How Distributors Optimize Their Operations Technologies with APIs
In a world that is so quickly changing, staying on top of innovations is a persisting challenge for business owners. Whether it’s disruptions in the economic climate or developments in technology, there is always a change that needs to be managed.
As technology advances, more tools are available to business owners and more information is uncovered. While this potentially advances business it also creates more issues if leaders struggle with organizing tasks and developments.
Different softwares with different functions provide quicker solutions to everyday obstacles, but if there is no medium through which different platforms can communicate, it will only create more tedious organizational work.
For leaders of all sorts of businesses, using an API increases organization and productivity by centralizing information.
What is an API
An Application Programming Interface or API, is a means in which two technologies communicate and share data. This allows for a more streamlined flow of information.
For example, say you purchase a concert ticket on Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster runs an API that connects customer information like phone number and credit card information to the music venue’s internal billing and seating technology. So, when you purchase a ticket this would automatically send notice of this purchase to the venue along with your contact information, and in return send you a confirmation of your purchase.
This is all done through an API, which automatically shares information between the two mediums. Without this function, you would have to individually contact the music venue, speak to a sales associate to make the purchase who would then in turn physically send you the ticket and confirmation. This would be inconvenient to say the least, and likely impossible at a larger scale.
How does this help Distributors
Distributors who already utilize technology only benefit from connecting their systems. With an API, distributors can automatically import, export, and sync contacts or companies from one platform to another, send automated order updates, and streamline inventory management..
Many wholesale distributors use an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. ERPs manage daily business responsibilities, including project management, system updates, and inventory. If distributors are already texting with customers in regards to orders, an API would allow them to be automatically notified when their order is placed or ready for pickup. This allows business functions and customer service to occur automatically and with less man-power.
Prokeep’s API feature
For wholesale workers, using Prokeep (a texting software built specifically for distributors) refines communication, enhances customer service, and boosts productivity. Prokeep’s API feature continues this trend by streamlining conversations.
Prokeep’s API allows distributors to connect their other technologies to its text messaging platform, allowing all systems to work together to send automated text messages to customers based on pre-set triggers. These texts automatically notify customers that their order has been placed in a locker, shipping updates, order confirmations, invoices, receipts, and more.
Unlike other systems, customers can respond directly to the automatic message which will in turn begin a conversation through Prokeep with a sales rep that they already have a relationship with. This reduces time spent because a counter associate does not need to manually send updates and confirmations. It also opens a channel for additional communication to continue to build personal relationships.
Three Current Prokeep Integrations
Prokeep’s API feature currently offers distributors a few different integrations that allow business activities to be quicker and more efficient. Though there are three unique APIs at the moment, our “turn-key API” offerings are growing fast.
Epicor Solar Eclipse (ERP)
The Eclipse integration is an easy setup, turn-key solution that will create a network of automated text alerts for your customers. You'll have the ability to set activity triggers based on order status changes. When your customers order updates, they'll automatically receive a text message from your store's main number letting them know what's changed.
Apex Order Pickup Solutions (Smart Lockers)
If you're using Apex Smart Lockers on site for curbside pickup, Prokeep's Apex Integration allows you to set up automated text messages that are sent to your customer as soon as you close the locker door. With every automated "order ready" notification, your customer will receive:
- Their order number
- A status message
- The locker number
- The barcode/QR code to open the locker
Custom Build (Open API)
Distributors that use other software to run their business can have an integration custom built so that they are able to automatically send messages to their customers in regards to order status, delivery, and other changes made.
Easy Implementation, Fast ROI
In an age where commerce is constantly evolving, business owners have a greater need for innovation and efficiency. As technology frequently develops, distributors will have better tools to manage their companies, and texting platforms like Prokeep increases productivity and streamlines efficiency. Prokeep’s new API feature not only allows distributors to centralize their information, it creates more time for counter associates, helps move product faster, and therefore allows more time to make more sales.