Technology Solutions Special: Software solutions – what’s on offer?

Independent dealers need support with their digital commerce and marketing efforts. Here's a summary of the programs of some of the best-known solutions providers.

Logicblock

The Logicblock eCommerce platform was first launched in 2007, but has undergone many significant updates since then, with new features continuously being added. The platform aims to remove the restrictions that prevent online dealers from growing in a rapidly-changing technological landscape. It provides a full website and e-commerce cloud-based solution that integrates with the largest wholesale distributors over a range of different sectors. These include OP essentials and the industrial, educational and safety categories, among others.

Logicblock’s user interface incorporates an SEO-friendly, mobile-ready storefront that is considered to be a B2X (ie B2B and B2C) solution since it can be tailored to work with any type of online shopper.

The back-end solution transmits orders electronically using two-way communication paths for processing orders, shipping and product inventory, etc, and has the flexibility to integrate with other software solutions.

Find out more: www.logicblock.com

Fortune Web Marketing

Fortune Web Marketing is an online marketing services agency that works closely with many software providers in the office products industry. Founded in 2008, its areas of expertise include search engine marketing, web design, social media, email marketing, content marketing and strategic consulting. 

The company’s strategies constantly adapt to the changing OP industry landscape and the ever-evolving world of online marketing. They are driven by the latest trends in search engine optimisation and social media, together with the continuing technological shifts by giants such as Google and Facebook. 

Fortune Web Marketing’s core aim is to drive brand awareness, leads and online sales, but it also covers everything from print to web design and branding. The company primarily caters for small to medium-sized businesses, in the traditional OP as well as the office furniture and jan/san sectors.

Find out more: www.fortunewebmarketing.com

Bmi Software

The BMI Software package is designed for progressive dealers seeking to give their customers a superior 

online shopping experience. It also provides an efficient back-office business management system aimed at increasing efficiency in customer service, purchasing, warehousing and accounting.

The program was first launched in 2006, but underwent a significant update in 2016 to make it compatible with the most recent version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the underlying ERP software used in this solution. BMI also completely redesigned its integrated e-commerce site at this time.

The unique selling points of BMI Software include its extensive access to system data due to its deep integration with Microsoft Excel. Users are also able to create e-commerce landing pages without code as all page data is controlled through back-office software. The program’s fully-integrated accounting abilities mean that no third party software, such as Quickbooks, is required and real-time financial statements are available on demand.

Find out more: www.bmiusa.com

FusionPlus Data

FusionPlus Data was launched in 2013 and now supplies enriched and fully-attributed versions of about 40 ‘selling catalogues’ to over 1,000 OP dealers throughout the UK and Ireland.

Different types of partners benefit in various ways. Software house partners receive all their mainstream catalogue content from a single source, fully cross-referenced and attributed to cater for the needs of their ERP and web store solutions. 

Wholesalers and dealer groups get help with increasing the audience for their e-catalogues and assistance in bringing new products to market, while dealers receive support to grow their range of categories and products they offer to their customer base, particularly online. 

Manufacturers, in the meantime, benefit from advice on improving how their products are represented in the e-catalogues in which they appear. 

Product content in FusionPlus Data is updated on a daily basis. This includes adding multiple descriptions, sales bullet points, high resolution images, video and supporting documentation.

The multi-level FusionPlus Data attribute structure was adopted by the UK’s BOSS Federation as an industry standard in 2015.

Find out more: www.fusionplus.net 

ECi Software Solutions

ECi Software Solutions provides cloud-based business software for small and medium-sized businesses. It has two main packages in the US. DDMSPLUS is aimed at the office products industry and its functionality includes order management, purchasing, inventory, business and sales analytics, sales and marketing, and e-commerce. Mobile applications, CRM, delivery management tools and surveillance services are available as add-ons if required.

The second package is known as Red Falcon and aims to provide ERP and e-commerce together in one package. It’s directed at dealers that want to expand their business onto the web. The package is ‘Software as a Service’, or SaaS-based, and can be accessed from any internet connection, including a smartphone. 

Essentially, ECi’s platforms allow OP dealers to run their businesses aided by today’s technology. The ERP systems help automate the entire process from order entry through to purchasing, receiving and product delivery, while the e-commerce platform provides dealers with an online ordering system for their customers.

Find out more: op.ecisolutions.com