RX for Product Data Sharing Headaches: Only Anarus Has a Long-lasting Cure
Sharing is hard. And if you’re talking about moving detailed information for thousands of parts between manufacturers and hundreds of independent distributor companies – all with unique data requirements – sharing isn’t just hard, it’s time-consuming, expensive, and risky too. Both manufacturers and distributors need a remedy, because the wholesale distribution marketplace is quickly moving online.
Very large distributors with staff to spare launched into ecommerce by building their own product databases from the ground up, but that’s not a realistic feat for the majority of wholesale distributors. For that reason, distributor co-ops and associations have worked diligently to bring data costs down and make manufacturer data more accessible to their members. By pooling resources and encouraging manufacturers to get on board, each group built its own database.
Note: co-ops and associations are all doing the same amount of work, spending similar sums of money, and dedicating the same amount of time building their own separate databases. In turn, both manufacturers and distributors must pay to participate. While the cost is considerably lower than developing a database on their own, some distributors may be paying as much as $2000 per month to access the data. It’s not an unfair price to pay considering the work these buyers groups need to do to clean the data and make it usable for ecommerce – every manufacturer stores data in different formats, with different fields, and wildly varied levels of details.
These groups acquire product data from their participating manufacturers, clean it, and store it in their product information management system (PIM). By participating in these groups, manufacturers don’t have to format data for all hundreds or thousands of their distributors – the buyers group does the formatting and data distribution instead.
However, not all the headaches of product data exchange have been eliminated:
- Manufacturers must supply data and updates to multiple groups if they want to reach all their distributors.
- Manufacturers don’t have as much control over their data once it’s out of their hands as they’d like, so not all manufacturers are willing to participate.
- Not all manufacturers have PIMs, so they can’t easily participate even if they want to.
- Not all distributors are part of these groups, so manufacturers still need to send data directly to them.
- Not all manufacturers choose to participate in these association and buyers group databases, so distributors still need to do extra work if they want to include products from any manufacturers that aren’t part of the group database.
- Not all distributors can afford to participate in these programs.
- Not all databases are diligent about updating their content – so distributors can find themselves with stale product specifications, outdated images, or inaccurate descriptions.
ONLY ANARUS has the cure for all these product data sharing headaches. Anarus is defragmenting the wholesale distribution industry by creating a UNIVERSAL SOURCE of standardized product data – with advanced data security features – that cures all the nagging complications of sharing full-featured, real-time product data for ecommerce.
Visit the Anarus website to learn how Grand Anar standardizes data in its private cloud network so distributors can get authorized access to all of their participating manufacturers’ parts data in one place and in one consistent, ecommerce-ready format. For more insights, read the Malco Tools case study or contact us for a demo.