Ingram Micro Canada has put its credit tracking online as the distributor continues to develop more services for its reseller base.
According to Rose McKinnon, director of credit at Mississauga, Ont.-based Ingram Micro Canada, customers were asking for this Web-initiative and the company
saw a need to provide financial information to its reseller base on an around the clock basis.
“”The nature of our business has changed in the last few years,”” McKinnon said. “”The need evolved when Ingram Micro and the other distributors were doing a lot of drop ships to end users. Our customers are now able to view their bill on our Web site (www.ingrammicro.ca) and bill their customers much quicker, which helps them with their cash flow,”” she said.
In the past, statements were usually faxed over to the reseller. But, McKinnon said that today’s VAR wants to access information at their leisure and they want to manipulate the data as well.
Resellers with accounts at Ingram Micro Canada can now view statements, invoices, proof of delivery, serial number information, and returns all online at their convenience.
McKinnon added, that invoices will still be mailed to customers and they will still have terms such as 30 days to pay. “”This is a service to help them run their own shop,”” she said.
Ingram Micro tested this Web-initiative through a pilot program using its VentureTech network across Canada. What they found was that inquiries coming into Ingram Micro were reduced significantly, McKinnon said.
“”It has been night and day with the reduction of calls into Ingram Micro. And, customers can see how much credit line they have. The statement gives you credit line, what their balances are and what is coming up to be paid,”” she said.
About one third of the VentureTech network participated in the online account statement test pilot totaling 43 members across Canada.
Since launching the Web statements in June, Ingram Micro has nearly doubled the number of resellers using the service.
Henry Prochorowicz, a credit manager at Ingram Micro Canada, said that this Web-initiative will take the guessing out of knowing when the product was delivered.
“”They can track their proof of delivery so they can bill their customers accordingly,”” he said.
The program is free and can be accessed by calling 1-800-668-3450 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also making news at Ingram Micro, the distributor received Microsoft’s distributor awards for Top Open License Marketshare and Open License Growth at their Channel Partner awards presentation last week.