Industry News 8/28/2006

Hot Chillys Heats Up Dealer Adoption with CenterStone’s On-Line Sales Management Solution

Hot Chillys Heats Up Dealer Adoption with CenterStone’s On-Line Sales Management Solution

Officials from Hot Chillys announced today that they will begin using CenterStone Technologies, Inc. on-line business-to-business (B2B) sales order management software application in an agreement signed today. Hot Chillys will use CenterStone's iVendix on-line ordering tool for retail dealers as well as their sales
reps.

CenterStone is an international developer of Web-based sales order management software for manufacturers of apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories, serving the outdoor recreation, snow sports, sporting goods, surf and action sports industries – selling through specialty retailers. Hot Chillys dealers will be able to place their pre-season orders and all of their re-orders through this new 24/7-accessible B2B tool via the World Wide Web. Dealers can also check on the product/inventory availability while tracking and monitoring the status of their orders.

According to Steve Lee, Hot Chillys' vice president of sales, “CenterStone has rapidly become the industry standard for on-line sales order management bringing an established user-community as part of its solution. A very large percentage of Hot Chillys’ dealers already login to CenterStone’s iVendix for on-line ordering of other products. This gives our customers and Hot Chillys an enormous advantage in terms of adoption. In today’s business environment, the CenterStone solution has gone from being a ‘nice to have’ solution to a ‘must have’ solution. In order for Hot Chillys to continue to provide the most timely access to our  products as well as superior customer service to our specialty retailers, the company realized that it needed a proven B2B online ordering solution,” says Lee.

With a proven track record and thousands of specialty retailers currently using the CenterStone application, Hot Chillys is confident that dealers will quickly adopt this on-line solution. And because this new solution will be Internet-enabled and available 24/7, Hot Chillys’ dealers will be able to spend more time during the day on the shop floor with their customers and will still be able to conduct business with the company after normal, retail business hours.

“We wanted to provide our dealers with the convenience of being able to see product availability and place orders 24/7,” Lee says. “It’s not just about having the best products. With this new on-line ordering solution, Hot Chillys expects to set a new standard of customer service for our dealers.”

Tom Detmer, chief executive officer of CenterStone Technologies, indicated some of the reasons why Hot Chillys will benefit from using CenterStone's iVendix solution.

“Dealers in the outdoor recreation and snowsports industries have been clamoring for the ability to order their top brand names, like Hot Chillys, through CenterStone. Retailers have told us that they want to be able to conduct business 24/7, in a seamless fashion, with their top brands. So it is very satisfying to know that Hot Chillys is listening to what their dealers have to say. According to our most recent dealer survey results, 54% of dealers spend more with vendors that have on-line ordering systems like CenterStone’s, and these dealers spend, on average, 13% more with these Vendors. This should be of enormous benefit to Steve Lee and his sales team at Hot Chillys," Detmer said.

Many of Hot Chillys’ specialty dealers are already using the CenterStone application for other vendors such as Ex Officio, Smith Optics, Pearl Izumi, Obermeyer and many other brands. They have been trained to use our solution, and they are ready to use it to order products from Hot Chillys. On behalf of everyone here at CenterStone, we are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Hot Chillys.

A recent dealer survey conducted by CenterStone also links to benefits for Hot Chillys dealers. This is what specialty retailers
say and what they are doing:
*93% of dealers use the Internet to order product from vendors
*92% of dealers state that it is “very important” to be able to check for available inventory using an on-line application
*78% say that it is “very important” to be able to use an on-line application to place ASAP orders quickly
*66% indicate that it is “very important” to be able to work “at my convenience, even when customer service is closed”
*56% use the Internet to place orders at least once per week
*77% want 5 or fewer choices of on-line systems. They don’t want to learn, and will not use, multiple proprietary systems built by individual Vendors
*51% say they “often” need to check availability and place orders outside of normal business hours. Supporting this survey data is a business metric tracked by CenterStone:
34% of our log-ins occur after normal business hours or on oweekends.