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AmerPride Dresses Up Its B2B Relations With Customer eStores Relaunch

North American textile-services company AmeriPride Services is looking to increase the self-serve aspect of its operations for companies using its uniform products. As part of that initiative, the 125-year-old, family-owned company is re-launching its Custom eStores program, which builds customized online stores for qualified customers to help them manage their uniform program and spending and allow employees to order specific, approved products.

AmeriPride, which provides linen and towels, uniforms, floor mats, and restroom and cleaning products to nearly 150,000 customers every week, teamed with B2B eCommerce platform provider Insite Software, which the company says has been integral in the development and re-launch of its Web platform. AmeriPride also plans later this year to roll out additional digital tools including a “customer portal” that will enable customers to view and pay bills online, access program details and better communicate with their service team. The company sees this as a big step forward in improving the customer experience.

“Our goal is to enhance customer service through self service and allow people to do business how and when they want to do business,” Andrew Steiner, AmeriPride vice president of marketing and customer operations, said in announcing the initiatives. “These new tools enable our customers to simplify their uniform program purchases while giving them control over their branding and spend.”

Among the new features and benefits of the new Web Store platform include the ability to compare products with key features and images; visualize uniform customization in real time; reorder using order history; use of social media and email sharing; and management of accounts, logos and passwords. Other benefits include increased website speed and an allowance management capability so customers can allocate dollars to employees for purchases.

“Technology is changing the way our customers do business, and we are excited about how our recent innovations are enhancing our customer service leadership,” said Steiner. “For this reason, digital innovation has become an essential component of our strategic plan, and we are increasing our investment in this area. I’m very excited about the strategic direction we are taking and the great progress we are making.”

Internet Retailer reports AmeriPride’s new website technology has made it easier for many of the company’s business clients to place orders online from among the 150,000 SKUs AmeriPride offers. The online portal also is freeing up sales reps’ time so they can focus on managing orders. Minnetonka, Minn.-based AmeriPride Services operates more than 115 production facilities and service centers throughout the United States and Canada.

“We’ve seen an immediate big change in the number of customers clicking on their own orders instead of calling our call center agents or ordering with our field sales reps,” Andrew Steiner, vice president of marketing and customer operations, told the new source. “It’s because of their ease website use.”

The publication noted that AmeriPride chose Insite Software after it discovered alternative providers required additional customization work to support B2B processes, such as setting purchasing-authorization limits for a client’s employees. That was especially important for relations with AmeriPride’s largest customers, it noted.

“Insite understands how to manage multiple buyers with different purchasing responsibilities,” Steiner told the publication. “We didn’t have to explain that to them or have to customize their technology.”

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