Catalog Management Made Easier

Software vendors such as Requisite are developing tools that help suppliers create, manage catalogs

Catalog management has long been the bane of suppliers. A lack of standards and the expense of creating multiple catalogs to reach individual suppliers or e-marketplaces have kept many suppliers from embracing the concept of e-catalogs.

Now, software vendors are coming out with tools designed to help suppliers manage catalog development, storage and output.

Requisite Technology Inc. last week announced its Requisite Supplier Hub, a Web-based content platform for helping organizations and their suppliers create, manage and distribute online catalogs for integrated e-procurement and e-business initiatives.

With the Supplier Hub architecture, available now, suppliers can standardize on Requisite Unifying Standard and minimize the number of catalogs published. Suppliers create one online catalog that maps to major e-business standards and formats and is accessible to multiple sales channels, including private and public e-marketplaces.

Requisite, of Westminster, Colo., also announced enhancements to its BugsEye search engine and eMerge, its supplier enablement system.

Moneesh Arora, vice president of technology at Pantellos, a utility and energy online marketplace, is using Requisites technology to help suppliers and buyers in the network.

Requisite Supplier Hub provides "tools that will allow suppliers to self-publish and self-manage their content," Arora said. "There is supplier content management for them to upload their content, categorize it, normalize it and publish it so they can represent it on the marketplace."

Using eMerge, buyers are able to access catalogs from Requisites repository, download them to their sites and use Requisites shopping cart technology. Pantellos, based in The Woodlands, Texas, has invested in Requisites technology. Suppliers can access the service for free.

Also last week, SolidWorks Corp., of Concord, Mass., and Saqqara Systems Inc., of San Jose, Calif., announced a partnership that will combine Saqqaras Commerce Suite catalog management and business-to-business storefront with SolidWorks 3D PartStream.Net. The joint product, also available now, enables customers to download and incorporate 3-D CAD models from an online catalog into a design so that buyers can better evaluate products and make fewer mistakes in ordering and configuring.

John Koerwer, manager of design automation at BOG Group Gases Inc., in Murray Hill, N.J., said he has long sought a three-dimensional model to use in collaboration with teams around the world. "We do a lot of 3-D modeling. All of our plants are 3-D-modeled, but no one ever gets to see it—its too expensive," he said.