January 2, 2004, Trevose, PA — The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), the largest member organization in the promotional products industry, announced that it plans to unveil a dramatically improved version of ESP, the industry's leading product research tool. ESP Online includes a complete redesign of the user interface, elimination of the requirement for a DVD and hardware, and new pricing designed to allow distributors to subscribe to the service for every member of their sales team.
ESP Online, a new version of the classic ESP now becomes a fully integrated online research and selling tool, allowing users to find products that meet any of thousands of possible search criteria and then immediately create a presentation ready for emailing or faxing to clients. The ESP database, the most updated in the industry, contains data and high-quality digital images of more than 650,000 promotional products from the nation's 3,000 leading industry suppliers.
Subscribers to ESP Online will now be able to use the vast product database from virtually any Windows-compatible personal computer that has access to the Internet. Formerly, subscribers needed to have a DVD player and the ESP DVD, which will continue to be provided to subscribers who also want access when they aren't connected to the Internet.
Moving ESP to the Internet also means that the product database will be refreshed continuously, ensuring subscribers have the latest product, pricing and descriptive information on the entire 650,000-product library.
Not only will ESP Online be easy to access, it will also be more affordable. ASI has overhauled its pricing, so every distributorship, large or small, can reap the benefits of ESP Online.
"Our desire is to make ESP affordable for each and every distributor salesperson who is a member of ASI, which basically means everyone in the industry," says ASI President Timothy M. Andrews. "In today's competitive environment, distributors simply can't afford to have second-class information – because their clients want more, they want it faster, and they want it at the best price. At many ASI distributorships, a few people have ESP and they do the searching for everyone else. We want to change that, so everyone can have access, and our new ESP Online product and pricing is a giant step in that direction."
In addition to pricing for typical distributorships with a few sales people, ASI is introducing enterprise-wide pricing that will give firms with 75 or more sales professionals a set of incentives to provide ESP Online to everyone.
ASI's product testing with clients and potential clients indicated that users can professionally use ESP Online in less than 30 minutes, far quicker than with the former product and faster than any competing products. "If you're selling, you want to be selling, not struggling to learn a software program," Andrews said. "Everyone has been astounded by the speed, the product detail, and all the special features built into ESP Online."
Among ESP Online's new features are:
an easy-to-use, standard interface
ability to view detailed supplier information and ratings
contents of 3,000 verified industry supplier catalogs
more customizing features than any other research tool in the industry
continuous product database updates, including pricing, descriptions and availability
access through any Internet-connected Windows PC
first-ever side-by-side product comparisons
ESP Online is a ready-to-use product built on the intelligence gathered from 15 years of ESP development and use. Subscriptions are available to any ASI member.
Sneak-preview demonstrations of ESP Online will be featured at ASI Show! Orlando and Dallas in January, and Las Vegas in March, where subscription reservations will be taken.
Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest media organization serving the promotional products industry, with a membership of 20,000 Distributors (sellers) and Suppliers (manufacturers) of promotional products. Suppliers use ASI print and electronic resources to promote their products to more than 17,000 ASI Distributors. Distributors use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain more than 650,000 promotional products, to locate Supplier products and to promote their services to buyers of promotional products. ASI was founded in 1950 and employs a staff of 500. The company offers catalogs, informational directories, newsletters, magazines, Web sites and databases, and provides a variety of interactive business, marketing and selling tools.