Today AutoQuotes has 25,000 subscribers: consultants, dealers, reps, and manufacturers. Ten percent of subscribers are international and represent the UK, Canada, Mexico, and 25 other foreign countries. In the UK version, CaterQuotes, pricing is in £'s, dimensions are metric, and specs are written in the British foodservice dialect. AutoQuotes is also available in the Spanish Language.
AutoQuotes has completely made our industry more efficient. Right now, we could not do what we have to do without the technology of AutoQuotes providing our people all of the pricing, cutsheets, and availability of discounts all in one place easy to access and available both in the office and remotelyâ€¦. AutoQuotes is the technology that powers Singer... Fred Singer, Singer Equipment Company.
Over 7,500 new projects are created in AutoQuotes every day and more than $30 billion in products are quoted every year. This is a big multiple of the actual $6-8 billion in annual revenues generated by the E&S industry. The dollar totals in AutoQuotes are quotes and budgets, not yet sales. But these totals are valid indicators of how much information passes through the channel on a daily basis, how many times a project iterates and is rendered at different levels, and how much effort is necessary for a kitchen to move from schematic design to final completion.
Recently MAFSI sponsored a meeting attended by senior reps and FCSI consultants to discuss the metrics of how the distribution channel works in our industry. The start of the discussion noted that a typical major project, start to finish, requires the participation and teamwork of 25 to 30 companiesâ€”a consultant, 5-10 rep firms, 15 or more manufacturers, and a dealer. Each channel partner manages their share of the tasksâ€”specification and design, quotes, bidding, PO's, change orders, submittals, and project management. As the volume of online content and the acceleration of computer power continues, the opportunities for innovation and communication throughout the foodservice equipment channel become more promising. But while moving information becomes exponentially more efficient, moving people remains incremental.
At work, employees are risk averse and are reluctant to be diverted from their tasks to learn new technology. There is a need for better online information standards, and there is an opportunity for leadership at all levels.
There is no doubt that emerging technology will re-engineer the channel. Consultants and manufacturers and reps and dealers will have less friction and stronger partnerships, and the channel will perform much faster, cost much less, and expand the boundaries of distribution.
The AutoQuotes iPad App
The AutoQuotes iPad app is a great way to have access to many features in AQ360 while you are out of the office. Since its release in November 2012, the AutoQuotes iPad app has been downloaded over 2,500 times. Periodically we make updates to our iPad app and after receiving feedback from NAFEM and from our iPad webinars, we had our latest update early this month. What's New Open Quote PDF in Safari The most popular request was to be able to have more available options with the quote report. Tapping "Open PDF" now opens the PDF in Safari which allows you to open or save the report in any PDF compatible app on your iPad such as iBooks, Adobe, or an app like PDF Expert, that gives you the ability to sign the quote on your iPad.
New Contact Add a new Contact while working on a quote. This also adds it to your company's contact list that can be accessed from AQ360 along with your iPad.
Open Spec Sheets, Catalog Pages, and more in Safari Just like the reports, when you open a PDF within the AutoQuotes iPad app, such as a spec sheet or catalog page, you can open it in Safari so that you not only can email the PDF but you can open it in other apps and print it.
Custom Items Visible in Catalog If you've added custom items to the Catalog in AQ360, these now appear within the iPad app in blue and at the top of the search results.