FullTilt suite makes fast work of product information management

When Milwaukee-based badge and label manufacturer Brady Corp. decided to build an online store, it hit a problem: Using Excel spreadsheets to manage the information for tens of thousands of products was error-prone and inefficient. In particular, there was no way to make “global” data changes, which forced staff to manually update the same details on a given product in multiple loca...

08/01/2007


When Milwaukee-based badge and label manufacturer Brady Corp. decided to build an online store, it hit a problem: Using Excel spreadsheets to manage the information for tens of thousands of products was error-prone and inefficient.

In particular, there was no way to make “global” data changes, which forced staff to manually update the same details on a given product in multiple locations in Brady's e-catalog. Storing widely differing product attributes also proved difficult. While relevant attributes for a label might include its color, dimensions, and type of adhesive, label printers might include dots per inch and printing speed.



"Ideally, as orders move along the supply chain, product attribute information should move with them."

—Michael Brenner, marketing director, FullTilt

The answer came in the form of the FullTilt Solutions ' Perfect Product Suite, a Web-based product information management solution capable of storing product data and attributes for every Brady product in a single central repository. The FullTilt repository is the system of record, instantly reflecting across the company any changes that have been made, with updates exported to the online store as required.

While the implementation at Brady exemplifies FullTilt's capabilities in a downstream supply chain scenario, FullTilt says manufacturers are deploying the technology in both upstream and downstream applications.

“Once a manufacturer reaches a certain size, keeping track of the attributes of the products that they buy and sell becomes difficult,” says Michael Brenner, marketing director at FullTilt. “Ideally, as orders move along the supply chain, product attribute information should move with them—but with potentially hundreds of thousand of attributes to track, the potential for error is significant.”

FullTilt's offering differs sharply from the approach taken by the major vendors in the product information management space, asserts Brenner. “We have commercial-grade code, ready to be implemented out of the box,” he says. “Most other vendors sell product information management tool kits that can double the cost of the implementation.”

Not to mention the implementation time frame. A recent FullTilt deployment, for example, went live in just six weeks, says Brenner, “which is almost unheard of in the product information management space.”

Privately held, FullTilt is still a relative minnow in the market, as its employees still outnumber its customers by a factor of two. But as more manufacturers wake up to the advantages of product information management within the supply chain, Brenner regards the company as well positioned to compete.

“We differentiate ourselves on speed of implemen-tation and scalability,” stresses Brenner. “It's usable code, right out of the box—and usable within weeks, not months.”





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