Becoming Fully Automated

“Our current site is two years old and it offers a full complement of services,” said Joe Tallier, vice president of global sales. “It is in essence a virtual sample bag of every product we offer. Accounts are able to add styles to a shopping bag and check out but as more people become in tune with online ordering, our site needs to evolve.”

Ogi is currently working on an updated B2B website scheduled to launch Jan. 1. “Currently, less than 10 percent of our accounts order online, with the new site I’d like to see that number at 25 percent within two years.”

In addition to an expanded online ordering function which will include analytics on buying habits for reps and accounts, as well as bestsellers and customer profiles, the new site will offer up-to-the-minute information on inventory, order and shipping status and online bill paying, he said.

Additionally, aligning with the company’s effort to go paperless, by April 2012, the entire sales force will be fully automated with iPads so they can write orders, process them and generate an emailed copy to the customer all before leaving the account’s shop. (Ogi said it is currently working with Jobson Internet Solutions (JIS) on both the site and its mobile rep application.)

“Our goal is to remain customer service-centric,” said Tallier. “There is no substitute for the sales rep or the sample but with the downsizing many retailers have had to face, we’re trying to streamline and speed up the process. We want to provide 24-hour access so that anytime they feel like managing their account, placing an order or paying a bill, it’s easy for them do so, whether we’re open or not.”