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How United Stationers Is Using Technology to Improve Customer Relations

Recently, United Stationers Inc. held a conference call to discuss its second quarter earnings. Though the earnings themselves are interesting -sales were up 9.7%, mostly on the strength of the ORS Nasco acquisition, what was more interesting was how the company is utilizing technology to address transportation costs and improve customer relations.
 
Sure, a lot of companies are utilizing route analysis software to improve delivery routes and reduce fuel usage. United Stationers is doing that as well. However, they've also worked with an outside firm to create a network of local and regional couriers to supplement deliveries already being handled by UPS or FedEx.
 
In particular, smaller orders or harder-to-deliver orders can be turned over to the courier network for ...

Recently, United Stationers Inc. held a conference call to discuss its second quarter earnings. Though the earnings themselves are interesting -sales were up 9.7%, mostly on the strength of the ORS Nasco acquisition, what was more interesting was how the company is utilizing technology to address transportation costs and improve customer relations.
 
Sure, a lot of companies are utilizing route analysis software to improve delivery routes and reduce fuel usage. United Stationers is doing that as well. However, they’ve also worked with an outside firm to create a network of local and regional couriers to supplement deliveries already being handled by UPS or FedEx.
 
In particular, smaller orders or harder-to-deliver orders can be turned over to the courier network for faster and cheaper local deliveries without losing the benefits of the tracking systems found at the shipping giants.
 
In addition, United Stationers, a master distributor, announced it was continuing to work with software companies to enhance e-commerce options and back office support for its customers. In particular, United Stationers has been working to develop an electronic catalog that can be plugged in”to any of the distributor’s customer sites.
 
CEO Dick Gochnauer described it in the conference call as a complex software capability that won’t require the individual companies to have their own IT departments to service it because it will be hosted by an outside provider. This format would create uniformity for all sites and not put an extra burden on the smaller resellers.
 
Read an MDM interview with Gochnauer in which he describes the initiative further. Click here.  Learn more about MDM’s Premium Content here.

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