out of point of sale for over 30 years. We decided about four years ago that we needed to use .NET, SQL Server and those sorts of products to deliver, through the smarts of the Internet,  instantaneous data using a hosted model," said Houden, the Chief Executive of Task.  


"We've started off with franchise businesses but we've also put it into a couple of large race track venues."


Well known Australian franchise names such as Muffin Break, Jamaica Blue, Donut King, Michel's Patisserie and Brumby's Bread, amongst others, are involved in the 1300 store rollout across Australia.


According to Houden the big differentiator between the Task Retail tracking system and others is that data is tracked in real time through a central location.


"It's data that's coming back to the central location instantaneously," he said.


"A lot of franchised businesses have worked on the process of that data has to be pushed to rather than pulled back by a server. So the data could be up to a couple of months old before it gets back from the franchisee to the franchisor".


"With this system, you get instantaneous data within a second. So we can now introduce things like global loyalty and other technologies such as multimedia marketing can be pushed down to the stores driving marketing panels.


"We've just introduced blue-tooth marketing into shopping centres. If you're walking into a Starbuck's coffee shop, a Muffin Break store might want to automatically send you a message saying that if you come and buy a coffee from them they will give you a free muffin."


Houden said that through the command centre franchisors can provide a vast array of instantaneous retail sales information to its franchisees and help them, where ever they are located, to maximise their potential sales.


“We monitor more than 1300 stores in Australia and we expect to sign large deals with global retail chains before the end of the year” said Houden.  


“We have created the future of retail with this new technology and command centre by connecting the web to any retail counter or transaction device.


“We have built the Global Support Command Centre on the expectation that we will soon expand into the US, UK and China. A number of large retail franchise operators in overseas markets are very interested in how our software can deliver instant information updates.


Here in Australia a large franchisor might have 600 stores. In the US they could have 16,000.


The centre consists of six large panel screens that provide a real-time world-view, or a data dashboard, of the performance of any of the store locations that Task Retail connects to its network. Task Retail has integrated a suite of technologies into its offering, including Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth mapping technology, SMS and Bluetooth.


According to Houden, the centre already tracks more than a million retail transactions every day in Australia, and will link to international computer networks as the company expects to sign contracts in overseas markets.


Task Retail Technology’s Xchangexec software delivers key diagnostics information on how franchise, retail stores and the hospitality industry are tracking in sales, provides prompts on how to maximise sales, provides visibility into their critical operations, and is designed to ensure their own IT networks are working properly.


Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth technology is used to provide retailers with up to the minute satellite information that helps them alter sales strategies based on a multitude of data fed to them.


Houden said the company’s software can save retail chains millions of dollars in lost revenue opportunities by streamlining every aspect of their business operations. He said after travelling extensively around the world in the past year, Task Retail Technology has been informed by major global retail chains that its real-time web-based retail point of sale technology is a world-first.


“The magic of our software is that the information produced is in real-time, as we have harnessed the power of the Internet to provide our customers with transaction-based information direct from the retail counter,” said Houden.


“We have created a groundbreaking piece of software technology, and we expect to grow exponentially in the international market in the next few years.”


Houden told iTWire that his company expects to enlist the "help" of mutlinational players such as NCR and Microsoft to break into international markets.


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© Task Retail Technology Pty. Ltd. 2012
© Task Retail Technology Pty. Ltd. 2012