By Paul Constantine, president of ScanSource POS and Barcode
As the channel continues to evolve and grow, it’s more important than ever resellers position themselves as trusted partners to their end-user customers so they can further build successful relationships. One way resellers have added value to their end-user relationships is by providing services that enhance efficiencies and take time out of the order to delivery process. One such service revolutionizing the support resellers provide is the configuration of the solution before it arrives at the end user’s location.
Many successful resellers have long been providing this service to their customers. The challenge of delivering configuration services lies in having the ability to manage the peaks and valleys of demand. Having staff available to manage peaks, while retaining this same staff through the valleys, can prove challenging. ScanSource developed its Custom Configuration Center (CCC) for the sole purpose of helping resellers manage the surges in their business without having to add additional resources. The goal is to provide these services in an efficient and cost-effective manner for our partners so they can focus on delivering other valuable services to their customers.
The CCC uses a highly skilled, technically trained team to design, develop, and implement the right solutions for resellers — from server hardware and software integration, customer reporting, labeling and kitting to configuration, testing and more, helping resellers maximize their resources while minimizing time to deployment.
The CCC delivers productivity and cost savings in three distinct ways:
- Elimination of Shipping Costs — Instead of shipping a product from ScanSource to the reseller and then from that reseller to the end user, the CCC removes a step and ships from ScanSource directly (on behalf of the reseller) to the end location. This is possible because the configuration of the solution takes place at the CCC, rather than with the reseller. Ultimately, this saves a step and saves money for both the reseller and the end user providing functions at lower costs.
- Reallocation of Assets — When the CCC is used to configure solutions, resellers’ employees will have more time to focus on other, more profitable activities. Engineers, who historically would be tasked with putting together a solution could instead focus on providing technical or product support directly to their end user customer; sales teams could be enhanced, delivering a higher level of sales or customer support instead of spending time configuring a solution.
- Improved Cash Flow — When a customer purchases a solution, the timer for when the payment on that product is due immediately starts ticking. When the CCC is used, an invoice is not issued until the item has shipped. This means instead of the product being shipped to the reseller prior to configuration, the product is already configured and on its way to the end location. Since time is no longer spent configuring and shipping, this shorter, more efficient timeline increases the customer’s credit terms. Ultimately, the CCC improves the cash flow for resellers because they are now able to get paid sooner.
Using the Custom Configuration Center provides added benefits in addition to cost reduction, such as helping streamline efficiency through shipping methods and quality control methods. When solutions are shipped from the CCC, the expert team is able to ship fewer products and components thereby reducing shipping time and costs, while also providing a completely “ready-to-go” solution straight to the end location. This process further helps reduce resellers’ engineering and project management time. Additionally, for resellers concerned about outsourcing their customer service, the CCC’s teams are trained in quality assurance measures, including verification, defined solution testing and product scanning, to ensure end users receive a properly assembled and fully functional solution.
Overall, custom configuration is a business tool that should not be overlooked. Its services are integral to helping resellers both logistically, and financially, by delivering solutions with a decreased turnaround time, improved product quality, and greater ease of use sealing the reseller’s role as a valuable partner to their end-user customers.