Ron Miller, President at Omni Pro Electric talks about eSamco. www.omniprowest.ca
Please tell us a bit about your business and eSamco.
We are an importer and wholesale distributor of wireless equipment, serving the commercial two-way radio industry, wireless internet distribution, wireless data collection, and health care messaging systems. We have been serving these industries from our Calgary offices for 22 years
What were some major influences behind building an online presence?
As we saw other companies and competitors going to an on-line ordering system, we realized we would have to do this as well. Also we needed a more efficient method of getting product information, stock levels and pricing to our customers. Doing this all by phone calls and paper price lists was very time consuming. Paper catalogs and price lists had been a big expense and time sinkhole that I had for years wanted to somehow get rid of.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen?
Being able to totally eliminate our paper price lists and product specification sheets, or catalog pages is the biggest change. When a customer phones in we can direct him to the site and use that as a basis of making a product selection. They can view the picture to be sure that is what they are after, and see the inventory level and the cost pricing.
Has having eSamco added any extra work?
Having this system has reduced our office time requirement. The reduction of time previously used in looking after all the paperwork was considerably more than the time now needed to keep the information up to date.
Have there been any sundry benefits?
For those customers who use the service there is less chance of an error in the order, and fewer back orders, for if they are ordering for stock and wanted 25 pieces, but we only have 23 units, they will take the 23 and not create a back order.
Why eSamco versus a standalone shipping cart or website?
We had a standalone site for a few years but it was very time consuming to keep up to date, and of course, as it was not connected to our Samco accounting system, it could not display prices or inventory levels.
How long did it take you to get up and running?
It took us a few weeks, but only because we had a few thousand pictures to load in, and for many of these we had to take new pictures to get the quality we wanted, and of course we wanted most pictures in the system when we turned it on.
Would you say it has been a success?
The eSamco system has definitely been a success. The time it saves us far outweighs the cost. About 10% of our order value comes via the order entry. This is somewhat less than I would have expected, but as a lot of our business is the supplying of various pieces for a larger system, I find the customer does some of his research on the site, then still feels they have to call to go over potential options or recommendations from our sales people.