Online access to instant info on lot reports, statements, order history, trends and more
As technology continues to evolve, so too do the needs of our industry. Gone are the days of picking up the phone to request an account statement or waiting for an e-mail or faxed copy of your document. Fueled by the ease of data accessibility from the web via desktop, laptop computers and handheld mobile devices, “Information at a moment’s notice is the new benchmark,” says David Siminski, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for United Precious Metal Refining (UPMR).
Earlier this year, United unveiled the all new “CAP” (Customer Account Portal), an online platform for customers to access their account remotely. Now, customers can access product orders, ordering history, refining lots - both in house and completed - open and used lock-ins and more from their computer or mobile devices. Siminski stated United’s commitment to service and quality above all else led the company, now in its 30th year, to develop this platform. In response to growing requests for documentation including lot reports, monthly statements, past order history and more, United developed this program to respond to the needs of its customers.
Tracking the trends
Among the numerous features, customers can now track their order history. This tool is especially valuable for manufacturers who are looking to track their trends. Now you can see your orders for fine gold and silver, platinum and palladium grain, karated grains, master alloys, etc. and determine when your busiest season was over a specified period of time. You can also determine what trended and compare market shifts to your own business output to determine if price factored in to your sales.
Refining customers can also see when their refining lots were processed. Scrap customers like pawnbrokers and retailers buying gold can track ounces sold over time and analyze their history to determine, for example, if advertising campaigns, promotions or other marketing investments paid off.
United first introduced their mobile app over three years ago giving customers a gateway into UPMR at the touch of a button. The mobile app (available in the Apple Store and Google Play) includes features like accessing live market pricing, browsing United’s product catalog, mobile chat support, links to UPMR’s social media pages, etc. Most importantly, United’s mobile app provides users a variety of calculators that are used every day by many professionals in the industry.
United’s mobile app offers six unique calculators that make the life of the jeweler, manufacturer and/or pawnbroker or gold buyer much easier. They are:
1. Gold Scrap Calculator: used to estimate the value of your gold scrap lot. This calculator’s numbers are based on the average for lots sent in to UPMR and not based on plumb figures which aren’t realistic when scraping out old jewelry.
2. Karat Gold: very useful when adding alloy or fine gold to create karated grain for casting. Now you can key in the weight you’re looking to convert in several units of measure to go from one karat to another and be told exactly how much alloy or fine gold you need to add to your existing material.
3. Sterling Silver: used for determining the ratio of fine silver to silver alloy to cast in sterling silver.
4. Casting Weight: an absolute favorite for casters in New York, this calculator tells you how much metal you’ll need based on the weight of your wax. It is adjustable for different karats so you can order only enough metal to cover what you need.
5. Fahrenheit/Celsius: used mostly overseas, this calculator helps users convert temperatures between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
6. Weight Units: another commonly used calculator that helps convert between units of measure including: grams, pennyweight, ounces troy, kilograms, pounds, etc.
The development of the Customer Account Portal took several months. Input from United’s corporate customers as well as individual jewelers were all taken into account during the programming phase. Once a preliminary program was set up, a select few customers were enrolled for beta testing. After a couple of months of testing and a few tweaks here and there, United’s unveiled their Customer Account Portal to their customers numbering over twenty-four thousand world-wide in January, 2018.
The benefits to being able to track your account history and look back on orders previously placed without having to call someone and wait to hear back is an absolute convenience and time saver. “Customers on the west coast as well as overseas manufacturers truly benefit from this open access after hours on the east coast,” says Siminski. “Our customers can access their reports at their own convenience as well as allow access for their internal accounting department.”
Though the United CAP is live, it continues to be developed with plans for online ordering, instant pricing, live market lock-ins and more in the works. United’s goal is full automation for customers to get what they need when they need it without having to make a call or send an e-mail. The CAP will also be integrated into the United mobile app adding even more value to the already useful app.
For more information about the United Customer Account Portal, contact UPMR at 1-800-999-FINE or visit UnitedPMR.com/dashboard.