New MIDaS Interface Designed to Boost Online Retailing Efficiency
A new software module developed by Cam Systems for its MIDaS program is designed to help retailers improve the efficiency and accuracy of their online sales. The MIDaS tyre retail and wholesale stock management system now handles somewhere in the region of £140 million worth of product transactions, equating to more than 3 million tyre each year. Using the same system, Cam says it has responded to growing market demand by developing a B2C (business to consumer) solution for website stock, pricing and order processing functions.
Typically, website stock and pricing details are entered manually using a spreadsheet system, which is extremely time intensive, prone to inaccuracies and needs to be repeated on a regular basis as pricing and stock details constantly change. The MIDaS B2C module makes that process redundant as it is fully integrated with the Cameo operating system, which allows it to set up and export product and price data direct to the website. This is a vastly more efficient and accurate process than a paper-based system and gives retailers complete control of data which appears online.
The module can also identify and process orders placed on the website automatically, on a 24-7 basis. This is particularly useful when large numbers of orders are placed outside of standard business opening times, evenings and weekends in particular. Without the MIDaS facility orders have to be manually processed and stock re-ordered, which is another time intensive function.
Flexibility is a further advantage of the module as it can be applied to websites that have been built for retailers by local suppliers, not just those that have been designed and produced by Cam Systems.
Mike Allen, Cam Systems’ managing director, explains further: “Over the past 18 months a significant number of our customers have set up websites to expand their business potential and have asked us to develop a program which manages and controls data entry and order processing. MIDaS was already providing similar functionality for the B2B sector of the market so it was a natural progression to develop it for use in B2C website applications,” he said.
Although more and more businesses now have a presence on the web, Mike Allen views the online tyre market as another element of a company’s sales and marketing armoury, rather than as a sea change in the way the retail market operates.
“Consumers are using the internet as their first choice for information gathering which means if your business doesn’t appear online you will be missing out on awareness and potentially sales,” he says. “My own view is that online tyre sales have increased in the past couple of years, but they will not grow dramatically to replace traditional offline retailing.
“One of the main benefits of more retailers going online is the facility for consumers to research price and product choice and make an appointment from the comfort of their homes, at any time of their choosing. Even if the product is not actually purchased online, a website presence can definitely play its part in growing a business, “adds Mike Allen.