How do you conduct a Price Increase process in a supply chain?

In the electrical industry supply chain it is important for the manufacturer to provide product and pricing data well in advance for the electronic commerce of the business. That means the future effective prices are to be supplied at least 45 – 60 days in advance to the channel partners i.e., industrial distributors like Grainger, Graybar, etc. for planning and stocking purposes and the retail powerhouses like Home Depot, Lowes, Menards etc.

What about including any product obsolescence to the mix? Say a certain line of products have a newer product release that replaced the older ones. How do you communicate the cross reference from the old to the new ones? Is it based on form, fit and functions or a direct replacement? How do you ensure to maintain the data integrity all the way until the data is ingested in the down stream processes?

dataZen Engineering created an unique system and a process. We worked with the manufacturer’s product Information and pricing teams along with the associated data exchange pools to schedule & implement future pricing data well in advance. And, communicate any product obsolescence. When the future prices are effective, dataZen Engineering automatically notifies the distributors via data exchange pools of a price change on the effective date on time and before schedule. That also includes communicating effectively and technically to the retail power houses.

How do we do that? Well, first we focus on the process as it exists today. Then we looked for process improvements and finally simplified the process using the right technology. Again, it is the process that comes first and technology later.

ERP, Engineering, Data Management, Arrrggh…

When a product is launched by marketing, it is generally categorized and profiled in an Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP). Master data about the product is made available that consists of part number, description, pricing, availability, etc. Meanwhile, Engineering normally stores product models and CAD drawings in a CAD/CAM system or a Product Information Management (PIM) system.  And, Product Information or Marketing Communications creates product images, catalogs, brochures, hand outs etc., using desktop publishing applications enabled by Document Management or Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems.  Lastly, the company’s website needs it’s own Web Content Management (WCM) System. Thus, the data about products does not live in one system. The source of truth is multiple systems.  And, more often than not, integrating the various systems is cost prohibitive. However, aggregating and delivering the right information from multiple systems is a must-have for channel partners or retailers to use for their websites or in-store merchandising efforts.

dataZen Engineering created a process that allows product data to reside in their respective systems and bring information about the product into a common platform using technology for the sole purpose of providing “All about data” to data exchange pools, channel and retail consumption whether it is a product description, an engineering drawing, enriched content based on product attributes, images, videos, etc.

Additionally, we created a system called Business Services Layer (BSL) applying the principles of Machine Learning and Big Data concepts. Example: BSL can read social media content and already synchronized product information internally to provide with an end result, a set of very rich product information for your B2B or B2C consumers

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