Supplier Data: How do you get product information?

A common pain courses through distributors, retailers and ecommerce companies. This malady throbs deeper in these industries that are omni or multi channel. The cause of this, supplier data comes in all formats and is often, incomplete. Let’s consider how to fix this.

Home Depot, uses a supplier portal provided by Stibo Systems. The before case looked like this: over one hundred category managers, in constant contact with suppliers, wrestled product data each day. The matches went on till product data reached a completeness stage worthy of publishing to ecommerce, to stores, and to print.

Now a handful of category managers only work on exceptions alerted by workflow. Over 97% of all supplier product data flows to ecommerce and to print strategies untouched by humans. Home Depot forces, or suggests, to all suppliers to submit product data in an approved format, ingested by the Home Depot PIM system real-time. This approved format, for each supplier and for every product attribute needed from each supplier, is presented through the supplier portal for fast upload to the PIM system.

And for smaller suppliers, some called Ma and Pa, a simple spreadsheet is obtained from the portal. This spreadsheet, complete with correct headers and attributes, is powered by business rules from the pim system. Simple translations are done automatically, like BLK to Black, and other needed fields are red lined right in the spreadsheet for easy repair prior to submission to the PIM.

And now, new products get to Home Depot buyers in 3 days. Used to be 33 days. Product Category managers, remember the wrestling analogy, now work on strategies, like new promotions and new collections of products. Vendor touch points have gone away.

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About Sales Pro
Master Data Management and Product information management solutions.

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