Conducting business-to-business transactions over the Internet offers the full spectrum of resellers unprecedented ability to cut costs, expand markets and increase product range, according to major consumables distributor Daisytek.
Paul Connelly, managing director of Daisytek, told ARN last week about its Web site developments for Australian resellers during a national roadshow stop-off in Sydney to announce the services. He said Daisytek in the US has invested in excess of $US2 million developing e-commerce relationships with resellers and that it now represents 20 per cent of turnover there. Most of those online ordering and other services are now available to local players.
Terri Bell, project manager of SOLOnet, Daisytek's new online ordering system, said there is much more planned for the Web site. Resellers will soon be able to "veil" SolarNet as their own site with the full back-end of the Daisytek system able to be presented with the reseller's own identification, branding and pricing at the front end.
"Essentially we will be allowing resellers to mirror our site with their own price maintenance and identification," Bell said. "They will promote their own Web site which will be as comprehensive as ours.
"We will be able to pack and ship direct to their customers, giving dealers the opportunity to make available the thousands of products we sell."
The now-operational extended Web services for Daisytek's customers include real-time price and availability on over 4000 products, product searches and full shopping cart functionality for online ordering. Dealings and processes are under password protected security and there is a range of product information as well as local, national and global industry news and links.
"Including EDI (electronic data interchange) in the States more than 70 per cent of all transactions are done through electronic commerce," Connelly said.
"Up until now our Web site has just been a virtual catalogue. Daisytek customers will now be able to check our stock and pricing on the full product range, place an order and we'll pick, pack and ship it off to them."
"All resellers are going through a margin squeeze which means they have to find new ways to cut costs within their businesses. This is one way they can do that," he said.
"Resellers will be able to get real-time product information while their customers are on the phone, thereby eliminating the need to hang up, ring Daisytek and then return the first call for the same result.
"Our research shows that gross costs in cutting a normal purchase order is in the vicinity of $40 while that cost is reduced to around $5 to $6 over the Internet".