Paul Makin, sales director at software supplier K3, died suddenly on April 4, aged 44.

A pioneer in retail point-of-sales systems, Makin played a part in the development of software used by many major high street names over the past two decades.

Early in his career, Makin spotted a gap in the market for a point-of-sales system targeted at retail booksellers. He worked with a partner to develop a system that was adopted by a number of retail chains, including Blackwell.

By the early 1980s, several manufacturers were offering DOS-based PoS systems, but not the software needed to use them effectively. Makin developed a solution for ICL. When Fujitsu acquired ICL in 1981, Makin was asked to redevelop the system for a new Fujitsu PoS.

Makin’s system was sold to businesses such as Austin Reed, River Island and Jaeger and the operation grew to include about 40 staff, with Makin as managing director.

It was while working on a PoS system for Jordan Duty Free that Makin first met his future business partner, Ian Humphries. Makin joined the then fledgling Alpha Landsteinar, now K3, as retail systems manager, the company’s 11th member of staff. Today it employs 180 people.

In a statement released by K3, the company described Makin as devoted to his wife Yvonne and three sons.

A spokesperson for the company said: ‘He was a much-loved and respected figure in the industry and always had a real passion for retail. He will be sadly missed.’