With 25 years’ experience in developing and designing business and accounting software specifically for the local retail industry, IQ Retail is now scoring major successes in neighbouring territories Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
The company supplies some of South Africa’s largest retail chains with its products and services.
“Businesses in the retail industry in the sub-continent need to take advantage of new technologies to remain competitive in the current economic climate,” says Chris Steyn, MD of IQ Retail. “Constant enhancements and support for our customers in the retail industry have helped develop feature rich systems at an affordable price. The supply of solutions for businesses in this industry and rolling out hundreds of back office accounting and POS systems at sites throughout southern Africa, has seen the IQ Retail product range show tremendous growth and continue to do so this year despite the economic downturn.
“This organic growth has now extended beyond our borders,” Steyn continues. “Our most recent agreement is with a company called Yalane, based in Maputo, Mozambique. Executives of the company were invited to meet with us at our offices in Stellenbosch 10 months ago. After discussions they were appointed as distributors of the IQ Retail range of trading point-of-sale (POS) and accounting trading systems for the retail sector for the hardware stores they run. Yalane currently has 19 branches throughout Mozambique.”
Steyn says that IQ Retail held a launch for Yalane trainees and then subsequent sessions at their training centre in Stellenbosch, to familiarise them with the IQ software systems. Part of the student’s training was to encourage them to get into the reseller market in their home country, thereby increasing the IQ Retail footprint there.
IQ Retail will provide remote support from here and also train local representatives in Mozambique to support the systems.
The IQ software systems installed in Mozambique have been heavily subsidised at the start up, as there are excellent opportunities for future infrastructure growth. All the software programmes being used in the new POS and business accounting systems have been translated into Portuguese. There are currently major issues with connectivity where multi-sites are involved in that country, so the operation will be run offline. Also in a groundbreaking initiative, the IQ systems have been modified to comply with the Mozambican government’s requirement for a uniform chart of accounts.
IQ Retail also recently appointed a local distributor in neighbouring Botswana. Although the operations are just getting started, there is great growth potential for integrated accounting and trading systems. Some of the distributor’s staff are currently being trained at IQ’s training centre. In a few months time an IQ training team will be sent to Botswana to assist with the implementation of their software systems. As was the case in Mozambique, major incentives were offered by IQ Retail during the set up of the new distributorship.
Steyn says the company is also conducting business in Zimbabwe.
“A series of high level meetings with top ranking Zimbabwean government officials, including the Minister of ICT, were held last year,” he says. “As a result an agreement was reached and a distributor named Blue Ivy was appointed. IQ Retail systems were installed to run the POS and back office accounting operations at hardware stores as well as supermarkets in Zimbabwe. The cordial relationship with the distributor has led to key companies sourcing their own resellers for the IQ range of products. Service level agreements are in place to deal with resellers directly. A fully integrated multi-currency system performing currency conversions has been included in the IQ business accounting software running at 142 shops throughout the country. Training was provided on site and at the IQ Retail training centre.
Also in the SADC region, IQ Retail has been represented in Namibia for more than 20 years and more than 1 000 outlets run its various systems. A new loyalty system introduced through Namibian company Infinity Awards has proved to be extremely popular resulting in 25% annual growth. Both IQ Retail and Infinity Awards have prospered through this partnership, says Steyn. IQ Retail has also partnered with Starlite Enterprises to offer retail systems and prepaid airtime to outlets throughout Namibia.
“As a supplier of business software system solutions for the past 25 years, IQ Retail now has more than 20 000 installations in South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and distribution in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Greece, Australia and New Zealand,” Steyn says. “IQ Retail remains at the forefront of software development in the changing retail environment, which today offers more options than ever before for making purchases and payments.
“We have taken the lead in embracing the latest technologies, especially in the areas of system interconnectivity and integration of services,” he adds. “These include airtime sales, Electronic Fund Transfers, online backup solutions, managed and hosted cloud solutions, business intelligence, e-commerce and business-to-business solutions.”