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The California-based QAD Inc., one of the world’s top five ERP software vendors, is focusing more on emerging Asean markets to take advantage of buoyant economic growth in the region.

“With the advent of the Asean Economic Community, a huge wave of new business expansion, particularly in Indochina, is increasing rapidly,” said Pamela Lopker, QAD’s president and founder.

Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami and Thailand’s flood crisis have pushed multinational companies to relocate some of their factories to other countries to reduce supply chain risk.

“This move is driving spending for new ERP software, especially online usage models through cloud computing technology,” said Ms Lopker.

She said most firms prefer to use conventional licensed software for their headquarters and online-based software for branch offices due to faster implementation, lower costs and shortage of skilled IT labour.

“The increasing number of natural disasters is boosting online software adoption,” said Ms Lopker.

She said the proportion of QAD’s online software revenue will grow rapidly from only 8% of US$200 million last year.

The global market for ERP software for manufacturing is valued at $1.5 billion, with average annual growth of 1-2%.

Gordon Fleming, the head of marketing, said Asia-Pacific is a growing market and contributes almost 20% of company revenue, which could ease the impact from the global economic slowdown.

Chobkid Kasonsamut, senior manager of QAD (Thailand), said rising wages are forcing many companies to expand in Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar instead.

Thailand remains a regional hub for ERP software implementation, but rising pay is reducing competitiveness, he said.