Quality Design Systems (QDS) Inc., a provider of business information solutions to the tire and automotive service industries, has moved into ``bundling'' its software solutions with the business service offerings of other leading software providers to create what it calls a business information system.
This ``one-stop'' concept incorporates QDS's Preferred Partnership Program (P3) and is designed to allow a customer to specify a range of business information services from one source. The concept extends to service as well, according to Brian Critchfield, global sales and marketing manager.
``P3 is one part of an overall change from...shrink-wrapped software provider to all encompassing business information solutions,'' Mr. Critchfield said.
QDS describes the business information system, or BIS, as ``a seamlessly integrated set of business information products and services that...optimize every phase of a service dealer's business that generates or relies on information.'' Explained another way, BIS connects software, hardware, information services and Value-Added-Reseller systems integration.
Some areas of a dealer's business that may benefit from BIS, according to QDS, would be point-of-sale transactions, order generation, invoicing, purchase order creation, supply management or accounting.
In order to make the BIS package available to a wide range of customers, QDS offers dealers its Business Builder program in four ranges, based on the size and scope of single-store operation: Essentials, Silver, Gold or Platinum. Additionally, the company said it can tailor a BIS package for retail dealers, commercial dealers, retreaders or wholesalers.
QDS's preferred partners are:
* MechanicNet Group Inc., a provider of Internet-based technologies to the automotive aftermarket;
* Oki Data Americas Inc., a leader in information processing systems, telecommunications and electronics.
* Sonicwall Inc., a developer of Internet security solutions that provide access security, value-added security services and transaction security products;
* E-Solutions Professionals, a provider of e-commerce systems specializing in tailor-made Web applications to the tire, wheel, automotive, fleet and mining industries;
* Sybase, an enterprise software company that bridges technology platforms to enable data to move fluidly throughout the corporate infrastructure; and
* CCI/Triad, a provider of management and information systems to the automotive aftermarket and hardlines and lumber industry.
One of the more recent additions to the program was MechanicNet, about which QDS President Ed Engel said: ``The addition of MechanicNet's programs to our business information solutions will deliver a new level of dealer/customer connectivity and promote repeat business and a loyal customer base.''
The privately held, Fremont, Calif.-based firm will enhance QDS's ``dealer connectivity and marketing resources'' with MechanicNet's customer retention and loyalty programs for tire, automotive service and repair businesses, according to QDS.
Through this partnership, QDS will now be able ``to offer service dealers a suite of Web-enabled services that provide an entirely new customer/dealer interface,'' the company said.