Wholesale online transactions advanced aggressively from “trend” status in 2004 to a profitable industry standard during 2005 as CenterStone Technologies, Inc. announced a third consecutive year of record usage by retail dealers of the company's business-to-business online sales order management tool, iVendix. During the 2005 calendar year, log-ins soared to 174,175 from 108,799 in 2004. Calculated over 365 days during 2005, CenterStone Technologies received an average of 477 log-ins per day, or almost 20 per hour, every hour.
“CenterStone's wholesale e-commerce activity translates into very real dollars of retail growth,” said Tom Detmer, president and CEO of CenterStone Technologies, Inc. “In January 2005 we processed 10,348 orders with a total wholesale value of $110,770,623; in January of this year we processed 16,519 orders with a total wholesale value of $159,187,565. Although the average size of the order (measured in dollars) has decreased, the total number of orders, as well as total dollar volume has increased, indicating that dealers as they become more comfortable with the user-friendly technology are going online more frequently to place orders. Of course, all these log-ins represent phone calls and faxes that are NOT being received by a more traditional customer service center. Vendors and retailers have told us that CenterStone's online sales order management tool has made it easier for them to do business together, and retailers have rewarded participating vendors with increased sales,” Detmer explained.
CenterStone's log-in statistics also demonstrate the value of 24/7 access to iVendix by retailers. “We enable a specialty retailer to serve a customer on the sales floor during the day and access the products and order status information they need after hours or during off-peak hours,” said Detmer. “We are clearly bolstering the specialty retail marketplace with more robust vendor relationships. Not only have retailers of all sizes become more comfortable in an online environment, they are using their time more wisely to grow their business. Our log-in statistics indicate that 34 percent of the log-ins occur after normal business hours and on weekends. Those logins to iVendix, even by larger EDI retailers, supplement a vendor's customer service department after hours and enable the retailer to continue business with a vendor without daytime customer service support.
“This third consecutive year of substantial growth tells us that specialty retailers have embraced e-commerce at the wholesale level like never before. They are leveraging their business hours by directly working with our tools, or requiring that their sales rep enter orders on our system and tag-team with them to track the order status on their own time,” said Detmer.
Currently more than 20,000 retailers throughout North America and Europe have access to the system and have cited its benefits:
- Sales reps and dealers can develop, review and approve proposals more quickly and easily
- iVendix reduces the time needed to complete an order
- Dealers can login to check inventory during or after business hours
- iVendix improves communication between sales reps and dealers by preventing phone tag
- Dealers can more easily place special orders for customers
- iVendix ordering tools are more accurate
- Dealers receive a faster confirmation of their orders
Finally, CenterStone provides vendors with a larger marketplace across two continents, and with a multi-language and multi-currency application for North America and Europe. Vendors and retailers alike have realized short-term results in local, regional and international relationships and customer sales. The 125-year-old sweater manufacturer, Dale of Norway, recently realized their competitive advantage with an international online wholesale marketplace.
“To remain competitive, Dale of Norway needed a user-friendly sales order application, and we were impressed by the level of professionalism that CenterStone demonstrated. Their sales order application is going to allow Dale of Norway to provide 24/7 access to product information and allow our European and North American retailers to place orders directly through CenterStone's Sales Management application. Ultimately, it will allow Dale of Norway to serve customers more efficiently and effectively by getting our quality products to our retailers in a more timely manner. With this new sales order management application Dale of Norway expects to set a new standard for customer service in the snow sports market,” Olav Munch, CEO of Dale of Norway, explained.