Way out west

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Situated an energy-sapping four-day drive from the eastern seaboard centres of Melbourne and Sydney, Perth is widely regarded as the most remote capital city in the world.

Yet in spite of this distance, it’s a well known breeding ground for some of Australia’s most innovative and influential musicians. No matter what your age or musical taste, you’re sure to have a little Perth music in your music collection.

Before hitting the big time with AC/DC, the late Bon Scott paid his dues on the Perth circuit with The Valentinos. Lovers of ’80s music, particularly of the “inner city” variety, will be more than familiar with the swampy sounds of Kim Salmon and the Scientists. And in more recent times, the likes of John Butler and Birds of Tokyo are packing concert halls not just in Australia, but across the globe.

At the heart of any music town, be it Nashville, Detroit or Manchester, there’s usually a place of musical serendipity. Somewhere that musicians bump into each other, swap notes on tour hotels or talk brands of guitar strings. In Perth this tends to happen at Mega Music.

Having first opened its doors in 2001, Mega Music has grown to become an essential part of musical life in Perth. After almost 15 years in business, with three locations, Mega Music is still proudly independent – or, as owner Kajen Velupillay likes to put it, 100 percent WA owned and operated.

Ask any regular and they’ll tell you that what they love about Mega Music is the sense of community. It’s not one of those stores where the aim of the game is taking your money and getting on to the next customer. Mega Music is about friendly faces and knowing regular visitors by their first name.

Like many growing businesses, the team at Mega Music struggled with their business management software. Best described as a mismatch of difficult accounting software and clunky point-of-sale systems, to say they couldn’t get to grips with their software is something of an understatement.

In 2013 they worked with Horizon Business Systems to find a solution to their business software woes. What they needed was a multi-site point-of-sale system that operated off or online from a single database across all three sites. To add to the challenge, Mega Music also needed to manage and transfer stock across three sites.

The solution Horizon Business Systems recommended was MYOB EXO, with a customised fit developed and installed to suit their unique business requirements. “What we liked most about what MYOB EXO delivered,” said Kajen, “was a back-end system that operated and performed to our expectations, interfacing with a POS system that thought and performed as a salesperson would expect.”

The new system has enabled Kajen and his team to build dynamic customer relationships by understanding and reporting on individual needs, rather than a typical instrument and accessory point-of-sale set-up.

Just as there’s more to their system than a mere POS system, there’s also more to Mega Music than a music store. They also run a highly regarded music academy, where aspiring young guitar slingers and musical wannabes can learn from some of the best music teachers in Perth.

Whether any of those young hopefuls follow in the footsteps of The Triffids, across the “Wide Open Road” to the bars and dives of the eastern seaboard capitals, is as yet an unknown. But given Perth’s pedigree as a musical breeding ground, there’s every chance a Mega Music Academy graduate will someday grace one of the world’s great concert halls.

MYOB has a range of enterprise solutions for bigger businesses. These include ERP software, smart payroll and HR management systems.

 

This article was originally published in the first edition of MYOB’s broadsheet, Insights, also available on iPad.

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