Archive for the ‘Quote Software’ Category

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See the All New iCreate Software for Westcoast!

January 30, 2017

iCreateWe are delighted to announce the latest release of our iCreate Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software for Westcoast Distribution. The Software is now bigger and better than ever. It has never been easier for Resellers to sell the entire HP PC range to their customers’ exact requirements.

Here are just a few of the reasons Resellers should be using iCreate from Westcoast Distribution:

  • Configure the HP Workstation range
  • Configure the NEW HP Premium range
  • Configure by graphics card
  • Export validated quotes to Excel for upload directly into HP’s bid system
  • Save and name popular configurations for future use
  • Full slot configuration and accessory selection
  • Maximise your margin opportunity

And best of all…it is simple and easy to navigate!

Use the Westcoast iCreate tool today for all your HP business. Visit Westcoast iCreate.

iCreate is developed exclusively for Westcoast Distribution by channelcentral.net. channelcentral specialise in quotation software to enable the IT Channel Worldwide.

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How can you manage multiple Vendors and your entire Channel more efficiently?

November 30, 2016

email2_09Configuring, Pricing, and Quoting products from multiple Vendors can be a challenge for any Distributor or Reseller. Now you can manage them with a single tool and shorten your quote-to-order cycle, ensure quote accuracy and align your go-to-market strategies.

Multi-Vendor Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software can manage all of your product data feeds, configuration rules, pricing and stock for all of your chosen Vendors’ product lines.

With Multi-Channel capability it can be used by your internal sales/technical/product teams, your customers and even your customers’ own customers!

Freebird CPQ Software, developed by channelcentral.net is a service which offers Multi-Vendor, Multi-Channel and multiple product types too.  Watch our latest video to learn more about Freebird.

To discuss Freebird, contact us today. CPQ solutions from channelcentral will save your company money on IT expenditure, whilst increasing the efficiency of your sales teams and your eCommerce reach with your customers.

Visit http://www.channelcentral.net/freebird.asp

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You want to show stock in your Configurator. That must be easy right?

October 24, 2016

shutterstock_17837185For ex-stock sales showing stock (inventory) in a Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tool offers a better chance of a “right first time” quotation. In Sales, how often has a solution been created but has to be re-worked and re-worked at great expense because it can’t be shipped in time?

Customer expectations are high and in some geographies same or next day deliveries are considered normal. One of the reasons factory configuration (aka configure to order) business models that were popular at the start of the millennium in the IT Channel are not as common anymore.

Surfacing stock should be easy. With our experience we know it’s not as easy as you’d think.

CPQ: a separate system
It’s very rare for an ERP system to be able to offer CPQ capabilities that exactly match the business or technical complexity. So stock has to be “fed” to the CPQ system. Today that almost certainly means a web service as even hourly text files can be out of date. A business turning over stock every two weeks in volume or value terms is shipping a lot of products per hour and it only takes 1 part from 10 to be sold to invalidate a configuration.

Web services are real-time and with the best programming techniques stock figures can cascade in once a page has loaded, to improve performance and handle complex configurations that have hundreds or even thousands of parts.

Pulling stock through in tandem with price makes sense so this is often a single process.

Stock is Stock
Well surprisingly not. At any stage a Manufacturer or Distributor may have orders placed on their suppliers so there’s what is in stock, plus what is on order. Then add in expected due dates so the user can accurately forecast when a configuration can be shipped. Sometimes products in constraint have “back orders” or “forward due date orders”. So the due quantity isn’t the amount on order it’s the amount after back/forward orders.

Imagine losing a sales opportunity today for 50 units when you have 5000 units arriving in the warehouse tomorrow.

Bundles
The concept of bundles is usually associated with promotional discounts so buy these 5 products together and get a better price. In addition, bundles also exist where “large deal” price lists are in place where all products must be ordered from one supplier on a single invoice. It doesn’t stop there though: for large geographies stock exists in multiple warehouses so to build a configuration, all the items have to be in the same location otherwise the shipping is a) more expensive b) slower. Lastly, some countries have complex tax laws and to pay the “correct” tax, products have to ship from specific locations.

Virtual Stock & Electronic Licenses
If you are a Reseller that carries some stock but can buy from multiple sources, you have the advantage of being able to show “aggregate” stock numbers but be careful not to fall foul to the Bundle rules that may be in play. Also some products are ALWAYS in stock as they are basically licenses or services delivered via an email. So your user interface needs to make it clear that they are ALWAYS available not ALWAYS out of stock.

Visual Aids
New word for the dictionary: shippability. Show products in the basket that can ship now in green and those that can’t in red. OK that makes sense. Especially if the “electronically” delivered parts are also green. The user can instantly see the entire configuration is shippable. You will also want your CPQ tool to update shippabillity in a quote that was created 2 weeks ago. If a product can’t be stock refreshed warn the user.

Still think showing stock is easy? Well it’s not impossible. All of channelcentral’s CPQ tools cope well with ALL of the complexities laid out here. If you are having issues managing stock for your Channel contact us to hear about the different CPQ tools that we can offer.

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Come and see us at GPC 2016, Boston, USA!

September 2, 2016

12th-14th September 2016.

channelcentral is delighted to announce that it is a sponsor at this year’s GPC event for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. The event is being held in Boston from 12th-14th September and is a joint event for the two organisations.

The GPC event is an opportunity for Partners, Distributors and Resellers from around the World to get together and discuss the latest developments in technology and drive Channel growth and engagement.

channelcentral is right at the very heart of this event because of its iQuote Configure, Price, Quote tool. iQuote is used in over 60 countries around the World for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. products, enabling the Channel to quote solutions with ease.

If you are attending GPC this year then why not come and visit us?! We will be available throughout the 3 day show for meetings to discuss growing your Channel business with iQuote and our other services.

Find us at Stand SB117 in the Showcase Lounge within the Technology Showcase on Tuesday 13th September 12.30-14.00. Alternatively, arrange to meet us elsewhere at the event by emailing interested@channelcentral.net

We look forward to seeing you there!

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channelcentral opens US Office!

August 22, 2016

As we embark on our tenth year of trading, channelcentral is delighted to announce that it is opening its third office – this time in Boston, Massachusetts, adding the USA to our two existing UK office locations.

Americas

This is great news for channelcentral clients based in US, Canada and Latin America.  We have many customers in this region using our iQuote Service for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc.

This investment is about improving the ease of doing business with channelcentral, providing a gateway into the value we offer through iQuote, Freebird and our custom CPQ solutions.

Tod Johnson, formerly of HP, is joining channelcentral and will be running the Americas business as Client Director. Tod is very experienced in the market, has a great network of contacts and really understands channelcentral’s differentiation and service proposition.

We asked Tod his thoughts on joining channelcentral and this is what he said:

“Being a part of a company like channelcentral, with such tremendous capabilities to drive sales across the technology spectrum is incredibly exciting. After 25 years in IT sales looking for the perfect tools and services that simplify, automate, and bring efficiencies to the labor of the sales process; I’ve not only found them, I now get to carry them in my bag and represent them having become a member of the channelcentral team. The tools and services of channelcentral worked wonders within my own sales experience; and believing in the channelcentral offering from the foundation of personal experience gives me a level of credibility with clients not often found in a career. Establishing operations in the USA is a great opportunity for channelcentral to expand and improve the already exemplary experience they offer clients in the Americas, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

As Tod joins us in the USA, we look forward to growing our market in the Americas region and working much closer with our existing customers.

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How can CPQ Software help your marketing teams?

April 14, 2016

It shouldn’t be all about the sales teams! The marketing folk tend to get forgotten when the industry talks about Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software and the benefits that it brings. The truth is, there are probably even more benefits to a Marketing Manager than a Sales Manager. Here are the key ones:

  • Return on Investment (ROI) – Time and time again Marketing teams are asked to show their return on investment and it’s not always easy to do. Seeing your quote volumes increase YoY after adopting CPQ Software with detailed reporting not only demonstrates your ROI but breaks it down to a granular level.
  • Promotions – Ensure your promotions are not missed or forgotten with auto-add technology in your CPQ Software. Detailed reporting will show you the typical configuration types for market insight.
  • Go-to-Market Strategy –  Control exactly when, what, where and who sees your new products and promotions.
  • Market Research – With real-time, detailed reporting find out exactly when, what and where your customers are quoting for valuable segmentation data for your next promotions and campaigns.
  • Advertising – The most targeted adverts you’ll ever run! Get right to the heart of your market by advertising in your CPQ Software or better still, if your CPQ Software is Multi-Vendor like Freebird, why not sell advertising space and make some money?!
  • New Product Introductions – A new and additional route to your customers. The greatest value here is for Channel Marketing teams where Multi-Channel CPQ Software such as Freebird are used. Add your new product at host level and release it to every instance of your tool and instantly you’re market-wide!
  • Upsell – Something we are all asked to do more of! It has never been easier with auto-add features  as well as recommended options.
  • Brand – Beat your competition with faster quote-to-order cycles and lower error rate (less returns) for a reputation all marketing teams would be proud of.

To learn more about CPQ Software, how it can integrate into all your internal systems and how it can help your marketing (and sales!) teams visit our website or contact us.

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channelcentral Apprenticeship Programme

March 17, 2016

Investing in young people.

Apprenticeships are work-based training Programmes, designed with channelcentral, which combine on and off the job learning and development activities. They are used to develop employees who are in new job roles including higher level roles. channelcentral is pleased to be able to offer an Apprenticeship Programme and have had several staff join as school leavers from age 16 onwards.

Apprenticeship Programmes are operated in collaboration with the government, training providers and employers and offer a blend of classroom training and workplace experience under an Apprenticeship Agreement. channelcentral work with the training provider to select and build the workplace modules to meet both the needs of the business and the academic/development demands of the formal Programme. Some modules are compulsory and some are discretionary or selected to meet a point level. Throughout the Programme, Apprentices are coached and mentored by an external assessor to build toward a formal qualification.

What are the benefits of an Apprenticeship Programme?

• Apprentice has structured training and work experience that adds to their employability
• channelcentral has the opportunity to train young people to do specific tasks and grow within the company
• Apprenticeships offer a more vocationally focused route for 16+ young workers than A levels or Uni/college, ideally suited to people who are less interested in academia
• Early productivity is common, a young person with the right attitude learns very quickly

Why consider an Apprenticeship Programme with channelcentral?

• There is availability for at least one apprentice per year and the business would hope to be able to offer successful apprentices a full time post
• Apprentices are paid more than the national minimum
• channelcentral is a growing company working with some of the most valuable brands in over 60 countries
• The teams are developing industry leading solutions such as Configure/ Price/ Quote Software

channelcentral has now been offering the Apprenticeship Programme for 4 years. We have had much success with the Programme and have been able to offer full time posts. David Clapp, a Product Manager for channelcentral has been through the Programme and has shared his thoughts:

Connexions

“I went into Connexions in 2011 and was presented with a list of apprenticeships. I chose the channelcentral one as it was the role I was most interested in. I had learnt very quickly that employers look for experience when hiring, which is a problem when looking for your first full-time job. The Programme was the perfect way to gain this experience and learn new skills whilst getting it.

During the Apprenticeship I was given work to complete via an online portal and this was marked by an assessor. The assessor would come and visit me at channelcentral every 4 weeks, and put together a plan to be completed by their next visit. I would also have a health and safety review every 3 months.

The Apprenticeship Programme has benefitted me through being able to learn whilst on the job and gain the experience I need. I had more on my CV after I had completed the course which helps for future job searching. I learnt how to work in an office environment and new skills to apply them to the job I was doing.

I had a review once my Apprenticeship was completed and I was then offered a full-time job at channelcentral. I would definitely recommend the Apprenticeship Programme. It has been a big benefit to me personally.”

David is now enjoying a career in Product Management at channelcentral and has recently had a new Apprentice join his team. Louis Robson has been telling us, as someone who is new to the Programme, why it appealed to him:

3aaa“I heard about the channelcentral opportunity from a recruiting agent named 3aaa, who are based in Chelmsford and I was interested in doing the Programme as it offers me new skills.
After completing the Programme I will have learnt new skills relating to Product Management and gained knowledge in channelcentral Services such as iQuote and the products within it like Workstations, Laptops and Thin Clients. I would definitely recommend others to do this Programme – this is a very committed and determined company with a desire to succeed.”

channelcentral is now looking forward to supporting Louis through the rest of his Apprenticeship Programme with us and welcoming more Apprentices into the business in the future. For more information on careers at channelcentral visit our careers page.