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Aptec to toll out online purchasing system for resellers by end of 2007

Despite seeing its maiden attempt at launching an online purchasing tool fail to ignite, Middle East distributor believes the time is now right to develop an updated version

Distributor Aptec has revealed that it is planning to resurrect the online purchasing and stock availibility tool that it first made available to resellers seven years ago.

Back in 1999, the UAEbased wholesaler rolled out a system for its top corporate resellers to view stock availability and place orders over the web, but the system failed to generate enough interest and slowly fell out of use.

However, with growing cost pressures among the reseller community and an increasing understanding of online tools, Aptec is working on a plan to launch a new version of that service later this year.

"At the moment you cannot place an online order, but that is the next big step we are taking," confirmed Biju Alex, IT manager at Aptec. "We are working on a modified version of the one we did seven years ago, possibly with a view to launching it in the fourth quarter."

The roll-out of an online purchasing system would augment Aptec's current range of online services, which already includes a tool that facilitates online software license purchasing.

At the end of last year it also launched two more online services - one that completely automates the Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA) process and the other which permits resellers to view an online statement of account.

According to Aptec, the online RMA system allows resellers to track the status of returned product on an ongoing basis, rather than having to chase sales or logistics personnel for the information. "We realised that customers were sometimes unaware of when they were going to get the replacement or where the item was," said Alex. "With this system, the resellers can go back to their customers and say which date they can replace a laptop, for example. The reseller can log into the site at any point in time and see the status of the items."

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