Centralized information system defined
Centralized information provision is the concept of storing specific (pieces of) product information in just one place or one single database. This way, data redundancy can be avoided and the path is clear for efficient product data management.
The concept of a centralized information system can be explained by the figure which is a visualization of the information system of a wholesaler. The core and starting point of all information provision is the ERP system. The ERP system contains so-called ‘Master Data’, which comprises of different information, for example the article numbers, prices and current stock availability of the products you are selling.
To centralize your product data, it is necessary to integrate your web store with your ERP system. This can be done by creating an ecommerce platform. Your ecommerce partner can use the Master Data in the ERP integrally in the web store. This content is usually of a fairly basic nature consisting of elements such as product number, name and price. Because of this, no “commercial” product descriptions and few or no product images are shown. However, with the use of for example a PIM system this data can be enriched. Multiple images per product can be displayed, including zoom capabilities to ensure your customer can see every detail.
It is also possible to show as many variant dimensions as you need, such as sizes, colors, styles and more; which can all be displayed in the variant selection using dropdowns or in a matrix view. This means that, each product field coming from the ERP can be shown as a product specification. Products can also be linked to each other in order to show accessories, spare parts or to show up- and cross sell opportunities. Moreover, the category hierarchies as defined in the ERP system are simply loaded in a centralized information system in a way that it is no longer necessary to recreate them.