BlueBolt has worked with partners in the manufacturing industry since our inception in 2005. Our focus has always been helping manufacturing organizations manage large amounts of complex data, specifically product related data such as catalogs and product inventory.
Navigating Large Amounts of Data
Any organization that deals with a large volume of data is going to inherently have challenges to overcome, specifically related to the organization and ability to search that data. This challenge can be overcome by using a powerful search tool in tandem with careful and deliberate information architecture.
Information architecture in very important to the overall user experience, everything starts with knowing how your users think about your data. Once a sound taxonomy is created, it is used to create a site map that is indicative of the way people think about your data, which makes your site easier to navigate.
Having a properly planned site with strong information architecture does not always cover all use-cases. There will always be site users who do not want to navigate through the information, but instead, would rather to use the site's search tool to find what they are looking for. Having a powerful search tool with functionality that allows for sorting and filtering of data will vastly improve the visitor's experience.
When working with large amounts of marketing information and a large product catalog, using a Product Information Management (PIM) system can provide many benefits across the whole organization. A PIM will make it easier to find information related to products, as well as keep that information organized. These systems were built for that specific purpose and do an excellent job. PIMs can be used to organize product data across multiple channels, including print catalogs, by integrating with systems such as Quark Express or Adobe InDesign.
Some manufacturers need an ecommerce site to allow for autonomous purchasing of their product. Ecommerce sites generally provide additional challenges such as integration with an ERP system like Oracle, SAP, or MS Dynamics, integration with shipping providers like UPS, USPS, or FedEx, or integration with other 3rd party systems like Avalar, for handling sales tax. Integration requires synchronization between systems for product information, order information, and customer information. We have a great deal of experience working with many of these 3rd Party systems, including older legacy systems like an AS400.