The move into e-commerce by Applied Automation (UK) Ltd has been welcomed with open arms by Omron Electronics and SMC Pneumatics, who see the move as adding a new dimension to their customer service, component sales and product support. This new division of Applied Automation, known as x-stk, enables customers to access over 2000 products online, all available for next day delivery.
At the launch of the www.x-stk.co.uk website were the three major forces behind the venture, with Steve Bangs (MD of SMC Pneumatics (UK) Ltd), Marco Calandra (MD of Omron Electronics Ltd) and David Rowe (MD of Applied Automation (UK) Ltd) all happy to share their thoughts and aspirations for the future of x-stk.
Steve Bangs stressed the importance of the internet to aid product sourcing and supply and to ensure that "core products were available with easy access from the web". Going on to discuss the SMC business strategy, he commented that "today 30 per cent of the SMC business is through the distribution sales channel, and it is our plan to increase this figure to 50 per cent by 2009". Of course with ventures such as x-stk, allowing quick, simple and helpful product selection for the key pneumatic components, these goals can easily be met.
Next to the podium was Marco Calandra, MD for Omron Electronics, who opened by saying how "UK manufacturing was facing challenging times and that those who were able to offer value added services are sure to succeed".
Continuing, he said "customers are becoming more discerning about their suppliers, and are looking for those suppliers who can really make a difference to the competitive advantage of their own businesses". To this end, Omron believes to exploit such potential the supplier has to be focused on what the customer needs and feels that Applied Automation can achieve this with the launch of its x-stk e-commerce business.
David Rowe, mastermind behind the x-stk business, who was proud to share in the support from the leading suppliers, openly discussed the thought process behind the venture and went on to explain the benefits of x-stk in more detail and plans for its development over the coming period.
Firstly, he detailed how "the products selected for the site were chosen in order to cover the core of the products used every day in industry, from sensors to cylinders and pushbuttons to PLCs, ultimately defining a 'preferred product range'. Each product chosen for the site has a simple look-up, product search feature and detailed product specification. Another key benefit of x-stk is the ease of use and the way in which the site pre-empts the selection process by suggesting the various accessories to the components the user is placing in the sales basket. For example, if the user chooses an M12 inductive proximity switch, the system will prompt the user to add such accessories as a selection of connection cables, or a sensor tester.
It is the belief of the whole team behind x-stk that www.x-stk.co.uk will set the standard of suppliers for the future and that their goal is not simply to meet the customers' expectations, but exceeded them, time after time.
With x-stk V2.0 already in the planning stages, the commitment from all involved is high and they welcome you to try the new supply service with a difference.