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this product to the Canadian market, CarMD’s team of automotive technicians needed to ensure that its database included accurate and up-to-date repair information specific to Canada’s unique environment and vehicle population. Once the product was ready for the Canadian market, CarMD needed to ascertain if the extra resources, work and risk were worth the reward of an estimated 10 percent increase in revenues. (Canada’s population is one-tenth that of the U.S.) Additional goals were to achieve expanded brand awareness and to enhance relationships with Canadianbased retailers with whom CarMD’s sister companies had relationships. As a mid-sized, privately held operation, identifying trusted partners is key to CarMD’s business model. With its turnkey Canadian fulfillment program, a2b helps solve all the logistics issues regarding CarMD’s distribution in Canada. a2b is tasked with moving product from CarMD’s Southern California distribution point to Canada. It handles customs, positions and stores product in its Toronto facility; leverages relationships with Canadian carriers, including Canada Post; operates the order management system that interfaces with CarMD’s computer system; and provides detailed, real-time reporting to CarMD management. Today, a2b is working on a Canadian-based returns and rework program. The result is a completely seamless and transparent process for CarMD. It also helped that a2b was understanding of the fact that CarMD still handles U.S. distribution itself. CarMD recognized that it did not have the resources, facilities and systems to fulfill in Canada. Unlike many bigger fulfillment companies that had a more “all or nothing” mentality, a2b was willing to accept CarMD’s Canadian business with no pre-conditions. Stroesenreuther adds that each little bump in the road has been overcome by solid due diligence and good communication with industry partners. Here are some of the challenges CarMD has overcome in the process: • Where do we ship from? If you ship from the U.S. you have to deal with over-the-border duties on each and

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every order. Or should you work with a company that has warehouse and fulfillment facilities in Canada? How do we handle Canadian returns/ reworks? Do you have units shipped back to your U.S. facility, or use a company that can handle reworks right there in Canada? How often and in what format do we share orders with our fulfillment team? Who should we bank with? You really need to use a Canadian bank. Which merchant banking company should we use? You need to identify a merchant company that offers volume discounts for multicurrency transactions, or consider a separate merchant banking account for Canadian orders. Do we need a Canadian-specific website? Most industry experts say “yes.” CarMD ultimately decided on www. myCarMD.ca, offering Canadian pricing and order information. Which call center do we use? Different inbound and outbound call centers have strengths in Canada.

It’s a good idea to test a couple to measure results. Just a few short months after its entrance into Canada, CarMD is on track to meet or exceed its business objectives. “CarMD is ahead of our projected media efficiency ratio and on track to meet or exceed our revenue goals for the Canadian market,” says Stroesenreuther. Of course, with new opportunities come new challenges. CarMD will soon need to file its first quarterly tax remittance reconciliation. Together, a2b and CarMD are working on written and video instructions for handling reworks in Canada. And we’re getting ready to develop a retail program that may include a Canadian test. While the road to Canada has been a bit slow and bumpy at times, the CarMD chalks its entrance into Canada as a success thanks to strong marketing partners. Ayal Latz is president of a2b Fulfillment Inc. in Greensboro, Ga. Contact Latz at (866) 843-3837 or ayal@a2bf.com.

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Electronic Retailer - March 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - March 2012

Chasing Shadows in Mobile Retail
Calendar of Events
Industry Reports
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Cover Story CarMD Makes a DR Diagnosis
Selling in a Fragmented World
Case Study DR Marketing North of the Border
Advertiser Index
Bulletin Board
Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Calendar of Events
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover2
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 3
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 4
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 5
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 6
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 7
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 8
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Industry Reports
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 10
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 11
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 12
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 13
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - eMarketer Research
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 15
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - IMS Retail Rankings
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 17
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 19
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 21
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 22
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 23
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Cover Story CarMD Makes a DR Diagnosis
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 25
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 26
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 27
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Selling in a Fragmented World
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 29
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 30
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 31
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 32
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 33
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Case Study DR Marketing North of the Border
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 35
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 36
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 37
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 38
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 39
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 40
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 41
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 42
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Bulletin Board
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 45
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 46
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover3
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover4
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