By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Winston-Salem, N.C. – Nationwide Marketing Group, the country's largest buying organization for independent white- and brown-goods dealers, has introduced a new online ordering and fulfillment system designed to deliver inventory to members in 95 percent of the United States in less than two days.
The new order management system (OMS) uses the buying group's existing MemberNet Intranet site to link dealers directly with participating majap, CE and furniture vendors 24 hours a day. “Once orders are placed via the OMS system,” explained Nationwide's executive VP Les Kirk, “it seamlessly connects manufacturers and fulfillment systems all over the country, pulls from the appropriate warehouses and ships immediately.” The group will continue to add more warehousing and fulfillment networks as the system evolves, Kirk said.
Ed Kelly, president/director of the $8 billion buying group, noted that most orders can be shipped for next-day delivery.
The system replaces Nationwide's 10-year-old Direct Plus program, which required dealers to go to several venues to place orders. Kelly described the new centralized system, which allows members to view vendor inventories online and place all of their orders at once, as “a giant step forward.”
According to executive VP Robert Weisner, Nationwide hopes to have most of its dealers “up and running” on the new OMS within a year. A dedicated, full-time staff has been assigned to the program to help members place orders and master its operation.
Nationwide is expected to use a combination of leased warehouses plus distribution centers owned and operated by its NECO Alliance division to receive vendor shipments.
The launch of the online ordering system follows that of rival independent dealer organization Brand Source, which developed a comparable service some 18 months ago.
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