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Monday, February 14, 2011
Yesterday Trade Service announced that they are bringing out an "eDataFlex Service Console (TM)" for their existing customers.
We've heard from several clients that Trade Service has been working on this FREE Service Console for several months (maybe more than several months)and now it all makes sense.
On February 1st of this year we received a joint press release by Trade Service and epaCUBE that they were partnering to offer Margin Optimizer (TM) to electrical distributors. The short description for Margin Optimizer (TM) is that it lets a distributor deal with margin issues (at the SKU level) before they update product records using epaCube's software. Up until now Margin Optimizer (TM) was only offered as a bolt on software program for installation with the distributor's ERP system.
But there was something missing in that February 1st announcement!
Historical Trends are valuable.
The missing piece was mentioned in yesterday's Trade Service newsletter. Something they call "eDataFlex Service Console (TM)". Essentially it is an online (cloud) view of eDataFlex update data with substantially more information and functions....and it is free to Trade Service customers.
Here are the possibilities for distributors that already use Trade Service data:
- Product data loads flow into a distributor from various sources including Trade Service and some manufacturers.
- Once the distributor receives their update data from Trade Service, they have the opportunity to use Margin Optimizer(TM), sold on a subscription basis, to check their potential margin opportunities against what they have in their current product files and enhance the margin before they upload the data into their production files in their ERP system.
- The eDataFlex Service Console(TM) allows the distributor to be able to look at not only the historical changes for every manufacturer, but they will be able to preview any future price changes the manufacturer plans on making (presuming the manufacturer has advised Trade Service of an upcoming price change). The distributor will also be able to view their updated data.
- The eDataFlex Service Console (TM) will be able to slice and dice data....and yes it will still link up to any routines that are performed in MS Excel.
From our chair it appears that Trade Service is giving unparalleled visibility to historical pricing and data trends and offers the opportunity for the distributor to pro-actively deal with margin issues upfront, before they cause more work for their employees. This is a real opportunity to enhance a distributor's bottom line.
In today's market distributors need every tool they can get in their hands to enhance not only knowledge and trends but also margin. So what do you think? Is this worth investigating? Or will this be an opportunity you'll pass on?