The Argility Technology Group (ATG) has announced a strategic investment in Neo Retail Solutions – a company that specialises in the development; design and build, plus marketing, of automated retail technology solutions.
This is the enterprise software solutions group’s sixth investment in just over two years.
Neo develops smart, integrated selling platforms for high risk Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) such as: medication; baby formula; batteries; shaving and tobacco products. Due to theft, many retailers cannot put these items onto their shelves. Neo Retail Solutions enables retailers to physically manage high value categories in real-time, via a cloud platform, thereby eliminating losses.
Marko Salic, CEO of ATG, notes that historically retailers resorted to moving these high risk/high value items to behind tobacco kiosks or in locked cabinets, which negatively impacted on sales. “Neo’s unique automated retail technology platform integrates menus of these goods into the stores’ point of sale. Once payment is made at the till point, a scan and collect function on the dispenser makes stock access easy anywhere and at any time. These systems are already successfully deployed in major supermarket chains.”
Salic says this investment is a strong addition to ATG’s current retail – including AI and IoT offerings; as well as supply chain, and fleet, expertise. “This move enhances our portfolio and expands our range and service delivery for current and future customers. Neo Retail Solutions is a good fit for ATG that will augment our goal of digitally transforming our core business activities. Also the platform is ideally suited to incorporate many of the retail market leading innovations we have developed over the years,” says Salic.
Ben Jansen van Rensburg, Sales Director, Neo Retail Solutions, says the company has a number of products in development, some dealing with the dispensing of high value lines and others with open shelf inventory monitoring and management.
“Essentially our market focus is on maximising convenience and securing stock whilst at the same time increasing the exposure, and sales, of high value products. Neo Retail Solutions solves the problem of over and under ordering of stock; high shrinkage and low sales of premium FMCG items. The same platform can be used to provide 24 hour convenience solutions with mobile payment options,” says Jansen van Rensburg.
He adds that retailers require inventory security and real-time stock location intelligence, and Neo delivers both.
Jansen van Rensburg confirms that initially Neo is operating in South Africa but has its sights set on global exports.
“The Argility value proposition for us is that we now have a partner with wide ranging retail and technology capabilities. It’s market reach in different retail categories equips it with a unique insight into the SA retail landscape. Argility’s experience – which spans almost 35 years in the development of retail technology – leveraging scale and expertise to achieve market share was definitely a deciding factor in our discussions. Most importantly for us was the fact that we immediately connected with the Argility, people, culture and business ethos and discovered a shared view of how retail is developing. This partnership will enable us to tap into ATG’s expertise to solve problems at scale,” he concludes.