On target, online

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell appreciates the evolution of the fax machine.

Do you remember fax machines? I do. When I first started work in a recruitment consultancy, my life pretty much revolved around the fax machine, with candidates’ CVs being sent it, and prospective job applicant CVs sent out again.

Speed was of the essence, and email/internet hadn’t yet evolved to the point where that was the better option. But it was a real compromise: the resolution was poor; editing the details (legitimately!) was difficult; and information was very easily lost.

Today, of course, it is quite different. While I don’t have much to do with recruitment consultants, I imagine fax machines don’t get used that often.

It’s the same with shopping from home. I can’t remember the last time I phoned an order through – email and online ordering is much more convenient than phoning someone, if only because I feel as though I can be more certain to get what I ordered… and it’s quicker… and I don’t have to do it between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday… and I don’t have to be in a good mood… you get the idea.

Visiting suppliers to the glass and glazing industry, therefore, constantly surprises me when I learn that many orders are still placed over the phone, and even faxed in. But it’s no surprise that companies keep evolving their systems to make the ordering process as straightforward as possible.

Yes, consumers benefit from having a user friendly online interface, but so do the suppliers.

Mila has recently gone down this road, and they can be reassured by stories from companies like Origin that the benefits can be far-reaching.

“By simplifying the ordering process, Origin’s partners are saving time on admin and turning orders around in record time, leading to improved productivity and sales,” the company reported.