The Blog

Merry Christmas from the Abel team!

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2011 from the team at Abel Software.

As 2010 winds up, it’s a chance to look back on how the year shaped up for us here at Abel Software. Notably, our development team has achieved some fairly substantial milestones this year. One of our key achievements was the release of Abel 5.0 which was a mammoth effort by the guys, with over 1000 screens being re-painted to enable intelligent resizing when a screen is stretched. And while we were at it, we gave them a face lift and added a bit more width, which looks great on wide screen monitors. The project was the culmination of several months work and, as I’m sure you can appreciate, we were excited to see the end result.

Abel™ continues to grow and develop as our customers’ needs and the business environment changes. The Abel team is customer driven and we are always striving to improve, whether it’s by way of a major development to align with a new business process, or simply a small tweak that makes someone’s day a little bit easier. You’d be surprised how often a small adjustment can make all the difference to a customer.

2010 saw the signing up of new customers, new implementations and of course plenty of upgrades filled with goodies. We were also delighted to welcome onboard Quickstone Software as our distributor for North America.

We are very much looking forward to 2011 and we wish our prospects, customers, distributors, friends and indeed our competitors a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2011.

The Abel team.

Posted in Abel Blog |

The Dominion Post – Abel takes new aim at market in US

As reported by The Dominion Post, November 29, 2010.

Posted in News | Tagged , , |

New US distributor targets “sweet spot” for NZ software in post-recession American market

Media Release: November 28, 2010

The impact of the global financial meltdown on American businesses’ spending habits is providing new opportunities for New Zealand software, says the founder of a young US company which begins distributing Abel Software this month.

Developed over 14 years with a focus on providing medium-sized companies with affordable computing power, Abel’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is now used by over 200 businesses in ten countries.

Dana Craig, a co-founder of Quickstone Software, LLC, based in Park City, Utah, said that these days she is seeing businesses looking a lot harder at what they can get for their money and being much more ready to look at smart, practical alternatives to established major suppliers.

“We are seeing a good market opportunity here because Abel™ can fill a strong need to get the job done while keeping IT budgets under tighter control,” she said.

She had been previously convinced first-hand of the opportunity for the technology as project manager for an Abel customer with 3,500 users in over 120 separate business units across the US.

“I think Big ERP has had a stranglehold on the market. But they have just gotten too big; they are hard to work with for medium-sized businesses,” she said.

“The people we are talking with need a system that can be installed fast, is easy to run and doesn’t cost $250,000 up-front.

“The recession is a good time for us because Abel helps people improve efficiencies and contains costs without all the hassle and expense of a big system. In the new economic environment, Abel really hits a sweet spot that makes sense for the mid-market.”

She said that at first some American customers from her previous role were surprised to be offered software developed in New Zealand.

“But it was not long before they found that it was what they needed. Abel is almost infinitely customizable. It lets them do things they really couldn’t have done without a much larger system, requiring extra investment in time and money.”

Founded in 1996 and developed in Auckland by engineers with a background in developing successful solutions for industrial, manufacturing and mining companies, Abel’s ERP provides a full range of tools for gaining visibility into all business operations. It has always prized a reputation for simplicity of use and reliability, Jane Mattsen, its Business Manager, said.

“Although we have Abel sites in the US already, we are delighted to see Quickstone open as an Abel distributor,” she said. “They know what Abel can do and are ideally positioned to present it to an American market that is probably getting back to basics in looking for real practical value. “

Ms Craig said Quickstone is targeting customers across the US but expects most early business activity to come from neighbouring western states.

Posted in News |

Campaign Building – Making the most of your client data.

Most of you reading this would not have a clue who I am. Most of the companies that send me marketing, either through my inbox or my letterbox, do not have a clue who I am. To make matters worse, the majority of those companies can’t even spell my name properly. So consequently, I get bombarded with a barrage of semi-personally addressed mail, electronic or otherwise, most of which is simply not relevant to me.

There is one company, however, who is smart enough to market to me, based on my demographic, combined with my shopping habits. Sure, I have to swipe a card each time I shop there so they can make me feel special, but the information I receive is relevant, to me! Relevant.

rel-e-vant (adjective) – bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; pertinent: a relevant remark (Thanks dictionary.com)

During the course of building a relationship with our clients, we accumulate a whole bunch of information about them such as:

  • Who they are;
  • Where they are;
  • What they buy;
  • What they don’t buy;
  • Who are their key personnel;
  • What they are interested in (either as individuals or as a company).

We also take the time to slot them in to various categories. So, once all of this information has been accumulated, how can we use it?

Within the Abel Integrated CRM is the ability to build targeted campaigns. By utilizing client, sales and contacts data you can build campaigns which are pertinent and through organic growth will ultimately result in increased Customer Lifetime Value.

From a purely functional perspective, campaigns are built by selecting a variety of criteria within the Campaign Build screen. These various criteria may include geographical selections such as Country, State, City, or Postcode combined with Client Type, Business Type, Account Manager, Contact Categories, Inventory Categories (purchased or otherwise) and individual Inventory Items (purchased or otherwise). The flexibility is such that any combination of criteria can be selected to create your tailored segmented campaign.

Remember, non-specific campaigns that are over-frequent and not pertinent to the customer often can have the reverse effect of one which is tailored. So, forget the traditional marketing campaigns that bombard your customers with generic promotions and switch on to campaign management that is more relevant to your clients and ultimately more beneficial for your company.

Posted in Abel Blog | Tagged , , |

Serial, Batch Tracking and Traceability

When a manufacturer of Honey products and by-products recently chose Abel, this was the catalyst for the final touches to be put on the batch tracking and associated features within Abel.  Consequently, the words “Unique, Track, Batch and Serials” have been tossed around the office fairly regularly of late.

This new functionality enables the ability to record and track products going into (any stage of) production, the bin location(s) of the batches of finished product, and finally, where those products are then dispatched or sold to.  This is imperative for any food manufacturer but also relevant to many other industries.

Government regulations internationally have made traceability one of the concerns at the forefront of industries such as food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The compliance of a company in these areas now makes it a prerequisite in order to export to the EU and most developed countries around the world.   In addition, the level of traceability may go deeper in to the primary produce should, for example, the products being produced be promoted as be GE Free.  In that case, the traceability may need to go back to a seed from which a product is grown. Indeed, trials are underway in the USA, where an individual lettuce can be traced from ground to consumer.  Who would have thought a single lettuce could be a unique identifier!

Once the initial configuration of an inventory or stock item is completed in Abel, the entry of serial or batch numbers for the components contained in that item can be made mandatory during the production process.  So should there be a critical issue with any one of the ingredients or components which ultimately results in a recall, the end product can be tracked by batch number as to its warehouse location or place of dispatch.

I recall my days in the seafood industry, where as part of our food safety management programme was the need to adapt to constantly changing legislation.  This meant that manual systems were implemented to trace the product flow.  It was laborious and inefficient – if only we’d had this current functionality!

Traceability and serial numbers are not simply limited to food, drugs and cosmetics.  You may well be in an industry where your product is a serialized item such as electronic devices.  Tracking by serial number of an individual item can be made mandatory which assists in the administration of maintenance contracts, warranty claims, returns, and repairs.

Of course, the ability to search by batch or serial number, or report thereon is also included.  The full history of an item from production, despatch, return repair and re-despatch can be viewed at a glance.

Whilst the majority of this blog has related to the food industry, Abel provides an excellent tracking solution for all manner of companies, satisfying legislative requirements and ensuring an easy to use process within your company.

Posted in Abel Blog | Tagged , , , , |

Tax Change Management

At the beginning of October, there was a change to the rate of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 12.5% to 15% in New Zealand. This increase was the first to occur locally in some 20 years, so a number of the software products had probably never been tested as to their compatibility. It was going to be a test for those who were operating their businesses with outdated or unsupported software. The change was big news.

As a business owner, there must be a high degree of confidence in your software to cope with these types of legislative changes, so that there is no interruption to the daily flow of business. The change must be seamless and painless and be handled in accordance with law.

The majority of Abel customers are international, and in the case of our USA based customers, have to deal with different forms of taxation such as Federal, State and Local Government. Tax changes in these environments occur regularly, so this instilled confidence in the team, that Abel would not need to undergo open heart surgery to cope with a mere 2½% sales tax change.

It was also interesting to talk to friends and colleagues in business about their preparations. Some assumed that their software would be compliant come 1st of October, with no contact having been made between themselves and their software vendors.

This was not the case with Abel, all customers were individually advised of their compatibility. The process went according to plan, the changeover happened without incident, and it was business as usual for our NZ customers.

Posted in Abel Blog |

Welcome to our Blog

Hi there and welcome our new website, and the first of many blogs from www.abelsoftware.com. My name is Callum, I am a software developer as well a shareholder of Abel Software.

In the months (and years) ahead you will read snippets from myself as well as members of our development, support and admin teams as we blog on topics such as product developments, industry news, and what makes us, at Abel, just a bit different from the rest.  It’s our aim to provide our own form of “infotainment” in the global world of ERP.

So why blog?  Well, as a team, we have an immense wealth of knowledge, not only in IT, but also in terms of understanding the challenges IT brings as a business owner or operator, in whatever industry you are in..  We are very passionate about Abel and the difference it makes to our customers, and by providing insights into what it is we do, we hope to generate thought and debate on the ways in which technology can help businesses.

Literary genius’ we are not,  IT genius’ we are, so for our take on what’s relevant and interesting, subscribe to our feed, retweet our posts and tag along.  And please, feel free to comment.  We welcome it!

Posted in Abel Blog |