The Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) has unveiled a suite of new tech-based services that assist members with everything from filing UCCs to analyzing their social media skills.
Perhaps the most noteworthy service allows manufacturers to quickly and easily file Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) forms for memo goods in 47 states.
“For decades, JBT has been yelling at its members that when they do memo transactions, they should file UCCs,” says Erich Jacobs (pictured), president of the Warwick, R.I.–based credit rating group. “It’s just amazing to us, year after year after year, despite our pleadings, how many [companies] don’t file UCCs, they just throw out memo goods,” leaving them unprotected in case of a bankruptcy.
The problem is, vendors consider filing UCCs burdensome and expensive, Jacobs says.
“So we partnered with a technology company that will allow our members to go to a website hosted by JBT, type in a few things about the transaction, and [the] UCC will be filed for them automatically. And it’s done. It’s very fast and a lot less expensive than going through a lawyer.”
JBT has also introduced an API (application programming interface) that will give manufacturers easy access to JBT’s credit database through their existing software.
“An API lets an external system, such as a manufacturer’s accounting system, directly interface with the information we have with JBT,” he says. “So, if a manufacturer is signing up a new customer and they want to immediately look up the JBT rating on that potential customer, this allows them to do it. A manufacturer’s IT department can just put a button in their accounting system that says, ‘Get that JBT credit report,’ and they don’t have to log on to our website. It’s just, boom, there it is.”
In addition, JBT has developed a social media tracking system, which rates a jeweler’s social traffic against comparable retailers’.
“During COVID-19, jewelers got kicked in the butt to get online, to expand their online presence, to get out there and do a lot of omnichannel engagement with their customers,” Jacobs says. “And to a large extent, they did. But they don’t have a really good measure of how they are doing compared to the competition.
“So, as part of tracking everything about jewelers, we have actually started monitoring their social media traffic. We are tracking Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and basically seeing how many followers [jewelers] have, how many posts they put up. So now, we can basically tell retailers how they are doing compared to the competition. And if they’re lagging behind [their competitors] on the Instagram front, maybe that’s something they want to take a look at.”
Finally, JBT has launched a Preferred Partner Program, which will give members discounts on select technology services. Its first partner is Podium, a messaging platform that helps retail jewelers communicate with their customers, garner reviews and testimonials, and convert leads.
Other partnerships will be announced soon, says Jacobs.
The UCC and social media programs will initially be offered to JBT’s enhanced members and then rolled out to its broader membership.
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