Technology gap is forcing Manufacturers into Stone Age

 

Technology gap is forcing Manufacturers into Stone Age

 

Speed Boost the Technology of your Business into the 21st Century

Author: Igor Soshkin
Tag: sce-pr

In the modern day and age, technology is improved every day by the minute. However, far too many small businesses and especially the “Manufacturing” companies are falling behind on the technological advances. Advances that would improve productivity, output and perhaps even cut the work load and wages payable by unimaginable amounts.

Many may say “Yes, I’ve heard this before” but have never understood the concepts or the idea of how this can be accomplished. Usually the reasons why most operating managers and owners of such businesses have fallen behind on technological advances is; because they are often too busy trying to keep up with their own work load and can never find the time to learn about the possible advances that modern technology has to offer. In this post, I have put together many resources to help face the problems that manufacturers experience today. I assure you that you will find this article to be very helpful in getting up to date with the current trends.

To make this experience a bit more interesting and maybe more relative towards your own business, I will illustrate an example of how a manufacturing and wholesale company called MimoUSA operates effectively as well as how they successfully secured 10,000 dealers (retailers’) with a 99% loyalty rate.

Below is an illustration of how MimoUSA devised their Technological Strategy along with an explanation of the steps and processes you will need to succeed.


1. Securing your wholesale customer (retailer)

As illustrated in the diagram to the left, MimoUSA is the “Manufacturer” in this example (please Ignore the YOU icon at this point). “WD Drop shipping” is an Internet website, which is used as a portal to connect to the manufacturer (the retailer would log in in to the portal using a user name and password). The “Dealers” are the retailers or clients that purchase directly from the manufacturer. (For this example they will be referred as the “retailer” from hereon).

Below is a simple explanation of how the portal functions:

From the front end of the website it simply looks like a general company website with products information. However, once the retailer logs into the portal it’s a whole new experience.

Once logged into the portal, the retailer can instantly gain access to tasks such as placing orders, tracking orders, adding funds, checking prices and all the necessities needed to make a successful transaction without ever having to call customer service. This allows the retailer to have the comfort of a 24 hour “on demand” order processing. The benefit that is usually unrealized is that this alone can eliminate your phone call volume by 70%. A step closer to achieving a “Just In Time” system (JIT) of operations.

In the portal, retailers will also find tools such as:

· Point of Sale System – This is a touch screen program which can be loaded in a retailers store to offer a full list of the manufacturer’s product information. Inventory and Price can be customized accordingly to show on the screen.

· Auction Generator – This program will help the retailer list the manufacturer’s products in minutes (no matter the quantity) on marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, etc. In fact, the retailer will be able customize the templates and choose which products they want to sell right from this program.

· Website Building – The portal is designed to integrate the manufacturer’s data into various shopping carts. If you have a retailer who owns a website or wants to build one, the portal can transfer live data to them in the format they desire or build a website for them from scratch to promote the manufacturer’s products.

· Education – It is always nice to educate your retailers, this creates brand loyalty and market expertise on the manufacturer’s behalf. MimoUSA has over 15 hours of video tutorials and over 100 articles which teach retailers about Search Engine Marketing, Business Management and methods to be successful in the their industry (Automotive).

· Dealer Assistance – The portal supports affiliate and mentor programs. An Affiliate program is where one retailer can sign up another retailer and receive a one time payout. The Mentor program is when retailer A (mentor) helps a new retailer B throughout his lifetime as a member. In return retailer A receives a small % from all the sales that retailer B makes through the manufacture. (This program completely eliminates long phone calls between the retailer and the manufacture customer service. New retailers have the will be more persuaded to participate in the manufacture program where otherwise they would never consider). Forums are also a social network that is on the portal which allows retailers to communicate with each other on a daily basis.

*If you are interested in more features that MimoUSA offers you can watch the 10 minute video on their website.

The portal that MimoUSA uses is actually available to anyone that desires to have it. Shopping Cart Elite is the company who hosts and provides the software (portal) for MimoUSA to run their business. There is no reason for manufactures not to take advantage of it.

2. Standardizing Data

Manufactures who have a good market share from the Internet simply MUST GET IT TOGETHER (If you are not selling online, it should be highly considered. Doing so the correct way from beginning is imperative that you use a sophisticated portal). 95% of all manufactures who sell online are using their own Shopping Cart Software (Open Source, Closed or Custom) with their own data format. To further expand on this example let us take a look at one of the most complex manufacturing industries, the automotive industry.

The most common complexity with the automotive industry is that most manufactures have hundreds if not thousands of products (parts #/SKU). There are three major problems with that:

i. ENTERING DATA – How does a manufactures expect new retailer’s to enter the manufacturer’s data to fit the retailers website (shopping cart)? Since the automotive industry is filled with millions of retailers, the data format has to be reformatted by the retailer to accompany their own shopping cart. The retailer has to spend 10 – 100 hours entering the data manually or pay someone to do it for them in order to get a single manufacture online.

ii. ACCURATE DATA – According to MimoUSA’s Statistics, if the above is accomplished and data is entered by the retailer, it is usually inaccurate. There are standardized data formats that must be used in some industries. As an Example with the automotive industry, http://www.aftermarket.org/ provides ACES data. ACES is the official and accurate data for vehicle make, model and year. Every manufacture should integrate this information with their products.

iii. LIVE INVENTORY – Some retailers manage to do all the work listed above only to find out that they have to call the manufacture every day to see if the products they need are in stock and ready to ship. This causes the retailer to spend more time calling the manufacture instead of promoting the products.

iv. UPDATING DATA – Each year, manufactures update their pricing. New products are released while old products are discontinued. At the end of every year, the retailers are forced to spend the next 4 months manually updating manufactures data. This causes grief on the retailer side and slow movers for new products on manufacture side.

MimoUSA portal (Portal is provided by Shopping Cart Elite) solved the problem by offering the retailer the following solutions:

i. The manufacture has the ability to automatically convert their data into any format the retailer desires. It can be for any Shopping Cart or custom formats. This eliminated the retailer from ever having to enter the data manually.

ii. The portal supports integration between multiple databases. This allows the manufacture (in the automotive industry) to enter the products separately from the vehicle vehicle make, model and year, otherwise known as ACES. When you enter a product you map each product to an ACES # which will define the product to which application it will fit. The manufacture benefits from this by always having accurate data for there vehicle make, model and year. Every year the manufacture can update their ACES database without touching the actual product, in result all products will have the correct application years. This also provides the retailer 100% accurate information.

iii. The portal supports live inventory data. This data can be passed from the manufacture to the retailer automatically through an API or manually via email.

iv. The portal can also automatically enter the information into the retailer website such as discontinued products, new products and prices updates. This allows the retailer to automatically have his website updated with new products, discontinued products and make sure the prices are at MAP.

3. Better Business Management Tools

Would you like your company to have the features I listed above? Shopping Cart Elite Portal can provide you these tools. Let me to tell you what else they can provide that will save you at least a few thousand dollars every month.

Shopping Cart Elite is a full front and back end business management tool. This means that you won’t simply have a website, but you will have a website that is fully integrated with your companies management tools where your employees perform their daily activities (Customer Service, Shipping, etc.).

Here is a brief list of just some of the tools Shopping Cart Elite can offer for your company:

Shipping – The shipping is fully integrated with UPS, DHL, FEDEX and USPS. You don’t need a separate employee to do shipping, your packing employee can press a button and a label will be printed for the package that is being shipped.

Inventory – Bar code your whole warehouse and keep an accurate in and out inventory on a daily basis. Hot seller tool will alert you on any low inventory as well as provide you reports on the amount to reorder based on sales statistics.

Email – The email tool will automatically tag each email to an order and previous correspondence between each employee. A feedback evaluation tools can track on the performance of your employees on their replies.

Employee – Generate reports for each employee about their daily activity, payroll, follows up, etc. The tool can manage unlimited employees.

VOIP – Fully integrated Voice over IP system will not only lower your phone bill by half, but you can offer a convenient way to have your customer reach you by simply clicking on a button on the website and getting connected on a land line.

Fraud Detection – Offers extensive fraud detection from tracking IP addresses for origin detection on every order to searching each order processed with a centralized fraud alert system.

There are tons of other features that are available for the back end side through this software. Once a good portal such as Shopping Cart Elite is setup it will completely replace your current website shopping cart along with the back end management tools necessary for the optimum Output of your business. It also has options to replace your accounting software with a built in one (if you require) as well as tons of other features that is simply too many to list. For a full feature list please visit this link, Feature Tour.

The Greatest advantage of using Shopping Cart Elite as your main ONLINE operations manager is that you avoid getting trapped in ancient “Stone Age” business methods and always keep up with the most modern way communicating with your clients. Shopping Cart Elite is constantly updating their users and integrating the most recent and modern proven methods of online business to their software. Last but not least, I strongly believe that Shopping Cart Elite is a program that I consider the solution to the Stone Age that the Technology gap has caused among many Manufacturing Company’s.

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