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eLinkTM for Buying Organizations Case Study:

Customer: One of the nation’s leading transportation companies providing rail and intermodal services

Business Challenge: This company was in need of a more streamlined way to view the product offerings of certain key suppliers.  With their procurement platform, they could display electronic catalogs from suppliers.  However, there was a need to build the supplier catalogs and configure them to interface with their purchasing system.  In addition, there was a need for ongoing maintenance of those supplier catalogs.  The customer had the internal capability to perform these functions, but to manage it themselves would be costly and inefficient, as it required resources that could be better utilized on other projects.

As a result, they decided to outsource the creation, integration, and maintenance of the supplier catalogs to a firm that could perform the work quickly, cost effectively, within their data security requirements, and in a way that was compatible with their existing ERP system.

The APD Solution: Utilizing eLinkTM, APD would provide a Custom Catalog Solution to the customer, in which we would host electronic catalogs unique to their preffered suppliers.  In hosting the catalogs, APD creates, tests, manages, and maintains the supplier catalogs assigned by the customer to the program.

Via eLinkTM, APD creates and hosts a punchout-enabled custom buying catalog for the customer that will be accessible to their end-users through their Oracle procurement platform.  This punchout catalog will display approved product content, pictures, and attached files, such as manuals, provided to APD by the customer’s approved suppliers. The catalog offers a cart system that supports a robust search mechanism, an icon system that helps highlight select products, shopping lists and other online shopping tools.

The following benefits are achieved by implementing this APD Solution:

  • Via eLinkTM, APD is responsible for the creation and maintenance of both the software and catalogs, and provides the customer access to the software and catalogs.

  • As a certified Trustkeeper, APD provides security for all of the customer’s data.

  • APD’s Custom Catalog Solution allows the customer to access an electronic catalog for suppliers regardless of whether the supplier has eCommerce capability.
  • The Custom Catalog is accessible via the Internet and does not require special hardware or software other than what the customer has currently provisioned for their usual Internet access.
  • APD provides efficient implementation which minimizes the time for the customer to enjoy the benefits of the improved procurement process.
  • Due to the scalability of the Custom Catalog Solution, the customer can start small and grow as needed.  There’s no need to wait for an opening in the IT project list.

  • The customer can focus more resources on growing their business and provide increased efficiency and productivity in its procurement process.

  • APD’s Custom Catalog Solution minimizes the need for hard copy catalogs for sourcing direct supplies while also reducing administrative and processing time.