ABE (Auto Body Equipment): Paving the way for B2B eCommerce
Auto Body Equipment (ABE), a New Zealand-based wholesale business, has a history stretching back more than 20 years. The team have worked hard to bring their traditional business model into the 21st century with help from TradeGecko.
ABE’s founder John Harvey originally owned a collision repair shop in Hamilton, New Zealand. In 1994, ABE was born after John saw an opportunity to provide chassis machines and other equipment to wholesale customers in the collision repair industry.
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Since then, the business has been passed down to Shane, John’s son, and his wife Kylie, and is overseen by General Manager Larry Fallowfield. Nowadays, they provide everything from chassis machines right through to spray booths, consumable equipment, training and servicing, and back-up support for the equipment that they sell.
The business’ steady expansion over the years led to the need for more warehousing space, and the team recently relocated to a space four times the size of their old location. From there they sell a range of exclusive products imported from around the globe, as well as product kits such as paint prep carts, which Fallowfield says are designed to make customers’ lives easier:
It's all about efficiencies and process and speeding up the repair. And also, more importantly, making sure everything is there when the customer needs it.”
With a growing product range and a team of sales reps on the road, accurate cloud-based inventory management is critical to keep the business running smoothly and customers happy. A few years back the team realized they needed a more sophisticated solution to meet their needs:
The previous system we used was a bit outdated and clumsy for what we were trying to achieve. Having good young people in our business who are IT-savvy and smart...they looked around and came up with TradeGecko – a solution that was better fitted to where we wanted to take the business in the future.”
TradeGecko: “Simple to understand, quick, and efficient”
For Fallowfield, streamlining ABE’s ordering and sales processes using TradeGecko means he can easily track and monitor stock and sales in real-time. When he and the sales team are on the road, they can also create orders and check stock at any time using TradeGecko’s mobile app.
One of the biggest advantages of TradeGecko for ABE is its B2B eCommerce platform, which their distributors use to place orders from where ever it suits them:
In the B2B platform, a distributor places the order and then we pick, pack, and dispatch – it makes the process really quick and efficient. B2B's been a big thing for us in the last year, and the uptake has been getting stronger every month.”
From a reporting perspective, Fallowfield also uses TradeGecko’s intelligence reports to pull out sales figures and monitor the sales reps, enabling complete visibility for the whole team. He says TradeGecko’s ease of use and extensive capabilities are what sets it apart from other business management systems:
TradeGecko is simple to understand, quick, and efficient. I’d recommend it to other businesses for sure.”