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Observer Systems

Observer Systems

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Small producers often have sales teams that are underutilized, because have to do things that could be automated. Our platform creates a virtual distribution and sales channel where sales people can monitor customers conveniently. This allows them to work efficiently and do more meaningful work.

Venture Concept Overview

When we look for teammates, we want someone who gets the job
done, can do all sorts of jobs and makes our busy lives simpler. In reality, a
new teammate is costly in time, energy and wages; and finding the right
teammate can be a chore. For wholesale producers of things like wine, beer and
spirits, wanting to expand or sustain their business, bringing new sales people
on can be costly for those exact reasons. The software these sales people use
to manage customers is clunky and not designed for people passionate about what
they make.

SimpleSam is the teammate that breweries, wineries and distilleries
need. SimpleSam is an easy to access web-app which integrates with how
breweries work and provides a simplified approach to your sales needs.
One-Click reoccurring orders, generated invoices, integrated accounts; all
wrapped in a convenient system that just works.

We are still in the process of customer validation. In our
validation process we have discovered that our customer segments can be divided
into lifestyle and business orientation, and different sizes of business
require different needs. Ultimately we plan on testing how we can save these
companies time and energy on all spectrums, even if we are doing it manually; which
we plan to do over the coming months as we try to learn more.

The mission of Observer Systems, our team, is to make small
business more sustainable through a customer-centred design process. Al has a
passion for good food and drink, and understands the customer problem and how
to position our venture. I, Rohit, have strong software development and
financial skills. Together we share an obsession with the design process. We
also have several recruits to help with branding, marketing and research.

Within the next two years, we want to see SimpleSam being
used on a global scale. We see our venture transitioning from assisting
breweries to just generalised wholesalers.

We are currently in the process of growing our referral
markets and creating the buzz required for a sustainable feedback system and
customer base. By the end of May next year, we’re looking to have SimpleSam
Beta.

We’re looking for a total of $8500 from the IACT seed pool.
With this funding we will be able to protect our IP with trademarks and hire a
casual developer to reduce our development time. With this 8 month runway, we
can build beta and look for further funding from ANU Venture Capital Fund,
Griffin Accelerator or YCombinator.

We’re also looking for an investor, as someone who we can
approached for referral advice and business experience.

The Idea

Problem: Sales people for small wholesale businesses must
make contact with their regular customers in order to make periodical sales.

Solution: an online platform that acts a tool for Sales
Person, distributor and wholesaler to retain regular sales with customers and
freeing up the sales person to perform other duties.

The Market

Three Major Customer
Segments:
wholesale businesses; their sales people; and the retailers they
distribute to

Wholesale Business

Jobs: derive revenue;
manage bookkeeping; hire employees; manage/monitor employees; produce goods;
sell goods; build and retain business partnerships and customer base; grow
business; pay wages; pay expenses; organise inventory

Gains: make a profit;
high demand, have strong alliances; have a loyal customer base; grow in a
stable process; low overheads; effective and neat number of employees;

Pains: ensuring
employees are working effectively; disorganised bookkeeping; taxing monitoring
of business status; difficulty organising inventory to meet demand

 

Sales People

Jobs: make sales; find
new customers; retain current customers; network; make orders and ensure those
orders are met; ensure customers are happy with goods and services; make
regular contact with loyal customers; managing time between different sales
pushes and regular customers (among other tasks); distribute information to
customers about your business’ activities

Gains: make a
significant amount of sales; customers make contact with you freeing up time to
focus elsewhere; good relationships with customers; good relationship with your
own business; having your referral markets give you new customers

Pains: disorganised
inventory management making it difficult to meet orders; having to return to
loyal and happy customers simply to make a new order for the period; stress
from not making enough sales and dealing with unhappy customers (being
time-poor)

 

Retailer

Jobs: order goods from
suppliers; organise inventories with turnover; employ and manage workers;
unpack and shelf goods for sale; sell items on shelf; receive money for items
on shelf from customers; managing supplier relationships

Gains: clear
information about expectations and events within suppliers (eg promotions and
changes in product); make a profit; employees interested in their own stores
products

Pains: lack of
information about products on shelf in order to sell; dealing with unorganised
suppliers and distribution services; forgetting to make an order and not easily
fixing it; managing many different supplier relationships with different idiosyncrasies

The Competition

Currently a sales person acts on behalf of the wholesaler
business as a liaison to the retailer. For small businesses, this means having
someone contact each business to ensure an order is made often face-to-face to
finalise payments and orders. Each sales person manages a network of customers
who make orders with retailers. The amount of sales is then monitored by
employer. Critically, even if a customer is regular, this contact needs to be
just as regularly.

Our solution is to add a tool to facilitate the special
relationship sales person holds as liaison between wholesaler and retailer. On
one hand, our solution will make regular ordering much more straight forward and
allow retailer to order and update needs in real time. On the other; wholesaler
will be able to better manage their inventory to the needs of their customers.
Ultimately, our goal is to relieve a series of pains from Sales People and
small businesses whose resources are precious by giving them a tool to manage
their needs in conjunction with the needs of their customers.

The Vision

We would like to see our venture reaching small businesses across the world who need a little hand to grow their business in the way they see fit. Realistically we will focus on the Australian market where 67% of businesses are Small or Medium Enterprises – after which we will focus on entering markets that have a high degree of similar businesses to those we focused on in Australia.

Our solution is currently geared towards producers of goods that are non-customisable. However, once our platform is established their may be opportunity to expand into any industry where a regular service is managed by a sales person.

Mentor Pitch

Local or regional producers depend on a sales person to
manage the retailers they sell to. In some instances, producers will try to
haphazardly manage sales themselves. It can take a lot of time for a sales
person to manage retailers, and can be a massive and expensive pain if a sale
isn’t finalised for a period.

We aim to provide a web-service which will increase the efficiency
of sales personnel, by partially automating the process of maintaining retailer
relationships. We will be offering a human-centred web platform which will
automatically manage orders, archive conversations, produce invoices, create
financial statements and much more.

For many wholesalers and retailers in Australia, current CRM
systems are either too expensive or too complicated to use. Sales teams are
often cited as not using prescribed CRMs because they are too clunky and get in
the way of their work rather than making it more efficient.

There is a large and growing opportunity in Australia, with
the percentage of small businesses dominating our economy. These businesses
will be looking to improve the efficiency of their sales processes and we will
have a product ready for them.

Our team consists of myself, Rohit, and my partner Al. I am
a Computer Science major with strong web development and technical skills. I
additionally have a good understanding of finance and business. Al is good at
understanding how social groups interact and analysing businesses to make
recommendations or changes. He has good critical thinking skills and understand
the needs of the customer segment we are targeting. As such we have the skills necessary
to take on a project such as this.

We are looking for a mentor, who has a good understanding of
small business and who has access to small business networks. They may also be
able to help us find what people need. If this sounds like you or if you’re
interested in our project, then please get in contact with us.

The Customer Experience

As a B2B business, many of our customers will hear about us either via word of mouth or from one of our reps. Once a customer is aware of our product, they will want to do some research themselves. They will be able to find out more by checking the Home, FAQ and pricing pages on our website. They can also try a demo of the app to see what makes it great. After that its as simple as signing up for the pricing scheme which suits their needs and to start using our system. The system will be designed to teach as you do. If clients do need any assistance, want to give feedback or want to report a bug, they can do so through the web application.

The Team

Together, Al and I [Rohit] have all the skills we need to make our venture real. Al understand the needs of our users and how to invoke excitement in our community. He has networks with our customer segments. He also has the design and management skills to drive our venture forward. I has skills in web development, as well as general computer science experience. As a student of Actuarial Science, I understand how to deal with risk and how to manage our finances.

Our Partners

In order to make our venture a reality, what we really need is someone who has networks with Breweries or small wholesalers. We need to establish a feedback loop with our potential clientele, so that we can address their needs and shift our product in the right direction.

 

If this sounds like something you could help us out with. Please reach out to us at rohitram96@gmail.com .

Funding Sought

Costs:

Domain Name: $10 per year (on-going)

Cloud System: $20 per year (on-going)

IP protection: $500-1000 (initial)

Start-Up Employees (x1) to Develop an Alpha and Maintenance: $12,000 per year (on-going based on a single employee working 46 weeks of the year 10 hours a week for $25 per hour)

 

We realistically aim to get $10,000-20,000 in IACT or other funding to get us to the stage where we have fully developed an Alpha and can customers begin to interact with something tangible. We aim to have a Alpha by the end May.

 

 

 

Our Partners

Software vendors such as Xero/Quickbooks/MYOB. These customers provide us with available platform into which our product integrate as a resource for our customers.Realistically this means balancing reach, number features, expectations within out targeted niches to best bring value to customers. In  return, these platforms get increased appeal to our customer niche by expanding their features offered in their software suites. As we grow, they grow their marketing potential.

 

Resources We Gain: A platform from which customers can fully benefit from our product.

Benefits we Give: We give value by endowing that platform with stronger appeal to our niche market which will grow as we grow.

Capturing Value

Our customers include anyone involved in the wholesaler retailer business channel. We intend to focus specifically on medium alcohol producers such as wineries and breweries that plan to deliver a quality product.

 

We intend to capture value from our customers in three ways. First, our revenue stream will be a subscription based. Second, by working with local industry niches is the network gained by delivering a great product to those who value it. Three, we intend to collaborate with these local producers to design a product that truly works for their purposes.

 

Our pricing strategy will involve multiple tiers orientated towards business at different stages and lifestyles. How much a customer is willing to pay for a personal assistant that frees them up to focus on what really matters to them. However, we intend to develop a price with collaboration with customers.