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iTouch gets TWL Sales Trucking

iTouch gets TWL Sales Trucking

iTouch Press release, Christchurch NZ, 24 March 04:

Transport Wholesale Ltd (TWL), a division of Gough, Gough and Hamer, has this month rolled out a new mobile sales system that promises to save the company truckloads in administration costs.

All thirty-one sales staff from TWL's 20 nationwide offices have been equipped with an iPaq Pocket PC, a GPRS bluetooth mobile phone and a wireless sales order processing system developed by iTouch. With benefits already becoming evident, including reduced credit notes and costs per sales transaction, the new iSell system is fast confirming its potential return on investment.

Some months ago TWL accepted that something had to be done about their increasing sales paperwork. Purchase orders completed by their expanding sales team were causing an administrative nightmare, with frequent errors in pricing and availability of the company's extensive inventory of 20,000 truck and trailer, automotive and marine parts.

Until recently all orders were filled-in by hand at the customer's site and then faxed from the sales vehicle to the local office where customer service staff would re-enter the details into the Navision system. The process was inefficient, laborious and prone to human error.

The Challenge

Mistakes detected by the customer service staff were rectified by phone to both the sales reps and the customers. Which meant that a number of credit notes and product returns were issued, and some very expensive cell phone bills. From a customer service point of view alone this process needed a major overhaul.

Grant Adam, National Sales Manager at TWL, desperately wanted a more efficient and less costly parts order processing system. But the task of finding a solution proved a stumbling block, as no one knew where to start looking.

The problem was relegated to the 'too hard' basket until Stephen Nicholls, Gough Group IT Manager approached iTouch partner, Computerland, who introduced to TWL the concept of a paperless mobile computer system for their sales force.

Raymond Stanion, Computerland Senior Account Manager explains that business mobility is proven technology that offers huge potential, "Compared to most IT projects the return on investment is obvious and can be realised in a relatively short period (usually between 6 to 9 months). It is important, however, that companies follow best practice procedures - planning, testing and deployment - and work with expert providers who are well established in the market."

"iTouch has led the mobility market for many years now. Their iSell application is easy to demonstrate and the benefits are obvious. Post rollout support is an important focus and iTouch responds to all mobility calls to the prime Computerland help desk. It's good to see a great partnership working well and delivering genuine benefits to mutual clients like TWL."

The iSell Solution

"When we gave TWL a live system demonstration of the iSell application they were keen to have the system in place as soon as possible," said Dave Ffowcs Williams, iTouch Business Development Director."

"iSell is a wireless application that is designed to streamline sales order processing. In TWL's case the system runs on iPaq Pocket PCs over the GPRS network. This allows their sales team to sell and track the availability of parts knowing that the system is always connected and integrating data in real time (coverage dependent) with the office's

Navision system."

Grant Adam confirmed that seeing the demonstration was an eye-opening experience. "iTouch clearly know their stuff and we have full confidence in them. They have a highly efficient development team who have been, at all times, proactive and responsive to our specific requirements. They worked diligently and speedily to customise iSell for us, whilst Ernst & Young delivered the data integration with our Navision system," he said.

Results

In November last year, when customisation and integration was completed, five TWL sales reps tested the new system over a period of 10 weeks.

"The trial was successful and the response from the reps using it were very favourable," said Grant. "With easy to follow touch screen data entry and a simple synchronisation of updated information from the PC every morning, the wireless Pocket PC system couldn't be more user-friendly. After only a few hours of training sales reps were out in the field processing orders. They are now totally dependent on the new system and have no wish to go back to filling-in paperwork."

"As soon as the system rolled out it became an invaluable business tool. iTouch has more than delivered to expectation. The basic application was a very close fit and required little in the way of customisation at the Pocket PC end," he said.

With roll out completed TWL's paper war has come to an end. Customers love the new technology and more efficient service, and especially like the fact that current stock and pricing is instantly visible and accurate.

Business Benefits and ROI

Before customisation began TWL calculated that the business benefits it expects to return from the iSell system include:

* 30% reduction in cell phone costs with instant remote access to actual stock levels and pricing;

* 60% reduction in the number of credit notes issued as a result of errors caused by mistakes with incorrect part numbers, prices and data entry from hand written sales orders;

* Reduced cost per transaction by removing the double-handling of sales orders, the number of returns and credit notes, and eliminating the freight costs associated with returns;

* Improved customer service with faster confirmation of stock availability and cost, more accurate delivery of product and efficient processing of orders and customer enquiries;

* And increased sales, as the system is designed to encourage the sales reps to promote certain product specials.

"While it's hard to calculate at this early stage what the ROI will be in financial terms, so far it does look very promising. I'd say that we could expect to have a positive payback in tangible savings within 6 months," confirmed Stephen. "The iTouch system is a big competitive advantage for us and one that we hope will lead to increased sales. None of our competitors have this technology."

iTouch Business Mobility

iTouch Business Mobility (www.itouchmobility.com) is a world-leading and multiple award-winning company that specialises in the development and implementation of mobile business systems.

The iSell application is one of a family of supply chain wireless solutions that iTouch offers. Others include iDeliver and iService that dominate the markets in Freight & Logistics and Service Engineering. These innovative mobility solutions are enabling businesses to work more efficiently and competitively by extending the enterprise system to the mobile workforce.

iTouch is listed on the London Stock market and is a member of the Techmark 100 index. We are an international organisation with offices in London, Sydney, Melbourne, Christchurch and Auckland.

Transport Wholesale Ltd

Transport Wholesale Ltd (www.twlnz.co.nz), a division of Gough, Gough and Hamer Ltd, was founded in 1966 and is today the national industry leader in transport equipment. The company is a specialist supplier to heavy transport, light trailer, auto electrical and the automotive industries.

We have 20 branches nationwide where our infield sales reps play a pivotal role in meeting our customer needs. Customer service and ongoing product training is a core value for our business.

ENDS


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