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SmartEtailing to launch data collection service for suppliers, dealers in late fall

Published January 29, 2015

PHOENIX, Ariz. (BRAIN) — To speed the flow of real-time sales data among dealers and suppliers, SmartEtailing will launch what Mark Graff, SmartEtailing’s co-founder, calls Industry Data Exchange.

Graff told some 200 attendees at the IBD Summit Thursday that the service will be available in late fall. It would provide confidentiality to both dealers and suppliers who wish to participate and share sales data through the program. 

"Participating in this service represents a change in the status quo," Graff said. "Many of us have been fearful of sharing information. We have to recognize that we're all in the same tribe and the danger is out there. We can protect our interests and offer the improved customer experience we all want by working together,” he said.

The proposed service would:

•  Be a secure online dashboard where retailers, brands and distributors are sources for the data.

•  It’s an opt-in service. All data is confidential and is only shared with the specific partners chosen by the company providing the data.

•  The dashboard, accessible online 24/7, will contain real-time sales and inventory data, filtered and sorted however the subscriber chooses by region, by category, or some other metric. Some broad, aggregated information would be available for all subscribers to see.

“We've already spoken with a number of retailers and suppliers to get their input. We want this exchange to serve the entire specialty channel,” Graff said.

Some of the benefits for participating in the program include better channel inventory management that would improve financial stability with more turns and fewer overstocks.

The program would offer suppliers real-time retail inventory and sell-through data for fast forecasting and liquidation. Dealers could use the data to improve product mix and both suppliers and dealers could liquidate old product more quickly. The system also would offer category trending data.

Graff also announced that SmartEtailing is launching a service that would alert participating dealers with automatic updates to brand changes in MAP pricing (see related BRAIN story for more details). 

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