ACER has launched a multi-tiered channel e-commerce trading hub that it claims is the first of its kind in New Zealand.
The system, titled AcerLink, extends the Acer Partner e-Commerce (APeC) site, the PC vendor’s web-based order fulfilment system for distributors, to resellers and end-users.
It is integrated with Acer's ERP and supply chain system and gives Acer resellers the ability to offer online order placement to their customers through their websites that can be populated with Acer products, as well as other non-competitive lines.
Acer describes AcerLink as a B2B to B2C trading hub as orders flow from the end-user to the vendor via a reseller and distributor through the same portal.
Online orders placed by customers are sent to and vetted by the reseller, before being forwarded to the distributor, which in turn sends the final order on to Acer. The vendor can then dispatch the goods to the end-user directly.
Access to each tier is controlled by user login names, with different functionality and interface available at each level, while an online catalogue and quotation and configuration tools are also on offer.
According to Acer New Zealand country manager Rod Bassi, the hub streamlines the ordering process, while reducing transaction cost and delivery times compared with manual transactions. “It is designed to be frictionless,” he states.
Bassi says although AcerLink is based on APeC, it was built from the ground up by an Acer-dedicated e-commerce team in Australia, and supersedes the previous platform.
It has been running in Australia since October last year and has been launched in New Zealand as part the company’s strategy to secure the number three PC vendor position here.
Preliminary figures released last week by research firm IDC, however, suggest that Acer has already achieved this goal in the first quarter of 2004, coming third behind Hewlett-Packard and Dell in the overall PC market.
Acer distributors Ingram Micro and Dove Electronics agree that the concept behind AcerLink is sound and that it could reduce transaction costs.
Dove’s Chris Rycroft adds that the true proof of the system will only be realised once it has been operating for some time, while Ingram Micro’s John Dunbar expects the system to smooth out the ordering process.
Issues the distributors face include integrating orders created on AcerLink, and delivered by the vendor directly, into their logistical system to ensure traceability and accountability.
Vivienne Larsen, marketing director of Tech Pacific, says the reseller community has welcomed the system.
“When vendors introduce tools like this it is a great enabler for resellers’ business,” she says, adding that AcerLink will operate in tandem with Tech Pacific’s TechLink tools.