TREVOSE, PA – July 21, 2008 – Advertising Specialty Institute®, the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, today launched ASI ContentBridge to allow ASI distributors to directly access, integrate and customize all of ASI’s product and supplier data and educational and editorial content into their own business applications.
The announcement was made just prior to education day, the first day of ASI Show Chicago. The show is the largest and only summer industry trade show in the Midwest and happens at McCormick Place from July 22–24.
ASI ContentBridge offers the same quality data that powers ESP Online™ and LogoMall Websites and includes information such as pricing, set-up fees, product images and supplier ratings. It provides a way for distributors to use ASI’s data and information in their Websites and business systems.
Distributors using ASI ContentBridge will achieve higher operational efficiency and find more time for selling, by eliminating the need to manually incorporate data into purchase orders and other internal processes. With the most current information available, sales and customer service staff will also be more knowledgeable, leading to increased productivity, cost savings and job satisfaction.
In addition to vital product information, all educational and editorial content produced by ASI will become available digitally – in audio and video formats – to allow distributors to have information at their fingertips about new products, sales strategies and important news from the industry. ASI spends $1.3 million annually to create and deliver educational content, and one of its initiatives is making that award-winning information available anytime and in any format that a distributor needs.
When suppliers update their product and pricing information with ASI, it will automatically be forwarded to distributors who are using ASI ContentBridge to feed their Websites and business systems. In turn, the latest product data will reach distributors and end-buyers faster, increasing sales and saving administrative costs and time.
“This new tool provides easy access to the most trusted and accurate information in the advertising specialty industry,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “Using ASI ContentBridge will impress your clients, make your business more efficient and empower your staff. I’m especially pleased that our educational offerings and editorial content from our seven publications will be available to help distributors be more informed, more prepared and able to make more money.”
Data can either be streamed in real-time from ASI’s servers, or downloaded periodically through a simple interface over the Internet.
“Distributors can streamline their internal processes, update their data faster and ultimately have more time to spend on selling,” said Dan O’Halloran, senior vice president of distributor services for ASI. “We’ll work with each distributor’s information technology team or vendor to customize the service so the data can be used however they wish.”
In addition to distributors working with ASI ContentBridge directly, ASI is in discussions with a number of software vendors who are expected to represent ASI ContentBridge and incorporate it into their service offerings.
ASI ContentBridge can be used to enhance or build a number of mission-critical business applications, including CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or order management systems. Applications that track what products sales representatives order most and which suppliers they work with more often can also be built to better project purchasing trends.
Companies can also stream education materials, videos and industry news to sales forces through their Intranet or public Website. As the content becomes available, ASI will also roll out editorial articles, educational videos and multimedia from ASI University and award-winning ASI magazines – including Advantages™, Counselor®, Successful Promotions™ and Supplier Global Resource™. ASI supplier performance ratings will also become available.
Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 25,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties. Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to over 21,000 ASI distributor firms. Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain nearly every product in the industry from more than 3,500 reputable suppliers, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers. ASI provides catalogs, information directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers e-commerce, marketing and selling tools. Visit www.asicentral.com.