A new way of making business technology available to small companies in the textile, apparel and soft goods sectors has been introduced by supply chain software vendor XeBusiness. The company is offering its business management software (Xe-ERP) packaged as a service rather than a capital cost product item - thereby helping to eliminate the capital cost and risk elements inherent in the adoption of new computer systems to improve business performance and competitiveness.

This means that companies can adopt Xe-ERP on a 'pay as you use' basis linked to their size and the software modules they choose to deploy.

A comprehensive and fully supported set of specialist business modules covering customer relationship management (CRM), manufacturing and distribution are available for a monthly payment. Which means that payback for small companies who sign up for the service in terms of operating cost reduction and customer service improvement is immediate.

David Cullis, managing director of XeBusiness, said: "There is a lot of hype about deploying e-commerce systems to trade electronically over the Internet for competitive advantage. However, the simple fact of the matter is that unless smaller companies have effective and responsive in-house systems to deal with customer response and cost reduction issues, any business-to-business (B2B) trading over the Internet, is almost certain to fail."