ARI to help manufacturers, distributors set up consumer shipping (Updated Aug. 14)

Publish Date: 
Aug 7, 2014

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Dealernews has learned of certain benefits available to dealers as a result of ARI Network Service's recently announced partnership with Fidelitone Logistics.

Last week's announcement said that the ARI-Fidelitone partnership would offer manufacturers and distributors end-to-end ecommerce and supply chain management solutions which lowers "the barrier for entry into B2C ecommerce sales for enterprises traditionally focused on a B2B distribution model." 

ARI CEO and President Roy Olivier told Dealernews today that the venture will enable ARI to help manufacturers support their dealer networks by offering drop-ship services to customers who order products through the dealers' websites. This provides a logistical solution, enabling the dealers to offer products on their websites even if they aren't directly inventorying those products at their stores -- thus allowing them to more effectively compete with larger online retailers, he said.

This ability to sell products "available from the warehouse, shipped to your home" will help dealers enhance engagement between customers and their own websites, and thus compete more effectively with larger online retailers, Olivier noted. Manufacturers that do not offer pick, pack and ship services will be able to do so through the Fidelitone agreement.

The original announcement, distributed by a newswire service, did not reveal the specific benefits to ARI's entrenched brick-and-mortar dealer customers that Olivier described to Dealernews on Aug. 14, after responding to dealer comments. "We're not going to shoot ourselves in the head by bypassing the dealers," he told Dealernews. 

More from the original announcement: "This solution marries ARI's SaaS and DaaS technologies with Fidelitone's industry-leading supply chain capabilities to deliver robust solutions to handle every step of product fulfillment, from the online order to pick, pack and shipping," Olivier said in the original announcement. "Our combined capabilities will help our customers who are set up for B2B distribution to quickly move to a B2C model without extensive changes to their infrastructure.

"Through our combined capabilities, we can quickly provide a turnkey B2C solution that will compete with any current online retailers," Olivier noted.

The parts and product distribution management program includes product data conversion and optimization, ecommerce website development, forecasting and inventory management, vendor management, procurement, order management, value-added warehousing and fulfillment, the companies said.

In addition to powersports, ARI serves customers in automotive tire and wheel, outdoor power equipment, marine, home medical equipment, RV and appliance industries.

From a press release with additional information from Mary Slepicka