Local firm looks to market ERP tool
With a new software product that it says can take enterprise resource planning (ERP) a step further, local developer, Commit Kft. is setting its sights on international markets. „Big systems can’t change everyday. We can change things much more quickly,” says Károly Márton, the company’s managing director and part-owner, explaining one of its claimed advantages over better-known rivals. Commit’s flagship product is WinDirect, of which it has carried out 30 installations over the last two years. Commit is in the process of fully localizing WinDirect into English.
„WinDirect is not only a management information system, but also a development tool,” says Márton. He adds that the system’s „job mechanism” feature allows it to arrange a company’s key everyday activities, sending automatic reports and reminders to staff.
„Bosses don’t have to worry about everyday tasks,” says Sándor Urszin, the firm’s sales and marketing manager. „The systemsends e-mail or text messages automatically reminding and requesting workers to carry out tasks, and in some cases can even act by itself”.
He says the system can prioritize key accounts, and can predict future stock levels. Márton says WinDirect’s data extension mechanism gives it an edge over its rivals, enabling new data to be incorporated into the system on a daily basis.
„You can do this with one or two other systems, but with far fewer options. The others cannot offer similar flexibility,” he says. „Big software companies in general can change the whole system, but that takes a huge investment. Otherwise they only refresh solutions on the surface.”
One customer is Italian-owned Fiorács Kft, which rears pigs for large meat processing firms.
„We chose WinDirect and Commit because the solution is more flexible and more reliable than others,” says Imre Mészáros, managing director of the company. „We have special needs due to our agricultural profile, and WinDirect can integrate all of these processes.”
Commit also recently landed deals with the Hungarian subsidiaries of two German manufacturers. One produces medical equipment and the other is in the automotive business. With these clients, Commit is exploring the possibility of linking up a company’s subsidiaries in different countries, something WinDirect ideal for, according to Márton. „In this way we can get a foothold in Western Europe,” he says.
In another service to foreign clients, Commit delivered an industrial robotic ordering system solution to Tateyama System Laboratory Co., in Toyama, Japan, entirely over the internet.
Strategies for penetrating foreign markets will vary from country to country, and Commit is looking for partners abroad, Márton says.
„For the first project, we’ll provide a lot of support from Hungary. We’re not looking to sell licenses straight away,” he says. Commit also plans to raise some external funding to help it complete with West European and U.S. software companies on the international stage, the executives reveal. Commit is in negotiations with state-owned fund manager Regional Development Holding Rt to raise Ft 50 million-Ft 120 million (190.000-460.000 euro), in exchange for a small percentage of the company, according to Urszin.
Commit explored the venture capital option, but was put off by the terms and the overly high sums that venture capital firms are looking to invest, he says.
„Private capital offers bad conditions with demands on return that are too high,” says Urszin, adding that most investment firms are looking to Commit minimum sums $5million -more than Commit is looking for.
Commit is owned by Márton and development manager Miklós Győrfi and was founded in 1999. The pair worked together before at Userland Kft, a company that developed WinDirect’s forerunner, ReMIND, sponsored by a group of Italian businesspeople. The company was wound up after Márton and Győrfi broke links with the Italian partners. Commit employs 15 people, mostly program developers and process organization experts. Revenues last year were around Ft 100 million, with profits of approximately Ft 10 million. Revenues are expected to increase in 2003. The company’s local clients have included the former BNP-Dresdner Bank Rt, where it installed a database controlling system and a cost accounting system.
Budapest Business Journal, 2003. július