Expediting Order Status
For years, partners in the channel have spoken sporadically of collaboration, yet evidence of any real progress remains elusive. Today, the climate exists to make that collaboration aspiration a reality.
The key leaders of the industry's allied organizations, FEDA, MAFSI, & NAFEM, are now engaging in a dialogue to identify common and attainable objectives. Expediting order status has been recognized by all as a mundane, time-consuming, and inefficient process. Dealers and reps spend considerable, non-productive time tracking down and processing order status data. They all agree this time could be better spent. All manufacturers maintain order status information in their computer systems. Some, but not all, manufacturers provide order status information on their websites requiring dealers and reps to browse and search for answers. Other manufacturers choose to disseminate order status information to dealers and reps but how they do that varies widely. There is no standard way of acquiring this information. Dealers and reps have invested heavily in sophisticated accounting, ERP, and project management software. They rely on these systems to efficiently structure their businesses. Collaboration within the E&S supply chain to efficiently exchange order status data is a concept whose time has come.
In this month's FEDA News & Views, Joe Schmitt of Rapids Wholesale Equipment writes, "This simple part of the process consumes approximately 25 to 30 percent of the time of our project coordinator and, at times, our DSR's." He goes on to note that his factory reps report similar inefficiencies..."Any time wasted on this activity could be better spent with dealers discussing new productsâ€¦" He states," Dealers could also invest more of their efforts into selling versus performing non-value added functions."
In a letter to AutoQuotes, Brad Wasserstrom of The Wasserstrom Company offers his "support for much more collaborative and automated communications in our industry." He notes, "With the breadth of vendors we buy from and the volume of purchase orders, automating the expediting function that all dealers perform will save significant dollars not only for Wasserstrom, but the entire industry, manufacturers and dealers alike."
Brad Pierce of Restaurant Equipment World (& FEDA President), in a recent letter to us, writes, "The time commitment involved in simple order status tracking is astounding and consumes large portions of my staff's time." He also speaks passionately about this topic in his President's Message in News & Views entitled, "FEDA's Electronic Data Interchange Initiative".
The time is now for collaboration among channel partners. As Brad Pierce put in his President's Message, "...our industry is taking the first step toward creating a unified data interchange platform that will benefit everyone in the channel." We applaud the effort and look forward to being an integral part of the solution.
AutoQuotes at NAFEM
In February, AutoQuotes will once again be at the 2015 NAFEM Show in Anaheim, California. NAFEM is always a fun time for us to catch up with our customers and meet new people to introduce to AutoQuotes. The location of our booth is highlighted in blue on the below map.
This year we will be showing the New AQ and giving you the opportunity to go hands-on with our mobile apps. You will be able to use AQ on the iPhone, Android tablet, Android phone, and Windows Surface, along with the AQ app for iPad first introduced at NAFEM 2013. AutoQuotes has been a desktop software solution for the foodservice equipment industry for 24 years, but now it is accessible anywhere. Come by and visit us at Booth #4447, we look forward to seeing you there!