Last year, ERA launched ERA EVERYWHERE, an online ordering system for over 8,000 Fab&Fix and ERA products. With next-day-delivery and a myriad of other features including the facility to review orders up to two years old, ERA has seen a significant take up of ERA EVERYWHERE amongst its customer base. Will Butler, ERA marketing and innovation director isn’t surprised by its adoption and with plans to evolve the functionality of the service even further, GGP talks to Will and Martin Grant, director at Newton Abbot based fabricator, Omega Trade Frame to find out why online ordering is the future.
Will, ERA previewed ERA EVERYWHERE at FIT Show 2016, has the scale of adoption been matched by the interest at the Show?
“Adoption figures have far surpassed the interest at the Show. We’ve worked hard to make sure that customers have been able to ‘click and order’ in the most efficient way, recognising that a potential barrier to any online ordering system - whether that’s in a consumer or trade environment - is how slick that first-order experience feels. When we launched ERA EVERYWHERE we were keen to make sure that the functionality was really simple, that approach was absolutely right.”
Martin let’s turn to you. You were an early adopter of ERA EVERYWHERE, why does online ordering work for you?
“Like many fabricators we’re incredibly busy so we’re always looking to improve our efficiency. We’re strong advocates of Fab&Fix product and knowing how technically excellent the hardware is we had absolutely no reservations in ordering online. There’s no question it’s improved our ordering efficiency, not only in the time it takes to place an order but also in stock-terms. With overnight delivery, we can place an order at 2pm confident that our hardware will arrive the next day. As a fabricator, our reputation is very much centred around our ability to turn jobs round quickly and ERA EVERYWHERE gives us peace of mind that we can deliver on that commitment.”
Will, it seems relatively straight-forward, but online ordering won’t be right for every business, how do you respond to that?
“ERA EVERYWHERE wasn’t developed to replace our human contact points, far from it, it simply recognises that in much the same way some people prefer to visit the High Street, others will prefer to shop online - it’s vital that we replicate that capability in the fenestration industry. Many of our customers run incredibly lean operations and if we can add to their efficiency by making ordering more convenient, at a time of the day, or through a device that suits them, then that’s another ERA advantage. ERA EVERYWHERE is only a few months old and our plan is to evolve the site’s functionality even further, much the same way we understand our customers and their businesses, we can reflect this knowledge through ERA EVERYWHERE so we build in bespoke offers and deliver customer specific information. There’s a lot to go at, but feedback from customers like Omega Trade Frames validates our decision to offer an online service.”
Martin, just switching back to you, in real terms, as ERA was already a trusted supplier did it influence your decision to adopt ERA EVERYWHERE?
“Trust and confidence in the supplier has to come first, we’ve worked with Fab&Fix for many years so we know the business very well, it’s important to us to know that we still have the personal contact with ERA, but it’s very much on our terms - if I want to talk about a technical element of a product or ask a question I can still pick the phone up and do that. But there’s no question, we value the convenience of ERA EVERYWHERE, it’s improved our stock efficiency and ordering process.”
Music to your ears Will?
“Absolutely. Our whole ethos is about total security, not only in our product range, but in the way we do business. Our aim is to stay ahead, and giving our customers the option to do business with us in the way that suits them best achieves exactly that.”
Register now to sign up for an ERA Everywhere online acccount.