Automotive developer gets agricultural overseas

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A Melbourne developer has begun making strides exporting its business software for the agricultural and automotive industries.

A Melbourne developer has begun making strides exporting its business software for the agricultural and automotive industries.

Peter Thatcher, sales and marketing manager at Melbourne developer Auto-IT, said the software maker had begun sealing deals overseas and expanding its automotive industry-focused application to suit the agricultural vertical.

"We've changed the last 10 percent of the product to be a closer fit to their [agricultural sector] requirements and it's turning into good business for us," he said.

"The important thing is we're growing the pie. We haven't moved away from automotive, not at all."

Ken Fife, managing director at Auto-IT, said "thousands" of US-based agricultural machinery dealers -- many of which used the software themselves -- were switching to the new software, dubbed Equip.

Australian dealers were also using the software, he said.

"Auto-IT  has expanded from the confines of the car dealership software program.  And it has made Auto-IT an exporter of technology, too," Fife said in a statement.

Thatcher said many automotive and agricultural sector companies had been using many different software programs, a mixture of IT-based and manual applications or "ill-fitting" software applications.

Equip, for example, was the only application for agricultural machinery dealers that included an ability to program for separate warranties on attachments or service conditions on attachments as well as the base machinery, he claimed.

Equip could manage all IT-based administrative needs at agricultural machinery dealerships. The automotive industry version was called Units, Thatcher said.

"Equip can fully run their workship," he said. "Equip also helps them to manage and maintain hundreds of thousands of dollars in parts -- the inventory. And it helps them maange the complete sales process."

Thatcher could not say how big the market might be. "We've got a good deal coming up in China [as well]," he said.

Auto-IT sold direct in Australia but was building an international channel, he added.

Thatcher said Auto-IT was starting an Australia-based user group. It held its first meeting last month in Melbourne.

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