E-nabling Efficient Supply Chains
Hot topics within the printing industry today include the need to get new orders in more quickly, and finished products out even faster, while streamlining warehousing and distribution. Thanks to developing technology, an assortment of tools is available for accomplishing these goals. Systems offering integrated warehouse management features are garnering a lot of attention as the ability to track and monitor goods from production to distribution points creates a competitive advantage.
Reno, Nevada-based e-Quantum, and PageDNA, Redwood City, Calif., discussed some features and benefits of their respective e-commerce offerings, and how an evolving marketplace relies on technology and enhanced functionality to drive profitability.
Previously a business forms distributor, Ross Barker, CEO of e-Quantum, explained that the company offers both a business-to-business solution and a business-to-consumer solution. The company first developed its Quantum software system in 1979, and has been addressing the changing needs of independent print and business forms distributors ever since.
The e-Quantum Distributor Management System is a single-source software solution designed for print distributorships that runs on Microsoft Windows. The Quantum Net e-commerce tool provides leading-edge technology for efficient ordering and effective business management. Quantum Net offers a fully integrated e-commerce platform for electronic ordering, client catalogs, credit card purchases and custom imprint templates, as well as sales of traditional printing, ad specialties, office supplies and computer consumable products.
“The most important element for distributors is [a] business-to-business [model], providing their largest accounts with online ordering, and all the benefits of electronic order entry,” said Barker. “Last year, more than 1.3 million items were purchased through our Quantum Net [by end-users] using distributors’ e-commerce sites to obtain new products or request items that may be warehoused.”
Of course, one of the objectives of any good electronic ordering tool is to eliminate some time-consuming tasks typically performed by distributors. “Our [system] is different in that ... orders automatically populate [a template] and also go directly into the distributors’ back office accounting and inventory programs. This makes it easier for distributors to sell multiple product lines to their clients,” he continued.