Paul Sobota, a Partner with F. Curtis Barry & Company since 1990, has 30+ years experience in designing, developing, selecting and implementing systems for Direct Marketing and Retail companies on a variety of platforms. He has first hand experience as a systems manager, project manager and programmer/analyst before becoming a consultant.
Mr. Sobota's experience includes extensive interaction with all levels of management and department users, identifying information systems needs and developing specific user requirements. These requirements are then used to develop request for proposals to evaluate software packages for a fit or as the stepping stone to defining the system requirements for a customized application. He is extremely competent with the details of database design and the designing of screens and reports for multi-channel Direct Marketing applications.
Mr. Sobota has extensive experience interacting with software and hardware vendors answering questions on proposals, reference checking and contract review. He uses a developed methodology for analyzing and evaluating vendor proposal responses by functional area and overall. He works as the liaison between the client and the vendors in all aspects of systems selection including arranging for scripted demonstrations and to be sure that any unique requirements are thoroughly understood by the vendor.
Mr. Sobota is an expert in assessing how well a company’s IT application fits their needs for future growth as well as management of the current operation.
Mr. Sobota plays a major role in evaluating commercially available direct to customer management systems and writing the regular software review critiques for Multichannel Merchant trade publication. He has experience with over 20 packages and has critiqued many of them for clients as well as for trade publications.
In the early 1990s for F. Curtis Barry & Company, Mr. Sobota also managed, designed and developed a Forecasting and Inventory Management System (FIMS). This custom application was used to analyze and project inventory requirements for the life of the promotion; analyze the effectiveness of the mailing through response analysis and to evaluate the profitability of the promotion.
In 2002, F. Curtis Barry & Company under Mr. Sobota’s direction designed and implemented a new service – Strategic Merchandise Planning System (SMPS) – which analyzes demand and profitability data by catalog, category, item, page, depiction, theme and price range to determine how to improve revenue (demand/catalog mailed) and profitability. The system projects number of products that should appear in next editions, revenue per catalog mailed and the space required. Several catalogs have been run through the system with profitable success in subsequent editions.