|Industry||Computer software and hardware|
|Key people||Douglas J. Katich, CEO,
John E. Katich, COO
Access International is a 23-year-old software company specializing in solutions for wholesale distributors. Access provides sales force automation and customer order entry automation to over one hundred clients throughout North America. Access is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Access is one of the few family-owned businesses in its marketplace, currently in its second generation of ownership.
When it started in 1986, Access International, Inc. was in the business of communications protocol converters. IBM midrange computers ran in synchronous mode, and Access provided a protocol that allowed them to interface with a variety of asynchronous input devices.
In 1989, a pharmaceutical supplier approached Access to develop a complex order entry system that would allow their Sales Reps in the field to send orders to their IBM midrange computer. The result was OrderTaker, a DOS-based order entry system.
In 1992, Access International created the ACS, a server based on IBM's OS/2 operating system. This allowed OrderWriter® to communicate with any computer, allowing Access International to provide their software to wholesalers running other mainframe, midrange, and minicomputer systems.
1993 saw the release of OrderWriter® for Windows, the first commercially available order entry system to permit the use of the pen and tablet PC's that the new Windows operating system made possible. Access focused its attention on sales automation, and providing its customers with highly flexible order entry solutions that could be easily customized to the needs of any wholesaler's business model.
In 1996, Access released WebWriter™, a web-based platform for customer order entry. This allowed a wholesaler to move the task of placing day-to-day restocking orders to their customers, freeing up their sales reps for things like increasing account penetration and opening new accounts.
In 2003, Access took advantage of the developing power of handheld devices, and released POW®, a version of OrderWriter® formatted for the Pocket PC with the added ability to scan. This brought the power of OrderWriter® to a new range of customers: those working with retail stores.
2008 saw a revolution at Access International. The reduced cost of handheld technology made Pocket PCs cost-effective as an order entry device for customers. Access released HERO® and ACE™, smart and simple order entry solutions designed specifically for customer order entry. Later in 2008, Access debuted POET®, the integration of over twenty years of sales automation know-how with the revolutionary features of the new Windows family of operating systems.
Access clients include U.S. Foodservice, Edward Don and the H.T. Hackney Company. The main industries Access serves are foodservice, grocery, convenience store, liquor, hardware, medical and paper. The company claims that any distributor with outside salespeople will benefit from their solutions.
[[Category:Point of sale companies]] [[Category:Supply chain software companies]] [[Category:Software companies of the United States]] [[Category: Software]]