2. E-Catalog Story

Unitec has always believed in information technology potential, as E-Catalog development shows: its basis were laid in 1993, with some trials carried out already in former years.

At that time the network concept was not so widespread as nowadays: it was still an instrument for big companies only.
This tool's potentials were fully revealed by the information sharing, projected and implemented in a sequential cycle, in order to reach the result with a logical progress, designed by the work flow expression.
This process' steady improvement helped Unitec in becoming paperless: in 1999 documents and archives took up a large space in company's offices, whilst today a drastic reduction has taken place, and paper documents find their existence reason in a not more useful digitalization.
The computerization's intensive use enabled to change administration systems based on documents to an electronic workflow, which assures a quick answer speed, a drastic errors reduction and, as direct effect, a higher service standard.

In 1997 was established Unitec Services & Web S.r.L, Unitec division which deals with computerization.
The new enterprise's headstone was the net's application potentiality, which acquired interesting application perspectives through internet diffusion.
So the environment seemed very attractive, and the firm caught the attention of nine investors, willing to bet on it.

The first provision site launched by Unitec was Netsourcing (www.netsourcing.it), which followed a customer interface philosophy based on the supply integration.
It enabled customers to send offers, place orders and interact with Unitec's staff, but it gained a modest success. Despite being on the internet it was a closed system, because it required a registration and a private identification.
This was actually the prevailing trend at that time: this means, that e-companies were involved in catching as more information as possible by their customers: so they set up passwords successions and a vast amount of questions which frightened the surfers, keeping them away from such sites.
The market was very limited, restricted to sector's specialists.
Only in the following years the world wide net would have evolved itself to an opener access standard and easiness degree, conferring the success of the new proposal which run along this way, such as Google.

Following this direction, in 1999 was created a new and less closed application: Estimates On Line (Preventivi On Line, www.preventivionline.it).
Although it had a registration, it was built with a different philosophy, which was represented by a greater immediacy level, which permitted the site reaching a bigger success than Netsourcing.
It has now some thousands subscribers and offers a point of reference for the spare parts sector, with 540.000 articles and over 3.000 manufacturers, and some producers' whole lists.

The site's aim was giving customers an expenditures' idea when they want to approach a maintenance activity; prices, even though long-standing, are however actualized thanks to an automatic up-to-dating statistic process, constructing a real support base for maintenance engineers.
They can so use this information for their activities and send a request to Unitec when they complete on-line operations' cycle.

Both Netsourcing and Preventivi on Line sought customers' fidelity, which was the custom of the time.
That involves not only raising information through internet pages visits, but also making the site a point of reference for ordering.

In 2000, internet speculative bubble burst swept away e-companies without the required abilities for remaining in the new competitive scenario.
Outstanding firms outlined clearly the new future standards, that is the fully user opening, a complete service and overall their easiness.
On the basis of the new indications, Unitec launched the third sites' generation: after Netsourcing and Preventivi On Line, was E-Catalog's turn.
It aimed at a global reaching, without log-ins, as web evolution required.

By E-Catalog a new specialization comes up: this time the philosophy consists in avoiding offering the hundredth marketplace with the same automatic answer system, and support pure automation with a component still rare on the web: people.
Actually, when users are not able to find what they wish, they can apply to a Unitec operator for the needed technical support, and he will search the requested item for him.
That's what's new in this new generation site, which does not know anything similar on the web yet.

A real internet support by Unitec operators is depicted by the banner above: clicking on it, surfers can enter a real time chat service, where they will found a Unitec operator, ready to discuss with them.

Company's comprehensive aim is supply understandable information to wider market possible: this involves an English language focus, but avoiding to fail most important markets, that are the European ones, in particular Germany and Italy.


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