Markinson celebrates 35 years with Multispares

In 1986 Markinson began as a one-man business with a vision to fill a gap in the market for integrated business software solutions for wholesale distribution businesses.

Growing gradually throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, and more rapidly in recent years, Markinson has achieved continuous year-on-year growth.

Mark Clearwater, Markinson CEO, explains that the vision of its founder Mark Robertson has evolved but not faulted over its 35-year history.

“Mark’s vision was to provide software solutions that transform businesses through vertically-focussed business process software.”

“Implementing the correct systems allows more time for the important decisions and practices which actively contribute to our clients’ business growth,” said Clearwater.

Today Markinson has hundreds of businesses that rely on their business software solutions to succeed, some who were there in the very early days. One such client is Multispares who are one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest commercial vehicle spare parts suppliers.

Geoff Stewart, Managing Director for Multispares recalls that Marksinson was with them in those very early days when both companies were just starting out.

“I feel we have been really lucky that Marksinson has evolved as we evolved,” said Stewart.

“Had Markinson not developed alongside us we would have had to migrate to a different business software platform; but we haven’t had to because we picked the right software solution partners from the beginning.”

The growth that Stewart refers to has been a consequence of the massive changes in technology that have occurred over the past 30 years; and the need that Multispares had for business software that could keep pace with this.

That business software started off as MDES and evolved over the years to become MomentumProERP; Markinson’s streamlined wholesale automotive business solution which has been a key staple of their range for 25 years.

Stewart explains that MomentumPro enabled them to consolidate key business functions which was critical then and remains so today.

“Our founder Harry Forsyth tells the story that in the very early days they had to dial in on a modem to do a sales transaction. it was pretty slow going back then.”

“The fact that MomentumPro evolved quickly to be integrated within every part of the business in a seamless way as the internet evolved meant we had a backend system that kept pace with our growth.”

“The other aspect of MomentumPro that was critical to business continuity was that the system was very stable when it was all very new, and remains so today,” said Stewart.

For Markinson having long term partners who have been on a similar journey is something they are proud of.

“In the early days, and still today, we often worked with Multispares to develop a new aspect of MomentumProERP because we both could see the advantages these changes would make to both of our businesses,” said Mark Clearwater.

Clearwater goes on to explain that having grown and learnt together is only possible when there is complete trust and transparency.

“Over the years there have been challenges from time-to-time however, we have been able to work constructively together to resolve issues quickly, and in such way that has benefited both parties.”

For the team at Markinson, recognising its 35-year anniversary has been tricky due to COVID restrictions.

“We have had a few stops and starts this year but are still planning to recognise this milestone with our most important people – our clients, team members and their families, said Clearwater.”


Burson Auto Parts and Markinson – 25 Year Partnership

In celebrating Burson Auto Parts’ 50th Anniversary, the Australian company pays tribute to the many long term supplier partnerships that have helped it become the nation’s preferred trade supplier of automotive parts, tools, equipment and accessories.

One of the most enduring Burson Auto Parts alliances can be found with the company’s business software solutions provider and innovator, Markinson. Over the past 25 years, this company has accompanied Burson Auto Parts into the digital age through its industry leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) based integrated business software solutions. 

Markinson’s world class MomentumPro warehousing and inventory management software system first replaced the cumbersome manual processes in April 1996. This was the start of the complete digital transformation of the Burson Auto Parts business and with it came several initial challenges.

“The co-operation that we have always received from the Markinson team over the years has been a stand out factor of our long term alliance with the company,“ recalled Burson Auto Parts National Trade Sales Manager, Mario Baric.

“It wasn’t easy to make this transformation, but we worked together to ensure that our warehousing and inventory control software systems were perfectly integrated across our business from the stores to the sales reps on the road and everything in between,” He added.

The improvements in efficiency across the entire Burson Auto Parts business, particularly in stock ordering, customer service and inventory control across the company’s several warehouses, represented major leaps forward through the constantly developed, improved and customised Mopro (MomentumProERP) system. Updated versions of this system continues to power the back-end of Burson Auto Parts’ trade sales and warehousing operations to service more than 200 stores and nearly 30,000 loyal trade customers to this day.

“The demands of providing the level of customer service that we do for our trade customers are major. Each customer can have anywhere up to fifteen Burson Auto Parts deliveries made within 30 minutes of each order across every single day from more than 200 stores. This requires inventory control software that must be very reliable, easy to use and highly efficient,” Mr Baric stated. 

Markinson’s Application Programming Interface (API) has also provided vital functionality for Burson’s EZYParts online parts ordering system to leverage the intelligence within MomentumPro ERP. The API has also enabled Burson to implement several integrations streamlining a number of key business processes. Working together with Markinson, the MomentumPro API has undergone constant improvement to support these capabilities.

The most recent major endeavour for the Markinson and Burson Auto Parts business involves the warehousing integration software currently being used in the enormous new Bapcor Distribution Centre in Melbourne which is currently in the process of replacing several smaller Burson Auto Parts (and other Bapcor owned companies) warehouses. This has seen a major level of enhanced inventory control software development and integration from Markinson.

According to Tim Vriend, Burson Auto Parts Digital Operations Team Leader, “Markinson’s willingness to make changes to their software systems, tailor making the software to best suit our requirements, has been the most outstanding factor of our long term relationship. 

“Being involved with us from the very start of the digitisation of Burson Auto Parts has given the Markinson team an acute understanding of our business and the highly demanding customer service efficiencies that are required in order to provide the best service to them.

“The ability for us to quickly find parts, especially non-core product parts, is fundamental to our success. As our inventory levels and automotive aftermarket product ranges increase, our systems need to stay ahead and Markinson has worked together with us for 25 years to ensure that this is the case,” Tim stated.

Mark Clearwater, the CEO of Markinson, which is celebrating its 35th Anniversary this year, attributes the long term Burson Auto Parts relationship to an outstanding level of trust and co-operation over the past quarter century.

“The mark of a true partnership is that we have grown and learned together over our long relationship. Over the years we have encountered challenges, however with transparency and trust these have been easily resolved,” Mr Clearwater stated.

“I am really proud that our reputation with the team at Burson Auto Parts is that ‘we always deliver’ We discovered very early that by testing a new product or product extension with our most trusted clients that this would be a win-win for both of us,” He added. These sentiments are echoed by Burson Executive General Manager, Trade, Steve Drummy. “The Burson Auto Parts 50 year history of success would not have been possible without the support of our many long term product and service suppliers. Markinson is one example where the development and integration of ERP based business software has assisted to digitise the company’s operations, setting it up for continued growth and even higher levels of efficiency well into the future.”