Why Suppliers Want Distributors to Integrate: 'Much More Likely to Get More Business'

Software Systems Integration Supplier and DistributorSuppliers have a lot to gain through integration. Perhaps more accurately, they have a lot not to lose.

A Top 5 promotional products supplier told PPB Magazine that it spends $13,000 per day, or $3.4 million per year, in man-hours to identify, revisit, and correct orders. In the $22 billion promotional products industry, the industry’s 2,000-plus suppliers could retain potentially hundreds of millions of dollars through software systems integrations that create a more efficient order lifecycle.

Integration is "a pretty easy sell — faster, more accurate, cheaper. ... We are much more likely to get more business in the future.”

Hub Pen® Company, a promotional products supplier, integrates with distributor MARCO Promotional Products for Automated Order Processing through the Essent OrderTrax® Network.

Hub Pen President Joseph Fleming said orders received from MARCO reach the production floor in about half the time because they bypass the order entry department and most of the proofing department. The orders are also more accurate, because there is no opportunity to introduce errors by re-keying information. And the speed and accuracy results in cost savings.

The efficiency generates repeat business for Hub Pen. "Seamless order entry is a pretty easy sell — faster, more accurate, cheaper. If Hub Pen can make the relationship more profitable for the distributor, we are much more likely to get more business in the future,” Mr. Fleming said.

Beacon® Promotions Inc. is a service-award-winning multimillion dollar promotional products supplier, earning more than a dozen awards for its service to distributors as well as perfect scores on the SAGE® and Advertising Specialty Institute® ESP™ supplier rating systems.

Beacon uses an Inventory Web Service built by Essent to show distributor trading partners pricing and availability. The integration "fits in perfectly to what we try to do each day” in terms of providing top-rated, award-winning service, Beacon President Gary Haley said.

With the implementation of the web service, the need for distributors to call or email for inventory availability is eliminated. More importantly, Mr. Haley said, distributors instantly have the information they need to make a purchase.

Due to the demand for real-time inventory availability data, Beacon immediately saw the Inventory Availability Web Service adopted by six of its biggest distributor customers.

Next: Integration Advantages for Distributors >>

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