The office supplies sector is very mature and has long-established systems and processes for procurement, especially in the business-to-business (B2B) space. Office stationery has traditionally been purchased using Catalogues, and this system of procurement remains very much in place today. Many of these Catalogues have been moved and/or replicated online, and with that we have seen the introduction of B2B electronic trading networks to facilitate the exchange of product information.

Office Supplies Catalogues

The most common protocol for distributing electronic catalogues in the Office Supplies sector is BMEcat, created and published by the BME (Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik e. V.) - the German association for materials management, purchasing and logistics. BMEcat is XML-based, freely available and usable as a licence free of charge.

As opposed to the eCl@ss dictionary of product classification, which describes how things can be characterized at an abstract level, BMECat is about actual instances of application classes which are described by explicit values in relation to the terms defined in the dictionary.

Retail Office Supplies

In the retail sector where office supplies are available through specialized superstores (like Office Max or Staples) and general merchandising outlets (like Supermarkets), the common supply chain system used is based upon the GS1 System of Standards which uses the Global Product Classification (GPC) system.

Office Supplies

SyncManager – Office Supplies Industry Solution

The Office Supplies Industry Solution allows you to manage and distribute your product information to the right trading partner in the right format, using BMEcat or the GS1 System of Standards. The complexity SyncManager addresses is the ability to manage multi-classification, users can:

  • Capture office supplies product data through the state-of-the-art User Interface (UI), Import from existing file sources like spreadsheets, or Integrate existing enterprise applications like your ERP system.
  • Organize product data in a structured way so it becomes easy to interpret and consume for the purpose of enrichment and sharing. Easily create Views, Layouts, Lists and Filters to interact with your product item data.
  • Enrich records by creating custom attributes to capture additional product data, like images, files or internal data. Using the UI or import facility build-out product descriptions in multiple languages or capture trading partner specific attributes.
  • Validate your office supplies product data against BMECat or GS1/GDSN standards, assess levels of compliance against product category groupings or at an individual item level. Only publish validated items and maintain an audit trail of changes made to records.
  • Collaborate with other SyncManager users to quickly and efficiently achieve compliance goals. Create tasks and events, assign to other users and build workflow procedures. Use the built-in messenger feature and work collaboratively on records simultaneously.
  • Share and synchronize validated product data using BMECat or the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). Build connections to other networks using Web Services, publish ‘In-Platform’ to other SyncManager Accounts or create reusable Trading Partner Profiles to export custom sets of attributes as Spreadsheets, XML or JSON messages.
Industry Data Model