A sneak peak into the creation of Datalinx, company goals and industry challenges through the eyes of James Pearcy MD of Datalinx Computer Systems...
I trained as an electro mechanical engineer, but moved in the early days of computerised manufacturing systems to material requirements planning (MRP) within a large manufacturing company. After some years in industry it was a logical step, to becoming a consultant within the computer industry and director of a software house. However it was not until 1989 the opportunity occurred to form Datalinx. The first product was a barcode based “Work in Progress tracking and costing system”, that front ended many popular ERP systems, this quickly led to warehousing and a long term relationship with Sage.
Why was Datalinx founded?
After working for various software providers of ERP and MRP systems, 2 friends identified a gap in the market for automated data collection, which in today’s world, we would call Mobile Systems. These were used for Warehousing plus Work in progress tracking and labour costing. With time the focus shifted to Sage and their customer needs.
What would you say has been Datalinx biggest success?
Definitely our relationship with Sage; which over the past 18 years has strengthened. This has enabled us to provide integrated systems which meet their customer’s needs across most Sage platforms
What are the challenges of working in the software industry?
We are perceived to be in a vertical market of warehousing yet our products are expected to work across a range of industries from furniture suppliers to aerospace. We produce functionality which is similar in context however varies substantially in each business application. The requirements and processes demanded by the various industries are diverse. The need for full traceability within the food and pharmaceutical industry is dictated by legislation; however traceability will be utilised differently dependant on the industry, the products and the end user requirements.
Where do you see the supply chain industry and warehousing headed?
Online purchasing is re-shaping the needs of warehousing putting significant volume demands on software. The customer expects to order two or more similar products, and return what not suit or fit. This has created a dramatic increase in the number of returns to be processed, with increased inspection, repackaging and restocking costs. To minimise these costs businesses have to re-evaluate processes to create faster more efficient warehouses, putting greater demands on the software. The smaller business is today demanding the functionality of larger systems at a smaller system price.
Where would you like to see the company go in the future?
We will stay focused as warehousing specialist, but to absorb the ever increasing software development costs, we need a larger customer base. Much of this increased growth is already happening with our Sage ERP X3 product, which is already installed in North America, Australia and South Africa. However to further reduce costs, we are beginning to write new software routines that are portable across other platforms including Sage 50 and 200