This weekend we are releasing Version 2.9. Let’s get into it!
Add a Model
One of the most requested features we’ve been asked for over the past few years is the ability to add a model without having to rescan your original document. Before v2.9 we had enabled this functionality for spec packages created from the search page, and now we’re enabling it for all spec packages. From the spec package edit page:
Model numbers that are added in this manner can only be removed from the package by using the “Remove models” button.
You cannot add a brand new model number that is not already in the database using this function.
We strongly suggest you use this function sparingly, as your original document should continue to be treated as the master document that defines your order. Also note that this feature can be enabled or disabled for your entire company.
Images and Additional Resources
We’ve been working directly with manufacturers to acquire images and additional resources (such as energy guides, manuals, CAD files, etc.). We now display these items on the spec package public hub page when they are available for a given model:
You can view which resources are attached to your package by visiting the spec package hub page. Resources lock in whenever you rescan/refresh your spec package and increase its version number.
We are actively to working with more manufacturers to get more images and resources loaded into the database, so please bear with us as we get this feature off the ground.
Coming up in v2.10
We’ll have one more major release before the end of this year… Stay tuned!
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.