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CARLSTADT, N.J. - Regional wholesaler General Trading Co. is installing a hosted ordering solution that will allow its retailer customer base of approximately 400 stores to place orders using the system without installing any software of their own.
The wholesaler is installing Melville, N.Y.-based BRdata's Retail Boss ordering module, which will allow stores use of wireless handheld devices to synchronize with General Trading's host system.
"This is much more sophisticated than our old order entry systems," said George Abad, co-owner of General Trading. "Those were little more than a dumb terminal: you put in an item number and quantity, and the item number is accepted, it'll take anything you put into it and send it down. With this system you can enter or scan the UPC or item code on a package; it'll tell you if the item is valid, or whether or not it's been discontinued. It gives stores more information at the point where they're placing orders."
According to BRdata, orders can be sent from a PC in store, a wireless handheld, or from the retail chain's corporate host. Once orders are sent, the user is notified immediately when the order confirmation is received either from the PC or on the handheld.
"It can help a store to know if they've made their minimum wholesale order right from the handheld," said Abad. "It'll tell them if they've got to buy a little more, or if they're over the limit."
BRdata's ordering module allows item information to be viewed locally or from the corporate host in real-time via thin client, which lets GT offer its clients tiered levels of service. "We'll be able to give our customers a choice of ways to communicate with us," Abad added. "They'll be able to do live interface, where they'll be live on our network, in real-time. It'll be a little more expensive, but it'll be up to each store what they want to buy."
Abad noted that the real-time thin client connection can also be made from the store's PC, where third-party reporting tools can be applied to the information available from the host.
A privately owned company for more than 70 years, GT supplies and supports over 400 voluntary retail store operations, with its largest single customer base consisting of approximately 2,300 independently owned retail stores.