Diamond Eliminates Star Codes, Announces Major Improvements to Reorders Online

Mon, February 2nd, 2004 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer/Publisher

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Official Press Release

Diamond Comic Distributors has announced a broad array of major improvements to its inventory tracking system, providing retailers with a number of exciting benefits designed to simplify many aspects of the ordering process.

Effective January 1, Diamond ceased issuing new Star System codes, resulting in a more streamlined inventory tracking system that will allow new products to carry their original item codes in perpetuity, while simultaneously enabling a number of immediate and upcoming upgrades to Reorders Online, Diamond Daily, and Diamond Online's Retailer Services Area. (Please Note: Current Star codes will continue to be used for as long as their assigned products are available from Diamond.) The decision to eliminate Star codes was put into effect after soliciting feedback from retailers in Diamond Dialogue's June 2003 "Info Please" poll, in which a sizeable number of respondents indicated that such a change would have a positive impact on their businesses.

"Due to the dramatic increase in the number of 'evergreen' products being offered by our suppliers, more than 10,000 new Star codes had been created in the past three years alone, to the point where we now have nearly 16,000 Star System SKUs in stock, with more than 5,500 of those being designated as permanent stock items," said Diamond Executive Director of Order Processing/Purchasing John Wurzer. "At that rate of growth, it became clear to us and our customers that the Star System was becoming increasingly unwieldy, challenging us to develop a new system to better track our inventory. The elimination of Star codes and the resulting improvements to our ordering systems do just that, and opens to the door to future enhancements that will benefit our customers."

Effective immediately, products carried by Diamond are now tracked using a method that provides instant information regarding a given item's stock status. In addition to being displayed in Diamond's internal inventory systems, this data is now available to Reorders Online users, and will eventually be incorporated into Diamond Daily and Diamond Online's Retailer Services Area. Under the new system, each product will be assigned one of the following six status levels:

Status LevelDescription
Stocked ItemPerpetually available, and currently in stock.
B/O StockedPerpetually available, but not currently in stock.
B/O Not-StockedNot a perpetual stock item, but can be backordered.
Out of Stock; no B/ONot a perpetual stock item, and cannot be backordered.
Hasn't ShippedHas been solicited, but hasn't shipped.
Unknown ItemInvalid item code.

Reorders Online users who run an item search can now view the stock status for each listed item, with the data being provided in a new column located at the far right-hand side of a given set of search results. Similarly, retailers who utilize Reorders Online's order upload feature can also view the stock status for each item in a given order upon completing the upload.

In addition to the stock status upgrade, Diamond has also unveiled a number of other improvements to Reorders Online, with others to follow in the coming months. Implemented as a result of retailer suggestions, immediate upgrades to Reorders Online include:

  • Ability to Review and/or Add to Uploaded Orders: Retailers who utilize Reorders Online's "Upload Reorder File" feature now have the option of reviewing an order after it is uploaded. To facilitate this, a new fourth option now appears on the "Upload Reorder File" main page, enabling users to choose between "Commit this order without a line review" and "Review and edit order, no automatic commit." Users who select the second option will then be able to review their uploaded order and make changes to it as needed - including adding or subtracting quantities, adding additional products, editing lines to change back order and shipping preferences, or deleting the order completely - before committing it to Diamond's system.

  • Ability to Add Multiple Items Directly from Same Search Results Page: Reorders Online's "Item Search" feature now allows users who have performed a keyword search to add multiple items directly to their order without leaving the search results page. Upon selecting "Add Item to Order" for a specific product, that product will then be displayed at the top of the search results page under the header, "The last line entered." Once the product line is displayed, the user can then choose to "Edit Line," or continue adding additional products to the order, with each new addition replacing the previously added product under the "The last line entered" header. Once all desired products have been added to the order, the user can then choose from a number of options found at the top and bottom of the search results page, including "Commit Order," "Delete Order," "Review Header," "Review Lines/Items," "Customer Menu," and "Add Reorder/Item Search," with the latter being used if an additional search is desired. This process marks a vast improvement over the old system, which only allowed users to add one item to an order per search, necessitating a new search for each new item.

  • Ability to Review Orders By Page: New buttons found on the top of Reorders Online's "Review Web Reorder Lines" page enable users to jump from page to page on their order, making it easier than ever to review larger orders placed through Reorders Online's main system or its order upload feature.

  • Uncommitted Orders Delete After 30 Minutes Without Activity: To further increase system efficiency, Reorders Online will now automatically delete orders after 30 minutes without user activity. Previously, the system would automatically delete orders after 80 minutes of no activity.

    A number of other improvements to Reorders Online will be introduced shortly, including shopping lists, volume pricing indicators, and more. Furthermore, Diamond Daily and Diamond Online's Retailer Services Area will soon display stock status information for referenced products with an easy-to-use, color-coded system, and will also provide one-click purchasing ability with item codes that link directly to Reorders Online's forthcoming shopping list feature.

    "For the past several years, we've made upgrades to our online communications and ordering systems a priority," said Diamond Vice President of Marketing Roger Fletcher. "We hope that our customers find these new features useful, and look forward to hearing feedback on how we can continue to enhance our online services."

    Retailers with further questions about these improvements should contact Diamond Customer Service Technical Support Supervisor Cheryl Sleboda [phone: (800) 452-6642, ext. 847; e-mail: scheryl@diamondcomics.com].

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