Quitting his job at Warsaw Technical University and abandoning his PhD studies, Andrew Gorecki arrived in Australia with $100 in his pocket. He would eventually become co-founder and Managing Director of the retail consulting company Retail Directions.
Settling in Adelaide in 1982, Gorecki began developing and adapting information technology to streamline business processes and improve productivity, first with Caroma Industries and later with Australian National Railways.
Then, in 1985, Gorecki started his association with the retail industry as IT Manager for Bi-Lo Supermarkets. By 1989 Gorecki was head-hunted by McEwans chain of hardware stores for the role of General Manger – Information Technology.
Finally, in 1993, Gorecki co-founded Retail Directions in order to provide consulting services to retailers.
However, it soon became obvious to Gorecki that the most pressing problem in the retail industry was the lack of a modern retail management system, as he noted to The Big Chair.
“We set up as a retail management and consulting organisation but soon discovered that many clients’ problems were technology-related. Some retailers pay many millions for systems and are still unhappy, they fail to understand a simple truth: when you need a car, you can use a tank instead but it will cost you 100 times more,” Mr Gorecki said.
“Retail Directions is a completely integrated retail application, developed as a single system, saving money, time and effort. For example, Cotton On has only four people in IT, running more than 350 stores in three countries. When we originally implemented our software at Cotton On they had just 53 stores and their old system was cracking under the load.”
“A good computer system is like a strong nervous system – it allows retailers to focus on the merchandise, property, staff and customers,” Mr Gorecki told The Big Chair.
Today Gorecki acts as an executive-level consultant, assisting retail and service organisations in the areas of business strategy, process improvement and marketing.