Thank you for subscribing. Monthly newsletter will be emailed to your registered email ID.
Digital transformation is quickly turning out to be the go-to for players across the commerce industry. The digital transformation market size is projected to grow from $594.5 billion in 2022 to a whopping $1,548.9 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 21.1%!
With growth as a key driving ambition, how do buying groups and communities leverage technology to enable their participating members with digital platforms for operational and cost efficiency, and build for the future? Does the technology even exist? And if it does exist, does it mean a complete overhaul (with tied-in cost implications)?
Before we get into this, let’s first look at why buying groups need digital transformation in the first place:
Members of buying groups, usually comprised of manufacturers and their authorized distributors, face a common challenge – evolving customer expectations that include faster time-to-market coupled with high-quality product information. As changing customer expectations trickle down, there will be no room left for legacy processes that are prone to manual efforts and a lack of efficiency. And this is where buying groups can play a vital role in driving growth for all involved players by being enablers of data-driven digital transformation.
Managing data correctly starts from the first step of the product journey i.e product data onboarding. It comes as no surprise that data is considered to be the moving force that drives digital transformation, supporting a seamless shift from physical to digital channels. From the perspective of buying groups, good data management drives collaboration between manufacturers and distributors. It helps them meet customer expectations better and gives them the ability to stay ahead of the game. And this can only be achieved with digital transformation – a state where Communities can simplify the process of data exchange between members; a state that must be achieved through automation and reduced manual intervention.
On the one hand, manufacturers face the challenge of “versioning” product information to fit different distributor standards in a buying group. On the other, distributors face the challenge of receiving product data from multiple manufacturers in a non-standardized format. In either case, the root of the problem is the exporting of challenges which, eventually, leads to delayed time-to-market. It also increases the risk of errors, duplication, missing data, and so on
Developed by Blue Meteor, Amaze DATA Exchange is a next-gen technology, powered by data intelligence that buying groups can use to facilitate data exchange and governance based on industry-developed standards. Enabling the “exchange” of rich product content between stakeholders, the turnkey, cloud-based technology comprises a predefined templatized module that automates the flow of product data to and from buying groups. The tool simplifies the sharing of rich product content between manufacturers and their authorized distributors within the industry. It allows manufacturers to streamline product content distribution across sales channels with a single, standardized product data feed based on a prebuilt template.
The Bearing Services Association (BSA) and the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) have partnered with Blue Meteor™ to launch the PIE Technology Platform™ to transform the way industrial manufacturers and distributors exchange rich content product information. Blue Meteor's Amaze™ Data Xchange powers the PIE Technology Platform for the Industrial Bearings and Power Transmission Industries. The Amaze Data Xchange platform is a turnkey, configurable Cloud-based platform for member communities and marketplaces to automate the exchange and governance of product content based on industry-developed standards. Speaking on the value of a tool like Amaze DATA Xchange, BSA member Bill Shepard, Vice President of BDI reflects “The PIE platform provides a tremendous opportunity for manufacturers and distributors to deliver a new level of collaboration and alignment regarding product data, images, and ongoing data synchronization”
Another happy Amaze Data Xchange user Tracie Longpre, VP of Supply Chain at Applied Industrial Technologies, adds “Enriched product data is a necessity to compete in today’s digitized world. This ensures the data content, including images and attributes used internally or presented to customers, is always robust and current.”
“We have been extremely pleased with the Amaze Data Xchange platform,” says Jerilyn Church, Executive Secretary of BSA. ”It has enabled us to very quickly get the PIE Technology Platform program off the ground and has allowed our communities of Bearings and Power Transmission product manufacturers and distributors to see the value of the initiative very early on,” Chuch adds, “What has been equally impressive has been the know-how and support that the Blue Meteor team has provided. They have made the entire process of launching an industry data exchange far easier and economical than if we had tried to go about it alone.”
“NPI and modification to existing product data now require few clicks and minutes as against days of tedious manual efforts juggling between spreadsheets containing multiple tabs,” says Tom Condon, Managing Partner at ISI. Industrial Source Incorporated (ISI) a full-service multi-line rep agency that focuses on the B2B MRO marketplace uses Amaze PXM to manage, enrich and syndicate product data to Grainger and other priority channels
An increasing number of industrial organizations (such as co-ops, associations, and buying groups) are realizing the need to create increased value for their membership. And the ability to create a data pool that can be shared across the community with Amaze DATA Xchange will help them achieve this. The tool gives buying groups an affordable opportunity to automate, standardize, and govern the process of product content collection from manufacturers, and make this content readily available for members through a simple download or API call – all this in a standardized format of choice.
Amaze DATA Xchange is a cloud-native software-as-a-service (SaaS); making it an on-demand software solution that can be easily accessed through common web browsers. It is quick and easy to set-up and requires no large IT infrastructure spend. Here are some of the most relevant benefits of Amaze DATA Xchange as a cloud-native SaaS:
Since Amaze DATA Xchange is quick and easy to set-up, it doesn’t require business groups to pause operations or disrupt proceedings. Then again, not only is the solution easy to use, users also get full support and training to ensure that they get maximum value from the data exchange platform. As mentioned earlier, the solution is easily customizable, and it’s also quick to update with no disruptions in day-to-day proceedings.
Streamlining data exchange is an integral step in powering digital transformation. That being said, there’s even more companies in buying groups can do to enable further growth. For this, they require end-to-end data solutions that don’t just take care of data exchange, but also power better product information management, syndication, digital asset management and more. And this is where the Amaze Product Experience Management Suite can be a driving force in an organization’s growth story.
Buying groups that use Amaze DATA Xchange can access an additional suite of services to compete and thrive across channels. The suite includes:
An AI and ML-powered product information management tool that gives businesses end-to-end control over the data journey. From creating rich product content to integration with leading platforms and distribution channels, Amaze PXM enables businesses to deliver relevant and engaging product content to customers at lightning speed.
The syndication tool enables businesses to accelerate product information from back-end data stores to web-ready eCommerce. It automates data flow, giving companies the ability to sell more, grow more, and profit more.
With digital asset management, or DAM, businesses can take product experience to the next level! Amaze DAM gives companies a centralized control tower to onboard, manage, enrich, and distribute rich digital assets to improve customer experience.
Pursuing digital transformation is key for buying groups to not just survive in an evolving digital future, but also to establish a state of future-readiness and pursue limitless growth. And finding the right technology at the right time is going to be the key differentiating factor. Amaze DATA Xchange ensures that buying groups gain and maintain the edge as they step into promising territories. The tool enables groups to do what they do best – collaborate and work towards common goals and surge into the future.
Having already powered journeys of buying groups such as Industrial Source Incorporated (ISI), Bearing Services Association (BSA), and the Power Transmission Distributors Association we have the experience and expertise to replicate this success across industries. Get in touch to learn more: