The challenges faced
A well-known parts distributor employed a manual process for tracking their stocklists and pricing information. This process was deemed cumbersome, time consuming and prone to error. The CRM system used did not have the capability to incorporate or ingest stocklists and pricing information automatically and in real time. This was a major challenge as there was a large volume of information to manage which emanated from a range of different sources i.e. manufacturer systems, at different rates and times, and in a variety of formats e.g. PDF, Excel spreadsheets etc. Historically a series of tables were used to hold information on:
- historical stocklists and pricelists
- historical suppliers
- primary and secondary suppliers
- from whom, and when, items were purchased
- stock availability
- date when a product was discontinued
Layer-9 developed a bespoke software engine or platform that could operate in the backend and was capable of ingesting both stocklist and pricelist information coming from several hundred different component manufacturers. In this instance, the stock information that was to be managed was related to the descriptions or attributes of the products, and not the actual volumes that were available. Using this new engine would enable the distributor to manage their stocklists and price information far more effectively within a CRM platform in real time (i.e. through automated means), while reducing the risk of misinformation and the need for manual intervention.
The project delivered several benefits for our customer, including removing human error by developing an automated logic to manage and update stock and price lists from any supplier. Faster updates though removing the manual updating of records and validating records were updated correctly.