NE Minneapolis’ Rocware Starts PO SaaS Business — Family Style

by Geoff Dutton


RocwareIf you’ve owned your own products business, then you likely know how much time and effort it can take to issue and manage Purchase Orders (POs).

Minneapolis-based Rocware has recently appeared on the Minnesota technology scene and is ready to transform the way businesses manage their POs through a connected online system that makes interacting with business partners less painful.

Two of the three Co-founders — James Erck and John Erck — experienced the hassles of issuing and managing purchase orders first hand when John started a new business with his father called Extreme Bubbles . Around the same time, his brother James had also recently started a product based business called MPLS Ink.

As John recalls, “We were spending most of our time administrating our businesses, as opposed to growing them. The tools available at the time were all ‘accounting centric’ as opposed to how we thought about our businesses, which you could characterize as ‘product centric’.” That’s when the Erck brothers brought in sister Sarah Erck Welle and formed a partnership with one simple mission in mind: make it easier to run a product based business using new tools.

“If you’ve issued POs you’re also familiar with the pains associated with managing them,” he continues.  “Searching through your email’s sent folder to see whether or not you’ve issued a certain PO, walking through a tedious fax process, or attempting to keep track of which orders have been acknowledged by the supplier. This what Rocware simplifies.”

When a Rocware customer issues a purchase order, it is sent via email as a secure link. Then the supplier can either formally accept the PO, sign up for an account and become part of the network, or decline the PO with an explanation as to why. Whether the PO is accepted or declined, the response is automatically put on file and an email notification is sent to both parties confirming the action. In order to better manage the process, a single dashboard shows the status and history of all POs.

Working closely with customers both locally and in Colorado, Rocware has been under development since September 2009 and is now ready with a full production version. So far, they have carved out a customer base in the brewery business,  however, Rocware is open and ready to invoice any product-based business.