insite softwareWe continue our discussion of InsiteCommerce for Distibution with the 2nd installment of our interview it Susanne Spencer, eCommerce Consulting Manager with Insite Software.

In the first part of our interview, Susanne talked about what InsiteCommerce for Distribution brings to the eCommerce table and how it’s different from other offerings. In this installment, she talks about the important features and her best advice for companies breaking into eCommerce.

Q: “What are the top features of InsiteCommerce that a manufacturer or distributor would most appreciate?”

A: “The top features and functions that our customers value most are order workflows, order approval processes, and the ability to empower their customers with managing their own users.

So, when I say empower their customers, it refers to our clients only needing to set up one user ID for their customers, giving the user administrator on their site the authority to set up employees with access to the eCommerce site. It also allows the user administrator to assign various roles to the users to extend or limit what they can and cannot do once they log into the site.

Another feature that really brings value to our clients is the construct of requisitioning. Their customers may have a need for their employees to be able to ask for items to be ordered. Let’s think in the context of office supplies. A wide variety of customers may have the ability to sign in and create an order, also known as a requisition. InsiteCommerce allows our customers to configure an approval process for those items that the users are requisitioning or requesting to be ordered.

Other areas of InsiteCommerce that bring value to our customers are functionality for budget management and the ability to assign a cost code to a user. This empowers their customers to establish a calendar or a fiscal year, define the timeframes or periods, and then assign the budget value for each one of those periods at different levels. Whether it is at user level or a ship to level, the customer can then choose to enforce those budgets during purchasing or ordering at checkout. Either way, the users still have the ability to view, through a reporting tool in budget management, where the budget is for those defined periods.”

Q: “What’s one piece of advice you would give to a manufacturer or distributor who is looking at eCommerce?”

A: “My advice would be: look to the future. Make sure you have strong defined goals of where it is you want to go, not only in the next year or two, but in the next five years and beyond. Make sure the choices you make will support the goals you put in place, not only in the short term, but long term as well. This will make sure you have a solution that’s going to grow with your business and increase in complexity and functionality, as the sophistication of your customers increases. We all know users on a commerce site expect that B2B experience, but as a distributor you have a lot of complex business rules that have to be deployed and supported behind the scenes that your customers and users never see.”