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Electrical Contractors Can Now Buy 'A' Items from Your Webstore Quickly and Easily with the QuickBuy ePad

The QuickBuy ePad is the most recent enhancement to the IMARK Webstore Development Tool, which is powered by IMARK member service providers Second Phase, Trade Service and now ePipeandWire LLC. The elements of this tool can help IMARK members develop a fully-functioning, market-competitive webstore and e-commerce service for customers who want to do business this way.

The QuickBuy ePad from ePipeandWire was designed by a National Electrical Code licensed contractor specifically to turn your webstore into an indispensable (and unique) tool for your electrical contractor customers. The software creates a hub where your customers can quickly and easily order the items they most commonly use on a daily basis without having to jump from section to section of your website.

As all IMARK Now readers know, the electrical distribution and contractor markets are rapidly evolving. Customer expectations are becoming more demanding. The competition is as fierce as ever. We now live in the “there’s an app for that” world and the electrical industry is continually exploring how technology can help.

While there is a wide array of software designed to help increase efficiency, its usability and adoption are challenging. For many distributors and contractors, there is often a disconnect between industry software solutions and those who are supposed to benefit from them.

ePipeandWire, founded in 2014, fixes this disconnect by automating the translation of “electrician-friendly” industry slang descriptions into manufacturer product data. The company’s QuickBuy ePad organizes data in a way that enables users to quickly find what they’re looking for.

“I was working for a commercial industrial electrical contractor in the Chicago market,” Kevin Kalish, ePipeandWire founder, said. “Material procurement was an expensive and time-consuming burden for our shop. I was searching for the right tool that worked for everyone from office personnel for estimating and purchasing to electricians in the field for material requisitions. I couldn’t find a solution that worked for us, so I started ePipeandWire and built it.”

The company recently partnered with Trade Service, which enables ePipeandWire to rapidly deliver its capabilities to a broad group of electrical distributors and contractors.

“Before the Trade Service alliance, capacity was a constraint for us,” Kalish said. “With the new partnership, we can really make our vision a reality of revolutionizing software use across the industry.”

Several IMARK members now feature the QuickBuy ePad in their webstore and their customers conduct business more efficiently as a result.

QuickBuy ePad provides a pre-written materials list based on the user’s scope of installation. Contractors simply have to enter quantities. The ePad provides the latest contract pricing and availability. Orders can be tracked on a smart phone. It is a consistent and controlled ordering method that minimizes missing items.

“One of the largest complaints I hear from contractors today is the wide array of communication methods being used by their workers, such as email, phone, text messages and pictures of hand-written lists sent via text or email,” Kalish said. “For contractors with centralized purchasing, the ePad is a powerful material requisition tool to streamline the communication from the field to the office. And for electricians buying directly from the field, the ePad allows them to quickly place their daily order with confidence.”

The ePad supports distributor webstores with a focus on the high-volume, daily material items. Any customers predominantly purchasing via email are great candidates for using the ePad. In lieu of typing out a material list, one simply has to input quantities. There are numerous contractor benefits for using a centralized procurement platform opposed to another email thread.

“Buying patterns are rapidly evolving. Some customers simply do not want to talk on the phone anymore, especially the future buyers in our industry,” Kalish said. “It’s critical for members to be ‘first’ in their local markets for customers looking to utilize the growing e-commerce channel. Most members we’ve worked with are not interested in selling outside their local market with their e-commerce initiatives. Our focus is on helping members protect the existing relationships they have worked so hard to build and helping them leverage technology as a new business development tool. This is only accomplished by delivering a contractor-focused solution to make their buying process more efficient.”

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