Q: Won’t I lose my distributor’s attention if they are interacting with multiple suppliers on the same website?
A: If your company accounts for a substantial portion of your distributors’ business perhaps you can get them to come to your own portal frequently, but that’s not the situation most industrial suppliers find themselves in. Having multiple suppliers accessible in one portal provides a much stronger motivation to log-in at all compared to single supplier portals.
Q: What do my distributors pay to participate?
Q:What do I need to do to make this a success?
A:ICR-Portal.com provides you with a very effective mechanism and frameworks for collborating with your suppliers, but you need to provide the content and keep it updated. We suggest appointing a strong administrator who has the ability to manage the process. If your content is managed by an executive who doesn't have a lot of time, it will probably not be terribly successful.
Q: Does this help me if I already have a system for my distributors to use?
A: Maybe, maybe not. A few thoughts… First, we’re following the 80/20 rule in that we’re trying to provide you with 80% of the value in 20% of the functionality; so if you’re looking for the kind of richness and flexibility you get from a system like salesforce.com, this isn’t the solution for you. But if you’re looking for a very inexpensive solution designed for the industrial space with basic functionality on a site where your distributors will actually show up, ICR-Portal.com is your answer. Second, there’s a chance the portal could be complementary to your system and we can link to it.
Q: How does this connect to my current back-office systems?
A: You’ll notice that any of the exports we provide in the system have a record number on them. This is so that you can import them into your system to stay synchronized. You just have to store our ID in your system. For example, the distributor employee export has an ID for you to link up, but it keeps deleted contacts on the export for six months (and marks them as deleted) so you can write a batch routine to sync your system with the portal. Within the next month we'll be adding functionality that lets you send batch files back and forth between ICR-Portal.com and your systems.
Q: I like the idea, but there’s some functionality I’d need before I could use something like this. Can we add things?
A: We are always looking to improve the system. Just tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll plan it together.
Q: Will there be paid advertising on the site?
A: No, this is our suppliers’ site. They can share advertising content, but ICR will not be accepting advertising. The system is paid for by a fee from the supplier.
Q: Will any of my content be used for other purposes, like Facebook and LinkedIn sell contact lists?
A: Never. Aside from the network concept we utilize, the ICR Portal is not a social media site. Your content is yours and won’t be used for any purpose except enabling you to work more collaboratively with your partners.
Q: The cost to participate is less than half of what other portals charge. Why is it so inexpensive? What am I missing?
A: You’re not missing anything. We have taken a different approach than most software companies take. Our system is designed for a very specific need for a very specific set of companies; it isn’t everything to everybody. And we’re not deploying an expensive sales and marketing force (as you may have guessed from this site); we’re relying primarily on the network effect and solid functionality to grow the number of users.
Q: How do you handle security?
A: Security is a top concern for Industrial Channel Research. While no one can guarantee that all data is completely secure, ICR has taken several steps to protect your information:
Q: What do I need to do to get set up and launch this to my distributors?
A: We have everything you need to get started and can share that with you in the demonstrations.
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