Keeping an Eye on Home Furnishings

PROFITsystems gains speed and flexibility with Pervasive Software database.

PROFITsystems, which offers enterprise resource planning technology to the home furnishings retail space, is embedding the Pervasive PSQL Summit v10 database in its new on-demand PROFITprofessional 11.3 business management solution.

The latest release of PROFITprofessional was announced May 28.

"PROFITprofessional is an ERP system that manages tasks including accounting, POS [point-of-sale], inventory control, sales analysis and customer care," said Mitch Hight, CIO of PROFITsystems. "We have an offering where you can put your inventory on an existing Web site or create a new one."

Hight said PROFITsystems uses a lot of integration partners, especially to help with configuration.

"In the furnishings industry, configuration is huge, because you have a lot of product options," he said.

PSQL Summit serves as the core database application for PROFITprofessional. Gilbert Van Cutsem, general manager of database products for Pervasive, said his company specializes in providing "futureproof, backwards-compatible" core technology to ISVs such as PROFITsystems.

"The ISV builds an application for a specific segment around our database technology," Van Cutsem said. "Basically, the database allows you to store data and get it back out in an efficient, transparent manner."

He said most ISVs specialize in providing technology to smaller enterprises, which may lack an in-house IT department.

"The ISV sells a solution that helps their users deal with business problems, but they don't want to deal with IT problems," he said. "Software is pretty important to running a business, but you want to run it in a way where you don't think about tuning your IT."

Van Cutsem said Pervasive ensures that its database technology can serve as the core of an ISV application for 15 to 20 years, so that the application can evolve without the end user having to worry about managing upgrades.

Jeff Niskern, president of PROFITsystems, said some functionality of PROFITprofessional has gone from taking several minutes to perform to only a few seconds since PSQL Summit was embedded.

"Pervasive's sweet spot overlaps with the sweet spot of our target market, which is flexibility," he said.

According to a March 2008 benchmark report from research firm Aberdeen Group, inventory continues to be the "lifeblood of supply chains, especially in times of economic difficulties." The report, based on a survey of more than 200 companies, indicates that properly managed inventory can drive revenue and efficiencies by reducing working capital and increasing customer service levels. It recommends the concept of closed loop inventory management, a fully integrated inventory management process such as the one enabled by PROFITprofessional, as a way to achieve best-in-class competitive differentiation.

Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out's Retail Site.