This January, Onetrail started a program with the aim to collaborate more strongly with customers on developing new products and new features for existing products. This way, Onetrail wants to engage more with customers and help them improve and simplify processes. The program has turned out well after a smooth start, according to Bram Sauer, Supply Chain Manager at reseller ACES Direct, and Jeroen de Wit, E-commerce manager at distributor Tech Data, who are participating in the programs. Together with other Onetrail customers, they joined the customer panel on BTO ordering (Build to Order ordering).
BTO – a process in which IT end user products are fully configured to the user’s wishes – is an important issue for distributors and resellers as it requires much manual work and is sensitive to errors. Many documents go back and forth and every change, such as an adapted price for a specific part, has impact on the entire process.
Bram Sauer at ACES Direct: “In addition, this type of ordering is becoming more common at large tenders. If we are able to automate this process further, it does not only contribute to a higher customer satisfaction through improved delivery reliability, but also to more efficiency.” Jeroen de Wit at Tech Data agrees and points at the relative complexity of these types of orders and the advantages of automating the process. “For our customers that order via the Onetrail network there is a lot to gain if this would also be possible for BTO orders.”
“BTO ordering is becoming more common at large tenders.”
The customer panel on BTO ordering was launched in February. The participants met face to face at their first meeting but had to switch quickly to online because of the corona crisis. Nonetheless, the panel members worked hard on a meticulous process description that formed the basis for the BTO order module to be developed.
Using the ‘1-2-4-all’-methodology for the panel proved to be very useful, according to Cor Zijlstra, Product Manager at Onetrail. “This starts with the participants taking one minute to come up with as many ideas or solutions for the problem as possible by themselves. They write these down on post-its. Next, the ideas and solutions are discussed by two participants in two minutes and after that for four minutes by four participants. Then, all solutions are presented to the entire group and every participant has two minutes to optimize the process image. This continues until everyone is out of ideas. This way, input is based on the expertise and knowledge of every participant. And that is exactly the goal of our customer panels. All final input is put in a model. Next step is to develop the module and roll it out to customers.”
“It is good to see that companies, that are competitors in everyday life, can work together on this subject that affects us all.”
Bram Sauer and Jeroen de Wit are excited about the first steps that have been made. “It is good to see that companies, that are competitors in everyday life, can work together on this subject that affects us all. This may well be typical for our industry, where people are very willing to communicate.” Jeroen fully agrees. “Our panel on BTO ordering has taken some bold steps and has come up with something very worthwhile. Further development will show how the module works in real life. In my opinion, the customer panel is a positive initiative with many opportunities for the future.”
Share an idea or want to know more?
When you are a Onetrail customer, you can let us know your idea or suggestion via the Share an Idea option in the Onetrail service desk.
Over here you can follow the developments of the BTO ordering project and the detailed proposals.