Our systems are the front entry point of customised programs for leading IT Brands. The portal application is customisable to achieve the level of front-end control over requests that the brand’s ‘Go To’ market strategy calls for.
Whether your target customer is a commercial business, a public sector organisation, a school or college.
To get your Brand into the business for the first time, it will probably take an onsite evaluation to meet the procurement team’s needs.
To get your latest products into an established account, it will probably take an onsite evaluation to encourage the account to put your product on their preferred buy list.
To get your product involved with a new project, it will probably take an onsite evaluation to trial out the concept.
To get your product in front of customers and resellers, it will take a system very similar to an evaluation process to get equipment ready for trade shows and exhibitions.
If your products are targeted at consumer:
To assist any online sales organisations that you are doing business with, you be asked to give the evaluation units. This is so that they can do all they need to do get your equipment set up on their e-commerce systems.
To get your brand visible you probably need an evaluation process targeted at press and key journalists. This will give your products visibility to customers looking for positive reference information.
To get your brand visible you probably need an evaluation process targeted at getting your product into product placement situations, using visibility in TV, film and published media to get you brand visibility. Apple certainly thought so with their ‘Buzz’ program.
To get visibility in retail you probably need an equipment management process to support your retail training teams.
What you really need is the Evaluation Team as a partner. The #1 supplier of evaluation services and equipment management services, supporting the Sales and Marketing teams of leading IT Brands.
This is our Toolkit
Branded Web Portals
Loan Management Systems
Our ADDEMS system is the powerhouse of our service deliverable. It has an online front-end for the interaction with evaluating customers and a fine tuned request management system optimised for control, responsiveness and effectiveness.
The logistics platform for an evaluation service has to cater for some unique requirements. Equipment is flowing back in to our warehouses from customer evaluation as fast as it is flowing out.
It’s crucial that the logistics systems and processes make sure there is 100% control and that equipment is being managed through all the checking stages. This ensures that the evaluating customers always get top quality equipment. No-one does this better than the evaluation team. It’s not easy, and no-one should think that it is.
We have an obsessive approach to making sure that each item of equipment is managed so that the evaluating customer always gets an ‘as new’ experience of our vendor’s product. For each request each inventory item shipped is checked before shipment and checked again thoroughly at the end of every loan. Our ADDEMS system has the status of every item instantly available and the history log for every piece of equipment and all checks completed.
We will not ship substandard equipment. In addition to managing the quality of the product itself, we put equal effort in to make sure the unit is complete with all its in-box components in place, and to make sure that equipment is packaged to the highest standard. Our 20 years of running evaluation programs for leading IT Brands has enabled our long serving team of engineers to collectively build up a comprehensive repertoire of skills and experience of almost every IT technology.
Warehousing & Inventory Management
The needs of an evaluation service create unique requirements so the evaluation team has organised it’s warehousing to cater for flowing equipment through all the checking processes. The inventory management system makes sure that the processes automatically drive status updates in the detailed inventory records. It sounds mundane, but these process design choices are crucial for making the delivery of an extremely reliable service in a notoriously challenging service area.
We understand that the evaluation activity we manage on behalf of our IT Vendors is at the heart of their business winning efforts. We understand that this means there is responsibility for us to make available clear information on the process and that information has to be clear, easily accessible and incisive.
We have a clear strategic commitment to provide multi-layered access to any information we have. This may be detailed information about a specific evaluation, or management review information about the loan activity over a period of time, the level of equipment utilisation and turnaround time details. In fact, this could be information on any topic.
Our systems have been structured to cater for taking in key structure information from our vendor clients (e.g. coding that groups people into teams and inventory into product pines), so our aim is always to provide information that vendors can interpret against their own objectives and targets.
Providing an evaluation service can be costly. It’s crucially important that all costs are well managed and controlled, and they can be. The key cost elements are:
- The inventory write down costs involved with taking new equipment, and allowing them to be used by customers. Each program we handle needs a specific plan to define how this is going to be handled.
- For Printers, the inventory write down has to also reflect the amount that consumables are depleted. These costs could include putting replacement consumables into a machine because the originals have been fully depleted during the evaluation activity that the unit has completed.
- The Transport costs associated with making deliveries and collections. Each program has to fund these charges.
- The Infrastructure costs associated with providing warehousing to store products and manage them in and out on loan. Engineering facilities to check out equipment to ensure the product quality, and the systems that make the process deliverable. Each program we run has to recover a share of the infrastructure costs, it’s our aim to push the activity levels as high as possible to spread these costs as thinly as possible.
- The Resource costs, particularly the dedicated resources in the account management team.
Funding options broadly divide into two types:
Loan Fee approach
A ratecard is put in place to enable a simple costing of “Standard” loans, dealing with simple variables, e.g. the number of units shipped and simple transport options.
A “standard” loan would probably be defined as involving a next day delivery that doesn’t involve specialist transport (e.g. not an international shipment). There are no onsite set-up or specialist services. Generally the methodology for handling additional costs is to organise a process for making sure all non-standard loan costs are approved in advance, and recovered, usually using a monthly or quarterly billing process.
In the loan fee approach, the vendor typically accepts the full responsibility for equipment devaluation costs. Purchase Discount funding approach. Many vendors find it easier to construct a program where the funding is just part of the overall brand margin management. In this method, the evaluation team agrees to buy a controlled amount of equipment, at a deep purchase discount. They agree to hold that equipment in an inventory pool for a defined period of time and complete as many loan requests as possible from that pool in that time.
The purchase discount agreed has to cover: the inventory depreciation, the loan fee costs from multiple loans (based on an idea about the number of loans each unit might complete), some recovery for the cost of the sales activity, and finally, some recovery of risks of not selling the equipment and some margin if it is. Obviously, the setting of the purchase discount is a key commercial decision and it is worth setting an expectation that the level will be much higher than any “Channel” discount.
Selling off equipment that has finished being used for evaluation activity is a key way of bringing some funding back into the process. This is a crucial part of programs that are based on a purchase discount funding approach. We have two routes to market. The first, ADSales, is a distribution sales operation, selling to an array of the lower tier of Reseller organisations. ExDemoDirect is an e-commerce site targeting end user customers with a used equipment offer.