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Software helps refine the decision-making process

A WA engineering software retailer has developed a computer program to help small business owners with tough investment decisions.

Accutech 2000 proprietor Graeme Ashford developed the delta-$ software with Helix Technologies programmer Peter Burrows.

It uses the main methods of calculating investment effectiveness – net present value, internal rate of return, payback period and breakeven analysis to compare investment options.

“This sounds very complicated, but these are the sort of decision small business owners have to make,” Mr Ashford said.

“Most of the investment decisions companies have to make are comparative ones.

“Should we buy the compressor with a 15-year life span and fairly low maintenance costs for $100,000 or the one with the 10-year life span and slightly higher maintenance costs?

“Another example is working out the better option between leasing or buying a vehicle.”

Mr Ashford is currently applying the software to answer the question as to whether the cost of converting a vehicle to run on liquefied petroleum gas is justified.

While the product was aimed at line managers who needed help communicating their equipment needs to senior management, it would be just as well suited to small businesses, he said.

Mr Ashford got the idea for his software from a similar DOS-based program called Payback.

“It was an extremely successful product but I think the company went out of business,” he said.

“It had been in the back of my mind to try and get a similar product up for some years.”

The delta-$ software is expected to retail for about $500 for a single licence. There is also a site licence option that gives a company five licences for $2,000.

“We’ve also embedded a share portfolio manager in the system that will help investors determine their real return on investment from their share portfolio,” Mr Ashford said.

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