2pure-september
2pure-september
Jul 15, 2017

Need a catalouge? Then why not go digital and interactive

John Shirley, co-founder and sales director at Hark, explains the ethos, benefits and future of aWorkbook

What is the history of aWorkbook?

Our mission is to provide software and services that deliver visibility on your products from the final sign-off of range planning to the key stages of go to market sales.

The distinctive character of our solutions is the combination of quality images and brand stories with the right data that enables sharing and decision making at each stage of the process.

We pioneered the B2B digital catalogue over ten years ago launching an interactive product guide for Timberland at their 2006 European Sales Conference in Sorrento, Italy. The two software products that underpin our offer today are aWorkbook and aHub.

What is aWorkbook?

aWorkbook is a product presentation and order writing app with unique features to support sales activities throughout the B2B buying cycle. It directly supports reps and buyers in the pre-season and is designed to support existing sales processes, making them more efficient and helping to reduce the costs of brochures and product samples. It works alongside other systems like ERP, sales order processing and B2B platforms, integrating where necessary.

What are the benefits to brands in using aWorkbook?

With a digital catalogue you can do things print simply cannot do. For example, product information can be kept up to date with instant amendments to the range.

In the words of our customers, aWorkbook has delivered the following benefits:

“A significant improvement in the quality of customer meetings through personalised presentations, easier ordering processes and reduced costs.” Berghaus

“A transformation in the way we go to market, helping us in our customer goal to be an easy and reliable partner to do business with.” inov-8

What plans do you have for the future?

Our plans are focused on the continued improvement of the aWorkbook app while also addressing the broader product information management needs of brands, distributors and retailers.

In May we published the latest version 6.4 of aWorkbook adding new features to the order submission process. And at the beginning of this year we launched aHub, a cloud-based distribution platform which, in its first phase, offers a means to tailor aWorkbook Catalogue content to meet the needs of different groups of users, and manage access to those catalogues.

Future plans for aHub will deliver an online product information management system for brands, distributors and retailers, providing a full library of product data and associated imagery that can be managed collaboratively by multiple users.

In 2018 we expect to be helping our customers use aHub to realize a successful omnichannel strategy, which in simple terms means ensuring the right set of images and product details are offered up to secure a sale regardless of whether that’s B2B or B2C.

How will you grow your business?

Our growth will come from continuing to evolve our software and managed service offer in line with what people need. It is a business reality that by making smarter software investments companies can respond effectively to digital disruption, and by working with aWorkbook our customers have so far been able to stay on top of sales and ordering trends.

What innovations in technology do you think will be incorporated in your business in the future?

We already incorporate the fact that mobile devices are the dominant and preferred media channel; and in the background our systems are benefiting from the acceptance that cloud computing is secure, low-cost and highly scalable. I am certain the one innovation that will become more relevant for us and our customers is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in spotting trends and aiding decision making.

Take a Deep breath then.

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Reydon Sports PLC is the largest sports wholesale/distribution company in the UK, supplying the trade with a full spectrum of sports and leisure products.

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