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ICT Interview South Africa

Q&A: Marko Salic on digitally transforming retail and supply chain solutions

Argility is a South African enterprise software development and services organisation predominantly focused on the retail and supply chain arenas. The company provides end-to-end solutions inclusive of: managed services; service desk and industry 4.0 technologies. The latter are inclusive of: data science, predictive modelling & advanced analytics; the internet of things; location technologies and cloud computing and gateway control platforms (GCP).
Marko Salic, CEO of Argilty
Marko Salic, CEO of Argilty

We chat to Marko Salic, CEO of Argilty, to find out more about the track record of skills and global experience acquired through the years at the South African enterprise software development and services organisation...

BizcommunityCould you tell us a bit about Argility?
The Argility Technology Group is a collection of software businesses focused on enterprise IT solutions for retail and supply chain. With over 30 years of experience and the wealth of intellectual property generated during that time, we have the expertise to understand the entire commercial landscape.

It is our vision to digitally transform retail and supply chain using intelligent software, data science and the internet of things. Our mission is to become an extension of our customers’ businesses. Decades-long customer relationships bear testament to our customer-centric culture and passion for innovation.

BizcommunityWhen and how did Argility start?
Over 30 years ago, Argility was a wholly owned business unit/subsidiary of the UCS Group – a diversified IT software, solutions and services business, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. When Argility was formed it was tasked with expanding the group's footprint in the global retail software sector with operations being directed from the company's offices in South Africa, the UK and the USA.

In 2010, UCS consolidated by merging four of its operations and moving them into the Argility stable. The result at that time was a newly expanded Argility with ownership of the group's Intellectual Property (IP) and tasked with distributing it globally.

BizcommunitySince starting up, Argility has developed various software solutions. What is the one innovation you are the proudest of?
We are most proud of our Argility Group Ecosystem which is actually a combination of many of our solutions and the fact that this has all been created for the African market. We empower retailers and supply chain to digitally transform, with ease and integrate their business operations with our: predictive analytics; internet of things (IOT); proximity marketing; asset management and e-commerce solutions. All of this whilst remaining the provider of choice for POS, retail, warehouse, and fleet management systems.

BizcommunityThe company delves into IT solutions for retail and supply chain. Which market has been the biggest recipient of the solutions and why do you think so?
The biggest recipient of our solutions is the furniture retail market, primarily because this is where the roots of Argility came from. Over the past 30 years, we have retained and grown with our customers, becoming true partners with them in their technology journeys.

BizcommunityYour latest product innovation is called MultiTRAX. Can you tell us more about this?
MultiTRAX is a delivery management mobile app that enables businesses to schedule deliveries and manage administration while at the same time providing their customers with real-time tracking capabilities.

MultiTRAX provides real-time delivery management information such as the current location of drivers; the routes followed and a holistic view of the progress of all deliveries. Customers are provided with real-time information including estimated arrival time; current location of delivery and more.

From the business perspective, the app provides easy access to delivery documents; immediate delivery confirmation and the ability to schedule routes. The businesses’ customers enjoy a unique connected and reliable delivery experience and are able to track the location and progress of their delivery at any time in the entire process.

BizcommunityHow did this innovation come about?
The concept was developed in-house through the group’s Shark Tank initiative.
We launched the Shark Tank initiative in 2016 as a vehicle to encourage staff to participate and contribute their ideas for new product development.

We set up an adjudication panel that was comprised of senior executives from both Argility and a leading SA retail corporation. The winning team received a monetary reward but even more exciting is the fact that they saw their idea come alive as a fully developed marketable product.

BizcommunityCloud adoption and digital transformation is already changing the way business, from SMEs to major corporates, operate. What impact has this had on Argility?

The impact has been positive as we have been driving towards cloud adoption and digital transformation over the past number of years. We are extremely well positioned through our skills and IP to guide and assist not only existing customers but new customers to achieve their digital transformation objectives.

BizcommunityWere there any extreme changes that need to be made?
We took some strategic decisions a few years ago to upskill our teams to meet the foreseeable demands, and we have made sure that we are continuously evolving our toolsets and knowledge.

BizcommunityWhere do you see Argility in five years’ time?
We will be recognised as the leading retail and supply-chain technology supplier in sub-Saharan Africa, and once again list on the JSE.

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