Local POS developer pushes Web-based multimedia

Former local startup set to move into Asia market

Task Retail's founder and chief executive, Kym Houden

Task Retail's founder and chief executive, Kym Houden

Workers at café chains and fast food outlets will be prompted to upsell products and access uniform national pricing through a new electronic pricing initiative from local point of sale (POS) software developer, Task Retail.

Founder and chief executive, Kym Houden, told Computerworld Australia the business - which grew to 13 staff members in 2008 and now has 26 employees - is currently planning expansion to the United States and Singapore.

“The company’s been going for ten years, and started off with one [team member],” he said. “We now have an office in Atlanta, Georgia, and we will have a presence in Singapore in the next 12 months or so.”

Houden said the company, which provides POS services to franchises including Muffin Break, Jamaica Blue, Donut King and Michelle’s Patisserie, is moving to push data online through its Xchangexec software which would enable multimedia content to be pushed to registers automatically and wirelessly.

“One of the things that we’ve now found is a product that allows us to run multimedia across 1000 stores, have one piece of content but 1000 different prices, and that can be done wirelessly,” he said. “If you remember the line ‘do you want fries with that?’, electronically, we’re prompting the operator in the store to ask these sorts of questions and we’re actually tracking their performance in this way.”

The system also provides granular stock reporting or, according to Houden, "if someone’s left the cash draw open in Ballarat”.

The company was recently recognised by Dell in its Take Your Own Path campaign to recognise local entrepreneurs.

Houden said Task Retail hopes its wireless technology will continue to drive local pricing.

“If you buy a coffee in the airport it might be $4.80 but if you buy it in Hornsby, it might be $3.80,” he said. “We’re driving pricing electronically and wirelessly, so we can have one [piece of] content with [a possible list of] 1000 prices.”

Houden said apart from its move into Asia, Task Retail’s next IT project is around moving to an automated backup system for its own staff and information.

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