This piece was originally published in the April 2018 issue of electroindustry.
Marjorie Romeyn-Sanabria, Communication Specialist, IDEA
Product data is a key component in fostering business relationships. With more products than ever, the problem is not availability. It is choice, and one of the most powerful benefits of digitalization is increased sales.
According to Rick Fehr at United Electric Supply, a distributor with 21 locations in Delaware and surrounding states, “More product information enables distributors like us to better service the product and our customers.” The better the manufacturer can provide product data, he said, “the better we can sell a manufacturer’s products.”
“Think of it as a digital catalog,” said Eric Sywenki of State Electric, a distributor with 43 locations in seven states. “This isn’t really a new effort,” he said. “It’s just available online and updated regularly.”
The importance of product information, which has always been a key component of a sale, is magnified with the speed of business today. Online and in distributorships, product data is often a front-line representative for manufacturers. If the data fails to make a good first impression, there may not be a second chance. If the product information is missing or incorrect, then salespeople may not be able to provide it as quickly, resulting in the loss of a sale.
Complete digital product information ensures that the customer selects the right product, eliminating returns, project delays, and wasted labor for time-strapped end users. Product data enables a manufacturer to synchronize its information to multiple trading partners simultaneously and to ensure that products are displayed correctly.
The quality and totality of manufacturers’ product data drives business. To distributors, it is one of the most critical issues in the industry.