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PEI has a 65,000ft² connector assembly facility in Southampton

On-lInE sHOPPIngMakEs It Easy tObrOWsE, buy and buIld

Franchised connector-assembly specialist, PEI-Genesis, has upgraded its website with a personalisation facility calledMyPEI. President and COO, Russel Dorwart, answers questions about the new service

On-line shopping has been around for several years, so why introduceMyPEI now?

Frankly, we would have liked to introduce this capability sooner, but because we build everything to order, our ‘inventory’ consists of only component parts, which are of no use to our customers. What we needed was the ability to present a list of the finished goods that we can build fromthose components and then integrate this into our back-end systems.We have accomplished this and we now have something that is really unique.We are presenting over threemillion connectors onMyPEI that we can build and ship tomorrow so when you enter orders, you are seamlessly dropping production orders on our factory floors in the UK or the USA. This level of integration was a huge investment in time andmoney and we are now poised to presentmillions of additional products that will be immediately available:mass-customised to order and shipped within 48 hours.

Has customer demand for on-line shopping been significant?

I think the level of acceptance we have seen tells us that there is a demand forMyPEI. It makes our products and services instantly available to a range of new customers, but more importantly, it is another way for us to please existing customers. So much of what we do is engineering support so we prefer to

22 | December 2010

talk with our customers, but the web is a very efficient medium for information transfer. For example, in addition to technical data, a customer logged in toMyPEI has visibility of over ten years of their purchase history, a view of their proprietary parts and their contract pricing. Customers can place orders on an open account, lock quoted pricing, request special quotations and even ask technical questions viaMyPEI. Of course, we would always prefer to talk to our customers directly, but the web gives us another way to interact.

PEI-Genesis president and COO, Russel Dorwart

What challenges were involved in on-line connector shopping?

The integration of the web with our back-end systems was the real challenge.We have a sophisticated build-to-order computer architecture that works with very little human intervention. For example, we don’t do any production or capacity planning in our factory, which is unusual. Instead, we run algorithms that generate production orders and move those orders through the plant.We integratedMyPEI into our worldwide production systems so that we have a single path from the browser to

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