In January, AutoQuotes’ Executive Chair Mark Haidet hosted a live webinar to introduce himself and give insight into the short- and long-term strategy for AQ as we began a new year with new leadership at the helm. Thank you to all of those who joined us for the webinar. If you missed it, watch the recording here.
During the webinar, we received a lot of great questions, so many we couldn't answer them all in the allotted time, but as promised we will address them here:
What are your plans regarding BIM technology in the FES market? Any update on the Revit Plug-In?
Design is now an integral part of the quoting and sales process. For many of our customers, particularly in the UK, BIM is becoming the standard in kitchen design. AQ has several initiatives in progress to address this:
- In 2019, we will launch our AQD Plug-In for AutoDesk® Revit® as part of the AQ Design Solutions suite for AQ users currently using Revit. This integration will function similarly to the current AQ Designer Plug-In for AutoCAD® and will be available in both the U.S. and U.K. markets.
- Since June 2018, more than 13,000 Revit objects have been added to AQ bringing the total Revit count to over 50,000.
- Our content and media teams are actively working with our current vendors to backfill Revit and CAD content for their product listings.
Will there be opportunities to be a part of test/focus groups in the future?
At NAFEM, AQ introduced a new product-webinar series hosted by our product development team to kick start a more customer-centric approach to product development. The webinars are audience-specific and give customers an opportunity to understand more about current AQ capabilities and provide an inside look at what’s ahead. Each webinar covers specific topics such as integration, e-commerce and content management. These webinars are meant to be interactive, so come prepared to provide feedback and help drive the discussion and ultimately AQ development.
For those of you interested in beta testing new AQ features and products, a formal beta test program is currently in development. The beta program will include a page on the AQ website where customers can see current and future beta projects and submit a request to participate.
What does “improving software architecture” mean for customers?
As technology and customer needs continue to evolve, we must improve our software architecture to expand upon the solutions and services you trust to get the job done. Growth is our focus, but to continue developing the platform requires that we have a rock solid foundation. The architecture updates will also provide more accessible methods for third-party applications and integrations to connect with AQ.
Will there be a more Mac-friendly version of AQ in the future?
Not right away. We are evaluating the upcoming macOS versions to understand the best way to support you. In the meantime, AQ's new mobile app, AQ GO will launch this spring and will be immensely helpful as a short-term solution for AQ Mac users. The new app allows users to search AQ, create, modify and send quotes and access OrderStatus. The app works across all mobile devices and will be available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
Will AQ connect through open source APIs?
Currently, AQ has three APIs available; Projects API, Contacts API and OrderStatus API. You can learn more about these on the AQ Knowledge Base. As we improve our software architecture, our system will be more accessible for third-party applications and integrations.
Are there any efforts to include vendors in AQ that sell disposables, i.e., paper products?
Publishing in AQ is available to all vendors who manufacture and sell products in the foodservice industry, including those that sell disposable products. Currently, we have five vendors that sell disposables, primarily janitorial/sanitation products. Additionally, we are evaluating new features like adding additional pricing options that would provide more value for smallwares and disposable vendors.
If there is a disposables vendor that you want to publish in AQ - send an email to our sales team at email@example.com with their information.
What new reports will AQ develop for manufacturers?
We recently introduced AQ View, a reporting module that gives our vendors visibility into product positioning and activity specific to their published products. This module is the first piece of a vendor-specific platform that will grow to include more product management tools and features.
If you have feedback about AQ View or want to share your ideas and thoughts about the future platform, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again to everyone that submitted questions. If you have feedback or thoughts about the questions and answers in this post, please email email@example.com.