Hello, SteelCod.com users!
This past weekend we released a new version of SteelCod.com (aka “Steel Cod Enterprise”): Version 2.8. This is the eighth major update since we introduced Version 2.0 back in May 2019. The last two updates have been designed to support administrative functions and build the groundwork to accommodate our long-term plans (more on that in a future post!).
But this update has a number of new features that are focused on you, the salesperson! Let’s get started…
Ask a Salesperson
We’ve placed a new button on the public-facing spec package page that allows any person visiting the page to ask a question of the salesperson. See the annotated screenshot below:
Clicking that button will bring the user to the “Ask a Question” form:
The form asks for the user’s name, email address, and the question they are asking. They also have to prove they are not a robot by clicking on the “I’m not a robot” checkbox. Once all those fields are filled out and the form is submitted, an email is sent to the salesperson’s email address.
NOTE: as you can see, the form does not validate the person’s identity or email address. Keep this in mind when responding to questions and comments submitted through this form.
As a salesperson there will be several ways you’ll know you have a new question:
- You’ll receive an email with the question. That email will include a button back to the spec package.
- An alert will appear at the top of the spec package’s edit page.
- The question will be listed on the new “Questions” tab on your personalized home page after you log in.
Once a question is received, it’s up to the salesperson to decide how best to respond. Right now you can’t respond through Steel Cod, but you can mark the question as read so you can track when you responded.
The URL for the “Ask a Question” form is the URL of your spec package public page + ‘/Ask‘. Example:
We’re very excited about this new feature and hope that it will help facilitate communication between you and your customers! If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve it, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com. You can also choose to opt out of this feature on a company-wide basis.
Model Number Formatting
Another feature that should jump out at you right away when using Version 2.8 is that we now have model number formatting! Check out the results when we upload a new quote:
Are those spaces and lowercase letters I see? (Yes, they are!) We’ll also honor dashes, slashes and other similar non-alphanumeric characters.
We can have this functionality because more and more manufacturers are giving us their models numbers directly in their native formats, so we’re now going to honor those formats that they give us. If a manufacturer hasn’t provided a format, then we’ll fall back to the format provided in your scanned document or search list.
You’ll see new model number formatting in places like the upload page, the search page, and within the spec package PDFs themselves in the table of contents.
Public Spec Package API
For those companies looking to further integrate with Steel Cod but are not quite ready for the full API, we’ve added a new public API method directly on SteelCod.com that returns a data-only representation of a single spec package.
Developers can use this method to integrate existing spec package information into your POS or ERP systems.
The URL for the method is the URL of your spec package public page + ‘/Json‘. Example:
We’re still finalizing the structure of the JSON object that’s returned, so we consider this release to be a BETA version as we may change or remove some elements on the next version. We will have some documentation around the returned data object at that time, but in the meantime you’re invited to start poking around at it.
Looking ahead to v2.9
The next major release for SteelCod.com is currently scheduled for the end of October / beginning of November, and includes even more features that we hope will make generating, editing and sharing your spec packages even easier.
As always if you have any questions please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.