The Challenge

Before we implemented Cobalt Retail, we were using Advanced Business Manager software and we had major challenges, including the need for server and software licences, obtaining prompt support, and uncertainty around offsite system backup and storage of data.

We discovered Merlin Software at the AIRR Conference. We first had a phone discussion, followed by a number of online demonstrations from Merlin staff. We also contacted a number of retail stores who were already using the Cobalt Retail system to get their feedback and advice.

We are rural retailers not IT experts. We need to concentrate on our core business. Merlin’s software, hardware and support gives us peace of mind and lets us focus on our day-to-day retail business. Because of some issues with our previous system, we decided we couldn’t delay the changeover to Cobalt Retail, which meant doing it during our peak trading period. Understanding our concerns, Merlin staff were excellent in working with us to prepare for the change and learn the new system. The support team is exceptional. During introduction, we were on the phone constantly (almost daily) as our staff transferred to the new system.

Merlin staff are extremely helpful. The software support team means any queries or issues are resolved quickly. Merlin staff have at all times responded with understanding, patience and skill in resolving issues, not only from an IT perspective but on a diverse range of factors, from accounting and reporting queries right through to issues we encountered with third parties such as our own internal and external networks and EFTPOS machines.

The Solution

Cobalt Retail saves us time. Currently we are implementing the Cobalt multi-store module. This module effectively saves half a full-time role and removes errors associated with manual data entry. Running two store locations in the system provides seamless integration of data, basically in real time. 

Cobalt’s ability to categorise products across multiple levels allows us to report data at a much more meaningful level of detail than our previous system.

Data security and constant backup offsite has been a major improvement for our business, especially as data security and integrity is one of the major risk factors in retailing. Our ability to effectively outsource a lot of IT issues has been a major improvement for us.

I would highly recommend Merlin and Cobalt Retail. The Cobalt system, combined with Merlin’s efficient and customer-focused support during extended hours, is exceptional.

Merlin’s software, hardware and support gives us peace of mind and lets us focus on our day-to-day retail business.
Peter Moore

Managing Director, Yolla Producers

A word from Merlin

Yolla Producers has been using the Cobalt Retail system since November 2014. As a co-op, they have been relying on the specialised features of the system, as well as all of the other standard rural retailing elements. In April 2017, Yolla expanded to a second site and started using our Multisite facilities to reduce their administration work and streamline their business processes, with great success.

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The user group training days have been invaluable in getting new ideas and learning more about the system’s capabilities, so we can extract more value for our business.

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The Cobalt system has many options at the point of sale that just make it easy to serve a customer.

Chris

Managing Director, Far West Rural Supplies

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