Developers at Express Data have created a new e-business tool to help resellers get faster access to stock availability and pricing.
The Fastquote service means dealers registered with the distributor can now send an email containing a vendor or ED product code to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The system then scans the email, picks out any product codes and gathers the relevant information before sending a real-time response advising whether the item is in stock and the latest pricing for that particular partner. If the system doesn't recognise the reseller's email address it sends a reply advising them to contact an account manager or other designated contact.
"Our basic system allows resellers to get daily quotes through our website but this is much quicker and easier," Express Data e-business manager, Peter Stein, said.
"And it can be accessed with a Blackberry device so sales staff can get product information while out on the road."
Fastquote took about eight weeks to develop and went through extensive testing in New Zealand for more than a year.
The distributor then spent a further four weeks tweaking the system for the Australian market before going live last week.
"We had to strengthen the tool for use in Australia because the market is so much bigger than in New Zealand," Stein said.
"The queuing system had to be improved because of much larger traffic volumes here. We also had to change the GST rate."
Stein said he believes the distributor is the first in Australia to offer such a service.
Having launched a Cisco configuration tool last year, he is now in discussions with two more vendors about the possibility of developing similar services.