Malco Offers Distributors and Reps New Self-Serve Portal for Acquiring Product Information, 360’s, and Videos
“In my opinion, if there are other manufacturers out there doing things manually like we were, they should jump on Grand Anar,” says Karla Braun, Marketing Services Supervisor at Malco Products. “Embrace the technology. It’s a wonderful thing.”
Malco Products, SBC, is one of the nation’s leading solution developers and manufacturers of a variety of high-quality tools for the building trades. According to Braun, before joining the Grand Anar information exchange network, sharing digital product data with the company’s extensive network of wholesale distributors and manufacturer reps was a multi-person, multi-step process at Malco.
“Prior to Grand Anar, anytime a rep or distributor needed content, they had to send in a list of SKUs. Then it took three of us to fulfill the data order – one from IT, one from sales, and one from marketing. We pulled the data, cleaned it, exported it to a spreadsheet, and double checked that all the right content was there,” explains Braun.
Now any of their distributors can simply log in securely and help themselves to whatever digital content they need.
“Not only is it a huge timesaver for us, but it’s a timesaver for our distributors and reps as well,” explains Braun. “Otherwise, they were sending us a list of product SKUs and waiting while we downloaded them out of our system and cleaned the data up. Grand Anar allows our distributors to pull what they want, when they want it, in the format they need it in.” The information is instantly available to use on their ecommerce websites or anywhere else.
Standardized, eCommerce-ready Manufacturer Product Information
What exactly is Grand Anar? Created by Anarus, Inc., Grand Anar is a cloud-based data exchange network that creates private online communities where manufacturers and suppliers can share rich product content, personalized pricing, and product updates effortlessly. According to Anarus president and CEO, Prashubh Batham, “What makes Grand Anar truly unique is that it modulates and synchronizes how manufacturers’ products and attributes are categorized across entire industries. Distributors have access to standardized, eCommerce-ready manufacturer product information.” In other words, data format hassles are a thing of the past.
Malco Products, which manufactures and sells roughly 1,200 items through its extensive network of HVAC, plumbing, and construction wholesale distributors and manufacturers reps, has loaded its product database into the secure Grand Anar data exchange network to make their product specifications, descriptions, 360 views, and videos easily accessible.
Not all of the company’s distributors have taken advantage of the new self-serve capability yet, but Braun is confident that the ease of use and accessibility will attract more of their distributors in the near future. In fact, it was one of the manufacturer’s largest distributors that gave Malco the nudge to get on board with Grand Anar in the first place.
Secure Self-Serve Data Access
For manufacturers, one of the biggest advantages is in the time savings. “I can’t think of a single time that anyone has come to us after pulling product information from Grand Anar and requested that we manually pull additional information for them,” Braun explains. “They’re able to pull out exactly what they want, whether they want part numbers, descriptions, images, 360’s, videos… they’re able to get it all there. Being able to have videos and 360’s available in Grand Anar has been huge for us.”
Braun said once the distributors get their login, she rarely hears from them because they can help themselves. “They don’t have to ask us for data, and I haven’t had anyone call me with problems either.”
Keeping Data and Images Fresh in the Marketplace
Another benefit is that Malco can push product updates and notifications out to all their distributors connected to Grand Anar, allowing the manufacturer to keep in contact and make sure its distributors have the most current Malco product information to share with their customers.
Many manufacturers will connect their ERP and eCommerce directly to Grand Anar. Malco hasn’t done that yet, but Braun looks forward to doing so in the future.
Braun and her peers had a short training session on Grand Anar and then they were ready to go. She says, “Not only is it easy to use, it’s easier to maintain than other platforms we’ve used.” The team at Anarus created an intelligent, big-data solution that is beautiful in its simplicity. To learn more about Grand Anar, visit www.anarus.com.