T.O Computer headquarters near Central Market. PHOTO SUPPLIED
ONE of Cambodia’s home-grown software developers, T.O Computer, offers point-of-sale solutions for companies, from supermarkets to restaurants and retail shops.
At T.O computer, located at the northwest corner adjacent to Central Market, president Heng Chamroeun helps companies of all kinds set up their businesses for integrated point-of-sale laser scanning and develops the Khmer language software that controls inventory.
“We’re both a hardware vendor and a software developer,” Heng said.
He started the company six years ago after earning two master’s degrees from Hawaii Pacific University: one in information systems and the other an MBA in international business.
“T.O Computer actually grew from hardware sales and distribution and moving into software,” Heng said.
“We are selling everything in hardware and Khmer language software to make transactions easily calculable. Our software developers provide solutions to small and medium sized businesses, locally developed by Cambodian people, in compliance with Cambodian law,” Heng said.
T.O’s software does accounting, inventory control, human resources including time, attendance and scheduling and restaurant management including recipe management and control for fast food, fine dining or coffee shops, according to Heng.
Heng’s wife Patty is Vice President of Lucky Supermarkets, so naturally Heng’s software and hardware supports Lucky’s point of sale and inventory control systems. Their daughter, Alise, is six and their son Zack is two. T.O software is also found in the Lucky Burger restaurants, used both for sales and human resources.
“In business the system is like a car engine, you need all the components. But if something goes, you can quickly replace it, so the whole operation keeps running. Let’s say one person quits – other departments can still continue. But if you run a one-man show, everything will freeze and you will lose a lot of opportunities,” Heng said.
Software development by Khmer people is something Heng is very proud of.
“We are smart and we can develop something big and complex. I don’t want other people to say Cambodian people are stupid. Why not implement something for the Cambodian people? I’m proud that this software is developed by Khmer people.”
T.O Computer has about 1,000 clients using various systems, according to Heng.
“Our strongest point is inventory management in retail and for electronics companies.”
Heng says he can provide the solutions for most organisations in Cambodia, in Khmer and English.
“We have a small package for ‘mom and pops’ companies to control their accounting systems. We also have systems that are targeted at the large enterprises, including customer relations management. We can do the analysis as to what the customers’ favourite products are, how much they sell in a given period,” Heng said.
When new customers come, Heng’s people give price quotations with their own hardware or with hardware provided by T.O Computer.
“We quote them the software and implementation and consultation fee,” he said.
“In order to be successful, because an organisation has so many departments: purchasing, receiving, sales, accounting and delivery: all those departments have to be clearly identified with each process. If a company is standardised, we will bring them the whole solution,” Heng said.
Heng’s T.O Computers, with about 80 employees, uses their own software for internal inventory and human resources control.
“We use the system ourselves and we know what Cambodians need.”
The point of sale focus means that T.O Computers carries a lot of hardware aimed at cash exchange, including cash drawers, bar code scanners and label printers.
“The way I do it is vertical. Most companies buy from us and we have the license.”
Heng says over the years he’s been exposed to large enterprise systems and paid attention to how they work.
“I have seen how those companies handle it; I understand the process,” he said. “Writing software is not purely from a coding perspective: it has user and business perspectives. You need to think theoretically it should go this way – but often realistically it has to be done another way.”
One of the capabilities of T.O’s restaurant management software that Heng is proud of is automatic inventory control updates according to recipe use. “Normally when a chef makes the sauce, he never deducts the ingredients from the system. We do an inventory count. We have a tolerance, how much per day is used – it is a complex thing.
“When you order a steak set, they already have a recipe in there. The command is sent to the chef, based on demand from the system.”
For an average business, a point of sale system costs about $500.
In addition to Lucky Supermarkets, IBC Bookstores also use T.O Computer’s point of sale and inventory control systems. “We have Khmer language software and we can help in almost any business, not limited to restaurants and supermarkets but also retail, phone shops, jewelry shops, pharmacies and many other kinds of businesses,” Heng said.
The big advantage of T.O Computer’s software accounting systems, says Heng, is they tell you how much you sell, how much your expenses are, how much you purchase.
“We are ready for international standards in Cambodia, so we have implemented something that complies with the law of Cambodia. Some international developers do a lot of things, but they don’t comply with Cambodia laws. We do,” Heng said.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve done. It is not about the money.”