Agilysys Takes Procurement to the Web
August 20, 2013 Alex Woodie
Agilysys last week unveiled SWSDirect, an add-on to its IBM i-based Stratton Warren System (SWS), which is used by large hospitality venues to manage the inventory and procurement processes. With SWSDirect, Agilysys is using the Web to make certain processes easier to complete, such as obtaining bids and registering suppliers. The new software will also boost collaboration and communication of team members through the use of online message boards, Agilysys says.
SWS is a suite of inventory management applications designed for large hotels and casino resorts that cater to tens of thousands of guests and manage relationships with hundreds of suppliers. The software runs exclusively on IBM i, and is often deployed alongside other the Lodging Management System (LMS), which also runs on IBM i.
While Agilysys offers a GUI with SWS–in addition to a green-screen 5250 interface–these UIs are, in some cases, too heavyweight for certain processes. What’s more, it can take too long to train new employees how to use them. The company hopes to simplify things with SWSDirect, which delivers a Web-based “shopping cart experience” to users, according to the company.
In particular, Agilysys has targeted the bidding process with SWSDirect. The software enables buyers to obtain bids and requests for pricing over the Web, which Agilysys says will lower costs by enabling more competitive purchasing.
SWSDirect also delivers self-service to suppliers, who can now register with a property over the Web. The suppliers can also update their information using SWSDirect, while SWS users gain new reporting capabilities that give them better visibility into documents that may have expired, such as vendor licenses and certificates.
SWSDirect also delivers Web-based message boards–one internal facing, and another external facing–to help purchasing staff and suppliers to better communicate. Agilysys says the system’s internal message board will serve to alert staff of price increases, changes in delivery schedules, and other variables, while the external message board allows purchasing staff to share information with vendors.
Maris Berzins, vice president of development for applications at Agilysys, says the new software will streamline operators for SWS customers. “SWSDirect is the perfect complement to our comprehensive Stratton Warren System inventory and procurement solution, enabling customers to increase efficiency and enhance purchasing power with a simple add-on module,” Berzins says in a press release.
In other news, Agilysys reported financial results for its continuing operations for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014. The company completed the sale of its retail solutions group on July 1, and today is focused solely on the hospitality industry.
The company reported total revenue of $24.5 million, up 9 percent from the $22.4 million reported during the same quarter a year ago. The company reported a non-GAAP profit on continuing operations of $1.4 million, compared to a net loss of $900,000 a year ago.
“Our first quarter financial results reflect the success of the business strategies we have implemented, primarily our emphasis on the pursuit of the highest margin markets we can address with the highest value solutions in the industry,” said James Dennedy, president and CEO of Agilysys.