Catalog Management - Best Practices for a Manufacturing Organization
Catalog Management is increasingly garnering industry interest as a strategic weapon to better inform, influence and convince buyers to purchase products. Catalogs that are rich, accurate and up-to-date provide a means for differentiation in highly competitive industries where margins are reducing drastically.
But implementing a world-class catalog management system is not easy. Product information has multiple facets – content, images and documents – that are worked upon and required by many departments within the organization, often at the same time. In addition, as companies progress into multi-channel catalogs – primarily Print and Web – the task of managing and ensuring consistent product information across all customer touch-points becomes even more complex.
The creation of a catalog involves two distinct process groups - product change management (preparation of the product information) and catalog management (creation and design of a specific channel catalog). Maximum process efficiency is achieved by clearly defining the skills and talents required in each step of the process, and presenting those stakeholders with the correct tools and information.
The complexity of managing product information and creating catalogs can be better tackled by analyzing the various processes in an organization, and defining a set of core best practices that efficiently underpins these tasks.
This document is about a set of such practices. These best practices are built around the basic building blocks of catalog management – data, people, processes and measurements – with further analysis of best practices for each.
Ongoing evaluation of the best practices ensures that the catalog management system is refined and stays in line with the organization as it evolves.
Organizations that are using these best practices are able to organize people and processes around product information, and are producing rich, accurate and up-to-date catalogs that can be presented consistently to all customer touch-points.