ePlus Debuts Upgrade to Supplier Portal for Catalog Management

Adds features to expedite supplier cooperation in e-catalog production, maintenance

Adds features to expedite supplier cooperation in e-catalog production, maintenance

Herndon, VA  December 11, 2003  ePlus this week rolled out a new version of the Supplier Portal component of Content+, the company's solution for automating the creation and management of electronic product catalogs.

The new features are designed to expedite critical supplier cooperation in e-catalog production and maintenance, and to simplify catalog administration both for suppliers and for enterprise catalog managers involved in electronic procurement initiatives, according to the solution provider.

The new release adds an administrative dashboard for catalog approvers and suppliers, extended patterns for auto-recognition and value extraction to support self-authoring and enhanced data mining, enhanced functionality for viewing and approving catalog updates, and audit tracking of catalog changes, including identification of users, date, time and nature of change.

Other new features include support for quantity discounts, promotional pricing with defined starting and ending dates, pre-loading of catalog changes for activation on a designated date, and product or catalog expiration dates.

Enhancements have been made both to the Portal Hub, a workflow-enabled system allowing suppliers to load, update, enrich, cleanse, aggregate and self-author data while enabling buyers to control pricing and other changes; and to the Syndicator, a utility designed to help suppliers satisfy customers' disparate data requirements by allowing customer-defined data to be dynamically distributed in a variety of formats to various third-party e-procurement, enterprise resource planning (ERP) or accounting system using XML protocols.

"Catalog creation in terms of supplier on-boarding and management of data has been shown to be the number one impediment to e-procurement and supply-chain implementations because it is so time-consuming, but our Content+ technology can reduce implementation time significantly," said Ken Farber, president of ePlus Systems and Content Services. "This new release of our Content+ Supplier Portal continues our efforts to accelerate supplier adoption and thereby assist enterprises in reaping the full benefits of content management."

The Content+ Supplier Portal plays a role in producing online catalogs that can help control enterprise purchasing by enabling requisitioners to search for and compare products available from authorized vendors, according to ePlus. It also can help suppliers to reduce overhead, improve negotiation terms and gain more product exposure by presenting new and updated product information to the buyer directly in the Portal.

ePlus said that suppliers can use the Portal to:

  • Self-author their products without having to change branded information or create a new export application for the particular buyer.

  • Load products via electronic file transfer, FTP access or manually.

  • Classify and enrich products with the help of ePlus technology that automates these processes.

  • Manage their product information through the entire lifecycle, including editing, changing, modifying and deletion of items.

  • Maintain and syndicate enriched product information to other buyers using ePlus services and solutions.

The solution provider said that the catalogs generated with ePlus' Content+ enable requisitioners to shop in their own buying culture and find all of the products they need in a single hub, with a single look and feel. They also allow buyers to analyze their spend and negotiate better sourcing of goods, ePlus said.