US Technosoft, an IT company in the business of creating management based solutions, has forayed into OOH industry by developing an ERP software called Edge1 meant for media owners and agencies. The initiative was driven by demand from media owners looking to have a system in place. The end-to-end solution software took two years to be completed after continuous development and careful refinements. Edge1 essentially integrates and streamlines all the business processes starting from media buying, planning, landlord management and license fee to marketing, sales, lead generation, purchase orders, accounts, reports, alerts, mailing (internal and external) and much more.
The specialized system covers the complete OOH process gamut, right from the preparing of outdoor plans through PPT, sharing of the Geological locations of sites with clients/agencies, finalizing sales invoices along with debit notes, credit notes and an exhaustive set of management reports, all of which can be easily automated with the help of Edge1. It provides the ability to monitor the task 24x7x365 days anywhere, any time.
Edge1 is basically a role-based software which allows everyone in an organization to perform their jobs. By feeding their Id and password, the respective employees will be able to understand their pre-configured role, privileges and permissions to perform their tasks. For instance, the sales department can make plans, take bookings, plan FOCs, blocking etc, through Edge1. Additionally, the company also develops customized features based on the needs of the company.
The primary advantage of the software is that it takes away repetitions and errors and saves on time. The whole process and details can be seen by teams in multiple locations since the application provides for multiple users and it can be divided into various branches, roles and levels. The software reduces the intervention of different people and executes things in a much faster and productive way. According to Upinder, complete security has been taken care of as there is no leakage and nobody can get into the systems.
The company provides turnkey solutions besides software training to its client companies and going ahead, plans to offer IT processes for the OOH industry, which are on par with international standards. “We are planning innovations through IT for the OOH industry. We want to take the process on to international levels. We are doing R&D in international standards to know their work processes. We have even got enquires from a lot of different companies for the service,” sums ups Upinder.
Well the going wasn’t easy for Technosoft with the main challenge being in the implementation part. “The arena of big outdoor companies is not organized. People have taken control of certain domains and they have created a kind of dependency, so therefore breaking that kind of dependency on people was the biggest challenge for us,” shares Upinder.
Convincing industry players too was a mammoth task. As Upinder explains, “People knew that the software is going to benefit them but they were not willing to adopt it which was the biggest hurdle. I believe the people in the outdoor industry are not ready to adopt this kind of software as they don’t want to bring in transparency due to personal reasons. There are very few people in the industry who think that things should be simplified.”
Well, the efforts seem to have paid off as industry players are slowly and gradually coming around to accepting the solution and the feedback from some of them obviously shows that the purpose is being served. Says Shavinder Singh Sandu, CEO, Lead Ads, “We have signed up with Edge 1 for their services / software and their team came to Ludhiana to put up all my database, inventory list, and client details in the software. Looking at their demo, we were fully pleased and immediately registered with them as it has a complete solution to all our needs. Yes, we did ask them for few customizations and they did incorporate the same in the software. They have almost everything that one could think of in terms of software for outdoor advertising needs.”
Agrees Sujal Shah, MD, Sujal Advertisers, “We have been using Edge1 software for the past 6 months. The software is really excellent. It saves lot of manpower and made our employees more efficient. We didn’t ask for any personalized application but we would definitely like to update it with advanced features in future.”
Well hope that with more such solutions in place and with more players using them, a lot of the glitches in the industry can be sorted out and the way can be paved for the industry’s growth with greater client confidence and willingness to invest in the medium.