Een goede presentatie van het productassortiment in de vorm van een catalogus is voor een leverancier erg belangrijk. Want alleen als het assortiment bekend is, zal het ook verkocht worden. Vaak zijn assortimenten omvangrijk en bestaan ze uit zeer diverse producten met uitgebreide productinformatie. Alles begint met het goed beheren van de productinformatie. Daarna volgt het publiceren!
In this series (which consists of three parts) you will learn the best way to approach the making of a catalog. In part 1 we will describe how to manage the product assortment, part 2 will be about designing the publication, and to conclude we will talk about the ultimate way to save time and money on the actual making of the catalog, in part 3.
'The solution to efficiently managing your product assortment (and eventually, publishing it quickly and professionally), comes in the form of database publishing. It allows information to be managed in a database, from which it is then published into a fully laid out catalog.
A catalog is built up out of different types of information, like images, technical specs, product numbers, prices, supply, product group names, commercial information, synonyms, footnotes and, if available, logos, icons and technical drawings. All this product data needs to be structurally managed to be able to be published efficiently. All available data needs to be saved in one place and it needs to be easily accessible. This can be done in various ways:
Product information is often already available in your company’s ERP system, since billing, stock and logistics are all managed from there. You could also quickly and easily publish a catalog or price list from the ERP system, since all information is available and ready for use there. If you were to utilize database techniques right now, you could automatically generate your entire catalog with just one click of a button.
When not all product information for the catalog is available yet, the remaining information can be stored in an additional product information database:
An additional product information database can be used to save and manage the remaining information, when the ERP system contains insufficient information.
Product descriptions, product features, images, logos, marketing texts, complimentary documents, remarks and any additional information can be stored in the product information database. Products can also be classified according to standards like ETIM. In this database you can enter, edit, copy, organize, sort and link all product information.
Because the ERP data is also used in the final publication, the ERP system is usually connected to the product information database. Prices, stock information, EAN, sales units and other administrative data will be taken directly from there. This way, you can make your catalog as extensive as you like. Thanks to the structured assortment you will be able to (with use of the database publishing techniques) create a fully automated, extensive catalog in no time at all
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