TREVOSE, PA – October 31, 2006 – Advertising Specialty Institute®, the largest media and marketing organization serving the ad specialty industry, today launched its ESP Online 3.1 upgrade – providing virtual samples, customizable and editable presentations, and online order status for its growing group of 25,000 users.
This upgrade integrates virtual samples, breakthrough technology that allows an ASI distributor to place a client’s logo onto any product image in ESP Online, and then email that image directly to the client in a CenterStage™ presentation.
Virtual sample technology allows distributors and suppliers to close business faster, because it improves approval times, looks more professional and increases confidence. As a result, sales for both distributors and suppliers will increase, as ASI distributors use more product images from suppliers in their presentations.
In addition, presentations produced in CenterStage are now customizable and editable. Distributors can create a more comprehensive brand image, by using several different branding templates, colors and themes, and all data fields can be edited in both current and saved presentations. The time spent redoing presentations can now be used for developing new business and providing improved customer service.
The latest version also provides the ability for distributors to check the status of orders placed with larger suppliers, such as Leed’s (asi/66887) and Norwood Promotional Products (asi/812000). The status of any order placed with participating suppliers, whether sent by email, fax or phone, can be checked inside ESP Online. This feature will improve client relations, provide more time for business-building activities, and will tighten communications between ASI distributors and ASI suppliers.
Timothy M. Andrews, president of ASI, explained that ESP Online is the first industry service to provide these features, and that this upgrade will help members of the ASI distributor-supplier network succeed.
“This upgrade to ESP Online provides the most advanced technology in the ad specialty industry and will help our growing number of 25,000 users build their business,” said Andrews. “Distributors and suppliers will increase sales when they use virtual samples, because clients will know immediately what their logo will look like on the final product and they will approve and place more orders faster.”
“In addition, distributors are able to edit presentations to allow changes to be made quickly, and they are also able to check the status of orders placed with the increasing number of participating suppliers,” Andrews said. “At the end of the day, distributors and suppliers will have more time for selling.”
Industry professionals are pleased with the positive upgrades to ESP Online 3.1.
“We cannot wait to start incorporating virtual samples into our presentations and this program will help us improve our efficiency,” said Sam Anderson, owner of Proforma Urban Peddler Promotions (asi/300094). “We would not be as successful, if we couldn’t use ESP. The professional-looking quotes we send to our clients make us look larger than we are, and clients are always amazed that we are able to find the exact products for their campaigns. Also, the customer service at ASI is second-to-none.”
“ESP Online is a worthwhile investment that my business cannot live without,” said Bob McGinnis, owner of Trade Mark Promotions (asi/346091). “I can simply perform a product search in seconds, categorize the results in accordance with a client’s criteria, and create a CenterStage presentation in ground-breaking time. My customers are floored when I supply them with tailor-made materials in a half hour.”
“The updated version of ESP Online provides practical enhancements that are sure to be useful,” said Jodi Marsh, merchandise manager for Norscot Group Inc. (asi/284520). “So often, we find our sales reps getting caught up in more administrative functions, and having the ability to edit presentations and resend them on the fly will save us a lot of time. Also, I think our customers will be ‘wowed’ when they receive our virtual samples, and these samples will contribute to higher sales for us.”
ESP Online has 25,000 users, including 95% of the Counselor® Top 40 Distributors™.
It allows distributors to search for more than 750,000 products from 3,500 suppliers, including the ability to view full pages of products from over 4,100 ASI supplier catalogs, using ACE® (All Catalogs Electronically). More than 1.5 million product and supplier searches are conducted in ESP Online each month.
To learn more about the new business-building features of the ESP Online 3.1 upgrade, or to receive a free trial, visit www.asicentral.com/esp, or call ASI distributor services, at 800-546-1350.
Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of 22,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties. Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to more than 19,000 ASI distributor firms. Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain more than 750,000 ad specialties, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers. ASI provides catalogs, informational directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers interactive e-commerce, marketing and selling tools. Visit www.asicentral.com.