Collaborative commerce software developer QRS Corp. is readying software it says will help suppliers, retailers and brand marketers better synchronize data.
QRS Impact, due this week, unifies and synchronizes data, then aggregates it into a single, global repository for product information in a company. Without such synchronization, companies undertaking business-to-business initiatives often find information gaps and inaccuracies in data, said company officials, in Richmond, Calif.
Impact culls data from internal systems, including enterprise resource planning, product sourcing and product production, and applies workflow rules to improve, enrich and standardize the data. Once that process is completed, the data is syndicated to a companys customer or partner channels.
Impact comprises three main components: Item Creation, Item Management and Item Synchronization. Item Creation provides a Web interface that enables the input of data into the Impact repository through integration with other systems or through end-user data input.
Item Management provides the workflow capabilities and business rules to manage exceptions and problems with data. This component checks data for errors. Once an error is detected, Item Management creates an error report and routes changes and approvals to the appropriate people within a company.
Item Synchronization enables end users to create custom rules to syndicate data to specific channels. The rules determine what format a customer can use for data input and transfer.
A self-service portal lets a companys smaller suppliers log in to Impact and type item data—with the appropriate business rules applied. At the same time, a Transactive Catalog feature provides a retail Web interface for those in the retail channel to search a companys catalog.
QRS is integrating Impact with its Catalogue software, which manages data synchronization across companies as well as trading communities.
Like many manufacturers, Owens Corning, in Toledo, Ohio, is a potential QRS Impact user, but its not ready for the technology. Data or item synchronization "is probably not [going to be] on the radar for the next six to 10 months," said Mike Iannone, e-sourcing lead at Owens Corning. Most of the companys data is still in batch mode and not synchronized, Iannone said.