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Ingram Micro Site Detailed, Complex

HEARD ON THE BEAT / IN ORANGE COUNTY

July 08, 1996|GREG MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Like parents of newborn babies, companies often have irrational notions about the attractiveness and intelligence of their Web sites. But Ingram Micro Inc. in Santa Ana may have something to brag about.

The company recently unveiled a Web site that may be one of the most complex and useful around, at least for Ingram Micro customers. The site took eight months to construct and offers information on nearly all of the 36,000 products the company carries.

The site is designed for resellers like Fry's Electronics that take Ingram Micro deliveries and then sell the products to customers. By signing on with individual passwords, resellers can check the availability of thousands of products at the prices they have privately negotiated with Ingram.

Within months, resellers will also be able to use the site to place orders and monitor shipments, said Fadi Chehade, vice president of customer information services at Ingram.

It takes 29 employees to maintain the site, but Ingram expects http://www.Ingram.com to reduce the burden on its 1,000-employee call center, where 60% of the calls are merely requests for price and availability information, Chehade said.

Asked how he feels when he hears other companies complain about how much trouble they had putting together their Web sites, Chehade said, "I laugh."

*

Greg Miller covers high technology for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7830 and atgreg.miller@latimes.com.

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