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Obsolescence


COMMUNICATING PRODUCT CHANGE INFORMATION


In today’s fast­changing electronics industry, it is important that customers are kept up­to­date with product change information. Sager Electronics offers one way of doing this


In response to customers’ need to be kept current regarding product change information and new product introductions, Sager Electronics introduced its automated product alert system, News2Know, in 2009. Through this system, the North American electronic component distributor electronically provides its customers with information on specific products that they have purchased from the company in the past, while sharing the newest technologies emerging in the marketplace.


The system updates customers via


purchase orders. Our system is designed to streamline the process for our customers by providing only the specific information they need to plan their product needs while avoiding unnecessary emails.”


Product change notifications are sent using


the same system as the new product introductions, ensuring direct communication with the assigned Sager sales representative for the customer’s territory. The email contains pertinent information as provided to Sager by the supplier issuing the change notification.


Craig Sanderson, vice president of product marketing for Sager Electronics


two types of communications: new product introductions/general news and product change notifications/end of life. Craig Sanderson, who led the development of the system, says: “Whether it is a new product or a product discontinuation, the News2Know system provides our customers with critical product information. It generates HTML emails containing up­to­date product information and delivers that data directly to the customer’s desktop.”


New product introductions and other product­related news are


communicated based on customer type, SIC data or market segments. The target audience can be selected by job function such as purchasing, engineering, customer service or quality. New product introductions are sent by email to customers, using Sager’s unique communications technology. The customer receives an email from their assigned Sager contact. Through the new product introductions, customers can link electronically through the email to Sager’s web site for additional, detailed information.


Product change notices and end­of­life alerts are sent to the


specific buyer at any account based on purchase history. Customers receive emails tailored to their specific buying needs. Sanderson stated, “What makes the program unique is that product change notices and end­of­life alerts will only be sent to the specific purchasing contact at our customers based on past


24 | February 2014


Craig Sanderson answered some questions about the News2Know system


Does Sager track its system’s announcements? We can track the number of new product introductions and product change notifications sent as well as the specific customers to whom each alert was sent. In addition, a copy of the communication is sent directly to our field and inside sales representatives who are assigned to each customer.


How are potential leads tracked? We rely on our sales team to follow up with customers on the release of the new product introduction. In addition to receiving the copy of the communication, the team knows which customers have received a notification. Potential opportunities derived from the system are tracked within the company’s opportunity management database.


How do customers sign up to receive announcements? All customers in our system with an email address automatically receive news through the system. To ensure that customers receive all types of communications from the distributor, our sales team is responsible for ensuring that their customers’ email addresses are current and accurate. Customers may also request to be included in the system via our web site.


www.electronics-sourcing.com


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