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Product quality, service, pricing keys to CompuSire's success


By Roger Lyons

        Our 1998 CompuSire stallion update will be the fifth annual update since Compusire was first distributed to more than 1,000 subscribers during the year 1993. Since then, our list of subscribers has lengthened considerably. The completion of our fifth year of software development and distribution is an occasion for reflecting upon the reasons why CompuSire has emerged as the leading pedigree software source.

        In 1992 computerization was just beginning its sweep across the thoroughbred industry. That's when Roger Lyons and Jack Werk, who had been working together on other projects, conceived the idea of the CompuSire software. Their combined knowledge of thoroughbred pedigree, their experience working with thoroughbred breeders, their accumulated information resources, and their expertise in the development and promotion of thoroughbred information products for a niche market placed them in a position to design a software application perfectly adapted to the needs of a broad range of thoroughbred breeders, owners, and industry professionals worldwide.
        That is exactly what they did. Like the software product that had been distributed by Les Brinsfield in the 1980s and one by Dorothy Heath, the pioneers of pedigree software development, Lyons and Werk placed the entire operation--development, distribution, and support--under one roof. They did not establish a dependence on any outside contractors, but handled all aspects of the operation themselves, Lyons providing the technical resources and Werk the staff, information, and promotional services. This gave them complete control over the entire operation.
        With no dependence whatever on outside services and free of outside costs, Lyons and Werk could make changes to the software as needed, add features without incurring substantial development costs, and deliver the product at a price below that of the competition.

        Unlike its predecessors, the CompuSire software was given a modular structure. Rather than combining the range of specialized functions into one package, Lyons and Werk offered a main module that performed the standard functions associated with building and displaying ancestries and offered a range of specialized functions as optional modules.

        This accomplished three things.

  1. It became possible to purchase the use of a pedigree software at a price much lower than the prices of competing products. This effectively increased the size of the pedigree software market by appealing to those who were happy to display five-generation prospective matings with highlighted inbreeding, dosage, the exclusive Werk Quality Rating developed by Werk, and the sibling identification codes developed by Lyons; to perform stallion searches by sire line, female line, state, stud farm, and stud fee range; and to obtain farm information for currently active stallions, which is the main component of CompuSire's annual updates.

  2. CompuSire's modular design made it possible for those who wanted specialized features to purchase them as options. Among these are the Utilities module for extending ancestry print-outs to six generations and for generating family tables for any ancestor; the Auctions module, which provides distinctive summaries and details for major auctions; the Peerage module, which is an adaptation of Richard Ulbrich's book, Peerage of Racehorses; and the popular FirstCross module, which provides a database of stakes winners to identify nicks. Subscribers can pick and choose among these options, which, once installed, run as fully integrated features of the main module.

  3. CompuSire's expanded market made it possible to offer a wider range of optional features, and those who want a fully featured software will find that the total price of the entire package is lower than that of the package offered by most competing software distributors.

        One of the most important reasons for CompuSire's success is its service orientation. Software users place as high a value on product support and service as they do on product quality and ease of use. They want someone to answer the phone when they call for help with an installation or when their hard disk crashes and they've lost their installation diskettes or when they want to update their database or when they want to add new features to their program or when they have questions about breeding methods and issues.
        What software users don't want is to call a support number only to find that it is no longer in service or that the only person who can provide support is on vacation or simply "not available." CompuSire has established a reputation for prompt and effective software support, and that is one more reason why so many thoroughbred owners, breeders, and industry professionals have turned to CompuSire for pedigree software.

        CompuSire came on the scene in 1993 as an alternative to expensive software applications that many people interested in pedigree would not buy, applications loaded with features that many people interested in pedigree would not even use.
        In the last five years, the sophistication of this niche market has increased, both as to computer use and as to the requirements of effective pedigree evaluation. CompuSire has adapted to these changes by adapting the quality and sophistication of its product offering. That's why CompuSire continues as the leader in thoroughbred pedigree software.

CompuSire UPDATE is a copyrighted publication of CompuSire. If you have any questions about any CompuSire product or service, feel free to contact us at 5114 Todds Road, Lexington, KY 40509. Phone: (606) 263-9093.

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