Azlan has joined the growing band of distributors offering e-commerce systems with the launch of Azlan.com last week.
Barrie Morgans, chairman of Azlan, said one reason the site has taken slightly longer than others to launch is because the system is properly integrated into Azlan's back-end systems.
"Resellers will have access to our own systems; there is no prospect of false inventory showing," he said.
Morgans said although he was confident of Azlan.com's success, the distributor would not set revenue targets until it saw how much business the site generated. "The last thing I want is my sales people trying to persuade customers to use something they don't want," he said.
He added that the practice of negotiating deals by phone will probably continue. "I cannot change the way sales people work overnight," he said.
Azlan will offer a loyalty scheme to encourage resellers to use the system.
Michael Yates, operations manager at Azlan customer Harrier Group, said such systems are helpful for tracking orders and checking stock, but he would still want to talk to people at Azlan. "It's all very well for ordering commodity items, but at a more complex level I want a personal relationship, not a virtual one."
Richard Fella, managing director of Frog Networking, said: "We use Computacenter Distribution's online system and it saves a lot of time hanging on the phone to check stock, pricing and order progress. Every distributor should be doing this."
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