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Vedasoft Solutions    Ecommerce Solutions    Catalog Management    Case Study

Catalog Solution Expands Product Offerings to Customers


BUSINESS DRIVERS AND GOALS

Outdated paper-based product catalogs and an inefficient client/server product database application were compromising the competitive advantage of a leading manufacturer of chemical products operating in North America. Four of the company's divisions manufacture a range of industrial cleaning, maintenance and janitorial products that serve a wide range of industry verticals, including automotive, hospitality, food processing, car washing, government, manufacturing, institutions and municipalities.

With over 1,400 field sales professionals selling over 3,500 products to the company's base of 300,000 customers, the company's sales force needed access to accurate and up-to-date product catalogs to facilitate the sales and proposal process. Product catalogs typically contained a range of product information including application details, pricing, chemical composition and physical properties.

Erroneous information and outdated pricing damaged the company's competitive advantage in the marketplace, due to:
 A high rate of errors and omissions in the sales and proposals process due to outdated information, discontinued 
  products and incorrect pricing  
 Valuable customer face time wasted as sales professionals verified product and pricing information with Customer 
  Service Representatives
 Complex publishing rules and coordination between product managers and marketing delayed new product launches 
  and promotions
Marquee customers did not have access to customized information

The company was also interested in providing its marquee customers with customized information that would reflect product bundles, configured products, customized pricing, and contractual agreements, as well as enabling seamless integration between the proposed solution and their customer's e-commerce infrastructures.

BUSINESS SOLUTION

Vedasoft's Product Management Solution created a central repository of information that provides consistent and up-to-date product information - both externally to customers and suppliers - and internally to marketing and sales teams. The application dynamically streamlines and automates the approval and publication of new product information. Vedasoft's phased in deployment approach built the repository of the information, while simultaneously customizing product information using Microsoft technologies. RAD (Rapid Application Deployment) techniques sped up the deployment of the application.

APPLICATION FEATURES

 Search and navigation functions - enable customers to search, navigate and compare products that answer their
    individual needs.
  Rules-driven publishing function - sophisticated workflow process specifies authors and submits new information
    for approval prior to publication on websites, e-commerce sites or paper-based catalogs.
  Flexible content management - streamlines content creation, filters information, and archives old information, 
    as well as linking images or Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to each product.
  Customized product information - differentiates products by pricing, customers, industry or product 
    classification and availability.
  Compatibility with ERP systems - uses XML to interface with customer's enterprise system, thus easing 
    order management and procurement.

BUSINESS RESULTS

 The ability to phase-in and phase-out products has helped the company manage their products more efficiently.
 A centralized repository for all products has streamlined content management functions.
 Automated and improved workflow has reduced errors and omissions.
 Seamless integration with paper catalog publishing application enables on-demand printing capabilities.
 Management of product catalogs across multiple business units enables the flexible configuration of products.

Since the initial implementation of the Vedasoft Product Management Solution all the subsidiaries of the company were able to have online presence with no additional effort.

Generation of Catalogs

The information flow is workflow integrated every step of the way.

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