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Innovation Fuels Firm's Export Sales

Computer hardware and software developed by a four-person Manawatu company for international service-stations is being used in Brazil, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand.

More sales are likely, not just in the firm's largest market, Brazil, but also in Thailand and The Philippines.

Software produced by Integration Technologies Ltd is used to control pumps and other forecourt equipment.

"The traditional approach has been to have a big black box. We've miniaturised everything down to a card that now fits into a standard PC," company director Brendon Deere says. "That cuts costs because the card is so much cheaper. Ours can plug into companies' existing retail systems."

Mr Deere says he used to manage a company that supplied mainly the big oil firms in New Zealand. "They have traditionally dealt with three or four companies for their needs. I saw an opportunity that needed filling, that a card might do the job better."

The software was developed with the help of Technology New Zealand, the Government agency that invests in research into new products, processes or services as part of the Government's plan to build a knowledge-based economy.
"That [investment] was a big help, and we've come in on time and on budget," Mr Deere says.

The oil companies piloted the product, liked it, and bought more. Mr Deere says this helped his firm to develop a second-generation product that is more advanced, and which could be exported. Integration Technologies was then approached by a Brazilian oil company.

"We've now got more than 100 installations in Brazil, mainly in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It looks as if we're going to sell more there."

The software has been piloted in Thailand and The Philippines, and Mr Deere is confident of more sales in other markets.


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