Bassett Mirror is using eCat and scanners to write more orders. The eCat iPad application is powered automatically with product and image data feeds from FurnishWEB. FurnishWEB's iPad integration with eCat allows you to manage product information, inventory, and images for eCat and send orders direct to FurnishWEB for order status and processing for customers.
We've introduced some enhancements to FurnishWEB over the past several weeks. We're thankful for all our users' feedback and suggestions.
Below is a summary of our new or enhanced functionality:
In the first of a series of planned enhancements to our ORDER PAD, this release enhances the experience of building container orders and some minor changes regarding experience of entering and saving orders. FurnishWEB now provides an option to change the container size while building the order and even to build the order to fill multiple containers. There are other improvements, too:
On container orders, the user can now 'Save as a Quote' without having met the container requirements and come back to the quote later and Move To OrderPad for completion.
The pricing disclaimer has moved sooner in the process prior to products being searched and added.
Added a preference so that some manufacturers to require a carrier selection.
Provide administrators the ability to re-export an order if there as a problem getting that order loaded into their back-office accounting database.
There is much, much more coming in our ORDER PAD and ORDER ENTRY area in general. Stay tuned.
PHOTOS & FILES
We fundamentally changed the way FurnishWEB stores and retrieves PHOTOS & FILES that are associated with products. PHOTOS & FILES such as JPEG, PDF's, and Microsoft Word or Excel files are now stored in the Cloud using Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) greatly expanding our capacity and download speed. In addition to that FurnishWEB now also:
Allows the same photo to be associated to many products.
Multiple photo sizes are created and stored for selection by the user downloading the file depending on their intended use.
Thumbnail photos have been added to product search, order view & print, and invoice view & print.
Accurately creates RGB photos from uploaded CMYK originals without a major color shift.
Provides the ability to email links of one or more PHOTOS & FILES to other people, even non-FurnishWEB users.
Adds a new section under Products that searches for PHOTOS based on data specific to the photos for that manufacturer. For example, show all the ROOM SHOT photos that are HI-RES for a specific COLLECTION.
Sets up FurnishWEB for greater use of PHOTOS & FILES … so watch for more improvements in future releases
As always, there are many patches, modifications, and improvements applied to FurnishWEB along the way. Here are are a few of the more notable:
Added indicator to show if an invoice has been paid. (note: not all manufacturers have provided invoice paid status as of this writing).
In Smart Sales, there is a new option to view historic sales in quantities in addition to the previous dollar amount reporting.
Added a new Quick Report to the Overview page to print a Stock Report for ALL items to go along with the Quick Reports for Active InStock items and Discontinued InStock items.
When searching or printing products, the criteria options now include the ability to choose more than one collection for the results. For windows: Hold down the control (ctrl) button to select multiple options. For Mac: Hold down the command button to select multiple options.
When searching or printing orders, invoices, and dealers, sales reps can now choose one or more dealers from a drop-down select box. For windows: Hold down the control (ctrl) button to select multiple options. For Mac: Hold down the command button to select multiple options.
Order and Invoice search results can now be sorted by dealer name instead of dealer number.
Some manufacturers provide three address lines for billing address and shipping locations. These are now displayed consistently throughout FurnishWEB.
Added total weight and total cubic feet to order screen and reprint, invoice screen and reprint, order detail report, and invoice detail report.
We hope these improvements provide great benefit and we look forward to even more feedback.
FurnishWEB in partnership with SuperCat Solutions has implemented SuperCat’s eCat iPad app for Bassett Mirror. ECat is a sales representative tool for enhanced product presentation and order taking. FurnishWEB together with eCat combines for an unbeatable combination for sales support in the furniture industry.
We’ve planned for sometime to offer our clients an iPad extension for FurnishWEB and we’re so pleased to have found a perfect match in SuperCat’s eCat solution. Both companies have worked to integrate the system by creating a Connector so that data and photos in FurnishWEB can be fed into SuperCat.
And now our very first FurnishWEB customer, Bassett Mirror, has chosen to work with us and our partners at SuperCat. The implementation went great. The Connector is performing well. Bassett Mirror’s sales reps started using eCat on their iPads about a month ago and all reports are very positive. The eCat program with FurnishWEB integration is being very well received by the field.
We spent significant time and money late 2010 and early 2011 creating an iPad app worthy of the FurnishWEB name. We learned quite a bit and felt we were on the right track when I met Steve Thrasher, president of SuperCat Solutions. Steve and his great team of developers have developed a beautiful iPad app that is perfectly targeted at the independent furniture sales rep user. Exactly what we were working toward here at FurnishWEB.
In that first meeting, I knew Steve was someone we could work with. Since then, we've halted work on our own iPad and threw our support and endorsement behind SuperCat Solutions eCat app. Along the way both companies have worked together to integrate our two products. We gave FurnishWEB a module to feed data and photo's directly into eCat. And eCat has a new window that allows sales reps to access their FurnishWEB without leaving eCat on the iPad. Its turned out to be a classic example of 1 plus 1 equals 3.
We're very pleased to be working with SuperCat Solutions and we excited to offer the eCat app as an iPad extension of FurnishWEB ... giving sales reps an additional tool for presenting their product line and landing sales.
Here's a recent press release published in Furniture Today
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, July 19, 2011
SuperCat's eCat Offering FurnishWeb Portal
WILSON, N.C. - SuperCat Solutions' eCat sales app is
now offering a portal service that allows customers using an iPad access
to FurnishWeb while logged into the eCat sales app.
SuperCat Solutions worked with Internet Databases, developer of FurnishWeb.
Sales representatives can now access FurnishWeb supplier extranets
within eCat - an iPad app that takes the place of printed sales kits,
among other uses - without app switching or a separate login.
FurnishWeb is an order management extranet for dealers and reps,
featuring an online order, inventory, shipping and tracking system.
The update, which was released in the iTunes app store, makes it easy
for sales reps to use FurnishWeb, said Steve Thrasher, president of
Earlier this year SuperCat purchased the
eCat sales app from case goods importer Sarreid, where it was developed.
The app automatically updates product, pricing and inventory
information, submits orders, and checks inventories and order status.
We've had Smart Sales in FurnishWEB for some time now. FurnishWEB accumulates data from shipments/invoices by dealer and product for historic reporting. Since we introduced Smart Sales the reports have shown annual data in a comparison format with columns for quantities and dollars for LAST_YEAR, LAST_YEAR_TO_DATE, and THIS_YEAR_TO_DATE. Sales managers and sales reps have praised this addition to FurnishWEB, but (yes, there's almost always a "but") ... but, they'd like to also see this data by monthly buckets in addition to annual buckets.
I'd say that this has been the most requested enhancement to FurnishWEB by the sales reps over the past year.
Well, the wait is over! Smart Sales now reports, prints, and downloads data with a monthly option.
Slice & Dice!
In adding the new monthly options, we decided to go ahead and improve the drop-down options and performance allowing more options to Slice & Dice the data.
Sales Managers and company Owners can now run product reports that are company-wide instead of one sales rep territory at a time.
Speed and performance are vastly improved by a new method for sorting and paging through all the records.
Drop-down options have been added for sales reps and staff to select individual dealer account to review detailed trending without having to go to the Dealers tab and drill down.
And more ....
Wow... the options are endless for the future of this data. We see charts and graphs, searching, more options to slice & dice, and maybe a new visual option of the data. We'll get feedback from our great user base on this latest upgrade and go from there. Just like we always do!
Lazzaro Leather Selects FurnishWEB as Customer Service & Sales Portal
We've worked with Patrick Long before. Great guy and fantastic leader in our industry. We haven't had the pleasure of working with Richard Reichick but we're definitely looking forward to it. Reading their press release in the Furniture Today reminded me to blog about them and how happy we are to have them as our newest client.
Patrick appoached us as he took over the task of leading the Sunton Tanning US operations, aka Lazzaro Leather. He knew the capabilities of FurnishWEB and we've worked well together in the past. It was an easy decision to work together again.
As the product line is getting re-developed, warehouse operations are coming online, and the sales team is getting established, we are working hand-in-hand with Lazzaro Leather staff to make their launch of FurnishWEB a success. We can't wait and are looking forward to a long relationship.
I just read this article about CSN Stores on Home Furnishings Business; CSN Stores Blurs the Line Between Competitor, Colloborator. So its like this ... CSN Stores gets millions of views from consumers looking to buy new furniture. But many of those consumers are 'just browsing' because they'd prefer to touch and feel the piece at a local retailer. So CSN Stores is now putting a targeted ad within their online store based on the consumer's approximate location and what types of furniture they've been searching. CSN Stores sells this ad space to local brick & mortar retailers.
Win. Win. Win.
CSN may not get the sale by driving the consumer to a competitor ... BUT they get ad revenue, the consumer gets a lead to a local store for their preferred experience, the local store gets a lead and quite possibly sells some furniture .... helping out the whole industry. Consumer = win, CSN Stores = win, Brick & Mortar Store = win, Furniture Industry = win.
So What about FurnishWEB
How does FurnishWEB fit into this equation? Well, we don't. Not directly anyway and any part we play is very minor. But we're in the game and planning for more playing time.
FurnishWEB has a really slick & simple way to share inventory with its users. Manufacturers send us on-hand inventory figures along with transactions reflecting expected replenishment orders in the future. We convert this into a easy-to-read chart that is kept on every product. CSN Stores needs this type of information so they will know what to display for sale on their online store web sites. Recently we worked with CSN Stores to automatically provide a data feed of this information for one of our great clients, A.R.T. Furniture. Its working great.
We have worked with CSN Stores and we'd love to work with them further to provide inventory for all our customers. Especially after reading this article and discovering how INNOVATIVE they are with technology and within the industry.
So, I've been playing around with Twitter for a while now. I have two accounts, @FurnishWEB (403 followers) and @BarryWelch (120 followers). I like Twitter, but its value is a little hard to figure out, but today I'm addressing its constituents.
I've managed to "friend" or "buddy" or "co-follow" (what are they called in Twitter anyway?) a few, and I emphasize FEW, really cool people in the furniture industry. These are the people I'd hoped to connect with. But the weird thing is I get these "Follows" from people I don't know and almost every single one is a "Social Media Guru" of some sort.
Now I'm not one against making a living and if there's a great demand for "Social Media Gurus", then the more the better. But I don't see why a small business like ours needs more than a couple followers that are self-described "Social Media Gurus" ... or do I? Here's a couple of Twitter Bio's of individuals that have Followed me recently:
Online PR, social media, blogger, mobile marketing, content creation, SEO, SEA, viral, buzz marketing, online marketing
Internet Marketing Aficionado, MLM Blogger, Network Marketing Junkie, Lead Generation Aficianado, Twitter Automation Savant, Social Media Moonlighter, Fun Fun?
Search and online marketing specialist, speaker, writer and trainer.
Got A Business, Group Or Product That Needs Better Promotion? Get It Jump Started !
Its kinda weird, really. I get so many of these. Do these Gurus outnumber regular business people on Twitter? Are they following me in hopes I will follow them back to inflate their "follow" numbers? Where are the furniture manufacturers and wholesalers, furniture sales reps, furniture retailers? Will I need to hire a Guru to find them and talk to them for me?
I KNOW I'm not a social media "guru" but decided to look it up on thesaurus.com just to make sure. A guru is a mentor. Yep ... that's not me; not in the social media world anyway. But the antonym is follower. Hmmm ... interesting.
I'm confident the haze will become clearer and the difficult questions will be answered for me as I continue delving into the "secret life" of Social Media. But for now, and from my perspective, there seems to be a glut of social media gurus seeking my friendship on Twitter.
I really love our statistics page. In fact, it may be one of my favorite pages anywhere. I really like checking how many FurnishWEB users are currently online (145 right now and 622 in the past 24 hours). Its really cool!
But yesterday our lead developer, Jeff Roberson, pointed out to me during a Skype chat a fact I'd overlooked:
Jeff:Hey Barry. Have you looked at the stats page recently?
Barry:Yes. Look most every day, why?
Jeff:Our clients sales are over 1/2 billion dollars?
Barry:You're kidding, right? I mean, that's a lot!
Jeff:Nope. Its true. Check it out:
Jeff:See. That is sweeet. You should blog about that.
And so, I am "blogging about that". Even though 3 of our 25 clients do not post sales to FurnishWEB, we're still over 1/2 BILLION DOLLARS in our clients sales over the past 12 months. Significant!