Buyer – Seller Automation


By Ronelle Ingram //

An increasing number of office equipment businesses are beginningto believe that Great Customer Service is achieved when no customer service is required. The world of electronic communication continues to increase efficiency, eliminate human error and reduce costs. Each retiring baby boomer is being replaced with Generation X, Y, or Z who is very comfortable navigating their personal and professional world through key strokes. These “thumb people” would rather text than talk. The skill of cursive writing has been eliminated from school district curriculums throughout the United States. The concept of a written signature has been replaced with an electronic certification.

Contrary to what most people think, that which is advertised as great customer service is often nothing more than crisis control. Eight hours each day, a staff of friendly, apologetic voices deal with identifying what went wrong and how it can be rectified. An entire group of people spend their working days apologizing for the mistakes made by others. The internal company cost to repeatedly fix mistakes caused by human error can be astronomical. So how is a forward-thinking company supposed to deal with the incorrect events caused by human error? Excerpts from a recent MSE press release explains how they and an increasing number of distributors, remanufacturers and manufacturers are taking the lead in electronic customer service:

VAN NUYS, CA - Micro Solutions Enterprises (MSE), the industry leader for Intelligently Re-Engineered™ cartridges, is pleased to announce that it has completed its integration with Digital Gateway’s e-automate software. e-automate is an integrated system that office equipment dealers use to manage their business. It features tailored solutions for sales, services, purchasing, inventory, contracts, accounting and more. The integration allows MSE to seamlessly connect with dealers and improve the efficiency in which transactions are processed. Says Gil Wazana, Vice President of Sales, MSE, “e-automate’s PO Processor is a tremendous tool for dealers, and we are committed to providing the tools and value-added services our customers need to be successful in today’s marketplace.”

MSE is the largest US-based remanufacturer and a leading-edge innovator in the marketplace. MSE has sales and distribution in Canada, Europe (UK and the Netherlands), Israel, Brazil, California, and Pennsylvania.
MSE joined the growing list of other major USA-based distributors, manufacturers and re-manufacturers or office equipment supplies who are partnering with Digital Gateway, Inc. (DGI) to simplify the buying, selling and drop shipping of office supply products. The other companies that are currently partnering with Digital Gateway through full product subscription of the PO Processor system include:
• ImageStar
• Supplies Network
• West Point Products
• Katun
• Parts Now

These listed companies have immediately reduced the total cost of acquiring their products to more than 100 of the leading office equipment dealers in the United States who are currently licensed to use the e-automate PO Processor System by reducing the cost of labor to process each MPS, CPC or other supply order. The average cost for the servicing (buying) dealer to use the PO (Purchase Order) Processing system is a yearly $500 licensing fee per distributor. In larger dealerships, one or two distributors are being chosen to be licensed for year-round use.

In candid conversations with both vendor and dealer users of the PO Processing system, both satisfaction and frustration were expressed. Vendors liked the functionality of the system. Errors and labor cost are greatly reduced. Concerns were expressed with the start-up and on-going licensing fee cost. Also required is a new learning curve to sales. Vendors must first identify which dealers use e-automate. From this base of subscribers, purchasing habits must reflect enough usage to justify the start-up and yearly licensing cost of the PO Processing system. All vendors I contacted expressed hope that they will be able to increase the number of their customers who will invest in the PO Processing system and include them as partner vendors.

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