Homax Implements TIE Data Synchronization as a Foundation for Their Successful Product Information Management Strategy
Homax provides the finest home improvement solutions for contractors and do-it-yourselfers. The company’s leading brands can be found in a growing array of product categories, including interior drywall textures, paint accessories, tile and flooring, all-purpose cleaners and removers, and odor and moisture removal. Homax products are stocked in a wide variety of stores nationwide, from paint and hardware stores to home centers, discount stores, and specialty stores.
As the means to achieve data synchronization with 1Sync, Homax relied on a certified spreadsheet that numerous departments were responsible for updating. Product data was managed in “silos” depending upon the item’s attributes. Each department had its own system for tracking the attributes that was typically not in synch with the product master. It was a difficult process to enforce with little or no accountability within the departments or as a whole.
Homax acquired product information updates from their partners’ websites, but it was difficult process to manage and there was no guarantee that the information was accurate. Data pool synchronization using a certified spreadsheet was unreliable. As a result, enterprise communication and visibility regarding product data was virtually nonexistent.
At the same time, pressure from large retail partners to implement Data Synchronization was intensifying. The costs associated with synchronization had become a significant issue for the IT department, and internal solutions were proving to be too complex.
Homax identified a specific set of objectives that would provide them with a reliable product information management strategy. The key objectives were:
- Establish a centralized repository for all product information with clearly defined internal accountability and external partner visibility
- Document a workflow that eliminates outside processes and systems and identifies one source for product information
- Automate the product information process whenever possible, and emphasize the ability to distribute product information quickly
RECOMMENDED TIE SOLUTION
Data Synchronization is a key component of the TIE Kinetix eBusiness platform. The TIE Data Synchronization solution includes applications that together they can support any strategy for product information management – from systematizing product information all the way to publishing it in compliance with 1Sync standards and partner requirements. It’s the most cost-effective way to ensure that retailers are receiving accurate product information.
To proactively eliminate costly bottlenecks, the TIE solution lets you easily cleanse data sources of errors and duplicate information before synchronizing. From there you can create a single source for accurate, up-to-date product information, improving efficiency throughout your operations and the extended enterprise.
TIE Data Synchronization solutions enable you to:
- Manage product information in a consolidated process that prevents it from being polluted by fragmented business systems
- Publish synchronized product information securely to data pools using any network or communication protocol
- Validate your product information against the business rules defined by you and your partners before importing or publishing
- Create product information catalogs that are tailored to the needs of your partners and categorized according to your own schemas
- Synchronize product information in real time across the extended enterprise, updating partners directly or via data pool
Implementing a product information management strategy can be a complicated and time-consuming endeavor, and TIE offers world-class services to support you, from project management to application and process training. Also, because all TIE products are certified with the leading data pools, you can have confidence when implementing our applications as your product information management infrastructure. We are committed to maintaining standards compliance.
The Homax Group now has a central repository for all product information, enabling highly consistent data and more efficient business processes and workflow. Product information management is now the central database, with certain portions of the data being pushed out to the business systems that require it.
In addition, structured processes now exist for data attribute design, validation, departmental workflow, and more. Integration is being developed for each business system that requires product data in order to perform a function. Homax has also been able to attach associated product information (e.g., MSDS sheets and digital photographs) for more comprehensive product management.
Homax has eliminated redundant product data across the enterprise, and has confidence in the product information being shared with external partners. Data pool synchronization is now driven automatically by the product information management system. Partners have controlled visibility into the product data they require.
“Our entire eCommerce infrastructure is built on TIE, which means we can leverage our Product Information Management data in any area of the company. We’ve had a very positive experience working with TIE. They share our eCommerce vision.”
Executive Vice President
Homax Holdings, Inc.
Melinda Powers is the Chief Marketing Officer for TIE Commerce. Melinda can be reached at Melinda.Powers@tiecommerce.com.