Prd 010 Considerations in developing a product catalogue Created by James on 6/23/2013 10:37:23 AM
The following are the factors that should be taken into account in developing a product catalogue:
1. Generally one is working with technical staff who are NOT information workers, not keyboard literate and not Excel literate – it will take considerably longer than expected to gather a comprehensive collection of the data to be catalogued and then catalogue it.
2. Once the major practical categories and main headings have been agreed with executives technical staff will have to spend considerable time collecting and collating all available information – they may need an ERP technician to assist at the keyboard.
3. Arriving at the major categories of the catalogue will be time consuming – the categories that seem appropriate at the executive level quite frequently do not fit well at the operational level and some quite serious mind-bending and to’ing and fro’ing may be necessary to arrive at the final headings.
4. Interaction with the work being done in other modules like the Chart of Accounts, Assets Register, etc, etc will be required and may result in early attempts at high level structure being found to be highly deficient. Two or three restarts may typically be required before a structure that will integrate across all modules can be arrived at.
5. Getting to the detail may be time consuming. Some technicians may have the data down to the last nut and bolt in a spreadsheet but many will have to go scratching through records in the existing ERP and even through manual records to arrive at a close to comprehensive list – it is virtually impossible to accurately estimate the time required for this stage.
6. Starting on taxonomies before there is a reasonably comprehensive list of items can result in considerable good work being scrapped and redone from scratch as more detail becomes available – facilitating in this area is much more time consuming than one would expect simply because the personnel one is working with are accustomed to looking at things differently and are not accustomed to organizing information.
7. Getting the right people in the room is critical, a productive session can result in seemingly good work that gets radically restructured if someone misses an earlier session and then arrives for a later session and represents a view that has been overlooked.
8. Once the catalogue has been developed there is a huge amount of work to be done setting attributes on individual product lines – master data management software that works according to the hierarchies is planned for future development and will improve easy, accuracy and speed of attribute setting. Senior personnel who really understand the data need to be in charge of setting attributes.
9. Taxonomy and master data maintenance software based on the taxonomies will be essential for any significant project.
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