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Published September 16, 2003
Volume 11, Number 9



Software Development Inc. Automates Retailers
 
SDI President Ed Doherty
SDI president Ed Doherty started the company by working with distributors
and wholesalers but now works with large retailers.



By George Walsh
Network Editor



The larger a retail operation is, the more challenging it becomes to track sales and inventory. Rather than walking the aisles and counting products, many large retail chains turn to more high-tech solutions like those offered by Software Development Inc., at 3875 Hopyard Road. SDI is a leader in retail store automation, with personnel who can build, install, and support systems that help companies track products and costs. The company offers retail sales and inventory tools for chain retailers in the home improvement, chain drug, and general merchandise hard good market segments.

SDI has been in business 25 years and in Hacienda for 15 years. “We weren’t working with retail chains when we started out,” says Ed Doherty, founder and president of SDI. “We were working with computer systems, but we were doing more small local distributors and wholesalers before we got into the retail business. Our systems are used by our clients at the cash register: tracking payments, processing credit cards, and minding the store inventory. All of that information is then relayed to the larger corporate system.”

Many of SDI’s clients have names that are instantly recognizable, like Orchard Supply Hardware, JC Penney, and Ace Hardware. All of them are large corporations with multiple locations and millions of dollars worth of products to track. “We only deal with large chains, mostly because we don’t provide end-to-end solutions that include things like payroll and accounting,” Doherty says. “We also rely on the corporation having a mainframe computer system to which we can push all the data we collect.” SDI’s systems are currently installed in more than 35 major retail chains representing over 4,500 stores.

The major benefit of Software Development Inc.’s hardware, software, and service is that it can save large companies a lot of money. “The major thing that everybody is doing now is cost control and tracking inventory shrinkage,” Doherty says. “We do quite a good job of tracking inventory and cashiers and sales to help our customers reduce theft and other types of loss.”

SDI allows each retailer to select the hardware, peripherals and operating software that best satisfies their store requirements and budget. The company supports PCs, sales terminals, and the latest technology in sales peripherals. Standard Ethernet and TCP/IP networks—the same types of systems typically used to connect computers in other types of businesses—integrate the applications and hardware.

SDI’s products include the “ISS60/hc” system, which is designed specifically for home improvement retailers. The system brings together customer and contractor sale processing, inventory tracking, and networking into a single system. SDI's "ISS60/cd" is a version of the ISS60 system designed for chain drug retailers, and the "ISS60/gm" is another variation of the system designed for general merchandise retailers. SDI’s "IRIS"(Interactive Retail Information System) is an advanced store information system designed around the features of the ISS60 systems.

 

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