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eAnixter returns business control to the channel

As it rolls out is e-business service for customers in the region, Anixter is extending more services into their own hands to enable more customer control.

Cabling and networking distributor Anixter, identified the need for customers to repeatedly track their orders as the significant incentive to get its eAnixter e-business tools up and running.

The month-old service has since evolved into considerably more, with features for the online ordering of products scheduled for December 2000.

“Rather than waiting until we had the infrastructure in place to provide all of the applications we foresee our customers wanting, we are giving them a way to quickly find an answer to their most frequently asked question—what is the status of my orders?” says Jim Stevenson, Anixter’s sales director for the Middle East.

Currently, eAnixter is only open to existing customers, who enter eAnixter through a sign-on.

The format of eAnixter permits customers to check the status of specific orders or all outstanding orders. They can confirm when an order was shipped, reviewing the complete order or checking a specific product. They can also link to the Web site of the appropriate freight carrier to investigate the status of an order that has not been received, or to view the time of delivery and the person who signed for it.

With the introduction of online ordering in December, custom catalogues will be made available to customers, and prices that have been contracted with customers will be indicated within each of their accounts. They can track expenditures by department or by project, and review a history of transactions.

“A link to Anixter’s mainframe checks products and prices eight times a day to search for potential information updates,” says Stevenson.

“A contractor who is bidding on a project and needs cost estimates can specify the products needed and receive a list of options available and their prices,” says Stevenson. “His selections can be saved, and, if he wins the bid, he can place them as an order. This process minimises the administrative aspects of a project and, most importantly, saves our customers time.”

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