Preactor announces record growth in 2006

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New International OEM agreements with ERP companies - 300+ new installations globally - Now 7000+ Preactor users in 58 countries
Preactor International, the specialist planning and scheduling software company, has reported record growth in 2006. This builds upon the already record level numbers of APS systems sold in 2005 and demonstrates a continuing recognition by manufacturers that APS is an enabling technology and one which delivers measurable results, fast.

In addition to adding over 300 further Preactor installations to its global total of over 7000 in 58 countries, Preactor signed a number of OEM agreements with mid-market ERP companies. These companies include Sage in the UK, SYSPRO of South Africa and Divalto in France and reflect Preactors growing international success.

This has been matched by continued growth and maturity within Preactors international reseller network, a key factor in providing global customers, of which Preactor has many, with local support and services for implementing Preactor at their locations around the world.  This remains a key focus for the company in 2007, according to Mike Novels, Preactors CEO, who recently won a Visionary CEO award in the US. While we hold a dominant position in the UK market, there is still more to be done in continental Europe. Our product is already translated into all the main European languages and indeed we already have an impressive user base. But take France for example, here we have more than 100 references covering almost every manufacturing sector, more than many of our local rivals there, yet we are convinced more can be done to support our current reseller network.

When it comes to the North American, Asia/Pacific and South African markets, Novels is equally as enthusiastic. We have invested heavily in terms of time and money over the last 5 years in building up the brand in North America and this is starting to produce dividends. Quinn & Associates, our Master Reseller for North America is experiencing a huge increase in interest in Preactor and this is coming through in terms of sales and implementations. Our main challenge there is to get the required geographic coverage in such a vast area so we continue to look for resellers particularly in the TOLA region and California. Both the Asia/Pacific and South African markets have expanded in 2006. Our office in Bangalore, India is starting to produce the benefits we anticipated by providing implementation resources to both end users in its market as well as other Preactor resellers in other parts of the world.  We expect to make further progress in 2007.

2006 has also been important in terms of confirming that the biggest competitive threat to APS is not from competitive APS products, but from manufacturing companies continued misplaced reliance on spreadsheets. Novels again, Well it continues to amaze me that companies spend thousands and thousands on equipment and Enterprise software, yet still rely on spreadsheets for planning and scheduling.  I use Excel all the time myself of course but in terms of scheduling its a generic tool trying to do a specialist job. You could compare it to using a Swiss Army knife to assemble a Rolls Royce. It might do the job (eventually) but it will be less than satisfactory, leave a number of holes and might not hold together well. And of course there are companies that claim to have APS products which are little more than spreadsheets themselves so users need to ensure that they choose a product that is established and proven by other companies like theirs to avoid taking the risk.

Looking forward, 2007 promises to be a key year not just in terms of developing its partner network, but also in terms of releasing the companys most ambitious product development to date. Scheduled for release in Q1 of 2007, Preactor V.10 will include new features, new functionality, and an integral SQL 2005 database, all of which will run on both Microsofts XP and the new Vista platform. According to Novels, V.10 has been shown to a number of Preactors most important clients and the feedback has been very encouraging. We will continue to make ground breaking developments in planning and scheduling technology to retain our lead in the marketplace.

About Preactor International

Preactor International is the world leader in production scheduling software with more than 7,000 installations in more than 1,700 companies located in 58 countries. Preactors unique combination of ease-of-use, flexibility and affordability provides planners with a decision support tool that helps companies reach maximum agility in a fast moving, demand driven, make to order, lean environment.

Preactor has been used successfully in many different types of planning and scheduling environment. It has a significant installed base in Automotive, Aerospace, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Printing, Packaging, Plastics, Metals and Metal Fabricated Products, Food and Beverages, Electronics and Electrical Equipment, Precision Engineering, Services and Logistics. There are more than 60 documented case studies showing how companies have saved money through Preactor, in particular through lower stocks and inventory levels, higher productivity through better sequencing and obtaining new business through improved on-time delivery performance.

Preactor is designed for integration with other software such as ERP. These products typically export a list of operations that need to be completed to produce all new and existing demands. Using Preactor, the user then schedules which task to complete, by which production resource, and at what time using a combination of automatic rules and manual drag-drop on the interactive planning board. When released by the planner the schedule information updates ERP with the confirmed production schedule, revised route, sequence and timings from the Preactor plan.   Preactors sequencing engine provides additional functionality over and above competitive products. For example multiple constraints (e.g. machines, staff, tooling etc), attribute based sequencing (e.g. preferred sequencing and campaigning to minimise changeover times), complex, user definable scheduling rules and dependencies between orders.

Some of the most well known mid-market ERP companies including Sage, SYSPRO, Divalto, Softbrands and QAD partner with Preactor to offer their clients the production scheduling power of Preactor. In addition to a huge range of SME companies, Preactor is also used by some of the most well known companies in the world including Toyota, Pfizer, Alcan, CST-Arcelor, Bakkavor, Imperial Tobacco, Diageo, GKN, PPG, Dunlop, Quebicor and many more.

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